The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


It's All About the Leads

Mark Kawabe - Monday, November 14, 2016

Lead GenerationIf you're contemplating getting a website or redeveloping an existing site, you're probably trying to justify it to yourself. After all, it's usually not an inexpensive proposition. You're going to put some serious cash on the table. For what?

There are a lot of business owners who invest in a website because they feel they need one. "It's expected that a modern business will have one". This is true, so if you're going to have one, then you should really be asking yourself how you're going to make it "work".

A "working" website is one that converts site visitors into leads. It doesn't matter if 100 people arrive as a result of person-to-person networking or from Google, as long as the site converts.* Conversion of visitors to leads is pretty much the only important metric that matters to the health of your website. A site with a 1% conversion rate needs 5 times as many visitors to achieve the same results as one with a 5% conversion rate.

Business owners need to ask questions based on lead generation. Questions like:

  • How are we going to get new visitors to our website?
  • How is our new/redeveloped site going to convert visitors into leads?
  • What content do we need to have on the site to help us achieve that goal?
  • What processes do we need to have in place to convert leads into sales?
  • How will we track our results? How will we change if we don't get the results we'd hoped for?
If you're going to invest in a website, you're investing in a lead generation tool. Consider all the ways a site can work for you. Then work with your developer and your marketing team to make it a reality. Or, if you'd like, drop us a line and we'll be happy to talk to you about how we can build you a site that converts.

*Actually, it DOES matter, but that's a topic for another article.

No Finish Line

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

There is no finish line in marketingMarketing is not a race. If you are in business, you should know and understand that marketing is a continuous process. If there is an end to marketing, there is also an end to revenue growth, new customer acquisition etc.

When it comes to marketing online, I've met a lot of business owners who have an online presence, but who aren't happy about it. They have "tried everything" from SEO to social media and nothing's worked, from their perspective. They're tired of the cost, and they're frustrated by the lack of results.

To be fair, that's a very reasonable outcome. If I asked you to spend $5000 and not have any measurable return on investment (ROI), you'd probably walk away. I would too.

The word "measurable" is important though, because you CAN measure many, many things when people are interacting with your online presence. On your website, you can use your analytics to see what people are clicking on and how they're coming to your site. You can use heat mapping to see where people are focusing their attention. Any reputable email marketing software will tell you your open rates and track what people click on in your messages. Social media tools give you metrics showing you what posts got the most attention.

Then the hard work begins. Analyze. Investigate. Uncover reasons. Ask questions. Tweak your site, your content, your next post, and then do it all over again. If you want better marketing, you need to have a better system.

Nobody can say for certain that creating and implementing a robust inbound marketing plan is going to be a goldmine of lead generation. However, it is true that not doing anything will very likely be worse for your business' lead acquisition. Even if you put together a plan and start implementing slowly, you'll be better positioned a few years from now.

Convincing People to Change

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Change is difficult. Just ask the Goldfish.Change is often needed, but feared at the same time. Change involves risk, and humans are naturally risk-averse. Marketing involves convincing prospects that a change of behaviour is beneficial and as risk-free as possible.

This is the challenge, whether you're operating a bed and breakfast, a restaurant, a retail store, a factory or a consulting firm. Potential customers want to be assured their needs will be met if they choose you. Fortunately, despite the challenges, there are opportunities, especially when marketing online.

One of the best things about marketing online is that you're not limited by space or time. If you have the time, you can write an essay about anything related to your business. As for space, how long is a webpage? Exactly. You can write for hours about the thread count of the sheets on your beds or the uniqueness of your family's secret souvlaki recipe. If you meet a prospect's needs by doing so, then you're on your way to gaining a customer.

This is why you've heard the phrase "content is king" since the dawn of the world wide web. Content is indeed king, and it's fundamental to your ability to market your business online. Feel free to write about anything that's related to your business. Moreover, do it often. If you can be creative about it, even better. 

Content is really important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I always remind customers that if they're not going to hire an SEO specialist, then they have to write content that addresses the needs and queries of their prospects. Creating content for your website gives you a new page for search engines to spider, something new to share on social media and more opportunities to get noticed. You can't expect Google or other search engines to send your small, static website loads of prospects, even if you're exceptionally well-known for something.

Part of the strategy involved in content marketing is to write about a broad range of topics related to your business so you demonstrate your expertise, knowledge and personality to your target audience. I think one's personality is just as important as one's expertise. By sharing your unique perspectives and insights with customers and prospects you educate, create rapport, and build trust. After all, people are going to have to deal with you - so giving them an idea what you are like to work with is important!

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that often, there is no "one thing" that will convince someone to change. You need to provide lots of reasons for people to change their existing behaviours, whether it's staying in hotels versus bed and breakfasts or buying from another supplier instead of you. Building a library of content on your website that is shared on your social media platforms is an approach that can help convince prospects to choose you the next time the opportunity arises. Without that content, you stand to miss a lot of opportunities for getting noticed and getting new customers through the door.