“We’re doing social media, we’re spending on PPC campaigns, Google Adwords, content marketing, SEO and everything possible! And yet, we haven’t generated any leads, sales, conversions or anything to justify the time and effort spent!! Sure, we’re increasing traffic for the website but nothing is coming through!”
How many can relate to this scenario? Right, we’ve seen this trend time and again where an organization has pulled out all the stops to implement a full on social media, content marketing and digital marketing campaign to either generate leads or step up online sales through the website and despite a clear increase in website visitors, little or none of it translates to success. This is effectively a case of bringing in a whole lot of fish with the right bait, but they won’t bite. More often than not, we’ve seen the issue lies in the website which simply doesn’t do the job once visitors have landed on it. So if you’re planning an online outreach and marketing effort, the right place to begin is by studying the user experience & visitor flow of your website.
Older websites designed to provide information but not designed to engage a visitor have particularly archaic layouts which results in loss of opportunities. There are several reasons a perfectly qualified visitor could bounce (leave the site in a matter of seconds) and fail to convert some of the common ones being:
- -The site loading time was too slow & visitors now don’t have the patience to wait for components to load
- -The visitor didn’t get the message of what this site is about in the first 10 seconds spent glancing the site or what the value proposition is instantly and decided to move on
- -The site was not responsive or mobile friendly. Remember from 2013, the number of people that access the internet via mobile devices has exceeded the number of people that browse using laptops and PCs.
- -Poor navigation and finding what the user is looking for could be an issue
- -Call to actions like “call us”, ”buy now”, “sign up”, “fill in the form” etc. may not be prominent enough or placed at every point the visitor could make these decisions.
- -The messaging & content may not be designed to grip the visitor and channel them through an evaluation process that finally pushes them to confirm interest or buy
Whatever, the issues, it’s essential to know them and have a website designed or re-designed which is strategically developed keeping in mind how the average user behaves once landing on the site before beginning any online marketing activity. To begin with ask yourself:
- -What is the ultimate objective of the website? -> Is our current website geared to driving visitors towards that objective?
- -What is going on inside a visitors mind when he lands on our website? -> How does he/she interpret what is there, navigate and interact with the website?
- -Is our website messaging simple and clear enough to drill home the point or does it complicate things and beat around the bush?
A website could be feature loaded technically brilliant and yet practically rubbish from the user experience perspective. It could be visually stunning and yet communicate zilch about why the visitor should pick you over anyone else. It could have super design and well done content but fail simply because technically and structurally there are major flaws which prevent it from succeeding. Online success begins and ends with the website so if you launch your marketing with a flawed platform to begin with, it won’t work no matter how good your efforts are. It’s like being set up to fail.
So before you launch an online outreach campaign or if you find your efforts are creating an increase in visitors but not translating into success, take a step back and have a look at the website. Is it delivering on all fronts? Can it be re designed to create a better user experience? A website that is designed right will deliver with minimal traffic. One that is not can be the Achilles heel of your efforts to succeed online.