This week I consulted with a potential client who was adamant that online marketing doesn’t work for their business. They said:
“It might work for others, but it doesn’t work for us. We can’t verify any sales generated by our previous online marketing program.”
During our meeting I asked if I could briefly check out their current ads just to see if I can find anything that might jump out. I was surprised with what I discovered:
- Their ads were well built and designed
- Their ads had a clear message intended to get the potential customer to click through to their website
- Their Google Analytics showed that their ads were getting clicks and driving traffic to their website
Hmmm, so what was the problem?
Their ads were great, but within five seconds of clicking through to their landing pages it was blatantly clear:
- There was no call-to-action (CTA)
- There was no clear way to contact their business on any of their website pages
- No phone number
- No e-mail address
- Not even a physical mailing address so that customers would know where they were located
The information was all there, but hidden. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt. It took me a few clicks to find a small link in their website footer that said “Contact Us”. Certainly the average internet surfer seeking their services wasn’t going to go through the hassle that I did to find their contact information. I guaranteed them this was absolutely why they were seeing zero return on their online marketing initiatives.
This is not uncommon, I see this all the time. Businesses spend so much time and effort creating content about what they want to say about their business and services, that they overlook the basic information that enables people to take action.
One of the first books I ever read about web usability taught me one of the most important aspects of internet marketing: People don’t like to think! (check it out here). Website users are impatient. If they click your ad or a link to get to your website, they expect it to load fast, to get a basic description of what you do and to find a way to contact you.
If your products and services match what they’re looking for, your website visitors will contact you or buy from you. If what you offer isn’t really what they need, they’ll leave your site. It’s that simple.
Whether your online marketing program includes PPC advertising, SEO, social media marketing or any combination of the above, do your marketing investment a favor by making it easy for your visitors to take action and contact you.
About The Author: Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts is the founder of Raincross, a premier web design, development and digital marketing agency headquartered in Riverside, CA.
Kevin got his start in online marketing and website design by working for some of the most prominent names in online retail. He's most recognized for helping to start e-commerce retailer Organize.com in 1998, and spent 12 years running the company's e-commerce and online marketing operations. He has been recognized and has received several online retail, marketing and merchandising awards throughout his career.
Kevin grew up in Riverside, CA and graduated from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, Kevin is an avid fly-fisherman, college football fan, and enjoys spending time with his son Matthew, daughter Kate and wife Lindsey.
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