Why Your Website is Your Most Important Marketing Asset

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  • 65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. That’s a higher level of trust than any other online or offline source.

  • 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website.

  • 46% say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company.


If you own a business today, your website is your biggest marketing asset. Even if you get most of your customers from other channels like networking or foot traffic, people still look at your website to see if you are legitimate. Make sure you are using your website as a tool to educate, delight and instill trust in your customers.

What is SEO?

An easy way to understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is that it is your reputation with search engines like Google. If you have a good reputation, based on the content on your site, the search engine is more likely to list you as a top result when people search for your product.

The best way to improve SEO is to provide a good user experience (UX) for your site visitors. This is done by providing information, products and/or services in an easy to use way. If your site works well for people, the search engines will like it too because search engines like Google are trying to provide good results to their users.

Understand the Customer Journey

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The Customer Journey is the path your customers will take to make a purchase with you. The path will depend on what you are offering and who your customers are. Be sure to create personas for your target customers first.

So when people visit your website, what do you want them to do? How do you lead them down that path? How do you ask them to do it?

Here’s a clue, if you don’t have any call to action (CTA) buttons on your site, you’re customers probably don’t know what you want them to do.

Why Start with Your Website?

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius

 

I’m a marketing professor and have written several marketing books, I love marketing and will talk your ear off about it if you let me. One thing I work with people on is to be strategic. Do some thinking before you spend money. The website is part of your marketing tactics, not really your strategy, so why do I jump ahead to talk about websites with people?

  1. Everyone has a website or needs one

  2. People know what websites are so we can have a conversation

Websites are the way for me to start a conversation with people about their business. From there I can backtrack and make sure their strategy is on target before actually building or updating their current site.

Are You Getting Customers From Your Website?

How many of your customers come from your website? How many people look at your site to see if you are legitimate before they do business with you? If you aren’t sure or you don’t have one, let’s talk.


Do you want an expert to look at your website
and give you recommendations?

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Quick Start Marketing Plan

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1: Find Your Advantage

·         What is the unique competitive advantage of your product or service?  (The best way to determine this is by performing a SWOT analysis)

·         How can you meet the needs of the target audience better than the competition?

·         What is the positioning of your product or service? 

2: Define Your Purpose

·         What is the mission or purpose of your company? 

·         What goals do you want to accomplish with this particular product or service? 

·         How do these goals fulfill the mission of your company? 

·         How will you communicate this to the entire organization to make sure everyone is on the same page?

3:  Create an Image

·         Based on the competitive advantage, positioning, target audience and mission of the company what image best represents your product or service?

·         Do you need professional assistance in creating a logo and marketing communications materials? 

·         Is the look and feel of your marketing communications materials consistent and congruent?

4:  Implement Promotions

·         Which of these marketing communications do you plan on utilizing?

o   Advertising

o   Public Relations/Publicity

o   Sales Promotion

o   Personal Selling

o   Direct Marketing

o   Internet/Interactive

·         What marketing communications can you afford? 

·         What marketing communications make the most sense for your situation?

·         How can you achieve the greatest return on investment with the least amount of wasted exposure?

·         Are your marketing communications linked and integrated? How?

·         Are your marketing communications consistent and congruent? How?

5:  Build Relationships

·         How are you building relationships with customers?

·         Are you creating positive word of mouth?

·         Are you developing advocates for your product?

·         Where in the funnel do your promotions hit? 

·         How do your promotions push people down the funnel?

6:  Gain Feedback

·         How are you measuring results?

·         Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from customers?

·         Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from employees?

7:  Adjust to Changes

·         Are you making changes based on the feedback you have gained?

·         Has your market or target audience changed?

·         Do you need to revise any marketing messages to remain current?

·         Are you maintaining up to date and relevant information on the website?

·         Do you have an ongoing dialogue with current customers?


Want to learn more? Read the full book by Michael Daehn: The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius.

