Find out how to use site acceleration to convert potential leads into leads, sales, and monetized clicks!
Another online marketing expert recently said that Field of Dreams teaches terrible marketing practices. In that movie, Kevin Costner’s character builds a baseball field and people come to it! He doesn’t do any advertising, he doesn’t do any cold calling, he doesn’t put up any fliers. Unlike pretty much every business in the country, online or offline, he doesn’t have to draw people to his field since he believes that “if I build it, they will come”.
You can be selling the best product in the world and not make a dime if nobody goes to your store or nobody visits your website. In my time in online marketing, I’ve seen plenty of great websites with slick payment methods so that it’s easy to complete the sales cycle and purchase a product, but they don’t sell a single thing because they have no traffic, and the little traffic they do have gets quickly disinterested. I won’t tell you how write a great hook for your landing page but I will share a few things I’ve learned about the crucial first two steps of the online sales cycle.
1) People need to be able to find your site
No matter how good your product is, people won’t buy a single product nor sign up for a single offer if they can’t find your website. In the online marketing world, the main way people find you is through Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.
Have you ever seen a nightclub without a sign?
I’ve seen one, in San Francisco. It’s called The Slide. There’s no cover and it has a great dance floor, and makes a pretty good screwdriver. It easily beats the boilerplate Ruby’s next door. But nobody ever shows up! Even on a Saturday night, there’s at most a hundred people.
In the online marketing world, your signs is how well people can find you on Google. In order to get people to find you, you need to build backlinks on quality websites that link back to your site on terms that people who will buy your product would search for.
Hire a good SEO company
In the old days, companies would hire an outsourced firm full of writers who could barely speak English to do their search engine optimization work for them. This would work fine for a few months, but eventually the companies’ sites would disappear from Google altogether. All their links would be on spam sites so they would get blacklisted from Google and other search engines.
This is because people who are bad writers can’t get posts on good sites. Google is pretty good at figuring out which sites are and which sites are bad, so it penalizes your site if it has backlinks from a lot of spammy sites, so hiring a company that’s incapable of posting backlinks on good sites will get you delisted from Google. That’s why companies today are increasingly hiring SEO firms with expert writers to build links for them so that they can generate traffic to their site.
2) They need to see your site once they find it
This one really should be a give-in, but web development teams often overlook an Achilles heal in converting these new potential leads into sales. Usually, the content development teams and the web design teams are separate from the technical teams. Even small one-man operations rarely host their own sites anymore, and instead rely on a remote server. This means that they often think that they can’t do a thing about their site’s load time.
Even if they do the hosting on their own, the site is only hosted on one server, so it will load slowly for someone far away. Most potential leads are lost within 8 seconds of clicking on a link so a slow low time in any significant part of your target demographic can kill your conversion rate, but there’s a solution.
Site acceleration services get around this problem by hosting your site on multiple, high-quality, super-fast servers. This means that somebody in New York won’t have to wait for a website in San Francisco to travel across the entire continent to be able to see it. Good site acceleration companies host the video on different super-fast servers than the rest of the site content, which will further cut load times and increase conversions.
David Henzel is VP of Marketing and a partner at NetDNA, which provides CDN solutions that deliver fast page load times for enterprise and SMB websites. A serial entrepreneur, David has more than 11 years of experience in online marketing, having launched and sold several online businesses in Germany before coming to NetDNA in 2009.