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Increasing Website Traffic: Phases of the Buying Process – Part 2

How to increase targeted traffic to your website and sell more products and services.

On our Internet Marketing blog posting we were talking about getting into the mind of your prospects… and the Four-stages of the buying process.


Here’s the first stage:*  Your prospects need to recognize they have a “Problem to become aware of need or desire! Sometimes, as marketers, we need to help them see the problem… we need to give them the headache…and then sell them the pain-reliever.

* Next is the “Information research & comparison shopping phase” –  You can help guide your prospects through this phase by using free articles, specials landing pages, and content devoted to help them along.

* And the third stage is the actual Purchase

Are they Satisfied or dissatisfied with the purchase?  Prospects ask themselves “have I made the right decision?”   You can reduce their concerns by offering: guarantees, warranties, and testimonials, along with after sales communications.

So Let’s say I am in the market for new energy efficient car… how about a hybrid car… But I don’t want a little wimpy car… I want an SUV…and a Luxury SUV….

Think about the types of keywords that I might type in the search-engine?

“Hybrid car” …, “Luxury Hybrid SUV”…  “How Hybrids Work?”… “Hybrid SUV Performance Ratings” and so on…  If you’re selling these models you’ll want to have content and keywords on your site that matches my search engine inquiries.

Keep in mind that your customers could visit you at several different stages of the buying process or just jump to the sale.  Use caution on your assumptions.  Let the market tell you what’s working… If what you’re doing now isn’t working-that’s a clear sign you need to CHANGE.

As an action step, think about the problems that your products and services solve.  Are you making the fatal mistake that your prospects will just figure out the benefits you offer.  Are you making too many assumptions about your prospects decision making process?  Remember, stage one is your prospects need to know they have a problem that you can solve… and that problem may be positioned as a desire too, but it should be clear to your prospects that they’ve reached the best source for their wants and desires when they reach your website.

I’d like you to map out on paper the content you feel that YOUR prospects would need in the “research & comparison” phase.  If you have several products, then you’ll need to repeat it for each one.  What questions do they have about your products or services and make sure you provide the answers or a way to get those answers on your site.   You may want them to fill out an online assessment form, download a special report….  Or create a comparison of features or products chart… or maybe have them fill-out a request form.

Next, go through your Purchase process, step by step and see if you can improve or simplify it.  This episode is about driving traffic…and if you’re site’s easy to purchase from, it will enhance the customers buying experience and make it more likely that they’ll spend money with you and tell their friends and associates.

To help you increase your rankings in the search engines and for future Pay-per-Click advertising planning, make a list of the keywords you think your prospects would type into their favorite search engine at each phase of the buying process..  from research through to the purchase.  Use a spreadsheet to help you organize and sort them for future use.

 

Before you invest in Pay-per-click and other efforts to drive traffic to your site, you must make sure your site is designed properly.  You certainly don’t want to waste your efforts driving traffic to a website that sucks!   Please don’t confuse Sucks… with ugly.   Sometimes websites that you think would never sell anything, like one long scrolling page selling only one product…with three different color fonts and a big “buy now” at the bottom outsell the fancy sites with all of the bells and whistles.  Your website is only effective if it quickly moves the visitor from the inquiry stage to becoming a qualified lead or by making a purchase.

 

My measurement of a website is by the profit it generates and that’s how you should evaluate your site too.

Look at your site through the eyes of a marketer and the mind of the prospect.

Now let’s explore how to use that information to get more traffic.

The question I get asked the most when talking about increasing site traffic is
“How do we get higher rankings in the search engines?” – for free, not using Pay-per-Click to help position rankings.

Higher rankings means more traffic because your prospects can find you easier.   While we could go on for days about how to get higher “organic or natural” ranking placements, let’s look at the key factors that you can benefit from right away…

First, you need to understand that the search-engines responsibility is to provide the searcher the best “user-experience” by providing them with the most relevant search results. related to the users SEARCH TERMS. Your job is to help the search engines catalog your site content so your site listing is displayed high in the rankings for those keyword searches.   Each major search engine uses complicated algorithms and techniques to create their listings and its changing all of the time, but let’s look at the main things that you can do to that seem to be constant in the ranking process.

