BTB: Back To BasicsAs the internet seems to be growing at a huge rate day-in day-out, it is becoming much easier to loose site of the simple principles of how to achieve conversions. So in this short series I will be going "back to basics" and looking at how you can really push your website and get those all important conversions... rather than simply drive traffic to your site. Today's post is written as a short guide or reference, I won't go into detail in this post, but rather I will tell you the basic steps which will be explained in forthcoming articles.
We all know the idea of marketing can be very complex, different people want for different things! However, you can boil down the principles of marketing to just 5 key points:
Who are your audience? Where is your niche market placed, who are your services targeted at? Businesses (if so why kind) or the punter (if so who demographic)... this is your target audience... spend time listening to what they want and need, doing this will mean you can target them in a better manner later.
Where is the audience? Do your research into what your target demographic does, where they "hang out", what they read and/or watch... spending your time doing an analysis and talking to your audience will mean you can see methods of reaching them you may not have noticed before (or if you have it may improve your method of communication).
Building a Brand When you build a brand you build a trust, authority and belief in your company. In essence you generate an image in the memory of your audience... if your audience hang around "networking" (social) sites then you should be there too ... if they spend time in other forums of life such as seminars make sure you get an invite... and most of all be active (but don't just plug your brand... contribute something real to the conversation).
Be in the mind of your audience Sounds odd to say I know, but think about it... you want bread... you think of your local supermarket or shop... I say some beer and you immediately remember the shop who last had the best sale, even if you did't buy that day. It's the same online, if you can "prick" the mind of your audience once or twice then they will notice you, and further than this when someone says something about your niche they will mention you or visit you!
Be Better It's simple, if you are better or "more attractive" than your competition you will get the sale over them. You are just like your competition, but you should have a USP (unique selling point)... if you don't then create one... be a few pence or pounds cheaper than your nearest rival...even if it becomes a loss leader into potential clients buying something else!
These basic ideas are all very well, however you now need to make your site the best it can be ... and then a little more!
So how do you achieve this? Again there are 5 main principles of how you can make the most of your site.
Be Realistic Your site will never make £1million in 1 day, you will never get a billion hits in 1 day... you will never get as many conversions as you think you should be doing. Remember to start small and grow, grow your community and attract more of your target audience, slow growth will continue for a long time, huge immediate growth probably wont.
Keep changing things Ok so all sites need to have some constants such as logo, footer etc to keep your brand alive. However your call to actions need to be varied! For example if you say "free trial" you may want to say "try it for free today" or just "try me" ... the more testing you do and analysis of stats the better you and your site become.
Build a site of substance To attract an audience of any kind you need to offer more than what they want or need, you need to go the extra mile. Now if you own an e-commerce site this maybe as simple as cutting your checkout process down, or simply allowing guest checkout without registration... if your a larger international website with thousands of pages then you may just add a search facility, a site map thats easy to use or somethnig like this... if you can give the customer what they want your doing well... if you can make your site look nice, work better and go the extra mile then you've won.
Treat the user well Pretty much speaks for itself, but if you mistreat your users then your website will get a bad press and you will have worked hard for nothing. Remember the maxim of sales... the customer is always right! A great example of treating a user badly is if someone signs up for your newsletter and you send them spam or a message with nothing it but sales speak... they will hit junk and you will be filtered out of their emails forever... they probably won't return.... or if your site is so bad that they can't navigate then they may go onto twitter and tell the world... and sales plumit... on the reverse side of the coin if you off that extra something they will network it and you get more clients.
Never Stop Persistence is vital, if you give up your sales will disappear... if you stop marketing for even a few weeks sales will drop ... all you need to do is keep plugging away making the most of what your site can offer and improving it. think of it this way: the day you stop is the day your site dies.
If you can understand the basic principles of marketing of finding an audience, spending time with them and where they gather building your brand then all you need to do is... treat them well, be patient and offer that little bit more and they will convert. Being patient is vital, your site is unlikely to be an overnight success but over the weeks and months you can grow your site into a business which is very healthy.