At the risk of offending someone… I have two sayings that will set the stage for this post…
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
Endless Love: Helen Keller & Ray Charles playing tennis – Author Unknown
About this time you are saying to yourself, “Self? What does this have to do with on-line marketing?”. I often see some very pretty or slick (and sometimes just awful) websites that clients “THINK” are working for them. Then they will spend thousands on S.E.O. (search engine optimization), print & email marketing, or social networking and hoping that increased traffic will equate to increased sales.
Then… even if those things do work, they are working blind. How much was the increase? Where are they coming from (both location, and new marketing effort)? What pages are they visiting? How much time are they spending? What page are they entering on and leaving from the most? Measuring results sounds simple and logical, but it seems to get buried on a to-do list (if it ever gets there at all)!
Google offers a bunch of Free (in most cases) tools… Analytics, Places, Maps, Keyword Tool, Website Optimizer, and more. The most important in my mind is Analytics. It takes a small bit of code that is installed on each page of your website, and/or blog, and produces data of what visitors are doing on your website. It gives you a clear picture of cause and effect. I see a HUGE bump in website traffic every time I write a blog, and I see increased traffic from Facebook and LinkedIn. I even have a paid for app on my IPad2 (Analytics for IPad) that helps me monitor the over 30 Sites I follow and support.
The reality is everyone wants this data, but only a few actually look at it. And when they do… do they know what to do with it and how to make the most of it? Truly… most small business owners are just to busy to check their analytics, or even care… but that can be a BIG MISTAKE!
Just An Old Fashioned Love Song
We live in a short attention span theater. The average song on the radio was not “Stairway to Heaven” or” Freebird” (7 minutes plus). The average song length is 3-4 minutes. That's the most you can expect from your website. I find that the average time on a website is 3-4 clicks and 2-3 minutes. Video and REALLY GOOD FOCUSED CONTENT can increase that, but maybe to the average song length. I monitor over 30 websites and the 3-click, 2 minutes rule holds true for most.
So what can you do with 3 clicks and 2 minutes? Make a sale… or at least get some contact information, to create a conversation. Isn't that what the website is for? If you want to sing your own praises, you have other tools (press releases, personal networking, etc.).
So how do you do that?
1) Don't Hide Your Contact Information
Other than eCommerce, there's never been a website that's ever made a sale. It takes a phone call or an eMail… So put that on the top of every page .
2) Make Your Content “Them” Focused with a Call to Action
Define a Problem – Offer a Solution. Talk to your different audiences… as if they are different. There is no one right answer for everybody, but there is only one right answer for somebody.
3) Less is More
By writing a page that has to be scrolled, you lessen the chance it will all be read. If it's that important… make it a downloadable document that people have to give you an email address, phone number and name to get!
Using those techniques… Recently I've helped a client increase their number of new customers at a 70% reduction in cost per new client, and another client sold a $100,000 project in couple of weeks after implementing a more focused Google campaign, along with having their webmaster revamp their website. Both had measurable results after streamlining the process to get a phone call and an eMail.
Bonus Video of the Week
Roses are Red… Violets are Blue… I'm Schizophrenic.. and So Am I! – Analyze That!!! : ) Enjoy
P.S. Join the conversation… Post comments with your stories or questions.