Welcome to chapter 2 of the RPS Software guide to profitable conservatory marketing.
Introduction – Marketing is a PROCESS
Often, people think of marketing as an event, such as placing an advert or exhibiting at a show. However, marketing is about relationships with other people. This lasts longer than a simple advert or single event and is all about regular communications.
The more often you communicate, the more your customer is likely to trust you and the more likely they are to buy from you when they are ready. There is much more about this throughout the chapters of the book, and in the individual sections which we are releasing now for people to download.
In this second chapter we concentrate on Internet Marketing.
Internet Marketing is a massive area and I’ve spent thousands of pounds and many years gaining a good understanding of the process – hopefully this will help you shortcut much of the process. This is a huge subject, and we can only provide an overview here.
Although you may know some of this already, it’s worth going through a few basics. If you don’t understand this, there is a lot more information available on internet marketing on the web itself.
Warning: These things change almost daily, so some of the information here may be out of date by the time you get to read it!
Domain names and your website
As most of you I’m sure are aware, in order for someone to find your company you will need a distinct domain name. That domain name forms the basis of your website and e-mail addresses, and will ideally be your company name (e.g. bloggswindows.co.uk).
Data capture and responding to customers
Collecting customer data is extremely important and it is an area where many businesses often fall down. Don’t be afraid to ask a customer for their details; if they’re serious about buying (whether from you or somebody else) they won’t be afraid to provide some information to get some information in return.
Most customers start their buying journey nowadays on the internet before they even think about speaking to somebody or visiting a showroom. If you’re your website strikes a chord with them they will naturally be well-disposed to you when they start thinking more seriously, and you are more likely to get a call from them to engage more fully.
But back to capturing their details in the first place. You’ll often need an incentive for them to hand over their details – a download or a guide is generally a good thing to offer, something that will give them an answer to their problems (remember the previous chapter on AIDA). You can ask for as many details as necessary, but bear in mind that the more information you ask for, the less people will sign up.
Google AdWords and Similar Products
AdWords has revolutionised the advertising world. Google will present your advert to customers searching on certain key phrases, and you only pay for the advert when someone “clicks through” the advert onto your target “landing page”. It is highly recommended that you set up a different landing page for each advert you design in AdWords, as shown in a later chapter.
As mentioned above, a landing page is the page that the prospect is taken to when they click on an AdWords advert.
There are a couple of key features of a landing page:
- The title and text contains the key words in the AdWords advert (maybe repeated several times in different contexts)
- The page has one aim – to encourage the customer to sign up to an e-mail list or alternate course of action
- It is difficult to click away from the page – “sign up or go back!” Please note, Google have tightened the rules on this recently, and you need to have links to privacy policies and other information, but this can be done discreetly without distracting the reader
As mentioned above, to encourage a prospect to leave their details involves you offering them something that is of value to them. A simple document explaining the basics of conservatories might be a good start, although other incentives might be more appropriate – this is where your imagination comes into play!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The best way to get your website appearing high up in the search ranking is to make sure that it contains large amounts of relevant information. Google prioritises everything on relevance. A relevant page will always outrank an irrelevant page, regardless of the amount bid for it. Google calculates relevance based on the content of your website, and the number of websites linking to your site. Well-known websites linking to you carry more weight than less well known websites. A link from the BBC, for example is worth a lot more than a link from your local newspaper. There are specialist companies out there who sell SEO services.
One of the techniques which will help you move up the rankings is to develop useful content, and make sure that you publish this information. Press releases will typically get mirrored on the web, and these will help your website to become more relevant. Press releases are covered in a future chapter.
However, I’d strongly recommend that you concentrate on what you’re best at and develop your website as a centre of excellent information for your speciality – this is far easier than trying to be a comprehensive source of information for all conservatory buyers.
A web shop allows customers to buy a product online. Whilst relatively easy to set up, they aren’t really appropriate for most retail home improvement companies.
Very few companies are selling high value home improvement products straight off a web page – this includes conservatories and windows. The reason is that any purchase of this type of product requires a degree of trust – your customers probably aren’t going to want to allow a complete stranger to start making major modifications to their house. However, there are lots of companies using the internet to acquire leads, and this is the approach I’d recommend.
Don’t forget that one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site is to include your website address in your press advertising (ideally a different page for each advert – see landing pages mentioned earlier on).
Like any marketing, if you can’t measure it, you can’t see what’s working.
Ask your web-site designer for a breakdown of visits to each page, the length of time visitors stay on your site, and which pages they leave the site from. This gives great clues as to what’s working and what isn’t. We’ll go into testing in more detail later in the book.
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