Internet Marketing, when distilled to its simplest goal, is just not that difficult. Okay maybe the execution is difficult, but the theory of Internet Marketing is as simple as 1, 2… Okay…1, 2.
1) Drive Traffic
2) Convert Traffic
Now, I know I am just asking for a comment stream filled with people espousing other goals like branding, and reputation architecture‚ (Insert index fingers in throat) but really if YOUR website ONLY provides you with lots of high-quality workable leads? Would you consider it a success? Me too.
With that lofty goal in mind, I thought I would write a couple of posts that offer a way for self-directed DIY web owners to think about conversion. I would like to provide a lens that you can view your site through to determine if indeed you are doing everything you could to create the best conversion possible. Are you?
Let’s get our high-level groove on. Here are four things that your site must be good at in order for you to reach our goal of creating lots of high-quality leads.
#1. CREATE AFFINITY
Affinity is a feeling of kinship‚ a natural attraction‚ it’s falling in “like”. As searchers pour through site after site with their fingers perched on the trigger (of the BACK or BOUNCE button) it is your responsibility to create a haven for them‚ a safe place. They need to feel that your site is a site that they UNDERSTAND and want to get to know better. BTW, as much as this SOUNDS like a first date, it is worse. Unlike a first date, you have (on average) 1.7 seconds on average to create AFFINITY.
#2 MEET MY EXPECTATIONS
This is one of the most oft-misunderstood pillars of Web Marketing. Internet Searchers are DIFFERENT from print viewers. Internet marketers have EXPECTATIONS. Print marketers do not. Picture yourself‚ Sunday morning at the breakfast table leafing through your favorite magazine or newspaper (I know) and you come across an AD for window coverings. The AD may catch your attention or may not. You may read it or you may not. You may like it or you may not. But mostly you are indifferent to it because you were not looking for it, had no expectations for it and invested little or no time to make a decision on whether or not it was valuable to you.
Now, get up and go to your computer‚ launch your favorite browser and SEARCH for “window coverings…”. What are you looking for? This is the difference. Instantly, within the process of deciding what search term to use and clicking search, you have developed an EXPECTATION of exactly what it is you need to find? You already have an image or idea in your mind’s eye of what type of site, search and message you would like to find. And if you land on a site that doesn’t meet this expectation? BOUNCE. What are the keywords that YOUR searchers are using to get to‚ what are their expectations? And are you meeting them?
Why should I invest my time exploring your site, your services, and your content? I know that YOU think that YOUR content is valuable to me. But who are you? Your content is only valuable to me if YOU are a trusted source. If I don t know who you are then I don t know the validity of your content. Prove to me that I can trust you. Show me testimonials (preferably video) from others that have done business with you and trust you. Show me the source of your opinion. Convince me that you know what you are talking about and show me why I should consider you MY trusted advisor. Time on the page will skyrocket.
#4. CONVERT ME
Okay, you have created affinity, met my immediate expectations and yes, I think I trust you. Now what? What am I supposed to do here? Your site should not be a serve yourself a smorgasbord of options. Guide me with simple, understandable calls to actions. What would you like me to do? Tell me. Give me options to click that I understand. Not “search the MLS…” I don t know what that means? But “Find a Home in ____‚ ” and when do I click? Give me exactly what I was expecting. Ask yourself. What do I expect to see on the other side of that click… and deliver it. What do you want me to do? Search? Comment? Self-identify? Just ask. Give me a value proposition if you are going to ask me to register. Give me a reason to register and explain it succinctly. Remember, you have earned my trust. Respect that.
I consider these four basic items the basic pillars of Web Marketing. Go ahead now revisit your website and ask yourself.
Am I creating instant Affinity?
Am I meeting expectation?
Am I building trust?
Am I LEADING my visitors to my goal?
These are the building blocks for a successful website. But this is just the start. Next time? The “How to” on conversion. Stay tuned.