We all know consumers are spending more time and money online, so your website is often the first (and sometimes last) interaction you have with them. Unfortunately, many companies continue to overinvest time and money on search engine optimization and driving traffic to sites that are ineffective at converting visitors. With the web landscape constantly changing, these dos and don’ts will help you market better online and off:
Devote too much time and money on SEO before your site is optimized. If your site isn’t armed with the best content, form, and design, your search efforts and dollars won’t reach their potential.
Get blinded by your landing pages. Optimization of landing pages is crucial, but only if the content truly converts your visitors. Optimizing your landing pages without effective testing-and-targeting solutions is like buying a car with no wheels: The engine may start, but it won’t drive you (or your prospects) very far.
Play guessing games. It’s impossible to know the majority of customers’ true interactions and conversion points without testing your website first, so don’t design without the data.
Listen to the live data. Multivariate testing solutions provide real insight into your visitors’ interactions and experience with your site and products so you can give consumers a better online experience while vastly improving revenues.
Take baby steps. Small, iterative tweaks to your website are more effective and less costly. Simple adjustments such as color, wording, and content placement have been proven to increase conversion rates by upwards of 40 percent.
Apply website-testing insights to other marketing sources. Once you know what makes your customers click online, be prepared to use this rich data source in other media, such as in-store marketing, direct mail, e-mail, and customer-retention programs.
The first step in your integrated marketing plan should be to effectively test your website in order to easily and continuously identify the perfect combination of content and design so you can boost conversion rates and brand loyalty.
Founder and President
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.