I have a creepy habit. I Google everyone. Friends, family, friends of friends, old classmates, co-workers, writers I like, writers I don’t like, celebrities… no one is off limits. I could try to justify my actions, claiming that it’s for research or to learn more about my peers, but it’s mainly just because I’m nosy.
Excessive searching will teach you a lot about a person – things they’ve put on the Internet themselves and, too often, old Xangas and MySpace pages that would make them cringe to know are still available to the general public. It’s all out there for creeps like me to track down and read.
Searching and analyzing a company is even easier than tracking down your 8th grade crush. Sure, potential customers are going to hit up online forums, industry sites, and social media sites to find the inside scoop on your organization, but the hottest hit is also the most obvious – your website.
Your company website is your first impression on the world. You have total control over the content, the branding, the style, the layout, the links… everything.
As marketers, we’ve become obsessed with SEO and digital content engagement. While access and click through rates on your site should be monitored and scored, we’re overlooking ROI as a tremendously important key metric.
Website ROI is measured by conversions or how many anonymous website visitors complete online actions until they’re nurtured into paying customers. The question remains, how do we complete these conversions? Embrace your website’s cyber stalkers by measuring their activity to better your ROI. Here are four ways to turn your website into an ROI machine:
- Create engagement touchpoints: Conversions are completed by website visitors engaging with your content and passing through goals you’ve outlined for them. These goals vary across a spectrum from early touchpoints to high value, end of the cycle touchpoints and may include downloading an eBook, registering for a webinar, viewing a demo, and, of course, signing on as a customer.
- Highlight those touchpoints: Website interactions are triggered through calls to action (CTAs) that highlight the action you want website visitors to take. Don’t be shy with your CTAs – this is not the time to be passive aggressive. Instead spell out exactly what you want visitors to do, ‘Download our latest eBook,’ ‘View a product demo,’ ‘Click here to register.’ Make sure each and every page on your site has at least one CTA on it.
- Design with the click in mind: When a visitor first lands on your website they’re either going to click around and get a feel for your site or exit out of the page and leave. Every first click is the first step in that visitor’s conversion path. The path each person chooses gives you valuable insight into that buyer’s interests and needs from your company. Your goal here is to lower your entrance bounce rates – the number of people who leave your site straight from the first page.
- Ask as few questions as possible: The easier it is for website visitors to engage your CTAs and fill out online forms the better. Start by collecting the most important information first, such as name and email address. You can collect the more personal stuff as they’re nurtured into leads. Run reports to find out which website pages have the highest abandon rates and clean them up with less copy to read and more engagement opportunities.
You’ll know your ROI is improving as your conversion numbers climb up. If that’s not enough of an indicator – ask your customers for their opinion. Send a quick email survey asking what the best and worst features on your website are. After all, these are the people who once landed on your homepage as anonymous visitors.
That will even leave you enough time to Facebook stalk a few wedding albums.