Is my website broken? It may feel a little strange to think about your website being broken, especially when it looks great and your friends and customers compliment you on how nice it looks. In the past when the internet was relatively new, customers wanted to be able to take your business card or brochure and enter in your website address to confirm that you were a real and trusted business. The traditional approach worked nicely but meant you had to somehow access your customer through advertisements or personal visits. Also your customer had to have available time to meet with you.
Today, because our lives at home and at work are too busy, we have learned how to jealously protect our time. We block interruptions from sales people, record TV programs and skip the ads, throw tons of unopened mailed ads into the trash, ignore magazine ads and get totally irritated when someone uninvited interrupts our day. Prospect behaviors have changed, and you are not alone if you are finding that your traditional advertising methods no longer work.
Research shows that potential customers are trending toward searching the web for solutions to their problems. This is key because they do it when they want a solution, not when you want to tell them about a solution that is not a priority at the moment. Because of this trend, many will never hear of your company or your products through traditional marketing efforts. It is critical that you have a way to attract these searching strangers to the solutions you provide and it has to be when they are interested in looking. For me, when I have an extra 5 or 10 minutes, I jump on Google and usually find what I am looking for. If not, I set it aside and look again in a few days when I have a little time. Rarely do I dig out a business card or advertisement.
This trend means you may be spending a significant portion of your strategic marketing funds on flyers, radio, TV and paper based ads but your gut tells you it really isn’t working like it used to. You have spent money on a nice looking website but your analytics shows the vast majority of the web visitors go directly to your website or search by your name. Awesome right? Not really! It is great that potential customers find your site because of your branding, your reputation and referrals from happy customers. But, your website may be broken if you are missing the hundreds and sometime thousands of customers that are looking for solutions to their problems on the web, but don’t know your company name. If they cannot find you, they will find your competitors. Depending on your product or service, a healthy ratio would be 40% to 80% of your web visitors that find you will be strangers to your company.
Market research can identify the multitude of search terms that your target market uses most often in Google, your page ranking for these terms, the number of these searches you win, and how many searches your competitors win. Once the keyword analytics are completed it is a relatively straightforward task to make changes to your website design and monitor how those changes are working.
The vision I have is of a battlefield where the battle is actually for the hearts, minds, and web clicks of your potential customers. This is a sophisticated battle where powerful analytical tools are used, strategic changes made, and where those competitors with similar tools will adjust to your adjustments. Without the ability to see the gaps, make changes, and then watch and make counter moves your business may not thrive. This may sound complicated and impossible but this is the support we provide as a digital marketing agency every day at Open Path Digital.