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We achieved a 200% increase in our client’s website traffic in 16 months. Learn Morex
For this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt hosted George Lee, CEO of SNAP Agency. George disproves the myth that website traffic increases a business’s revenue and unveils the best practices to drive real results. Dive in to get a grip on these practices and boost sales now.
Your target customer needs to be documented and understood. Without that, it would be like throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks.
I’m glad to be here.
So quite a while ago, when I started the agency 11 years ago, I started working with organizations other than our websites. And the first request was, can you increase the number of visitors to my website? And our first question back to them was, what’s your conversion rate? Conversion rates are abysmal; it’s a quarter or a 10th of a percent. Well, you can double the visitors to your website, but you’re not going to double your sales. It’s not going to happen. So how do we address the conversion of the visitors to your website? There’s a place to start. So there are lots of tools, heat maps and other things. But it’s about the customer journey and having the right content, top-level, middle of the funnel, the bottom of the funnel, and guiding people through there. And then we asked, what, you know, what is your site optimized for? And is that a keyword? Then, long tail keywords came into play that says how to track people that are closer to the bottom of the funnel. And they are looking specifically for what they want or their problem. And they’re looking for a solution. And most candidly, today, you still have companies going through this exercise and go, what do you mean? If this is my primary keyword, I want to show up on page one of Google for my primary keyword.
Correct. We want those keyword strings with a greater level of intent. So we started working by taking the approach that said, Alright, do you want to grow your business, or do you want to grow the visitors to your website and have more traffic? And they always say yes to both. Well, let’s just pick one. And we’re going to pick the one that says; we’re going to help you grow your business. We started this early, and traditional marketers understand that we want to research your targeted persona. Who is your target customer that’s either gathering information or making a decision on let’s structure not only the content and the website, but let’s structure everything around keywords for the way that those people talk and type things into search engines? So all of a sudden, we have clients, manufacturers, and e-commerce companies growing my website, but traffic is going down. Yes, but what’s happening to your sales? The sales are increasing monthly and yearly, but my website visitors are down. Again, do you want to increase your business and your revenue and money or increase visitors to your website? Well, I want to grow my business. I go, okay, that’s what’s happening. So basically, that is the approach we took and had some terrific case studies to support it. But we start from day one now with who is your targeted persona? We have a branding team that dives into education and all kinds of persona factors, and we use that as a brand platform, not only for content and imagery on our website but the customer journey. More importantly, what keywords are those people typing in the search engines?
Yes. I can share a few recent examples where you quantify the value of that customer journey. So I ask every new and candidly existing client these four questions when I have an opportunity to talk with them, and they are, who are you? Doesn’t mean your name, doesn’t mean your logo, but who are you as an organization? What is the essence of your organization, and what’s important to your mission, vision, values, and so forth? Very few organizations have that document. So then, what do you do, and which problem are you solving? And specifically, the persona, who do you specifically solve that problem for? And then the fourth question is, why should somebody choose you versus other alternatives? I said, Okay, you have about 60 seconds, maybe a little longer than that, to answer all four of those questions, in any advertisement for your website, to anybody that has eyes on your ad campaigns. I said, let’s look at your bounce rate. You’re going, so Okay, let’s look at your blog bounce rate. Oh. So that’s when they start talking and at about five minutes, I go, you know what? I tuned out three minutes ago; I’m gone. A recent example is a healthcare organization where we did everything the way that I just described in terms of brand discovery and brand platform, and it seemed design, UX, and UI all the way through. And their CEO spent a significant chunk of money on an updated website. And then their CEO came back and challenged the VP of marketing that said, what did we get from this investment of an updated website other than it’s a lot more attractive than the old? And I said, well, let’s look at your bounce rate. Your bounce rate decreased by 56% exactly. How do you measure the value of your customer journey? How about decreasing the bounce rate on your website by more than half? That’s a lot sticking to your website; I think what does that mean? That means people can find what they’re looking for. They can get the information they want or transact with you in the way your target customer wants to transact with you. So that’s the goal. So how do you measure the value of UX? That’s one way to measure the value of UX. Yes, everybody’s got an opinion. And again, my perspective is that it’s taking traditional marketing. The cigarette companies mastered that before cigarettes were outlawed in the United States, the Marlboro Man and take a billboard driving down the highway. I mean, how does your target customer talk? So literally, we interviewed target cutting. We’re going through an exercise with one of our larger clients. You just don’t understand our target customer. And I go, Well, you have customers, let’s interview those customers, and we want to ask them the questions. So literally, what questions do they ask when looking for a solution to a problem? Online? So how about taking whether it’s engineers? It doesn’t make any difference what the persona is. You talk to 10 or 20 of those personas, and it’s amazing how consistent they are with the questions they ask for solutions they’re looking for. We go; okay, let’s start focusing on those specific keyword strings that persona, their target customer, typed in because that’s what they asked. When someone types in a longtail keyword string, it’s the way that they would talk. Now, Google’s gotten smart and can interpret what they think you’re looking for. But in terms of getting your website ranked, let’s put that type of content and wording exactly on the on-page as well as the technical side of the website pages.
