Monday, October 15, 2007

Is There a Hole In Your Marketing Bucket?

Imagine poring gallons and gallons of water into a bucket with a hole in it. No matter how much you pour in, water just seems to rush out the hole. Websites are a lot like that bucket, no matter how much that faucet is pumping into that bucket it just keep springing holes and pouring out until you realize you’re just throwing money in just out of habit.

In the above example substitute water for media spend, content, anything and the holes are your websites usability, the navigation, the persuasiveness of your sites design.

We’ve all been there and it’s easy to justify when we are being held accountable to increasing the numbers on a weekly or monthly basis. But when it comes to online marketing it’s best to take a two-pronged approach. First plug the holes in your bucket. Then bring in new visitors to your site, otherwise you’ll never really make a difference. Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back before you start to run forward or else you’ll start to trip over yourself.

The two-pronged approach to online marketing

First plug the holes in your bucket, meaning improve your website by making it more persuasive so visitors coming in wont fall out the holes before converting to customers. So often is this first step overlooked, with everyone rushing around and putting out business fires on a day to day basis the knee jerk reaction is to redesign your entire site. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes a site can have so many problems that it needs to be redesigned from the ground up either because what it will take to fix it is a complete overhaul of the backend or over the years it has become a victim of just adding fix on top of fix without thinking of the big picture or the users experience. Overtime your site becomes a huge mess with no thought behind it.

Almost every website has a few holes in it’s marketing bucket and it’s the job of persuasive design to plug these holes one by one over time. But how can you plug these holes if you’re not quite sure where or what they are? If you’re not implementing web analytics on your site you should start doing so immediately. Getting a grasp on the numbers of your site will lead you towards what’s working and what’s not.

For example the average page views per visit which can be calculated by dividing your total page views by the total visits is a great indicator of how compelling your site is and how easy it is to navigate.

But the numbers will only lead you half way, next you’ll need qualitative data gathered from user testing and or surveys to verify your findings and to test your solutions with real users.

Once most of the holes in your marketing bucket are plugged then it’s time to bring in new visitors to the site and keep tracking and making continuous improvements.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice guide thank you!/ I love it! very creative! That's actually really cool Thanks.

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