If only it was that easy!

Recently two things happened to me that got me thinking about websites and internet marketing...

  1. I was contacted by a friend who said the company he was consulting to needed some online marketing advice. They were looking at making a lot of changes to their site to improve their SEO performance thinking that they needed more visitors. The first thing I did was added Google Analytics and we discovered that over 5,000 people were already visiting each month!
  2. I attended a seminar run by Ryan Goodwin of Coaching For Business Success. He spoke about the concept of avatars - in brief, tailoring your sales message to appeal to your ideal customer so you get more of the customer you want and less of the customer you don't. It's a sensible idea that acknowledges that not every person in the world with money to spend is your ideal match.

So here we have a company that is ALREADY getting a lot of people to their website yet they are being told that what they need is MORE visitors. Nobody (up until I visited them) pointed out that what they really wanted was better conversion. I also asked them who they were appealing to and they responded that their product was for consumers who were after quality rather than the cheapest prices. They are a very successful business that has been around for decades and clearly know their "avatar".

This begs the question - why was everybody telling them to change their website to appeal to "everybody" and bring in more "hits"? They risked alienating their avatars just to get more stats! The last thing quality-focussed shoppers want to see is a website that looks like 'this crazy store's gone mad mad mad!!!!'.

Getting a high SEO/SEM ranking is easy to explain and easy to sell. In many cases it is extremely important, but it does not replace the need to identify and appeal to your ideal customer. I see many businesses who have sites that do not match their other marketing material or do not represent the company in an appropriate way.

When you are looking at improving your website's performance, make sure you also ask:

  • Does it represent your company properly?
  • Does it appeal to your ideal customers?
  • Does your site do what you would expect it to do if you were a customer?
  • Does your site have up to date information all the time?

 And finally:

  • Are you spending money getting people to your site but then no money improving your site for them?

I have written before that if all we had to do was get "top of Google" then there would be no TV ads, no printers, no networking events, and so on. That has not happened yet. A successful website - and business - is more than just high Google rankings.


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