Thursday, July 16, 2009

Website Marketing and Conversion, Step 2

Website marketing requires time and intelligent planning to create the business outcomes you want for your business. In this series, I've been outlining the simple basics of how to begin creating a website that will:
1- Receive targeted traffic;
2- Convert that traffic to new client relationships;
3- Allow you to monitor results, change/develop content to constantly improve results.
Today we'll focus on #2, converting your websites traffic to new clients.

What is meant by the term conversion? Web conversions take many forms ranging from accessing information such as a whitepaper, filling out a form for contact, to completing an online purchase. Regardless of what the conversion is, as small and medium sized businesses your number one priority should be creating conversions and if appropriate having a series of conversions that lead to the creation of a new client...really, what else matters? Website designers will have you believe that your website needs to look a certain way and that this colour or that layout is better...the best return on your investment is when visitors to your website ultimatley become clients right? Stay focused on conversion!!!

How is this done? There are many details that I won't go into, (branding, language, etc.) that's not the intention here, what I want to give you is some ideas on how to make this work for your business. What's important is to remember that a conversion doesn't necessarily mean that you create a new client right away, remember relationships take time, all you want to do is begin a relationship and provide opportunities to develop that relationship over time. Generally this can be accomplished when your website provides the site visitor with different ways to engage with information that will help them answer questions, questions that you should understand for your business based on real world experience. Here is a simple example.

Company XYZ has a website that promotes their residential HVAC solutions. One very common question will be "How much will my new furnace or air conditioner cost?". It may not be the first question, but it will certianly come up at some point as the site visitor continues their purchase decision making process and it opens a great opportunity for XYZ to begin a relationship. How? Simply offer a "FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTATION". This could be a link in the appropriate position in the text that takes them to a form, or it could be a "button" link at the side of the text that takes them to a form, or it could be a specific call to action in the text that says something like, "Call us today to get yoru free no obligation estimate." Regardless of which one (or all) of the conversion options used here, any serious prospect is going to want this information and there are three ways outlined in this example that will allow the site visitor to begin or deepen their relationship with Company XYZ that can lead to that prospect becoming a client. Converted! As noted earlier, there are many other considerations, but the basics outlined can dramatically improve the ROI from your website.

Are there other conversion possibilities? Many! Depending on your business and how relationships are created in the 'real world' you could use information in the form of whitepapers, landing pages that speak to a prospect in a certain manner on a specific question or concern typical prospects have, create "FREE TRIALS" or "SPECIAL OFFER" buttons, and these are just a few ideas. What's of greatest importance is to make certain that you are in fact providing visitors to your website with a variety of relevant ways to begin a relationship with you. If you're uncertain about the details, contact somebody who can help you, again I repeat, as a small or medium sized business, your number one objective should be to create new business from your website, anything and everything else...justs costs you money!

We're at the edge of the future!

Andy Xhignesse

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