Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Marketing to your masses

It can be a tough job to work out the best way to market your products or services to the global audience of the internet. It's much easier to break up your visitors into segments and work out which you want to skew the focus towards.

Unless you have a million-dollar+ website, you're probably only realistically going to effectively market to a small section of internet users. When coming up with your marketing target group, it can be helpful to whittle down your options so that you can focus on the people that are most likely to convert to a client OR a specific market segment that you're currently not hitting and feel you could reach.

Someone famous once said that if you try to please all people, you end up pleasing none. And while that may be the case, you need to be strategic about who you're going to decide is in the group of people that you're not trying to reach.

Outside of the obvious few ways to segment (including geographical, language & physical age), I'm going to show you how you can break up the types of people that arrive at your site by how they arrived there. Watching these types of analytics can be helpful and may just give you some insight into any changes you need to make to your site.

A user will arrive at your website for 1 of 5 reasons..

1. Because they want something they know they can find (Direct User Conversion)
2. Because they want something they think they can find (Secondary User Conversion)
3. Because a search engine told them that the information they want is on your site (Sourced User Conversion)
4. Because they want to see what you have to offer (Cold User Conversion)
5. By mistake (Bounce Conversion)

Lets work from the outside in.

The Bounce Conversion

This refers to a user that arrives at your site and quickly realises that they arrived there by mistake. Either by assuming your site was for a different business, or because a keyword was taken out of context (such as someone landing at 'Ant's Removal Service' instead of a pest control company).
Note that analytics reporting classifies any visitor that spends less than 1 minute on your site (without visiting any other pages) as a bounce. A rate around 20% is quite normal.

Cold User Conversion

These conversions are a mixed bag because there's no defining if they're a motivated buyer or a competitor, or somewhere in between, but you have to treat every one of these as the former.

These users may have seen your URL on your vehicle/banner, decided to visit after seeing your email address or simply mistyped the URL of another site.

This is probably the only group that I wouldn't spend any time trying to market to directly, purely because of the randomness and the fact that every cold conversion visitor will fall into some other category.

Sourced User Conversion

This is a significant group for most websites. Most websites that have been online for over 2 or 3 months should be indexed by at least one search engine and you can be found some way or another.

Depending on how your site was set up, you may be getting a lot of traffic, but you need to really look at your analytics to make some sense of where they're coming from and if they're finding what they wanted.

Two things to look at are the keywords used to access your site, and the bounce rate. If you find that the keywords people are using to find your site aren't actually related to your site, and your bounce rate is above 60%, you know that the content of your site may be highlighting the wrong words. As a result the people arriving at your site are actually looking for something else.

If the keywords are correct, but the bounce rate is high, you may not be highlighting your products correctly, there may not be enough information, your prices aren't competitive or your overall site doesn't look professional or trustworthy enough.

If you are listed but you're not getting any significant search engine traffic at all (regardless of the bounce rate) it is usually due to the inability for the search engine to index your site. If a search engine can;t read your site, it has no idea what content you have or what your site is even about. The most common reason for this is if your site uses flash or graphic text extensively (especially for navigation on your home page). Fixing this may be simple or it may require some design changes. Come and chat with Digerati about what we can do to help you out.

Secondary User Conversion

Generally, Direct & Secondary users will come with a positive expectation that you have what they want - its just up to you to close the deal when they get there. You need to build confidence with the customer so that they trust what you're offering.

The primary example is how most people use search engines. Type in a search phrase, browse through the results and pick the one that looks the closest.

Another example of a secondary user conversion is someone looking to buy a cheap car. They may type cheapcars.com.au into the browser in the hopes of hitting a specialty site. Chances are fairly high that if there's actually a site there, that they will indeed have cheap cars.

For the most part visitors are still only assuming the content, so you still have a little work to do after they arrive at the site.

Direct User Conversion

These visitors are generally repeat business. They've visited your site in the past, and they've decided to come back. You've got them hook line and sinker - now you just have to haul them into the boat. The only thing stopping this user from making the purchase is the product, the price or the process. Make sure you make the shopping cart from viewing the product to making the final purchase is as streamlined as possible and offer a range of payment options.

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Talk to Digerati Solutions today about making the most of your website traffic and optimising your content to allow you to market to some of the segments that you may otherwise miss.