Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about what Bryan Eisenberg (co-founder of Future Now Inc., Blogger over at GrokDotCom, and co-author of books like Call To Action and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark?) had to say during his keynote at Search Engine Strategies Toronto this year. When it comes to looking at what we're doing online and in the Digital Marketing channels, we tend to focus on either the current campaigns we're running, or on the next and latest in shiny objects (be it Social Media or otherwise). The sad reality is that none of those are going to help you much if your consumer comes to your website and leaves because it was not relevant or didn't provide the proper "scent" in terms of what brought them there in the first place.
It all started with the website, and now it seems to all end there too... and yet we are spending less and less time optimizing our pages for search, findability, usability and functionality. We're intensely focused on driving traffic and clicks and deftly terrible at understanding what is happening once they arrive and why. We have robust web analytics tools and amazing web research applications - all available either for free or fee (but readily available) - and yet bounce rates continue to suck and I'm not seeing a much better conversion on both e-commerce and non-transactional sites.
Let's get back to basics. Most potential consumers are doing numerous searches for the products and services you sell. If you've done your job, and you're ranking at the top of the search engine results, it is incumbent on you to capitalize on the opportunity by providing them with both the basic information and the opportunity to learn more. Your website is your window to the world and will demonstrate your ability to communicate why you should be their only choice.
No pay-per-click search campaign, e-mail marketing blast or Blog is going save you. The only thing that will save you is a great Website that helps your consumers accomplish the tasks and goals they've set out for themselves.
The time has come for you to review your website - both what the public can see and how it was set-up on the back-end. It's time to take some notes on visuals, navigation, calls-to-actions and content. It's time to make sure that the final point of consumer connection - your website (which is, incidentally, becoming their first point of contact too) is not just "up-to-par" but the ultimate demonstration of everything great that you do.
The best way to make this happen also happens to be the title of Eisenberg's soon-to-be-released book - Always Be Testing.