Internet Marketing March 24th, 2011
Search Engine Optimization is an obsession for many website owners. Everyone wants their website to be seen and receive as much well-targeted visitor traffic as possible. To achieve this, website owners may research and employ comprehensive SEO techniques on their website themselves, or they may engage the services of a professional SEO firm with the experience and expertise to get the job done quickly and properly.
Even after this work and investment has been put into their site; after every keyword has been researched and refined and every page element, from title tags and headings to body content and image alt text, has been meticulously optimized, many website owners still end up asking themselves the same question they started out with – is my website really getting the most visitor traffic it possibly can?
To drive more traffic to the website, other strategies can be employed, including off-page activities such as link-building and press release articles, pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing. All of these strategies in addition to on-page optimization are all recommended for any website to reach its target audience and achieve its objectives. But even with an ambitious and fully unified internet marketing strategy such as this, websites may still not achieve their expected success in terms of sales, leads or conversions. This leaves many website owners scratching their heads in frustration. After all, what more is there that can be done to drive traffic to their website?
In such cases, the amount of visitor traffic may not be the biggest problem.
Getting visitors to your site is of course important, but if the site is not effective enough to retain those visitors any longer than it takes for them to hit their browser's "back" button, then all of your hard work and investment in driving that traffic to your site is wasted.
So what makes a website "effective"? That's certainly a broad question, but to some extent can be neatly summarized in one short statement: An effective website should meet or exceed the expectations of its visitors. It should look good, whether that look is professional and "corporate", or trendy and stylish. It should have easy-to-use navigation and clear calls-to-action so that visitors can find what they're looking for. It should have well-presented, engaging and up-to-date content. A blog is great for this, and also invites visitor interaction, as does a discussion forum and on-site integration with social media networks.
Different websites present different challenges and opportunities in meeting visitor expectations, but if your website falls badly short on these things, visitors will not hesitate to look elsewhere and all of the internet marketing strategies in which you have invested will yield less of a boost to your site's goals than they could.
Conversely, if new visitors arrive on your website and exclaim, "Yes, this is exactly what I was looking for!", then your investment in full-spectrum internet marketing strategies will be time and money well-spent and your website will have the best possible chance of achieving what you hoped it would.
The best news is that getting your website to this level of effectiveness doesn't have to be a matter of guesswork. A/B or split-testing different variations of your site will allow you to find out what works best, and what doesn't, constantly evolving your website and keeping your online enterprise ahead of the game – and ahead of your competition.