While most people don’t realize it, homepages and landing pages are two distinct things. The former is the front door to your website, and is the primary entrance to all the content and goodies that are stored inside. It’s certainly an important page, as it acts much like the exterior of a house in terms of “curb appeal,” but isn’t always that effective in converting prospective customers into new clients. Why? It’s because the homepage typically provides an overview of your products, services, and/or general business model, and has links leading to multiple different areas. In other words, the homepage is the grand central station of most websites, which makes it easier for visitors to get lost, and leave before they find what they want, even if you have it.
At the beginning of the month, we touched upon one of the many different forms of online marketing strategies: local search engine optimization (aka “local SEO”). Local SEO, however, is only one form of online marketing, and while it has many benefits, it also has a few drawbacks. The primary drawback of local SEO is that it only targets people on a local level (hence the name “local” SEO). Although it is certainly effective for targeting potential clients in a business’ immediate geographic area, it doesn’t, by itself, do enough for companies that have a national or international target market.
One of the biggest black holes for any business, let alone a new one, is marketing – in other words, how to attract and keep customers. Why is marketing so tough? Well, unless your company is completely innovative, and is offering a product or service that no one has ever seen or tried before, odds are, you’re going to have competition. Therefore, marketing not only becomes a matter of making people aware of your product, but effectively convincing consumers why they should choose your product or service over your competitors.
According to the latest edition of the annual Internet Trends report published by Silicon Valley venture capitalists Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, there are now more than 2.4 billion people worldwide who use the Internet. As astonishing as that number is, however, it doesn’t even include the number of individuals now using smartphones, which also have Internet browsing capabilities – that number tops 5 billion worldwide! The crazy part is that both of the preceding numbers are growing rapidly.
e-commerce in the US is well on its way to reaching an estimated $370 billion by 2017
Given those astonishing numbers, it should come as no surprise that the consumer marketplace on the world wide web is growing just as quickly. According to Forrester, e-commerce in the US, which topped $231 billion in 2012, is well on its way to reaching an estimated $370 billion by 2017. Moreover, online sales, which already account for 8% of total retail sales, are not only expected to continue their blazing fast growth, but are also on pace to eclipse traditional brick-and-mortar shops.