Technology is ever-changing and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what is very important for your online marketing strategy. You ask one firm what you should do with online marketing and they preach "email, email, email!" The next firm starts speaking some other language full of acronyms like SEO, SEM and PPC. And still the next firm is throwing out words like "tweeting" or "Facebook fans."
I'm not going to get so in-depth. Or, at least not today. Today I'm offering you some very simple and very essential marketing tips for your website.
If you already have a website, implement them. If you don't have a website: get one and implement them.
3 Essential Online Marketing Tips
1) Your contact information should be easy to find.
I know it seems pretty simple, but there are a number of websites out there that are still lagging behind on this one. In our recent research, website users talked about how their number one issue with sites was not being able to find the information they were looking for. And this is one of the key pieces of information that they'll need to find.
So put it on the homepage, on every page or just make your contact page really easy to see and get to from anyplace on your site. After all, what good is a pretty website if it doesn't generate any real leads? And how can it generate leads if they can't find you?
2) Your users want details!
I was on a website just a couple days ago, looking at apartments for sale/lease. I am only in the early stages of considering a purchase, so I'm just gathering data at the moment. And, thus, I'm website hopping and making notes.
On this particular website, I searched and searched and could not find any pricing information. Not even ranges. Not even with a disclaimer: prices are subject to change. Nothing.
I know we sound like broken records over here, but it has to be said: nearly 100% of your prospects are trying to gather data from your website before they ever even get close to contacting you. This means that if you don't have the data, and your competitor next door does, I am more likely to touch base with your competitor, get excited about his pricing/offering and purchase from him.
By offering your users something as simple as a pricing chart, pricing range, incentive percentage or detailed description of your product, you can capture their attention and generate leads.
As an important side note: this detail offering also allows you to generate qualified and valid leads, rather than just getting contact forms/questions from every Joe and Jane on the block. Case in point: the website I mentioned above did have a clear and easy means to contact them, so I did. When I did, however, I found out that the price was far higher than I expected and will be very much outside my price range.
They may see me as a lead and now I may get some follow up from them, but it's a waste of time on their part because I'm not qualified to purchase their condominiums.
3) Fun navigation isn't so fun.
I was on a website recently, for a college in another part of the country. This website was interactive and had been crafted to look like a dorm room. If you clicked on various things throughout said dorm room, you could get information/links to various parts of the website. For example: clicking on a book sitting on the table took you to the academic department, clicking on an unmade bed might take you to a dorm life page.
While this kind of navigation is certainly very creative and clever, it doesn't help your user. In fact, it often helps you lose them. Because they aren't sure where to go in order to get to the information they're looking for. And research says that you only have about 5 seconds to capture a user and direct them to the appropriate place before they decide that your website isn't what they're looking for and take a hike.
The solution is this: your navigation should be straightforward and simple. It should get people exactly where they want to go. On the first try. And within three clicks (no one wants to click and click and click and click to get to the data).
Creativity and quirkiness is fun and often important, but people are on your website to solve a problem and/or get information. The best way to get them to their solution is to lead them by the hand straight into what they were looking for.
Stay tuned for more online marketing tips, tricks and examples.