Starting on the Right Foot

LookingGlass Starting on the Right Foot

Utilizing SEO Services and Technology to Impress Web Surfers

The facts are appalling. Online consumer studies have shown that Internet shoppers conduct, on average, six or more web searches before finalizing their purchase decision. Yet, despite such obvious competition presented by the web, a 2006 Forrester survey reports that a mere 26% of online consumers state they are “satisfied” with their experience. I don’t know about you but I don’t want 74% of my potential client leads to feel discontent with their interaction with my company’s online presence. After all, the Google search results catalog an entire list of hungry competitors, ready to capitalize on my shortcomings, just one click away. In one dissatisfied instant, I have lost three-quarters of my potential earnings for the day – and once they’re gone, chances are they’re gone for good.

So how can you ensure that this doesn’t happen to you? Well, it takes a lot of practice, a lot of insight and a mindset of continuous improvement. You must critically analyze every touchpoint between you and your customer and determine ways to make that a smooth, pleasurable journey. The logical place to begin? Your search presence.

Optimize Search Performance

Taking the time to implement SEM and SEO techniques can significantly increase your search presence and send you to the coveted top search returns. Potential customers are happier when they are not required to delve into the depths of search returns to discover your company – the convenience of having you pop up in the first listings creates a sense of ease in interaction as well as a measure of credibility and trust with your brand. It’s not rocket science – happy customers are paying customers.

  • Traffic Sources – High-ranking paid and organic listings naturally appeal to online customers. For added convenience, go a step further to personalize your search and provide tools designed to assist customers find relevant information for their buying process. Target localized searches that match your proximity to that of the customer.
  • Optimization – Relevant content and behind the scenes coding will find favor with Internet crawlers, upping your rank and making you more accessible to customers.
  • Key Performance Indicators – Explore the web analytics associated with search campaigns bringing traffic to your site. Find out who is visiting, their particular interests and point of origin. Use this information to more specifically gear your communications to fit the wants and needs of your target audience.

Consider Technology and Design

First impressions are everything online, and with thousands of search options to choose from, the integration of cutting-edge technology and design elements separates the “men from the boys.” Utilizing these advanced components speaks volumes on the company’s commitment to total customer satisfaction and fosters a sense of credibility and security. Such an emotional connection is the foundation for a lucrative B2C experience.

  • Site Landing Page – Have you ever clicked on a link you believed would provide desired information to only find yourself taken to an obscure page with no way to navigate to your intended destination? Most consumers faced with this situation call it quits with the company in question and move on. Don’t see your potential customers give up on you – ensure your landing page includes the “who, what and why” consumers are seeking.
  • Navigational Support – Including a site map can dramatically improve your search ranking and using relevant keywords and descriptions can assist consumers find the specific information they seek.
  • Mobile Technologies – You can now access the web from a variety of mobile technologies. Have you ever been en route only to discover you need pertinent information such as hours of operation or directions? Your company can utilize mobile search to impart added value to your customer interactions, providing assistance at home or on the go.

Pay Attention

With the recent explosion of social media outlets online, now, more than ever, it is important to spend time conducting your own online searches to find out what consumers are saying about you. Customers have multiple social mediums – blogs, networking sites, bulletin boards and more – to voice their opinion about your company to millions of other web surfers. So how does this affect your customers’ search experience? First of all, the popularity of online forums and the traffic flowing through them can lead such commentary rocketing to the top of the Google search returns. If the feedback is not flattering, you can imagine how that will affect surfers’ first impressions of your brand. On the other end, positive reviews returned in a search can build your credibility and help potential customers make the decision to give you a try.

Test, Test, Test

How many times have you clicked on a search listing, anticipating to be transported to your site of choice, only to find the link broken, leading you to an error page? What thoughts cross your mind? “What a pain! I’m going elsewhere!” or “How can they help me when they can’t even keep their site working!” Ensuring that the links to your site are fully operational is a basic must-do for every online company. Head off such negative reactions by proactively testing and measuring all links, pages and load times from search results to ensure everything is working properly.

Though these are basic elements in ensuring successful search, they are often overlooked and taken for granted. But like the old adage “the devil is in the details,” it is these basic necessities that can make or break one of the first interactions a potential customer has with your company. Set the stage for success, not failure.

0 Comment   |   Posted in Blog May 29, 2010