Yes. Especially in a B2C environment.
We are primarily a B2B agency. We do have manufacturers that have E-com functionality on their websites. But in our case, it’s using Google Surveys to get people on the telephone. And user conferences and many different ways. But the whole essence is, what are the keyword strings that the audience is like? And the only way you can do that is by asking the questions. And it seems to be working. So again, the whole objective is you want to grow your business. That’s great. And if you do it the right way, starting at Ground Zero, your website traffic will probably decrease over three or four months, but your sales will increase, and your website visitors will start tracking up again. But they will follow your sales or leads or your website’s objective.
We use SEO Moz and AGL and a whole bunch of tools to narrow the focus. There are businesses, usually startups, that come to us, or if a new company wants to launch a new product and then go, what’s the best way to market this? And candidly, there are times that we have to say, not digitally. When it’s, no one is searching for it. No one knows what you did. So no, wrong place to spend your money, sorry. I end up saying no a lot. Either client expectations they’re going; I just want to increase visitors to my website. Well, we’re not the right fit for you guys. It’s okay, but we’re going to either fire you or you’re going to fire us.
Something that’s a new product or niche product. It’s not Google or Bing; it’s social media. That’s how we’ve helped companies launch and grow until they have enough of a market presence. But you can target it so tightly because of some restrictions Facebook has put on over the last six months, but you can do that. And analytics will tell you who is coming to your website and looking for some information. As part of their quarterly QBRs, we have clients who will go. What do you mean our primary customers are females between 23 and 35? That’s who has been buying your stuff or making a loan, whatever it is. Yeah. What? And what do you mean 80% are transacted over a mobile phone? Why are we spending money on your website? Your website is what shows up on a mobile phone. So yeah, that helps a lot if you have enough graphics to generate to help zero in on who that target audience is.
This particular one, they are just going, doesn’t make sense. We think it’s males in this age range. Well, that’s what the data says, do what you want, but here’s the data. And they’re going okay; we need to soften up; they are smart. We need to soften up the harshness of the colors on Pantone and all kinds of things on our website. So using the data to enhance the user experience is kind of the secret sauce.
I think you can get 80% of it upfront, but there’s always going to be information that the data will provide. We’ve created websites and brands for Disney and Lucas Films and some other innovations, and they know their target customer. A SaaS-based company that’s coming out with a new SAAS platform. Go here, our competitors, we’re going to go right. We can reverse engineer stuff to get some insight. And you can get 80% of your data launched in that situation.
