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Is Your Website A Customer Magnet?

By Rick Whittington

In part one of this two-part series, we’ll explore the concept of the magnetic website and look at why an effective website marketing strategy is essential to win the attention–and business–of your prospects. Part Two takes a look at the traits that all magnetic websites share.

Are you a customer magnet?

Do you know how to be a customer magnet?

According to marketing strategist Chet Holmes, there’s a very small percent of the population ready to buy from your business right now. How small? Just 3%.

The majority of people need time to research and compare products or service providers before they pull the trigger to make a purchase.

So, how do you reach the 97% of people who aren’t ready to contact you or buy your products/services just yet?

Magnetic Web Marketing

A website provides information. A magnetic website educates your prospects, earns their trust, and builds a relationship with them.

A magnetic website draws people in with content that is tailored to the different stages of the buying process. This content could include:

  • A white paper or video on industry trends (for prospects who are just starting their research).
  • A product spec sheet or case study (for prospects who are “warming” up and getting closer to making a purchase).
  • A free demo, trial or special discount code (for prospects that are ready to buy).

Whether people discover your website through a Google search or a social media update, they see that it is relevant to their initial search and helpful in solving their problem.

A magnetic website is your hardest working employee. It works 24/7/365, even when you aren’t at work (or awake!). It supplies information that people are looking for around the clock, brings your company new sales leads and prospects, and offers a way to contact someone at your company if they still have questions.

With a magnetic website, you can gauge what attracts people and what repels them. With solid website analytics in place, you can gather and analyze data about your website performance and understand if it’s meeting people’s needs. Using this data, you can implement new or revised content and continue to refine your approach. A magnetic website is a scientifically reliable way to get new business.

A magnetic website is how you effectively meet the needs of the 97%.

Why Invest in a Magnetic Website?

Traditional marketing is losing steam.

Traditional (or “outbound”) marketing methods–such as direct mail, telemarketing, TV commercials, radio spots, and Yellow Pages ads–are losing their edge. While they have the potential to reach a lot of people, traditional marketing methods are more interruptive—they interrupt your customer when they are doing something else.

a phone book

Using a phone book to prop up a desk — perhaps the best use for it.

People can stream music from their iPods in their cars or at home or buy digital music services like Pandora that allow them to listen to music ad-free. If people record their favorite sitcom using a DVR, they can fast-forward through commercials. When’s the last time you used your phone book for anything other than a doorstop?

It’s impossible to deny that vast majority of people are heading online to find products and services. Some are researching for the first time, while others are examining companies based on recommendations from friends. Here are just a handful of statistics that highlight this shift in consumer thinking and behavior:

  • There are 3 billion searches per day on Google. (Source: SEOmoz and Hubspot)
  • 70% of Americans look at product reviews online before make a purchase. (Source: Google)
  • 210 million phone numbers have been added to the National Do Not Call Registry. (Source: Federal Trade Commission)
  • 40% of U.S. households have a DVR. (Source: Hubspot)
  • 1 in 5 consumers use Facebook to research a product. (Source: Digital Trends)
  • 65% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (Source: Hubspot)
  • 77% of consumers prefer permission-based promotions through email. (Source: InnerAction Media)

To survive and thrive, an investment in an effective website marketing strategy is a must. You must connect with customers on their turf, and in a way that makes them feel comfortable. The savvy business owner recognizes that creating a magnetic online presence is the key to generating leads, shaping buying criteria and closing sales.

There’s better ROI online.

So if the more traditional, outbound marketing methods are waning in effectiveness, how can you effectively market your business?

It’s called inbound marketing, and it starts with your website.

Inbound marketing is the intersection of a number of online marketing strategies. This includes email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, community building and outreach/PR, blogging and so forth. At the center of all this activity is your website. Your website is the hub where people discover and discuss answers to their most pressing questions.

When done effectively, inbound marketing produces a number of positive results, from lowering expenses to driving more conversions:

  • Inbound marketing costs 60% less than outbound marketing.
  • It is 10 times more effective at conversion than traditional methods because people are searching the web for answers to their questions.
  • A PR strategy that includes SEO has a 275% higher ROI.
  • Email has the highest ROI of marketing channels, producing $57 for every dollar spent.
  • Writing content for your website that will rank highly on search engines for free is 31% cheaper than paid search advertising.

Ultimately, inbound marketing costs less and is more effective than “push” marketing. More and more companies are realizing this truth, with 89% of businesses either maintaining or increasing their budgets for inbound marketing.

Takeaways

In the past, leads tended to come from “traditional” or “outbound” sources like TV and radio promotions, trade shows, or Yellowbook ads.

That’s all changing quickly. In the past few years, savvy marketers have been turning to the web for marketing that can be measured, tested and adjusted accordingly. Traditional marketing channels are fading in strength, and online channels are taking the reins. Businesses can no longer “push” customers to buy–people want to be in control of when and how they get information.

In this marketing revolution, websites have become integral to lead generation and sales processes. From lowering marketing costs to boosting conversion rates, there are plenty of positives to investing in an effective website marketing strategy.

Want to learn even more about how to attract customers with your website?

Learn more about becoming a customer magnet by reading our exclusive 16-page guide, Customer Magnetism: How To Attract Customers With Your Website. Receive 8 tips to make your website more effective, and read a revealing case study that shows the consequences you face if you don’t invest in your website marketing strategy.

Photo credits: magnet: Matt Ballek; phone book: Eric Robinson

About the Author

Rick Whittington Rick Whittington is the founder and Principal at Whittington Consulting. He has over 15 years of experience in websites and online marketing. Rick shows clients how to turn their marketing challenges into opportunities that yield measurable results. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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