Having a large amount of relevant CONTENT about your products, services and solutions.  The more content, and fresh content you have related to the main search terms and stages of the buying processes you’ve identified, the more likely the search engines are to raise your rankings.

For example, if you’ve identified the top ten keywords that you think your prospects would use to find you–you then will want to create at least one web page dedicated to that keyword term.  On one of my sites I sell a program for information marketers, (experts who speak, train and consult)… the program is called The Internet Profit Kit, and I have special landing pages with article content related to the keywords that I know my prospects will be searching for… and then at the bottom of the page is the promotion for the product.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

With many search engines, the information displayed on search results page comes from two places: the HTML <title tag> and the <meta-description tag> if you have one, or it selects text from the landing page for the description.  What Is a Title Tag? This is the list of words that show at the top bar of your web browser.   The title tag has been–and probably will always be–one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.   In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your search rankings.  And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page… changing them usually results in more clickthroughs to your site.

Title tags are definitely one of the most important factors as far as the algorithmic weight given to them by search engines; they are equally as important as your visible text on the page and the hyperlinks pointing to your pages – perhaps even more so.

Each page should have a unique page title and description meta-tag.   A common question is “Do Company Names Belong in the Title Tag?”…  I’d say YES! Of course, but this doesn’t mean that you should put “just” your company name in the title tag.   You also want to add a good descriptive keyword phrase too… something that will help compel the prospect to click on your listing.   You’d be surprised how many sites just use “HOME PAGE” as the title, or worse they don’t use anything and it shows untitled page… or they use the exact same words on each page of their site.  When you do that, you make it hard for the search engines to know what each page is about that lowers your rankings for sure!

Your Title Tags Should Contain Specific Keyword Phrases that match the content on the particular page.

For example, if your company is **ACME Incorporated** a Specialty Glassware company in California, you shouldn’t place ONLY the words **ACME Incorporated.** in your title tag, but instead use something like… ** ACME Incorporated Specialty Glassware – Bar Glassware, California **  Be sure to do your keyword research to find the best phrases!  You would need to be even more specific if you prefer to work with people only in the Los Angeles area.  In that case, use keywords such as **Los Angeles Specialty Glassware** in your title tag or maybe **Specialty Glassware – Bar Glassware – Los Angeles**

How your listing appears on the SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE (SERP) is a critical aspect of you improving traffic.  After all, if you have high search engine rankings but your targeted buyers aren’t clicking through, it won’t do you much good.  Write compelling titles tags and description tags so that your prospects select you over the competition.   Just Search your top keywords and see what the competition is using for page titles and descriptions.   If you’re not the person who actually works on the site, you still need to communicate exactly what you want and make sure that your web designer understands these critical elements.

Oh, yeah… How many words should you use in the title tag?  Google will display up to 66 characters of a title tag, cropping it to complete words.   Yahoo! has an absolute cutoff in presenting titles of exactly 120 characters, which is substantially longer and gives you much more room to present longer titles.  The best strategy for creating a long title is to make sure that the title works for both Google and Yahoo.

The Description tag is very important too.  When your page listing comes up in the search results, the contents of your META description tag are displayed right below the title of your page.  If no description tag is found, the search engine attempts to create a description for you and often fails to describe your page properly.  Make your description meta tags short but informative.   If you can trim them to less than 14 words that give enough information to compel the user visit your site.

Don’t make yourself crazy trying to create the perfect title and description tag, as there’s just no such thing.  The best thing to do would be to test different ones and see which rank higher and which convert better.

That’s all I have time for today… subscribe to the Blog RSS feed and enter your comments below.

 

Author Byline: Ford Saeks, Business Growth Specialist, Keynote Speaker, Author and Consultant. Helping you find, attract, and keep your customers. https://pcg.pcgdev.com/ford-saeks-keynote-speaker/

December 10, 2008 Posted By : Ford Saeks

2 Comments

  1. John Beck Property Vault

    Fantastic post on Internet marketing. I am running a blog on internet Marketing. So this post will help me expand my blog. Thanks

    Reply
  2. Cook

    The blog has been nourishing as it describes the important tips of how more relevant traffic for a web site could be produced.

    Reply

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