Vocabulary Lesson 1: Call-to-Action ~ this is what you expect a visitor to do when they get to your website. If I were assigning homework, I would ask you to name the one thing you want visitors to do.
Some businesses want their website to inform customers, to prevent them from calling the office. For example, at Amazon you can track deliveries and at HomeDepot you can find instructional how-to videos.
So why do you want visitors to come to your site? Do you want to give them a warm/fuzzy about the purchases they made?
That's actually a trick question: you want people to make a purchase and send you money, today. Right now.
The next best thing is for them to give you their email address so you can contact them in the future.
The tagline for our A Better Computer Inc website is "We Bring Your Business To The Internet."
This 2-minute read represents hours and hours of work. Some work is for me; most of it will be for you.
Here is what I believe, and where I am ultimately trying to take my customers and SCORE clients:
1. Your Web PageEvery business should have an anchor on the Internet, and the best way to do that is to "own" your real estate. This is pretty straight-forward today.
- Register ("Buy") your domain name(s)
- Sign up for web hosting
- Install WordPress or another CMS ("Content Management System") such as Joomla or Drupal.
- Add content to your website
Your biggest decision is what you expect visitors to your website to do before they leave. Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to call or write to you? The buzz-words for this are "Call to Action." Another buzz-word is "Conversion" if your visitor completes that action.
Your final objective is to find and tweak the content to encourage conversions...
2. Search Engines and Optimization ("SEO")Once you build your website, people have to find it.
People may be looking for you by name, or customers may be looking for a product you are selling.
Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo will provide the link to your website, and SEO could provide customers.
SEO is an art unto itself, and way beyond any detailed discussion in this article.
3. Internet Marketing"If you build it, they will come..." Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. (It does happen in the movies.)
How do you drive customers to your website?
SEO is passive Internet marketing. Buying "key words" on search engines is definitely active Internet marketing, but this advertising and results are not dependent on SEO.
Print advertising is important. Every scrap of paper that leaves your business should have your website on it. Other opportunities for advertising is just as important. Any email you send should have your website in your signature block. (You do use signature blocks, don't you?)
"Social Media" is huge: Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are all examples of Social Media Sites.
It's a great opportunity to reach literally millions of people with your message. The "call to action" in any Social Media activity is to drive visitors to your website. You can be subtle or overt. (Overt is better, IMHO.)
You added content to your website, and you'll need a lot more original content for your foray into Social Media.
We have completed the loop:
- Create your own website with your own call to action,
- Make sure people can find your website and your product when they use search engines,
- Actively market your website everywhere you can, including social media.
- Maintain your website so visitors will find what they expect to find, even if you have to loop back to work on your web page.
- Track and measure your marketing efforts