Optimize Customer Entry Points for Internet Marketing Success
“Like all of us, when consumers decide exactly what they are looking for, they want it right away. In other words, they go straight to a trusted, well-known source to find their answer.”
To achieve success in today’s competitive Internet marketing world, it’s increasingly important to determine where consumers start looking for information on the Internet. Grabbing the attention of purchasers in their moment of need will help e-businesses gain an advantage over their competitors.
Not an easy task, especially when consumers have so many points of entry to choose from, including traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo!, as well as marketplace giants like Amazon.
The primary goal of these platforms is to help consumers get what they want as quickly as possible at their point of entry (the first place they go to search). And according to Imedia, consumers have very high expectations for search when it comes to time and efficiency. In fact, a Pew Internet & American Life Project study discoverd that the average search engine user makes 34 searches per month, spending about 43 minutes total, viewing only an average of 1.9 pages.
That’s little more than a minute per day, Imedia points out, which means that advertisers must find ways to effectively engage consumers in that short window of time or risk losing interested buyers.
Because search engines are focused on providing their users the best experience possible, they perpetually adjust their systems and improve their technology. Likewise, businesses and marketers must consistently improve upon consumer intelligence and technology.
In the article Is Your E-commerce Site Losing Customers, InfoWorld points out that with the hundreds of thousands of websites available to consumers, e-businesses struggle to successfully attract customers.
“A large part of building a solid and successful e-business is being aware of the ways in which customers reach your site, which pages are most popular and what ad campaigns are working…The more effective a company’s range of customer entry points, the greater the number of end-user visitors and potential online revenues.”
To help e-businesses attract customers, InfoWorld suggests using monitoring and analytical tools to identify weak or troublesome website pages, as well as to pinpoint target audiences and user demographics. Tracking such information will help online businesses know how to expand and improve customer entry points. This is crucial because, says InfoWorld, “the more effective a company’s range of entry points, the greater the number of end user visitors and potential online revenues.”
“Consumer intelligence is built on your company and your customers, which are inextricably linked. Consumer experience is what happens after the consumer clicks on your ad…To reach your customers at their point of entry, you must know who they are and how they behave. What engines do they prefer? How do they conduct their searches? When do they search?”
After businesses establish their online marketing and advertising campaigns it’s important that they invest in tools that monitor traffic, measure the success of ads, and identify referral sites. This valuable information will assist site managers and marketers in effectively targeting specific consumers for advertising campaigns, as well as learning how users find and visit their site.
To ensure that e-businesses get the highest value from their search strategy efforts, suggests Imedia, their technology foundation should be built upon two things: the search engine outlets and optimization.
It’s essential to understand how search engines work. Unfortunately, they each have their own complex way of scoring quality, so it’s unlikely that anyone will ever truly crack the algorithm codes. But e-businesses can capitalize on what is known: that search platforms, like Google, strive to make search results as relevant to users as possible by directing them to what they want immediately.
E-businesses can help point consumers in the right direction by registering for as many search engines as possible and optimizing their web pages with good metatags and descriptions that will define their respective site and help purchasers find their company.
Internet marketing has grown exponentially over the last few years, and that means it requires more effort and resources than ever before to succeed. Businesses and marketers need technology that can help them uncover the crucial trends of search engine methodologies and monitor traffic / ad success so they’re better equipped to capture the consumer at the right place and time.
Using Consumer Intelligence & Technology To Create a Sticky Point of Entry
Businesses should incorporate consumer intelligence and technology when building a company website capable of providing the ultimate customer experience.
According to Business 2 Community, business websites are a key entry point to the world of internet marketing. As the first thing that visitors and consumers see (even before they get to know the brand on a personal level), business websites should reflect the company’s values and provide useful answers to consumers so they can make quick decisions.
“Every page of your site is a potential entry point for a lead if it’s optimized correctly,” says Whittington Consulting. Each site page should be treated as an opportunity to speak directly to consumers, using a targeted keyword phrase. Relevant keywords can be found with Google’s Keyword Planner and incorporated within the page’s meta tags and content.
“The majority of global Internet users now research products and services online, but nearly half of all websites fail to comply with basic usability principles.”
Source: Maison Avenue Marketing Group
In addition to serving as an entry point for online users, business websites create and maintain a professional company image. This is key because, as Imedia points out, consumers tend to bestow a considerable amount of brand loyalty on known and respected platforms. Travel customers, for example, will visit sites such as Expedia.com before consulting airline, hotel or rental car websites.
Knowledge + Technology = Internet Marketing Success
Having a solid foundation of consumer intelligence and technology will give businesses and marketers the tools they need to successfully navigate sophisticated search options.
Because the primary goal of search engines is to help consumers quickly get what they want at their point of entry, achieving Internet marketing success in today’s competitive online environment is highly dependent on determining where purchasers start looking for information on the Internet. If marketers can grab the attention of consumers in their moment of need, they’ll gain a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Monitoring data consistently to tap into critical trends on audience characteristics and behaviors will also ensure that businesses know how to effectively reach consumers at the right place and time (i.e. at their point of entry).