 

REVIEW: The McDonald's App Experience

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Order Ahead

or get back in line

I've been using the McDonald's App for about a year now. It is pretty slick and gives you some good discounts and acts as a punch card for items like coffee that give you a free drink. I usually open it on my way there to see what deals and coupons they have.

This week I opened it and saw a coupon for $3 off $10. Apparently, that deal was only good if you ordered ahead of time. So when I got to the window the lady said I needed to order ahead of time. I asked if I could order in the app since I was already in line. She said I would need to drive out and get back in line.

Hey, I get it, the idea of this deal is to get people to put in their payment info and use the app. What I recommend to McDonald's, however, is to let people like me who are regular customers and learning the new rules they are imposing to use the discount this time, and advise me to order ahead next time. Giving the cashier the ability to give me the discount would have made her job easier and me happier.

I did drive around again because I am a marketing geek and wanted to see how this whole thing would play out. I also knew I was going to write a blog post when I got home.

Is McDonald's going to read this and change their policy, probably not. I am writing this for you. When putting promotions into action, make sure you allow for some wiggle room and make sure your employees can make good decisions at the moment to help the customer.

The name of the game these days is customer experience, also known as CX. Those businesses that are good at it will have a huge advantage over their competition.

Red Robin's QR Codes on POP and Collateral Provides Smart Feedback

This is a great idea. If only I had thought of it 3 years ago.

A lot of places will reward you for taking a survey. Allowing customers to give feedback right away provides:

  • Greater incentive - Get rewarded right away
  • Easier to use - Don't have to login at home
  • Better quality results - customers can remember their experience better in 5 minutes than in 5 hours or 5 days 

QR Codes are everywhere these days. Some people use them well, like Red Robin. Others are out of their minds - QR Codes on TV Commercials. Good marketers use the right tools, the right way for their product.

 

Michael Daehn Selected to Speak at eMarketing Conference

I was selected to speak at the eMarketing Conference in San Francisco this April. I will be on two panels:
  • Integrating your social and email programs Day 1 - 11 AM
  • Accelerating results with Facebook Pages Day 1 - 4:30 PM
I've handled the email marketing and Facebook strategies for several high profile companies. Some with email subscriber lists over 500K and others with over 1.7 Million Facebook Likes. I've helped large and small companies launch many successful email and Facebook campaigns. I've learned many lessons, some the hard way, and I hope to share those with attendees.
 
If you are attending the conference, please be sure to stop by to say hi. If you can't make it, I'll try to get a video to post here on the site afterwards.

Seeing the Light Bulb Go On - An Educator's Delight

Cartoons have used the image of a light bulb appearing over a character's head when they get an idea. A lot of teachers, myself included, will tell you we get a real rush when we see the proverbial light bulb go on over someone's head.
 
I was always good at retail sales. I think part of the reason was that I got more excited about helping my customers learn about the product than I did in selling it to them. Sure I liked to make a sale too, but only if I felt like it was a good fit and that the customer would know how to use what I was selling.
 
In my consulting career, I have the habit of teaching my clients how to fish instead of reeling in the catch for them. I like empowering them to be successful at marketing, not just gain a few customers while I am in charge of their campaigns.
 
This has met with mixed results. A lot of clients want me to do the work and they don't know or care how I do it. Others are grateful that I am willing to share my secrets and help them be successful long term.
 
So if you are thinking of hiring me as a marketing consultant, be warned that I will try to get you to learn what I am doing so that you can be successful in the long term. 
 
Don't get me wrong, the best leaders delegate to multiply their efforts. I'm not suggesting you have to do all the daily tasks yourself. I do recommend that you have enough understanding to oversee your marketing campaigns well, including managing your marketing team and/or vendors.
 
Marketingenious, my company name, is made up of two words:
Marketing
Ingenious
 
The reason is not because I am a marketing genius, but because I will help you bring out the ingenuity inside of you.
 
Why? Because I'd love to see that light bulb go on over your head.

CASE STUDY: Scan MD and Win Contest

Campaign:
Scan MD and Win!
 
