Like all elements of marketing, Maine web marketing is about attracting people to your website. What you do with visitors when you’ve attracted them to your website is called User Conversion. The internet shares some traits with other marketing channels, but it greatest attribute is its uniqueness in offering multiple mediums to attract and convert potential customers.
There are several ways to attract people to your site, some are unique to the internet, but all should be provided in a Site Promotion package:
- SEM: Search Engine Marketing. This is the activity of building and managing a website (through SEO, Search Engine Optimization) that will show up near the top of search engine keyword searches. There are two subsets to SEM; you can appear in the “natural” or “organic indexing” areas of a search engine. This is usually the central part of a web page. Or you can pay to appear on a search engine, through PPC, Pay Per Clicks, or Paid Search Advertising.
- Linking: This is the activity of having your website address appear on other websites so that people can click through to your website.
- Email Advertising: Creating, emailing and managing email campaigns which advertise your products and services and give people the ability to click through to your website.
- Standard Advertising: Having your website address/URL appear in print advertising, radio advertising, and TV advertising.
Companies are missing opportunities to attract and convert customers by not optimizing their content. The mantra has been “to improve marketing results, buy more traffic.” That remains true in the early days of your website, but eventually the low-hanging fruit of more traffic starts to level off, and you need to convert more of it.
Web Design and Internet Marketing
Many marketers simply are not looking at their strategic options. Additionally, with Pay Per Click cost inflation your PPC budget is earning less and less traffic. Undoubtedly, today’s costs of Internet traffic and online advertising still are a great value compared to the alternatives. How much longer will it take for online ad costs and spending to catch up with newspapers?
This all is happening faster than many would like to admit. Demand for online advertising will continue to drive prices skyward. So in attention to how to your attract clients to your website you need to examine how well you can convert them. You’re going to see more paid-search placements today than a year ago. Furthermore, as more companies advertise on search engines, the value of the incremental customer is dropping. And there’s more people competing for the same traffic – so what that results in for a merchant is downward pressure on the value of those customers.
Traffic cost inflation is only one factor. Another is how marketers and companies timidly settle for pathetically low conversion rates. According to Shop.org’s study State of Retailing Online, average online conversion rates hover around a paltry 3%. Yes, sadly enough, those are correct conversion rates. It doesn’t take an accountant to determine the effect of this on the online marketing ROI equation.
Consider also that when compared to 2002, today’s websites and landing pages are far better designed and much more usable. Web technology has improved, and more companies use Web analytics and A/B testing technologies. Additionally, customers visit fewer Web sites (yes, less competition for you). Also, they’re also more confident about buying online now compared to four years ago.
Yet despite the marketer-friendly technologies, better site designs and improved customer confidence in shopping online, conversion rates limp downwards. Too many marketers find the low, single-digit conversion rates acceptable. In offline direct marketing, a 2 percent return certainly is acceptable since the marketing is pushed at customers, but the online channel’s pull marketing is night to direct mail’s day. Of course, the online channel appears better because it doesn’t have to accommodate printing and postage costs, but these cost savings are only temporarily advantageous.
Consider that in the online world, customers are in control. They’re task-oriented, and with every search term they type or hyperlink they click, they reveal more about their intentions. A clickthrough on a search term reveals a certain degree of visitor intent. Assuming your product or service offering is what that prospect needs, you have the recipe for superior conversion rates. This is why most online campaigns should enjoy a conversion rate at least two to three times greater than that of offline direct marketing, based on the nature of the online medium alone.
SEM Internet Marketing Tactics to Employ
Old-school internet marketing can’t be resuscitated. The landscape for Maine web marketing has changed. Maine web marketing must morph into something different. Traffic alone won’t be enough. We must shift from the advertising/marketing/sales silo strategy to an all-encompassing customer persuasion worldview.
So when sitting at the conference table creating your SEM strategy, do the following:
- Shift equal resources to conversion tactics as towards traffic generation. Develop online strategies that offer visitors information and options customized to their needs; this will begin to lessen your dependence on traffic.
- Focus on holes in the buying process (i.e., where visitors might be falling through), as well as holes in the traffic-acquisition strategy.
- Commit to making your SEM efforts more relevant. The new marketing world order is about relevance, not traffic, reach or message posturing. It’s not just about getting your message out there. It’s about being real and saying something true and meaningful in the most compelling way possible.
- Devote time and resources to better know your customers and their needs. If you don’t know who your customers are and where they are in the buying process, and you don’t have a conversion plan that goes beyond a watered-down landing page, you might as well flush that SEM budget.
Contact us to get started with Maine web marketing that turns ideas into customers!