Lori Taylor has said it over and over again: It’s all about the Call To Action.
Recent surveys have shown that social media lags behind web sites in converting visitors to sales. This does not surprise me. The purpose of social media is not to convert, but to direct. Ultimately, if the site is well planned and designed, it will do the converting once visitors get there. If it has not been properly designed then users will drop by and immediately click away.
The importance of having a well designed web site that can convert visitors to revenue is not only crucial for business, it is common sense. Having a lousy web site is like letting your brick and mortar store languish; don’t sweep the floor, don’t restock the inventory and don’t have pleasant employees to greet customers. Why would it be any different online than it is in the brick and mortar world?
What surprises me most is not that some business owners don’t get this, it’s that their social media managers don’t remind them of this point. The first thing your social media manager should have asked you is where you want social media users directed. then they should have checked it out themselves and made certain it was as dressed up, attractive and easy to navigate for visitors as possible. If they didn’t do this first, they didn’t do their job properly.
Social media is a journey, not a destination. There is no point in using social media marketing to funnel visitors someplace they don’t want to be and then try to sell them something they don’t want. The goal is to build relationships through social media. Those relationships are based on trust, that trust increases the likelihood the visitor will want your product, but it simply will not be enough to overcome a poorly managed web site and a sorry call to action.
Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, explained in a statement that the website is really the heart of the sale more than anything else:
Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first. Regardless of its origin — social media or e-mail, banners or search — traffic driven from online marketing initiatives always intersects at the website. And, while businesses are investing heavily in their sites, the study shows that they are then ignoring the very audience they worked so hard to attract.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the corporate website is the best source no matter what. The survey found that website still “vastly under-performs in terms of lead generation,” and that most companies don’t know the behavior of customers while on the site and what drives home the sale.
Approximately 87 percent of respondent said that corporate websites need to improve tracking and reporting of unregistered site users. Additionally, almost half of executives that responded said that they don’t know where (i.e. web page or section) their users are most likely to abandon the website.
This isn’t to say at all that businesses should abandon social media. It’s really only the beginning for this realm of marketing, and other studies and analysts have shown that this medium really resonates with younger generations. Thus, these results could be vastly different within a few years.
How much money are you losing because of poor website design?
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