Yeah, so typically, especially in larger organizations, you’ve got different personas. And in healthcare a perfect example is healthcare. So if you’re dealing with seniors, your persona is the caretaker. But you have to solve the problems that the actual whoever they’re caring for has. But you must create the content for searches based on the caretaker’s persona. So you have two target audiences. And in larger organizations, you’ve got the decision-maker, somebody up the food chain, doing research. So they’re just trying to find alternatives. So it’s really important to talk to an organization that says, Okay, who is asking for information and who is the decision-maker? And often, there are sometimes two or three personas, and the point is to create content for where that person enters the website. So if they’re looking for information, that’s top of the funnel. They’re not looking for stuff in the middle of the funnel; they’re still looking for solutions to a problem. They haven’t narrowed down exactly what their problem is, sometimes. They’re feeling something, have a need, and don’t know what the solution might even look like and what the alternatives are. So I mean, they go further down the funnel, ” Okay, we’re looking for a commercial vacuum system. We have an Italian client that I was on a call with yesterday. I’m going to go, commercial vacuums or industrial vacuums. Oh, no, that’s industrial vacuums. Are they? Let’s do some data. There are some tools you can put on your website, which we put on their website and go, these are the companies that are coming to your website, and this is what they’re typing in the search. Its commercial vacuums mean industrial vacuums.
There is, but the point is, what are your target customers typing in? What are your competitors using for keywords on their websites?
That’s exactly right, and that solved the problem yesterday with this Italian client that said, No, in Italy and Europe, this is what people type in. Sorry, Dorothy, you’re not in Italy anymore. Here is what your competitor’s keywords are? Well, okay. You can’t argue with the data. You may not like it, but you can’t argue with it.
For content, you have two audiences. You’ve got humans, and you got robots from the surgeon. I have this conversation pretty regularly. I go; I want to approve every blog post because this is how I want it to read and go, do you? Well, first of all, how many people are looking at your blog post, humans? Or do you want to rank? Which is the search engine? You have two audiences; which one do you want? We have a client right now that it’s all about humans. And I go, that’s fine, you’re getting zero value for all that content you’re putting in once or twice a week, and here’s why. So if you want to waste your money or not, that’s the question.
I said 93% of their traffic is not to their blog posts. Great information resource. That’s what you want. You’re spending money to create content generating nothing for your business.
Yeah, it’s structured, though. And in our games, when we look at heat maps and other things, the top 15%-20% of the content is what the humans, almost exclusively what humans are looking for. And there’s a way from a technology perspective to address what the humans are looking for and then not clutter up a page. Seven or 800 words are structured for robots.
Google also happens on YouTube, which means their algorithms are enhanced, or anybody that has a video on their website and they’re looking at the length of the video, and it’s not one thing it’s a lot of things that you have to look at.
It’s insightful information. Sometimes it’s surprising, but we’ve used little pop-ups. We asked for demographic information. And it’s a little annoying, so you can’t do it permanently. Some companies like doing them, and you’re just annoying people. That’s like asking or requiring you to set up an account to purchase something. There we go. You just eliminated nowadays about 80% because nobody wants more accounts.
Everybody has too many passwords to begin with. So they don’t need it anymore. How about a discount? We just want an email address. Well, you will have an email address for anybody who checked out.
You can log into your account and already have your address; you don’t have to put your address and credit card information on. A lot of people like myself have auto sales technologies on their laptops. No. I don’t need to create another account at some businesses to transact themselves. Again it’s the user experience for you.
There is so much, Matt. I think we covered a lot of ground. I think we tried to stay on topic.
I think we discussed it earlier, and that is you need to document and understand your target customer. Completely. And it is worth the investment to do that because you should use that brand platform for anything you create, whether it’s a brochure, a business card, a website, or your tradeshow booth. Everything that is created, your content. Everything. If you don’t do that, it’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks.
My four questions, if you can answer these questions in fifteen seconds, then you have it down. Who are You? What is the essence of your organization? What problem do you solve? Who do you solve it for, and why should anyone choose you versus the alternatives?
You can track me down on LinkedIn, George or at email@example.com. You can Google me George Lee – Snap Agency. Like it or not, with my reputation, I am all over.
There is a surprising number of George Lee.
It was a pleasure. Thank you.
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