Sermon on the Count - Converting the Masses
As soon as your website goes live, you have 2 problems that you need to address:
- Getting traffic to your website
- Converting that traffic into leads
Getting traffic to your website
Unfortunately the masses aren't just going to flock to your website because it is the next best thing since sliced bread - even though it is, of course. Your website isn't going to magically appear in search engines immediately, and even when it does appear, there really are a lot of factors which will determine just where your website appears in them. As we all know, websites on page 2 of search results may as well not even exist, considering the fact that if people don't see what they are looking for on page 1, they adjust their search query.
So how do you go about getting this traffic to your website? You could spend weeks, months or even years studying Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in order to better promote your website online. Or you could pay someone to do it for you. Pay who??? That's right, pay someone to do it for you. Why? Because they are experts at what they do, just like you're an expert at what you do. Imagine your business is brick paving and I need some paving done. I could do (and have done) it myself to save on costs, but the finished result would certainly be (and definitely was) less than desireable or effective and yet it would take (and did take) 3 times longer than it would take you. The same is true here. Paying an SEO expert will produce better results and in less time, leaving you more time to do the thing that you enjoy and which earns you money.
There is however one thing you can and should do. Publish your website address everywhere! I have seen people who get a website but never advertise the fact anywhere and wonder why people are not using it. Put it on your business cards, letterheads, email signatures, brochures and signage. Tell people about it and tell them to tell their friends.
Converting that traffic into leads
So now you have the masses arriving at your virtual door, what happens from there depends on how much thought and planning went into the website in the first place.
Here is the thing. If your website content is relevant and useful, people will not only want to read it, but they will want to share it. If you don't have a website already, think about the following before you start. If you do have a website already, check it against the following and see how you stack up - it isn't too late to change things where required:
- Think about who your target market is. Their age, gender, occupation, how they might use the internet (for example, do they prefer to find a phone number and ring someone, or do they expect to find everything they need on the website?). Tailor the design and content to best serve your target market. Survey some people in your target market and find out what they consider relevant and useful on websites.
- Relevant content. If you have pages of specifications for your products, and all people want to know is what it does and how to contact you, you are probably going about it the wrong way. Think about what will be relevant and useful, then write content in a way which best serves the purpose.
- Clear contact strategies. Make it easy for your target market to contact you. Either strategically placed phone numbers, clear addresses or simple contact forms.
- Make it easy for people to share. You don't have to have a Facebook or Twitter account to have 'Like' and 'Tweet' buttons on your website. These buttons simply provide a means for your website to be displayed on the user's Facebook and Twitter accounts so that their friends can also benefit from your website and continue the sharing process.
Summing it all up...
Provide your target market with clear, concise and relevant information. Format that information in a thoughtful way - one which encourages them to contact you in a way familiar to them. Give them a way to share that information with others, and you will not only be attracting the masses, but converting them as well.