Have you ever asked your web design company how they determine how to design your website?
How do they know where to put the contact form? What call-to-action will work best? Which headline will grab your visitors’ attention to generate a lead? Which graphic or video to utilize for best engagement? What about the wording they use in the menus?
Have you ever asked your mechanic to fix your car without him taking it for a test drive?
After all, he has decades of experience… He’s gone to school and had extensive training in fixing cars… That’s all he does all day long every day… So he should just KNOW what’s wrong with your car and be able to fix it, right?
Well that’s what a website design company is claiming if they design a website based on anything other than testing.
Tests on other, similar websites does have limited value, but, for a service-based business, every market is unique so testing in your market is what will ultimately determine if your website is sputtering along or passing people on the autobahn.
Testing is the only way to take your website “for a test drive” and learn both what does work and what doesn’t. Moreover if you want that car to keep running smoothly – or you want your website to keep generating leads – you need to maintain it.
Testing Builds Trust with Your Customers
According to Entrepreneur.com, the most trusted brand in the US is Amazon.com.
Not Coca-Cola or Nike or Procter & Gamble or Apple.
A company that is less than 2 decades old (it first hit the Internet in July 1995) has managed to build greater brand loyalty and trust than any other company.
Unlike many of the other top trusted brands, they managed to build trust with virtually no “traditional” marketing.
- Have you been inundated by their TV commercials? (they only have a few) Radio commercials?
- Did they send you a catalog with your last order?
- Direct-Mail postcard on your birthday?
- Is your inbox inundated with pithy blogs from them?
What’s their secret?
Amazon.com is probably the most thoroughly tested website in the world.
Every button, every call to action, every step in the shopping cart, every suggestion and every screen you’ve seen on Amazon has been tested and re-tested and are again being tested as you read this. They never stop. They’re always learning.
What are they learning? What their customers want.
That was kind of anti-climactic, huh?
Amazon’s big secret to becoming the most trusted brand in the world is they watch what their customers do and respond.
Well in 1995 when they got started, they were cutting edge with this approach to business. So they sky-rocketed ahead of their competition and haven’t looked back.
This is now 2012.
Online testing and optimization is no longer the expensive, unexplored area it was 15 years ago.
It now can be done for small businesses for as little as a few hundred dollars a month.
Internet testing designed to deliver exactly what your customer wants may be the most powerful way to increase your leads while strengthening your brand.
After all, it’s not about the internet or fancy websites…
It’s about YOUR customers.
So What is the Best Approach to Internet Marketing?
The simplest way to understand online lead generation is to break it into 3 pieces.
- Where are you getting Traffic?
- How are you Converting it to leads?
- How are you Following-up with visitors not-yet-ready-to-buy?
To get a better idea of what is involved at each of those steps here’s a breakdown:
- For Traffic -
- Search Engine Marketing services in the form of Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and other networks
- Local Search Engine Optimization – focused on your local market based on what you learn from SEM
- Online Directory Updates – their are dozens of online directories that can send high-value traffic to your website so it’s important that your contact information is up-to-date in all of them.
- For Conversion -
- Onsite testing and optimization to give your visitors more of what they want.
- Online surveys to engage your visitors and provide a custom solution while learning more about their level of knowledge on your products.
- Targeted landing pages related to online or offline marketing campaigns.
- For Follow-up – Not all visitors are ready to buy today. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be ready next month so are you going to be there?
- Email marketing is the best way to stay in touch with your target market. As a matter of fact, 77% of consumers prefer retailers to communicate with them via email. Direct mail is second at 9%.
- Google “stalker” Marketing – Google has the ability to show your ads all over the internet to people who have visited your website. You think that might keep you at the forefront of their mind when they see your ad online several times per day?
Integrating with Offline Marketing
You are not Amazon.com.
Your market is different. Your customer’s are different. Your level of service is different. Your competition are different.
Rarely will you be able to rely on your website alone to grow your business. You need other more traditional forms of marketing.
Integrating with those other forms of marketing is crucial because who can afford to spend marketing money unless they know it can work?
You need to take the lessons you can learn cheaply and efficiently online, and integrate those offline to improve the ROI of every marketing dollar you spend.
In other words, what works in a Google Ad will most likely work on a direct-mail postcard campaign.
Studies done by Marketing Sherpa have indicated that up to 67% of a website’s traffic can be driven by TV ads so all of your marketing needs to work together.
If your website is currently the result of a “mechanic” who claims to be able to look at your car and fix it for you without taking a test drive, now you know why you might not be getting the absolute best results.
If our approach to internet marketing sounds like it might just generate some better results, enter your contact information below and one of our dedicated internet marketing team members will help you with a full Online Marketing Analysis that encompasses the 3 steps mentioned above.
Our hourly rate is $120 and your in-depth analysis will take 1-2 hours. However, I’m really curious how many people find us through these blogs so if you fill out this form, we’ll perform your analysis and then take 20 minutes to review it with you for FREE.
To a better tested website, Bryan