The Importance of Your Business Website

During a time where consumers are using their smartphones for approximately 151 minutes, spending time in front of a computer for 103 minutes, and utilizing a tablet for 43 minutes every day, you would think that having a well-constructed company website would be a no-brainer business decision. Yet, shockingly, over half of all small businesses still doesn’t have a website.

Aside from it being one of your best marketing assets for brand awareness and visibility, a website establishes credibility and creates a link of trust between your business and your potential consumers. Actually, when surveyed, 94% of consumers said that bad web design alone is the number one reason to mistrust a business or organization. That means that companies with a website that are just poorly designed, are missing out on a lot of prospective clients. This number doesn’t even account for a lack of a having a website altogether.

When companies are asked why they don’t have a website, the reasons most often cited are cost and a perceived lack of importance. These reasons can only be attributed to not knowing the true power and reach a website really has. First, the costs of having a website do vary, but the price is next to nothing when the value is considered.

Just yesterday I was in desperate need for decorations for an upcoming birthday party I am planning and when a local well known party store was sold out in the theme I required, I did what most consumers do. I took to the internet in search of an alternate store that might carry what I was looking for. However, it was every consumer’s worst nightmare. There was only one other party store in the vicinity, decreasing the odds that I would be bringing home my supplies day of. I had never heard of this second company before, so I decided to check out their website before driving over. Unfortunately for me and for that company, their website did not exist.

Like most consumers do, I had expected to find a website. When this company failed to deliver on that aspect, they were already disappointing me before they even had a chance to serve me. At that point, it didn’t matter if this company was truly credible or ran a fantastic business, they didn’t leave that impression on this customer. I didn’t have time to waste driving over to another store that might not carry what I needed, or might not even exist at all for that matter. So, I sucked it up and drove home knowing that I was going to have to order everything online from company #1.

The value of a website comes down to one really important GIANT reason that your business should care about:

  1. POTENTIAL SALES
  • Your visibility among potential consumers plummets with every second you aren’t online, because you better believe consumers are.
  • Without a website, or with a poorly designed one, consumers are not going to trust your business. Simply put, the impact of your web presence determines the way potential consumers view your credibility as a business.
  • Consumers will purchase products online from a website when they cannot find what they are looking for locally. Why not be that company offering what they are looking for when local shopping doesn’t work out? If it’s not you they choose, it’s your competitor.
  •  Nearly all consumers (97%) research and/or purchase products online. Even if they ultimately do not purchase from you, they are more likely to come across your name, which increases brand awareness.
  • If it’s your website that answers the consumer’s questions, you are building a relationship with your audience without even knowing it. Therefore, that consumer will remember that it was you that last helped them by solving their problem and will be more likely to come to you in the future.

Again, not just any website will be effective and your number one goal when creating your website should not be solely focused on sales. However, it is an important byproduct of utilizing a web presence as marketing tool that cannot be overlooked. Your company needs a website if you want to make consumers aware you exist, if you want to stand out, if you want to win out over your competitor, if you want your customers to trust you, if you want consumers to CHOOSE YOU.

Still not sold on why a website is vitally important for your business? Give us a call today at 888-481-5526 or leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

3 Tips to Make the Most of Your Pay Per Click Budget

Every brand wants to drive more traffic to their website. More traffic = higher probability of more sales and more revenue for your business. Surely, you have already search engine optimized (SEO) your website to ensure that you will appear in the top search results that your targeted audience is wading through (at least we hope you have anyway, if not, please give us a call).  Yet, you are probably still waiting for those visitors to arrive and it feels like it’s taking as long as Christmas. Well, the good news is that you can start reaping near immediate benefits by using pay per click (PPC) advertising to convert more leads into sales for your business.

You’ve probably already heard of it but in case you haven’t, pay per click is an internet marketing method where you design and create an ad and then a search provider such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will take that ad and promote it for you (for FREE) to the people searching for what you are advertising.  You are probably thinking, “What’s the catch? Nothing is free”. Well, unfortunately, you are correct. You do have to pay the search provider but only for those who click on your ad (hence the name – pay per click). What makes this strategy cost effective is that you aren’t paying a search provider for every second that your ad wastes away on the internet. Instead, you are paying only for the visitors that are interested enough in what you are advertising that they have directly clicked on it to learn more information or make their purchase immediately.  However, using the pay per click method isn’t entirely mistake proof.

3 tips to make the most of your pay-per-click budget:

 

1. Targeted Keywords. Since you are paying for each person that clicks on your advertisement, you want to make sure that those who are clicking are the ones most likely to make a purchase. For example, you don’t want to just choose keywords that are being searched for the most. While “automobile insurance” might be keywords with a high search volume, using the keywords “automobile insurance quote” will create a more targeted audience that is focused on those showing their intent to purchase by their search containing the word “quote”.

2. Negative Keywords. You picked out the best keywords that will guarantee your ad appears in all the right searches. But did you think about the keywords that will make your ad appear in the wrong searches?  If you sell high-end automobiles, you are going to want to eliminate your ad from popping up in searches for “video”, “images”, and “pictures” because those keywords do not signal intent to purchase anything. We suggest building a negative keyword list and filling it with words that are more recreational, which will in turn minimize your PPC spending. Don’t waste your money on needless clicking.

