Let me ask you something you may have never considered before...
What is the one thing you want visitors to do when they come to your website?
Back in 2016, I had a pharmaceutical client tell me they never considered that and no marketing agency they worked with had ever asked them. You see, they had been building websites and engaging in digital marketing for years. They were spending tens of thousands of dollars every month on these endeavors, but had no idea what they wanted visitors to do once they got to the website.
I love using this example because I often work with small and medium businesses that have budgets which are only a small fraction of my larger clients. However, the problems are often the same. The only difference between enterprise marketing and small businesses is the budget spent to make the same mistake.
Before you begin any marketing program, you must know what you want visitors to do when they come to your website. Only then are you able to measure if that goal is being achieved and improved. This is crucial to reporting the return on your investment.
To get you thinking, here are some of the things that past clients have wanted visitors to do when they visit the website:
- Sell a product or service
- Subscribe to mailing list
- Follow social media channels
- Click affiliate link
- Click an ad
However, just knowing what you want visitors to do when they arrive at your website is not enough. This is only the first question you need to answer, and there are two more.
Now that you have considered what you want visitors to do when they come to your website, this is your next question...
Why do you want them to do that?
The inspiration for this question comes from a client I worked with in 2014. They returned from a conference and hired me to help with content marketing. We were writing and publishing articles to their website every week and their traffic was growing steadily. However, they stopped the program after six months. I always ask clients about what worked and what could be improved when we end a project, and I learned something very important from this client.
You see, they were focused on publishing content and measuring page views. However, they did not thing through to consider what they would do with the increased traffic to their site. They did not have a clear answer to why they wanted more traffic to the site.
It's great that you can get someone to your website and complete a goal. However, you need to know why the goal is important and how it connects to your business. Collecting email addresses for a mailing list you never contact is not going to increase sales. Similarly, getting people to follow you on Facebook and never posting to your page also has no value to your business. Far too many businesses put mailing lists, social media links, contact forms, and click-to-call buttons on their website without a plan for connecting with people.
You don't have to spend your time on every social network, answering phones, and responding to the endless flow of emails. However, you do need to consider why you want people to take a particular action on your website and have business processes in place to follow through to the sale.
If you're running a business website, the reason you want someone to complete an action on the site should connect with sales in some way. Here are a few examples from past clients:
- Sales through messaging
- Sales from paid dues
- Sales through a multi-step sales funnel
- Ad revenue
Another problem this content marketing client has was that they did not consider the connection between their increased traffic and the bottom line for their business - which leads to the next question.
The third question you need to ask yourself is...
How does this impact the bottom line for the business?
For this question, we can look back to the pharmaceutical client I told you about at the beginning of this. When I delivered my report at the end of the project, I was very excited. We had spent a month reviewing the types of goals we could improve and they provided a list of 10 things they wanted people to do on the website. The report I was going to give them showed how we had increased all ten of these goals and I figured there was no way they would not renew the project. When the person across the desk told me they would be ending the project, I was shocked and asked why. It was then I learned they never connected the goals they assigned to me with the bottom line for their business.
Without a connection from the goal to the bottom line, this is nothing more than an academic exercise chasing vanity metrics.
Too often marketing strategies are built around vanity metrics such as Facebook likes, email subscribers, page views, or Twitter followers. I have never met a landlord that will accept likes for rent and cannot pay my utility bills with email subscribers. At some point, these metrics need to become revenue dollars or they have no value to the business.
Over the years, I have learned from these projects and adjusted the way that we engage with clients. OptSus Marketing is invested in helping our clients grow their business online and we will not provide marketing services to any business that does not have an answer to these three questions.
- What is the one thing you want visitors to do when they come to your website?
- Why do you want them to do that?
- How does this impact the bottom line for the business?
The WordPress Management service we offer includes a marketing dashboard which brings together data from multiple sources and makes it easier to develop an answer to these questions. Once these goals are defined and a baseline is established - only then will we implement a digital marketing campaign to improve upon these results. In this way, data driven marketing is at the core of everything we do at OptSus.