Let’s face it, we live in a digital world. We have cell phones permanently in our pockets, us office folk are on computers all day, and we are constantly being bombarded with digital messaging, no matter where we are.
So how do you ensure your customer or client base hears your voice in the crowd? Here are our takeaway points from the Zeald Digital Marketing Seminar held in the Mount this week.
Let’s start with some stats. Everybody loves stats.
- New Zealand has 90% internet penetration (that’s huge)
- 80% of kiwis do an online search before making a purchasing decision
- 50% of search is done on mobile
Connectivity, speed and battery life are among the top metrics people worry about — crazy right? New Zealand is filled with a connected consumer, and the way we do our homework on a product or business has changed dramatically over the past years.
Long story short, your website needs to be mobile friendly — preferably responsive. Not only does it make it easier for the person browsing your site, Google also ranks mobile friendly sites better than those that aren’t. You only have 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention, so tiny text, pinching and zooming doesn’t make for a good first impression.
Understand your target market
Your website needs to reflect your brand. No longer can you slap a few words online and expect the customers to come to you. You need to understand what’s important to them, why they would choose you over another service or product, what questions they’re trying to answer and what key words they’re using to find you. When you figure this out, you are able to craft something meaningful, that cuts through the noise.
As a research first company, we strongly believe this is the right path to take before setting out on any product development journey (yes, a website counts as PD!). Create personas, figure out their motivations and do what you can to understand! What’s the point of making something that nobody cares about, right?
Speaking to your potential client or customer in the right tone helps build credibility and understanding. Team this with a fast, slick website and you’re well on the way to getting them to action what you want them to; whether that be a phone call, an email or an online purchase.
Bonus stat: People expect a website to load in 3 seconds. If it doesn’t, you risk losing up to 40% of people from your site!
Have a solid strategy
Your online strategy needs to align with your business strategy. If people feel a disconnect with your online presence and dealing with you face-to-face, you risk losing them. It’s all about the experience. Understanding your target market is the first step to getting this right. If you understand their needs and wants, you’re more likely to build a strongest strategy and business goals (we have a great resource here for this!)
Think of your online presence as a salesperson for your business. Are the images top quality? Is your unique value proposition clear? If you’re unsure, step back and look at your site as a person who has never heard of you before. This is important.
Understand the conversion cycle
Whether you’re selling tee-shirts online, dog grooming services or are a business consultancy, there will always be a conversion cycle. What do people need to do before they decide to reach out to you? Is it a fast or slow journey?
Don’t push the sell too hard before they’re ready, as you’ll risk losing them. Instead you need to have an authentic and honest portrayal online. What’s important to you, why should they choose you over another business?
A successful website involves persuasion, promotion and conversion. So answer their questions, promote what you’re great at and get them across the line. Easier said than done of course… The best way to get them across the line is to look into your conversion pathway, and spend a good chunk of your time tweaking and refining this! Identify the key pages required to convert your visitors into customers and get to work! Go. Now.
Bonus fact: People read a website in an F shape. They start top left, make their way across the top of the page, then come back to the left hand side and down the screen, and dart across the middle if there’s something interesting there. So make the most of this important real estate. Give them a reason to keep clicking through your website!
Make your website the hub
The internet is a huge place, and the only place you have full control over is your own website. Yes, you can have all the social platforms in the world, but they’re owned by the big kids of the internet world — and you never know when they’re going to change the rules on you.
When you share content out, make sure it always leads back to your website. Have some news? Post it on your website first, then share. Want reviews? Get customers to do it on your website. Sending out email marketing? You got it. Send everything back to your website.
Make the most of Google Tools
There’s a bunch of both free and paid Google tools out there that will help you make the most of your website.
The first is Google Analytics. Every website should have this! It gives insight into how people come into and move around your website, how long they’re there for, what they’re spending and many other metrics. This is some incredible ammo.
Get your business listed on Google My Business. When people search for you, does your phone number show up? Is the right address and website listed? Does it show up on maps? This is your guy for making sure all of that is right.
Google AdWords and Keyword Planner. First you find out what words people are using to find you, then you set up adverts to bring your website up when people search that. It’s that easy. And the best thing? If they don’t click, you don’t pay. Fabulous.
Never stop moving
The digital world isn’t really a set and forget kind of thing. You need to be constantly changing, tweaking and iterating. Do your research, understand your audience, set your strategy and go. Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t get the intended results straight away — there’s always something out there to help push you in the right direction.