Scene – the offices of Tee Time, a company selling golf t-shirts online…

‘Guys don’t worry about a thing, we’re rocking social, our email work is getting sick CTRs and our PPC is on fire! Just sit back and watch the sales flow!’ I am Dave the marketing God, bow down to me!’

Two weeks later…

‘Dave, we’re getting mega-traffic to our site, bro, but when I crunch the data, the level of traffic just isn’t in-line with the level of sales! What gives mon ami?’

That last passage was from Ralph, the CEO. He’s a tad miffed at the money and time Dave has been chucking at digital marketing, with little success. What could be causing this malaise?

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Maybe their site is brutal?

‘Wow, this tweet is awesome, I really want to read that blog post, I’m clicking that (hopefully tracked) link right now!’ Oh. I need to pan in and out on my mobile screen to read it? I’m bouncing’

Said the Twitter user who saw a saw a Tee Time tweet in their stream.

The way to solve this issue is by ensuring your site is responsive. A nice definition of responsive design is…

“The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly”

Simple right? Make your site work for user’s current device context. How important is this? I asked Steven Sefton from Zap Designs for his thoughts:

“The benefits are exponential. First of all, 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy a product or service from a mobile friendly website.

A mobile responsive website in it’s simplest terms will benefit from a single SEO approach, easier maintenance, one set of content and you’re future-proofing your website. Above all of that is the fact the it delivers a solid user-experience.  And it’s recommended by Google. So, that solves that then”

If your site is mobile-friendly, Google gives an indication of this in the search results when searching from a mobile. About three hours after I published this, Google announced that from April 21st 2015, mobile friendliness will be a much stronger ranking factor. Get sorted!

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This article from econsultancy looks at 14 brands that increased conversion rates due to adopting responsive design. More proof. I struggled to find a more recent stat, but in March 2014, only 9% of the top 100 e-commerce site where responsive. This will have increased for sure since then of course. The problem for the big guns is that they may well have to re-develop their whole site in order to be responsive, which can be a huge and expensive task. An opportunity for start-ups to steal a march!

What about the journey once on the site?

‘I am so bored of my golf t-shirt, think I’ll find a new one to buy online. Right Google, do your thing ‘golf t-shirts for women’…’

This golfing lady then clicked on a Google sponsored result advertising Tee Time. When Sandra landed on the site she was taken to the general homepage, not straight into the woman’s section. No landing page, nothing! There’s another barrier. Sandra doesn’t want to have to click through the site to find the ladies stuff. Bounce! An expensive mistake from Tee Time.

Tailoring the landing point from an ad, tweet or email link is vital. This is a great article from Yoast that looks at the importance of landing pages for SEO and marketing. Unbounce have also asked nine experts why smart use of landing pages is vital for smart marketing, well worth a read!

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And the onward journey from content? 

‘That blog post was so damn helpful! I’ll be trying those short-game tips next time I’m on the course. You know what, I want to find out more about Tee Total’s t-shirts. Yuck, I have to scroll to the top of the screen? Maybe next time’.

What if there isn’t a next time? When you’re going down the content marketing route, your aim is to convert the people that absorb that content. This may take a number of interactions with your content, but when the time has come to take the relationship to the next level, you need to make it easy.

You may be looking for an e-mail sign-up – have a nice, clear and easily accessible sign-up box built into your content holder. Want people to visit a product page after reading a blog post? Have a call-to-action on the end that makes it easy for the potential customer to do that. Maybe you want people explore more of your content? Serve them links to further content related to what they’ve just read, watched etc. Context! The all sounds so obvious, but it’s amazing how many site owners aren’t taking these steps. Get it sorted people!

Hopefully that was helpful! The second part of this post will look at the need for a consistent brand journey from marketing to site and how to ensure you content looks great. Why not scroll down a little and subscribe, then you won’t miss part deux?

Images (all CC license) light switch – https://www.flickr.com/paulcross, guy at desk – https://www.flickr.com/williambrawley, runway – https://www.flickr.com/elskamp

 

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