Consumer behavior has undoubtedly gone through a significant shift in recent years. When searching for products or services, the Internet has evolved as the most logical resource for just about everything, rendering traditional resources nearly obsolete.
97% of people looking for local products or services search the Internet for information. How does your business show up in search? Your website can be the most critical tool in your marketing plan as it offers the benefits of accessibility, measurability and flexibility.
Consider the use of popular Internet search tools such as Google and Bing. Making an effort to embed key, favorable search terms in your website make it accessible to those searching for related topics. Your website can be optimized to attract queries for any number of specified keywords through the inclusion of content related to those terms such as blog posts, events, press and videos.
Optimizing your website's rank on search results pages is critical, according to a recent study from Chitka. Google's top organic search results receive 33 percent of the clicks, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the clicks only degrade from there. Only 23% of searchers will make the effort to go the the second search result page, which only receives 1.5% of the clicks.
Upon landing on your website, visitors can be educated about your services and products, read testimonials, watch informative videos and of course, make a purchase! Your website presents powerful opportunities to conveniently convert visitors to customers by presenting content solutions relevant to their needs.
Customer conversion and other marketing goals can be easily measured using data that is collected by your website. Analytic programs can illustrate the activity related to your online marketing efforts, as well as identify areas that need improvement. For example, you launch an email campaign to existing clients that includes a variety of links to content on your website. Upon analyzing the interactions associated with the campaign, you can determine which articles were of greatest interest, which generated the most activity, and which were hardly read. The website analytics that reflect customers reaction to your marketing efforts provide direction for your marketing initiatives. Measurement of your website data is easy to read and interpret, and can impact your marketing unlike any other tool in a direct and quantifiable way.
As you fine tune your marketing strategies based on website data analysis, make sure that your website is built on a flexible platform that can be manipulated to reflect your priorities. For example, if the analytics demonstrate that your website’s latest video is a popular click destination for visitors, similar videos can be added and promoted.
Your website should also serve as a digital repository for any press, media, events, customer testimonials, and articles related to your business. If an associate in your organization updates a blog periodically, your website can be a permanent host for these posts. The contents of these articles become searchable via Google or other search engines, creating more opportunities to drive traffic to your website. Likewise, the photographs can reside on your website and again, be searchable by prospective visitors. These archived photos can be powerful marketing content, as they leave indelible images in the minds of prospective clients!
Facebook and other social media are useful and engaging marketing tools, but exist in a vacuum with respect to obtaining measurable conversions. However, if posts contain hyperlinks that direct users to your website, it becomes an aspect of your marketing that brings value to your bottom line. Additionally, feeds from your social media pages can be featured on your website to provide a means of keeping your content updated and fresh.
Your website can and should be dynamically maintained to meet emerging customer inquiries and demands. Your marketing strategy can be determined by the behavior of your website’s visitors making it the most critical tool in your marketing universe.