So you’re a business owner. Well are you making the sales you expected when you started out? If not, it’s possible that either your internet marketing efforts aren’t targeting the right audience or your website is just not user-friendly. This can cause you to lose new and ongoing opportunities, and let’s face it – that will derail even the best businesses.
As TheeDesign’s resident sport fisherman, I can tell you many people don’t understand what it takes to be a successful angler. Most of the time when I am asked by colleagues and peers what it is that I do, they are surprised. They’re surprised because they most commonly think that I sit in a boat or on the bank with a pole, have a line in the water with a little float device and a hook with a cricket or worm attached, just waiting for a fish to bite.
Folks, I am here to tell you it takes a whole lot more than that to catch the RIGHT type of fish, and often. Your website traffic is no different and you need to approach your lead generation and internet marketing strategy like fishing.
Whether or not you’ve ever been fishing, you can apply these strategies to help “catch” more leads.
You’ve started your business and you’ve got your website live on the internet. Depending on how it’s designed and developed and where your website is ranking in the search results, your website will act as a tool. Just like a fishing pole and bait. But it’s what you DO with your website that can make the difference in catching those fish or having them swim by.
Let’s break it down…
First, you need to determine what species of fish you are going to target and the same goes for web traffic. For example, fishing for sharks in the ocean is a whole lot different than fishing for bluegills in a lake. One is a salt water fish that can grow very large with ferocity and teeth, while the other is a small freshwater fish with a tiny mouth. Do you want to catch a lot of small unimportant fish, or that quality trophy fish? You have to make sure you are using the right tools, tactics and be in the right location to get the results you desire.
If we consider a lake or the ocean as the internet, and your website is the tool you are going to use to haul in your catch, then what else do you need to do? Well, I mentioned above that you need to strategize what you are going to do.
Catching Leads Through Strategy & Planning
Before I ever launch my boat, I have done my homework. I know what time of year it is (because seasonal patterns matter), where my target fish species tend to congregate, and what type of food source is present in the lake I’m fishing. All this research can be applied when planning your digital marketing strategy.
Think about your product. Do you have seasonal sales trends? Is your product available where your audience is, and is it being advertised on channels that they frequent? What type of competition do you have? Are you giving your audience the right information to make a decision? How you think your product should be presented and what the consumer actually wants can be two different things entirely. Learn what behaviors your customers exhibit and respond to, rather than sticking with what YOU think works.
Feeding Your Leads the Right Information
Now, think about bait. If I am fishing for largemouth bass, sitting with a live worm on a tiny hook, a bamboo cane pole and a float, by chance I might catch a baby bass that happens to swim by. But my target fish will never consider this as an option for a meal, and even if it did I could NEVER land the fish. A big bass would snap my line or my cane pole before I have a chance. I need specialized gear to properly set the hook, control, and land the fish.
Consider your web visitors the same way. Did you present your visitors with the right content to help them make a decision? Is the content targeted to where they are in the buyer cycle? Do you have the right tool to “land” or convert that lead?
Your website is the tool you need, but make sure you are setting up the content and user interface that will attract the consumer who is ready to get “caught.”
Fishing in the Best Location
That brings me to tactics and location.
Remember in the movie Jaws, the part where the three men set sail to catch the killer shark? There is a part where the Chief of Police is tossing chum into the water and boat is floating along. The group is in the vast open ocean, looking for a specific fish. They don’t know where to begin their search, so they go out and float around until the shark picks up the scent trail and comes to them.
This is similar to an AdWords paid search campaign. You are targeting specific search traffic and creating customized ads to reel your visitors in.
This certainly works to help catch leads, but it won’t always bring in the most fish. Here is why. Remember above when I mentioned largemouth bass? Let’s use that fish as an example. The world record bass was over 23lbs, but bass over 5lbs only make up 5% of all bass population. They are extremely difficult to find, and these are the fish that all us sport anglers are after. Those fish are the ones that have made it to above average size because they are the smart ones and aren’t easily fooled.
What this means is you can’t sit in open water with a line out just waiting and expect a 5lb fish to come and eat your bait. You have to seek them out. A smart fisherman knows he has to look for those rare fish in areas that most casual fisherman don’t look in. We look for rock piles, trees laying in the water, grass and lily pads in the water. We are trying to increase our chances of catching that trophy fish by actively seeking them out where they live, NOT waiting for them to come to us. It means that some days we are covering vast stretches of water to catch these fish.
Not only does where you search matter, but how you search does too. Some days certain fish don’t want the bait that worked a few weeks before. So you have to be ever evolving in your strategy. Some days the fish will chase your bait, other days it must be placed right in front of their face or in their home before they bite. Your digital marketing strategy should be the same way.
Don’t wait for leads to come to you – go get them. Do that by making sure your website is updated with relevant content and optimized for both your audience and the search engines. Attend networking events where your audience frequents. Promote your website and business on the channels that your audience uses, whether it’s social media or local events. Also, consider the staleness factor. Have your ads or content been shown so much that the audience becomes numb to your approach? Fresh ads tend to engage the customer’s interest better than ads they’ve seen a 100 times. Remember, your customers are pretty smart, and if they aren’t quite ready to purchase, then enticing them to take the “bait” will take extra effort.
At TheeDesign we believe in a comprehensive approach to “catching” those leads for our clients. We understand that simply creating a website and throwing it out into the vast ocean of the internet won’t get the results our clients expect. We must go out into the internet and place the bait in all the areas we know our fish live and search. This means keyword strategy, onsite optimization, off-page optimization, local SEO and hundreds of other tactics that get a website to rank, which drives traffic, which turns into leads.
Our team has the experience to load up your boat with fish. The great thing about your business and the internet is that there are no regulations and daily catch limits. You can haul in as many fish as the internet ocean has. But, don’t be fooled into thinking everything is acceptable to do. Just like with fishing, there are penalties for “unsportsmanlike” conduct! If the game warden catches you using illegal methods of catching, you will be fined. Consider Google your internet game warden.
But don’t worry, with TheeDesign as your fishing guide, you’ll soon be filling up your cooler with plenty of leads.
Take a moment to review how we helped a regional trailer company improve their digital marketing efforts with a fantastic website design and strategic marketing by downloading the case study.