What does it take to get a new customer ?
It usually takes multiple contacts and interactions before a new person visiting your website becomes a paying client or customer.
As a result, web design today involves a lot more than the website itself – it needs to take into account : connecting to and promoting on social media and content networks, retargeting ads to previous visitors, encouraging them to contact you and then staying in touch with prospects by email and SMS.
An online plan or strategy …
Most businesses don’t work one out – they build a website, then separately get stuck on one or 2 things, like occasional emails and a Facebook page.
There’s a great chart of a customer journey that I saw recently at Web Profits that graphs out the full path a new person took from first visiting their website, to becoming a paying client. There were about 30 steps from first landing on their website that included …
- Downloading a PDF.
- Opening 4 emails ( out of 7 sent ).
- Filling in a form.
- Reading an offer page, then checking 3 other pages.
- Talking with someone.
- Reading further pages on the website.
This is pretty much what it takes US to get a client too, though I’ve never flowcharted it all to that extent – it involves a lot more than just having a website.
We’ve been developing websites that work with online marketing since 2003 and I’m quickly going to describe some of what I’ve found. I hope it will help you make good decisions in setting up your business online – as a complete system that includes your website, but actually takes a lot more.
What makes it effective ?
Being able to put a plan in place, similar to the one covered above, is largely influenced by being able to get the most done for the least amount of effort.
If it’s too complicated or time consuming, the risk is that your promotional plan won’t even get started. Effective web design results in a plan as described above, plus a manageable workflow that includes the website and linked-in applications.
- A website needs to be as easy as possible to keep current so that new people don’t see a dead, out-of-date website and offers can be made encouraging them to get in contact with you. Content Management Systems ( CMSes ) like WordPress and Joomla have been making it easier and easier for people to handle their websites, so that they don’t need to have high technical experience to get a lot of things done.
- Websites need to be easy to read and navigate on any device – iPads phones and desktop computers. Otherwise you lose the visitors and leads.
- The graphic design of a website and what it’s got on it needs to be what the visitors or businesses clients say they want, not what the website owner guesses they want. Survey your customers and build a website they want to visit.
- In most cases a website is a marketing tool. It should be part of a strategy & a website design should be about converting visitors into new clients and customers or getting you a lead or contact information. Websites need to be set up as part of an online marketing machine that gets you business.
Online marketing strategy
What are the key components of a web development strategy ?
The internet hasn’t changed the basic steps of marketing, which are to make contact with people, accumulate their contact details, then offer them something they may want. On the internet this involves online adds that put you directly in touch or encourage people to leave you an email address or phone number. Then, as normal, making an offer.
It’s actually not too hard to develop online marketing for a business if you have a blueprint and don’t have to develop the 1st strategy yourself. It can t take some time putting the first campaign in place, but after that it’s a lot easier to set up further campaigns.
So how do you get the first step of an online funnel going ?
- If you have a database of emails & phone numbers for people who have an interest already you’re off to a good start. These people are hot leads and you need to put an offer in front of them right away.
- If you don’t have a list of clients or prospects, then you need to put a system in place to start building up your contacts.
Getting people to visit a website is the first step. Then generating a return on investment involves making good use of the traffic, like in the example pictured in our online marketing setups page.
Once people have made it to one of your pages, they need to be convinced to leave you some contact info or get in touch. Then you can build up goodwill and take it from there.
Good web design involves making the website work as part of a marketing plan. Learn what the easiest solution usually is here.