Monday, March 31, 2014

165- Don't Be Short-Sighted With Your Website Marketing Strategy: The Value of Multiple POAs

Don't Be Short-Sighted With Your Website Marketing Strategy: The Value of Multiple POAs

Don't Be Short-Sighted With Your Website Marketing Strategy: The Value of Multiple POAs

Many website owners now realize that actively steering visitors toward a clear POA (point-of-action) on their site is critical for increasing the website conversion rate, which improves the return on their website marketing investment. However, the primary POA is all-too-often an "all-or-nothing" proposition - meaning that it is often geared toward a specific kind of visitor, who is generally one that is at, or very near to, the point of decision. Therefore, our clients often utilize singular POAs, such as the ubiquitous "Contact Us," "Download a Demo," "Get an Estimate/Quote," etc. 

While there's nothing wrong with this website marketing tactic, as attracting the so-called "low-hanging fruit" should be a primary website conversion goal, not all of your potential customers are close to the point of decision that leads them to engage with your company. Ignoring their needs poses a risk that they will leave your site unsatisfied, many never to return.

So how do you make the most of these visitors? Consider utilizing secondary and tertiary POAs to enhance engagement. In most cases, your primary POA can and should be directed towards visitors nearing the end of the buying cycle; however, well-thought supplementary POAs can fill your sales pipeline with visitors who will become future customers. You simply need to provide these visitors with an attractive website element that speaks to their current mindset. Below are just a few examples of supplementary POAs that can be used to target potential prospects in all stages of the buying cycle, improving your overarching website marketing strategy.

Newsletter Signups

Too often, companies leverage newsletter sign-ups as the primary POA on their websites, when there are more qualified and immediate prospects to reach instead; however, this does not mean this POA is a website marketing tactic to avoid. Newsletters that are created according to best practices and distributed on a regular basis can keep your company at the forefront of your potential prospects' minds, even if they sign up in the very early stages of the buying cycle. 

A big caveat here is that your company newsletter should not create content that is entirely self-serving; instead, it should inform your readers about industry trends, address common issues that prospects often face, and invite subscribers to engage in POAs that they were not quite ready to take when they first visited your site. Because your readers will receive this newsletter at regular intervals, these POAs will be readily-available and waiting in their inboxes - a handy way to boost your website conversion rate even when your visitors are off-site.

Social Media Engagement

A high percentage of websites now build popular social media icons into every page. However, these icons have become so common that a large percentage of visitors will ignore them. 

Moreover, we've seen that many companies do not make sufficient efforts to explain why a visitor should "Like" your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter - if you provide visitors with a reason to engage with you socially, you have the opportunity to remain front-of-mind, which is crucial for prospects further back in the sales cycle. However, if your social media profiles are not well-maintained and updated, you shouldn't steer your visitors to these pages. For instance, if your social media presence was last updated in 2012, you're sending a not-so-subtle message to your visitors that you've stopped caring about your brand.

Resource Sections

How do educational resource sections benefit website conversion rates? Almost every industry can benefit from creating an informational resource section on their website. This section should contain materials that address visitors in virtually every stage in the buying cycle. Information in this section can cover a broad range of topics, from how to select a vendor in your industry to how to determine whether your current vendor is doing a good job. This rich, valuable content can help move your visitors closer to the point-of-decision, without having your salespeople walk them through the information, thereby shortening your sales cycle. 

In short, if you have valuable informational content, you shouldn't hesitate to steer prospects early in their research process to these materials. An added benefit of such sections is that they tend to rank well on Google, as Google values informational content more than content strictly designed to sell.

There is no replacement for the primary POA - this is, of course, the most desirable action on your website that visitors closest to engaging with your company should take. However, not all of your website visitors will be at this stage, and your website marketing plan should contain strategies that present these users with meaningful alternatives. Website visitors do not all have the same immediate needs, and offering them something of value regardless of their current mindset will pay off in the long-term.

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