You can spend a lot of money on marketing, both online and offline, but if your website lets you down you have very little chance of converting.
Today I was procrastinating on Facebook when i saw an ad for a local Christmas tree advert, I don’t normally click on Facebook ads but as it is coming up to Christmas and I am interested in local events I can take the family I thought this would be interesting.
Now given that the event in question had the foresight to use Facebook advertising and had targeted the correct demographic I was not expecting to see a very dated website with little imagery or informative content. The ad in question took me to the home page of the website and it took me a good minute or so to find the correct link for this particular event and navigate to the correct page with the information I needed.
After eventually finding the correct page the content displayed looked like a word document with no style or images and was not up to date, it told me about the event in principal (which is on next week) and encouraged the user to keep coming back as the page was updated nearer the time.
This was very disappointing and I decided not to go to the event based on this experience, I then thought about the psychological journey this ad had taken me on to try to pin point the reasons why this ad had wasted this company money- in my case.
Now this is just a crude interpretation of my journey but if this website had just done some simple changes they would have converted me as I was almost sold at the Facebook ad.
- Advert – The advert in question had a good image and targeted content that appealed to me so much that I clicked through (when I am normally very dubious about clicking on Facebook adverts) The ad was targeted correctly as for a family event local to me at Christmas I am the perfect person to convert.
- Website - Once clicking through to the website from the ad I had certain expectations, I expected images and some sort of branding and professionalism, I was met with a website that was an obvious free template with no branding or images and using comic sans as the font of choice.
- Landing Page – the landing page was the home page which had no obvious call to action relevant to the ad, I was wondering if there was a mistake. After scrolling down I found some recent articles and the last one on the list referred to the Christmas event I was interested in originally.
- Event Page the ad was promoting – When I had clicked through to the advert the page had no images, I was expecting lovely pictures of Christmas trees (as displayed on the advert) or the venue at least, but there was no images, I couldn’t see a date the article had been published but I was given the impression it was written some time ago and had not been up dated to reflect the event on in 10 days time. The content was written in Comic Sans and there were no maps or clickable calls to actions that would make enquiry easy.
I understand as I work in online marketing I probably have higher expectations than many people but the numerous click, and difficulties to find the information resulted in me being put off the event by the time I had found the right page. The website really let the ad down. If the advert had just sent me to the correct page straight away and they had put an image in there I probably would not have been frustrated and enquired, a better call to action such as a clickable email link (not hard to implement) or a contact form would have also improved the chance of a conversion.
Improving your website to help your marketing
It doesn’t matter if you are doing SEO, PPC, Facebook ads or Xmas ecards make sure your marketing gives people a good expectation of your business and site before they click through.
Here are a few tips to use in your online (and offline marketing) to stop you from wasting money on marketing that will not convert.
- Make sure your marketing ads and material is a good representation of your brand – Try to include your own brand, your own USP’s images that people will find familiar when they click through to your website.
- Use the correct landing pages – If you are promoting a service or product that is not well represented on the home page do not use the home page, send them to an existing page that is relevant or set up a new landing page specifically for the marketing campaign that will mirror the information in the advert and feel familiar to the user. Although people are used to clicking through websites if a person struggles to find the link they are looking for it will affect their potential to convert and increase frustration.
- Calls to Action – It can be inexpensive to add certain links and calls to action but the more design and the easier you make it for the user to enquire or buy the better. People are used to certain buttons and calls to action so use them.
- Content – Your content should be full and up to date, it should reflect the advert but give more information where required.
- Design – This is not always going to be in everyone’s budget but some simple design tweaks or considerations can make a big difference to your conversion rates.
Marketing is only one side of a campaign it is a waste of marketing budget if your website will not convert and you will not get a good enough ROI.