So we’ve looked at why websites fail and the questions your web designer should be asking you to maximise the business benefits of your website. We all agree that your website is the foundation of your digital marketing and that a ‘pretty website’ isn’t enough!
So, how do you compete in this online world and grow your Association, or for that matter your revenue?
There are great varieties of online marketing tactics that exist to digitally connect your organisation with its audience. Whatever you use, from your website to your online branding assets, digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures and beyond, your goal is to attract customers/members/donors. As a checklist, your digital marketing strategy should include the following:
- Setting up and optimising your website
- Creating a digital content strategy
- Promoting your brand on social media
- Converting website visitors into leads
- Utilising effective paid advertising
- Turning leads into paying customers/members/donors
- Measuring and improving your marketing
So where do you start?
To simplify the above components of a digital marketing strategy, (and we all like simple don’t we!), the primary factors for a successful website and the delivery of online revenue are traffic, conversion and nurturing. They need to work in partnership with one another and if you miss one of them, you limit the success of your website.
Let’s start with and talk about traffic – not the type of traffic you got stuck in on the way to the office this morning, but website traffic. Today more than 3.1 billion people have access to the Internet and you’ll want to drive as much relevant traffic as you can to your site.
Traffic to your website can be achieved in many ways and SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, (optimising your website) is only one tactic out of hundreds used to drive traffic to a website. Both on-page SEO and off-page SEO. That is the strategic implementation of keywords on your website, including page titles, headers and meta-descriptions, site structure, page load speeds and in-bound links. Put simply, the days of free traffic are dead. You have to invest either money or time in driving traffic to your website by creating digital content.
This content should be valuable, of high quality and targeted to a specific, well-defined audience. The results of this are more than just the attraction of visitors to you site; you’ll attract the right visitors, who are more likely to convert into leads. What’s more, content will substantially help with your website’s SEO. Other traffic tactics include guest blogging, Facebook Ads, Online advertising, Social Media marketing, Email marketing, ebooks, white-papers, YouTube, Live events, partnerships and so on.
Ensure your content has a purpose. What are you trying to educate your industry and potential customers about? Focus on common industry issues, the problems your potential customers/members face and, sometimes, the solutions your product or service offer to tackle these issues.
Social media additionally provides a platform for communicating with your potential customers/members/donors. It’s a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online. We’ll be discussing this in more detail in a future blog, so make sure you sign up to receive future notifications in your inbox.
“Does it bother you that the hundreds (or even thousands) of people coming to your website are leaving without doing anything?”
So you have traffic to your website now. You can sit back, let the website take off and watch the dollars grow – yes? Ummm if only it was that easy! No, afraid not.
Let me ask you a quick question – Does it bother you that the hundreds (or even thousands) of people coming to your website are leaving without doing anything? Yes, good. It should bother you.
It seems people are more concerned with driving traffic to their website and not about turning that traffic into members/donors. They simply feel that the more traffic they get to their site the better it is and the more revenue they can make. Wrong. And this is the biggest mistake we see with websites.
Research has stated that “80% of websites fail to make any money” – yes 80% – wow!
The main reason is they lack a conversion strategy to capture visitor information and convert them into leads, clients, members or donors.
So from traffic we need conversions.
We need to understand who is visiting our website, capture their data and encourage them to buy our product or service. And if they are not ready to buy we need to engage with them and nurture the relationship, but more about that later.
So another question for you – do you know what your current website conversion rate is?
Simply put, this is the number of visitors to your website who buy a product or service from you. According to a lot of web experts, a good site has a conversion rate of around 1% and a fantastic site, 3%.
Do you know what your current website conversion rate is?
How do you then improve your conversion rate? There are a number of things you’ll need to do … you’ll need to create a compelling content offer for your prospects, create a call-to-action (CTA) to promote that offer and launch a landing page with a form for visitors to provide their information in exchange for that offer. Finally, you will need to measure the whole process. We’ll discuss more about conversion strategies in a future blog and the importance of knowing your audience and your ‘buyer persona’, as well as supplementing your efforts with paid advertising.
For now though we move onto nurturing.
As you are well aware, not every person visiting your site is ready to buy, join or donate straight away. So do you let them go without saying hi? No, of course not. Yet so many do! So many organisations simply lose out on developing a relationship with their online visitors because they don’t have a nurturing process of developing an online relationship with potential customers/members/donors by sending relevant, targeted and valuable messages to them in a timely manner.
The end goal of a nurturing process is to get your leads to self-select into further engaging with your organisation. From a technical point of view this is known as ‘marketing automation’ and there are many software platforms that allow you to send an automated series of email messages to your website visitors, enabling you to develop and build a relationship until your lead is ‘sales ready’.
Ensuring you have captured their data when they visit your site additionally enables you to build your database and look at the larger email marketing picture, closely following key metrics and increasing your conversion. Make sure your lead forms allow your website visitors to opt-in to receive your messages and information. Give them reason to opt-in. Make sure you are giving them something of value and benefit. Then make sure you build lists tailored around specific personas, for example, by location, by the offer they downloaded, by the amount of times they have visited your website. Ideally you want to ensure you use a tool, such as Hubspot, that allow you to easily create smart lists that update dynamically.
Don’t forget though that email marketing is not the only form of nurturing. You can communicate with your leads via social media and other behaviour-driven communications; those that get triggered based on your leads’ full history of interactions, both on and off your site.
To sum up …
How do you compete in this online world to grow your revenue? You focus on traffic, conversions and nurturing. In my opinion, conversions should be your main focus. You want to capture your visitors data and then you want them to buy from you or develop a relationship with you for a future purchase.
In a future blog we will look at conversion strategies in more detail and leave you with some ideas to implement.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, please read our blog page for other similar articles. If you don’t want to miss out on the next one, then please sign up to receive them directly into your inbox. We’ve also got a few resources for you to download too, such as our free ’47-point homepage checklist’ to make sure your website is delivering the leads you deserve. And for a short time we have a free website audit for a select few. Grab your offers now and we look forward to chatting with you soon.
The AAM team.