Over the last 10 years almost every business has either built some form of a web presence – a website, social media profile, online display ad campaign – or their customers have built one for them – online review sites, comments on twitter, review sites, online directory submissions, social media comments, blog reviews, etc.
The problem is that many companies don’t approach their internet presence with a solid strategy. They may start with building a website and then invest in a variety of other areas – pay-per-click ads, social media, search engine optimization, adding e-commerce, creating a facebook page, display based adds, etc. This results in a variety of internet marketing activities but no solid strategy.
Often times this results in a suboptimal investment strategy and suboptimal results.
To correct this there are a number of steps that can be taken:
1) Invest in Analytics
This is typically an investment of time vs. dollars (unless you want to outsource it). Learn how well your site is currently working, where your traffic comes from and where you might have problems. Understand if people are taking your “call to action” or where people are abandoning your cart. Spend some time understanding how well different traffic sources are working for you.
2) Evaluate your Call to Action
Your site (and every single page on your site) should include a clear call to action. This means that you have a specific action that you are driving a web visitor to take. Do all of the pages on your site clearly encourage visit
ors to take some sort of action? Evaluate your site and the action that you are encouraging visitors to take. Prior to optimizing for search or using social media to get traffic you want to be sure that your website it effectively converting visitors.
3) Landing Page Optimization
What are the most important pages on your site (if you have an analytics program you should be able to measure this). How effective are these pages in driving action? Are they effective? Spend some time optimizing the most important pages on your site and leverage them to drive your users to take action. You can get complex and do A/B split testing or simply look to implement best practices.
Either way, be sure that your landing pages are optimized so that when you do get traffic you are getting the most from it.
4) Evaluate Quality of Traffic Sources
Look at your current traffic sources and evaluate which ones are providing you with the best “quality”. Depending on your site there are a number of ways that you may evaluate this – time on site, bounce rates, page views, sales, clicks, email signup, etc. The key here is to know how effective your different traffic sources are. This will help you prioritize your marketing spending. For example, if you notice that people who get to your site from search are more likely to buy than people who get to your site from twitter, you may choose to adjust your investment.
5) Strategically Invest
After assessing all of the above you will be in a good position to make strategic investments. Rather than investing randomly in various areas you’ll know that your site is working for you and how valuable different traffic sources are. This will allow you to invest strategically on the areas that really matter.