Morgan Flores, Search Marketing Manager & Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO, RyTech, LLC
Previously published in National Shoe Retailers Association Magazine
You’ve been in the shoe industry for years and know your products and customers well, but to quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin.” Websites are the new business cards in which potential customers go to verify your credibility, check out your products and read more about your company. And consumers won’t scour the internet and click to page three of search results to locate the perfect pair of black Nine West pumps. Consumers want to find what they’re searching for and quickly—they want immediate satisfaction. Does your website successfully satisfy the needs of consumers? How can you tell? Is your website ranking on the first page of search results when you type, “local shoe stores?”
What is Search Marketing?
Search marketing involves both paid and unpaid (organic) tactics to increase brand visibility and traffic to a website from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. From implementing new pay-per-click (PPC) bidding strategies to investing in a sound Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to be easily discoverable—search marketing combines efforts for maximum return-on-investment (ROI).
PPC is typically described as a faster way to get in front of customers when they are ready to make a purchase, while SEO is a more long-term approach to garnering quality organic traffic to a website. With search marketing, you can measure the number of users, gender of users, age, geographic location, how much time they are spending on each page and more—a stark comparison to billboards and newspaper ads where companies measured the probability of sales by media impressions.
PPC Advertising and Search Engines
According to Smart Insights, “In 2017 46.8% of the global population accessed the internet and by 2021 this figure is projected to grow to 53.7%.” Google being the most popular search engine, accounting for approximately 3.5 billion searches a day. The great thing about PPC is that it levels the playing field, allowing smaller businesses to compete with larger ones. Advertisers (that could be you) pay a fee each time one of the ads is clicked. The more customized, relevant and targeted the ad, the better.
Example of PPC Search Ads
How Does This SEO Thing Work?
The practice of SEO ensures that your online presence is both articulated properly and discoverable to potential customers. This is done through various methods including technical SEO, keyword research, on-page web content optimization, link building, Google My Business optimization and more to connect the right people to your business. All of which contribute to boosting search engine rankings to earn you the coveted first page ranking businesses long for. For example, the query ‘Chicago shoe stores’ receives approximately 105 searches per month. If your business is in the first few positions on the first page, this could result in highly qualified traffic and generate significant revenue. Additionally, data is being collected the entire time the user is on your website—helping you fine tune your website for increased sales and performance.
A local SEO approach is ideal for the small to midsize businesses with brick and mortar locations. This type of SEO focuses on local citation building (Yelp, Bing, Yellow Pages etc.), on-page verbiage that incorporates the store location, link building through local partnerships, Google review acquisition and optimized Google My Business listings for each location. This is an essential element of snagging those ‘near me’ queries like, ‘women’s shoe stores near me’ and being listing in Google map listings like this one:
Why Potential Customers Can’t Find You
They aren’t looking past the first page of search results. Consumers want it and they want it now! In your case, this could be the difference in not moving last season’s Ultraboost Adidas off the shelves. If your website isn’t appearing on the first page, it could be for a number of reasons.
5 most common mistakes our team encounters:
To fully understand your websites performance a website audit is necessary. Learn how your website stacks up against the rest and what you can do to make it better. A successful search marketing campaign is a combination of many elements involving several rounds of keyword research, competitor research, manual searches and data analysis. While sometimes a laborious process, it is an integral part of running an effective campaign that generates sales.
From crafting a unique marketing campaign to reporting on the results, an informed digital marketing strategy can result in lower customer acquisition cost over time. As searcher intent matures, so should your plan to capture additional customers in this growing digital world. The first thing you can do is determine how many hours per day or per week are spent on your business's search marketing efforts. Do you have the internal talent and resources to launch a full search marketing strategy?
With more than 77% of Americans going online daily, you can’t afford to wait for potential customers to find your business—you have to find them first.
You can learn more about search engine optimization here or reach out to our team with any questions.
Collin Sayre, Web Design Associate
Just like traditional media, a call-to-action (CTA) is an integral part of digital marketing—guiding potential customers down the sales funnel and increasing your organization’s revenue. This is especially true in today’s market where websites are viewed as necessities and are an extension of your traditional marketing collateral. Websites are no longer just nice to have, they’re a must-have if you want to foster growth and sustain success.
Why is it Important to Have a Strong Call-to-Action?
A successful CTA should promote a quality experience for the user, allowing the user to easily navigate through the site to find what they need quickly. Don’t make users guess what to do next or where to go, give them the answer in a brightly colored button and guide them to the next phase. Website users like to be told what to do, they like a bit of direction. What better way to do that than with a strong CTA?
More importantly, lead generation mechanisms (i.e. newsletter sign-ups, phone calls, form submissions, etc.) and revenue all depend on a strong CTA. There are tons of ways to use a CTA when wanting a user to take action.
Some common types of CTAs include:
Where Should CTAs Go on a Webpage?
The backstory: This particular client wanted to focus on getting potential customers to book an appointment. He knew that if he could get users to his website it meant that they were already interested in working with him. Having the CTA right away in the header nudges visitors to “schedule an appointment today,” pushing users further down the sales funnel.
Note: When thinking about where to place your CTA, consider how users will view the placement on both desktop and mobile devices.
The Backstory: This particular CTA uses a full section on the homepage right above the footer. According to crazyegg.com, a user will only stick around on a website for about 15 seconds before bouncing to another site if they aren’t intrigued by the content. If the user makes it to the bottom of the page, chances are they are at least skimming the site as a whole, so why not throw in one more CTA at the bottom of the page? In this example, we did it in a colorful way and used color contrast to our advantage, telling the user to “Contact Us Today” for a free consultation.
Does Your Website Have a Clear Call-to-Action?
Whether you’re using your CTA to guide users to other pages of the website such as a contact form, or gently steering them to the check out page—every CTA should be clear, concise and drive the user to take action! This is your opportunity to motivate users to complete a transaction or push them further down the sales funnel to convert at a later time. So, the next time you’re refreshing your website or embarking upon a complete website redesign, take the time to think strategically about what actions you want your visitors to take.
Read our website design case study, ‘Popular Consignment Boutique Website Creation’ to discover how a modern website can take your business to the next level.