Recently, I launched a small business providing writing and editing services. It's been difficult driving traffic to my website and then converting that traffic into an actual contact. Is there an easier way to drive sales?
StoneField Editing Group
Assuming your website is your primary marketing tool, the first thing to do is to make sure your site is doing what it needs to do. Based on your question, it sounds like the goal of the site is to collect leads. If that's the case, then identify how the site should collect the leads. For example, is an online form needed to collect information, or will an e-mail link be sufficient?
Next, determine what potential customers need on your site in order for them to contact you. Use informal interviews or an online survey. For example, do they want to see writing samples, testimonials, pricing? If the list gets too long, prioritize by balancing the impact and effort of each request.
Next, focus on driving site traffic. Start with basic search engine optimization (SEO) so your site appears as high as possible in the search results pages. SEO includes many factors, but the basics include ensuring the content on your site, page names and URLs match popular search phrases potential customers use to find sites like yours (such as "freelance writers," "local copy writers," etc.). You can identify those phrases during your customer interviews or through tools like Google Ad Words. SEO is a good place to start because it can help improve your search results position with no variable cost and gets your brand in front of people specifically looking for what you offer. But it takes time.
If you want more control of your search results position, consider Paid Search, where you pay for an elevated search results position. According to DigitalRelevance, the first position in search results gets four times as many clicks at the fourth position.
Paid Search is a "pay for performance" model where you only pay when potential customers are taken from a search engine to your site. You can set the maximum amount you pay per click.
About the author
Gino Giovannelli is an adjunct marketing professor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.