3. Landing Page. Imagine you were the customer and you saw an advertisement for a product at the exact moment you needed and were willing to purchase it. Yet, when you clicked on the ad, you were redirected to a page that seemingly had nothing to do with the advertisement that intrigued you enough to click in the first place. You wouldn’t go rooting around the website for your product would you? You’d probably hit that back button and find what you needed elsewhere. So, don’t expect your customers to do anything different, either. Make sure that once your visitors have clicked your ad that they are sent to the specific page of your site that talks about or sells the product or service in the ad or else you risk losing their attention. Super Sad Face.

Bottom line: if you sell your products or services online, you should be implementing a pay per click strategy. Following these 3 tips will increase your website traffic, attract more potential lead conversions, and maximize your marketing ROI.

Have questions about pay per click advertising or need someone to manage your pay per click strategy for you? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

Tell Your Visitors What to Do: Effective Calls-to-Action

Have you ever signed up for something like Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, or Dropbox? How about subscribed to a company’s newsletter to get a discount or a magazine to receive your first free issue?  If you have ever signed up for anything, you did so because the company presented you with an effective call-to-action and it worked! Thus, you have personally experienced how persuasive calls-to-action can be and this is precisely why you should be implementing them as part of your marketing strategy.

What Are Calls-to-Action?

Calls-to-action can be found everywhere. You can spot them on websites, on ads, and most recently they have been added as option for Facebook business pages. In any case, the objective of a call-to-action button is to let your visitors know what it is that you are wanting them to do and enabling them to perform this task with the greatest of ease. Otherwise, your visitors will read your content and then leave if the next step they should take is not made clear. Did you know that 70% of businesses don’t display clear calls-to-action on their home pages? If you are one of these businesses, your customers are wandering around your site without direction on what they should do next and you are losing the opportunity to give them something that they are on your site looking for.

Calls-to-Action Are Used to:

  • Subscribe to Email Newsletters
  • Receive Special Discounts
  • Download How-To Guides
  • View Demos and Videos
  • Begin E-Commerce Shopping
  • Contact Companies
  • Access Games
  • Use Apps
  • Set-Up Reservations
  • And more!

A Few Benefits of a Call-to-Action

  • Generates leads- Your visitors are giving you their information because they are interested in something you have to offer. Therefore, you now have their contact information in order to follow up with them on other products or services they might be interested in.
  • Closing a sale- By making sure your call-to-action is inviting and compelling, you can get your visitor to contact a sales representative of your company through a click of a button to get started right away.
  • Social sharing – Instead of getting your follower to download, subscribe, or sign up, you are asking them to share your information with their friends via a social media icon.

What Makes a Call-to-Action Effective?

  • Easy to Find. Simply put, your visitors won’t go looking for something they don’t know is there. Since your call-to-action will be generating you leads, you want it somewhere that first time visitors will certainly see it. You could put it high on your page and centered so that it can’t be missed or you could try putting it in the bottom right corner of your landing page so consumers will naturally move their focus directly to your call-to-action.
  • Visual Appeal. If your call-to-action is cluttered with text that is 10 sizes too small, not enough white space surrounding it, or the colors blend in with the rest of your page, customers won’t be bothered to try to read it. You are on their time, not the other way around. So, make sure that your text is enlarged so that it is easy to read, there is plenty of white space to separate it from the busyness of your page, and that your colors are contrasting enough to stand out and grab the visitor’s attention.
  • Compelling Action Word. By using terms such as Subscribe Now, Sign Up, Contact Us, Shop Now, etc. You are encouraging your visitor to do something (to act), as well as providing familiarity with words and actions they have taken on sites before yours.
  • Clear and Concise. As a customer you wouldn’t want to “Submit Now” if you didn’t know what exactly you are submitting information for. If you don’t make the process as clear and easy as possible, your visitor will assume that it is untrustworthy, too much of a hassle, or too confusing and won’t complete the process.
  • Reason to Act. Before your visitor will provide any information about themselves to your company, they are going to ask “what’s in it for me?” Therefore, your visitor may need a little extra push to get them to act. For example, many companies use their call-to-action to offer a free trial or free consultation.  Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” is a great example of persuading customers to subscribe to buying a product, and in return they receive a discount on future purchases of that product that other buyers buying it one time don’t receive.
  • Requires Timely Response. You can successfully motivate your visitors to “Act Now” if you inform them that your offer will only be good for a limited time or that your coupon will expire on a certain date. While it sounds more customer/business friendly to always keep the offer on the table, it gives the customer time to think and talk themselves out of acting on your offer. Whereas stating that your offer will only be available for so long, excites them to commit before they miss out.
  • Uncomplicated Process. The easier the entire process is from start to finish, the higher rate of completion you will have. For example, the more fields that you require to be filled in by your visitor may overwhelm and frustrate them to the point that they will quit and leave your site before submitting. Let whatever possible require completely voluntary information to fill in and give to your company. Subsequently, your visitor will be more likely to do business with a company that doesn’t force them to do anything that they don’t want to.

Think of your call-to-action as directions for your customer. When you have had a hard time reaching a business location to get what you want, your experience is not as pleasant as it could have been. Unburden your customer by doing the work for them upfront and giving them instructions on what and how they should go about their next step in getting what they need from you. The easier and more compelling your call-to-action is, the wider your customer funnel will be.

For further review, check out these really superb 21 Call-to-Action Examples.

Did we leave out a tip that has made your call-to-action effective? Tell us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!