Client:
Michael Daehn
 
Address:
 
Summary:
Created a contest for attendees of the Social Media Club networking event. Anyone who scanned the QR code Michael Daehn was wearing with their phone would be entered in to win an autographed book, and a marketing brainstorming session with Michael. When scanned participants would be able to send out a tweet on Twitter that was automatically created by the QR code. Around 20 people scanned/tweeted and Michael was able to meet dozens of new people in a 2 hour session.
 
See more case studies in the Portfolio

Winner Announced - Scan Michael Daehn and Win Contest

 

The winner is:
Danielle Cooley (@DGCooley)
 
She will receive the Michael Daehn book of her choice, signed by Michael and a coffee meeting to talk about using QR codes and other marketing tools to grow her business.
 
Didn't win? You can still read the digital versions for free.
  
Thanks to all the scanners:
@jadatwesten
@libbyrogier
@maddie_em
@dgcooley
@mikeziegler 
@jessleitch 
@twileyx 
@nickgilham 
@chelsysayshi 
@javastl 
@gbrettmiller 
@your_shirt_guy 
@pioneerstl 
@bickelt 
@AngeBird
  
Want to know more about QR Codes? Check out How To: Use QR Codes to Boost Your Marketing
  
Want to know about other contests, events Michael is attending, or to stay up on the latest marketing news? Subscribe to the Daehn's Brain newsletter:
 

Enter your email address:


The Scan Michael Daehn and Win Contest

Scan or click this code to enter  

1. Find Michael Daehn
2. Scan Michael Daehn's QR code to Tweet the hashtag #ScanMD
3. You are entered to win
 
If you don't have a scanner (or can't find Michael) you can still win by tweeting #ScanMD, scanning the QR code above, or by clicking here
 
The winner will receive the Michael Daehn book of their choice, signed by Michael and a coffee meeting to talk about how you can use QR codes and other marketing tools to grow your business.
 
Need help finding Michael? He'll be at the Social Media Club Saint Louis event at Mosaic this Tuesday from 6-9pm
 
This contest is for Tuesday 2/22/11
 
Want to know more about QR Codes? Check out How To: Use QR Codes to Boost Your Marketing
 
Want to know about other contests, events Michael is attending, or to stay up on the latest marketing news? Subscribe to the Daehn's Brain newsletter:
 

Enter your email address:

 *If you don't win, you can still read the digital versions of my books for free.

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 11 - The Secret to SEO

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE

Web traffic drivers

We have discussed several ways to get traffic to your site, but here's the one thing you really need to know about SEO:
 
Have updated relevant content and a site worth visiting
 
When you accomplish this, people will want to come to your site and tell others by linking to you. If your site is well organized and looks good to human beings, the search engines will like it too.

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 10 - User Experience

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Have you ever been frustrated when visiting a website because you can not get the information you need? Getting people to your site is half the battle, getting them what they came for is the next step. 
 
How easy is your site to use once they get there? Is your content laid out clearly and properly labeled? Does your navigation make sense? User experience design is now a major industry in the web world. Consider getting help, but if you do it yourself or you are not sure you can’t go wrong by keeping it simple. It works for Google.

 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 11 - The Secret to SEO

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 9 - Organize Your Website

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

If you have ever tried to find a missing document in an unorganized filing cabinet you understand the need for clearly labeling and organizing all your files. Your system also needs to be something that others can understand easily so they can find the information they are looking for. This will help the humans viewing your site and the search engines that are crawling through all of your files and indexing them.
 
On your website make sure the following information is labeled clearly:
Domain names
Web addresses (URL’s)
Page titles
Headings
Descriptions
Tags (categorizing or labeling posts, articles, images, etc.)
 
Though the algorithm search engines use to give your site results are proprietary, it has been shown that the more links you have and the better organized and labeled your site is the better your search results.
 
Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 10 - User Experience

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 8 - Browser Based Traffic

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Don’t overlook the amount of traffic you can be getting from people typing it into their address bar. The Internet is only one tool in your marketing arsenal. You should be promoting your site offline through the appropriate tools for your situation. Print, magazines, television/radio broadcast and direct mail are all ways to drive more traffic to your website.
Postcard with web address

 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 9 - Organize Your Website

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 7 - Mashups, Feeds and Gadgets

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Google Gadgets

When you visit a site and see a little box with news results it is more often than not coming from a news feed place inside a gadget. If your site has great content you should syndicate and make it available to others in the form of gadgets. You can also open up proprietary information and allow others to mash it up into their own creations. Feedburner can help you turn your blog into a feed and sites like Widgetbox and Google Gadgets can help you turn them into gadgets.
 
Making a widget on Widgetbox 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 8 - Browser Based Traffic

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 6 - Blogs

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Blogs began as a way for people to comment, share their thoughts and compile information to share with others on their website. When used properly, blogs can generate excellent web traffic for your main site or product. The key is to update often with relevant content.
 
Many folks jumped on the blogging bandwagon, but they never updated their sites. Their conclusion was that blogging did not work. Search engines love updated relevant content so your blog will work, but you have to work your blog.
 
You can blog yourself, pay someone to blog for you, or encourage others to blog about your company. All can be effective depending on your audience and the kind of information you are sharing. 

 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 7 - Mashups, Feeds and Gadgets

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 5 - Microsites and Subsites

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

 

Having multiple subsites and microsites that point back to your main site can be good and bad. On the good side, you can customize these sites to target audiences better. You also have inbound links coming from your own sites coming back to your main web address. The bad news is that unless you are careful, it is easy to confuse your customers as to what site they are on.

Often subsites will click through to a main site and people get lost. You also are diluting the power of your main brand and website when you have subsites. It is better to have all of your traffic going to your main domain so it gets credit for being a popular site with search engines.

Sometimes it makes sense to have a landing page for a campaign or promotion. These can be very effective when they have a single purpose and a clear focus. Make sure that you explain what is happening and where people will go when they click if you send them away from the page.

 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 6 - Blogs

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Social Networks

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Social networks are a great way to engage with your customers and drive traffic back to your website. The nice thing is that most of these sites are free. Be sure to set up a profile for yourself, or your company, and post links back to your main website. It’s handy to have some profile information set up that you can copy and paste onto the various social media sites where you register.
 
Facebook and MySpace Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
  
Trends in social networking
 
MySpace used to be the King, but Facebook has now surpassed MySpace with number of users. However, MySpace is still a hotspot for music and artist pages. Micro blogging/messaging tools like Twitter and FrienFeed are gaining momentum too. 
 
Twitter and FriendFeed Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
 
Social media
 
Most people lump social networks and social media together, but for web traffic I view them as distinct. Social networks require interaction and communication. Social media sites allow you to upload content that other people can comment upon and share with their communities. Social media sites have a social networking component, and it is beneficial to cultivate that element, but not required.
 
So if you have videos, images, white papers, articles or other media items get them uploaded to these sites. Even if it is only your company brochure, be sure to post a copy to the free file sharing sites. You never know when someone will come across it, and having links back to your site associated with this content helps your search results.
 
YouTube is the most popular video site, but there are many more out there. By using a service like TubeMogul, you can post your same video to many sites at one time. Flickr is the largest photo sharing site and Scribd has a nice interface for sharing your documents with the world. Think about where you audience is and what content you have, then pick a few of the top social media sites to show your stuff.
 
 
YouTube, Flickr and Scribd Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
A word of caution when using social networks and media, you need to be yourself and not just hock your website. If you get labeled as inauthentic or a spammer, you will get rejected by the community. Better to not get involved than to get a negative reputation.

 

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Microsites and Subsites

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 3 - Email Marketing

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Email is not new and not as glamorous as some of the cutting edge web technologies available today, but done right it can be the number one traffic driver for your site. The chart below lays out a solid strategy for any web marketing program using Chuck as your hypothetical subscriber.

Click image to enlarge

Chuck Gets Email Infographic

Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Social Networks