Today, your prospective buyer controls most of the decision-making process leading up to a sale. There is a wealth of information on-line at our fingertips and buyers are more educated than ever before when making purchase-decisions. Where does this leave you and how does this impact your marketing strategy?
At Profitable Conversions we advocate three key areas (The Three C’s) that need attention to ensure positive ROI with on-line lead and business generation activities. The three C’s are:
- CONNECT – Create opportunities for your target audience to connect with you through SEO.
- CONVINCE – Improve engagement with visitors with web site optimization.
- CONVERT – Nurture leads into customers with marketing automation.
For these three steps to work, we need to understand how people buy today.
The NEW Selling Process
By the time a buyer reaches a sales decision, they’ve already done their homework online. In fact, through their on-line research, they are 70-80% of the way through their decision-making process before even engaging with a sales professional (if at all)!
The traditional proactive outbound sales role (which consisted of outreach, qualifying, being the resource/authority on the solution, and closing) has been replaced and requires a new way of selling.
Don’t give up hope – we can still be a resource on a topic that helps solve customer problems, but we must change the way we guide the prospective buyer to a successful sale.
This means more and varied content, delivered appropriately, with prospect engagement tracked and measured.
To connect to your target audience you need to create pathways, from where your prospects are online, to your website. This can be done via search engines, external websites, blogs and social media platforms. However, these require time and effort to be effective.
To ensure your traffic-building efforts bring measurable results, it’s important to key in on some preparatory work that relates to communication and the use of language on the Internet.
It starts with analyzing the phrases your target market uses to search on-line and the places they visit for information. We want to ensure that our website language is aligned with the word phrases that your target customer is using in search.
Additionally, we want to satisfy the discovery and indexing tools of search engines which, once finding your site, will be scanning your content and how it is applied across web page elements to establish topic relevancy.
These targeted phrases are called keywords. These drive actions both outside your site and on it as well. After you have completed keyword research (on your own using 3rd party tools or hiring an SEO expert), you should have a good idea of the “phrases that pay”, their search volumes and competition for that traffic.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search optimization comes in two parts:
On-Page Keyword Optimization
In a nutshell, this is how keywords are used on your website pages.
To satisfy our two audiences (humans and search engines), we’ll want to ensure that not only are our web pages have great content for humans, but search engine friendly as well. Download this checklist on best practices for on-page optimization.
With our website now optimized, it’s time to turn to creating those pathways directing visitors to the website with…
Off-Page Keyword Optimization
Your keywords not only help structure your website content, they are the basis for helping your potential customers discover you. Therefore, when adding your website to business directories, having other websites connect to you (link building), in social media hashtags and within your blog posts – use your keywords to strengthen the association between other online properties and your web site.
CONNECT – Summary
- Information is widely available on-line. This has changed buyer behaviour and decision-making
- Your web site and Internet properties have to recognize and accommodate this research-oriented process
- Keywords form the basis for discovery and connecting to your website.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) uses the keywords in two specific ways:
- On your web pages (On Page) to satisfy readability requirements of both search engines and humans
- On Internet sites external to your web site (Off Page) for additional discovery and linking to your web site.
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Next Up – CONVINCE
In the next article “Crossing the Digital Marketing Chasm – Part Two – CONVINCE“ We will walk you through the steps on how to improve engagement with visitors with your website by testing and updating website content and offers.
About Profitable Conversions
We deliver proven growth strategies to digital marketing and lead generation initiatives for B2B technology and professional services companies. We generate results-based programs and successful campaigns for our clients.