Recently a friend of mine has been house shopping, open homes, auctions and a lot of sifting through online listings. One particular part of his story stood out though, he had found a great looking house online, description and pictures looked very appealing although not too many shots of the interior, none the less it was enough to persuade my friend and his wife to go and have a look. Unfortunately, once there it was clear why the internal shots were left off the listing and safe to say they did not buy the house. The point here though is Your digital advertising can only deliver so much, it can bring in visitors to your site or a prospective buyer in my friends’ example however it is crucial that your actual website experience matches the advertising. There is no use having a huge influx of site traffic that does not convert and simply bounces (leaves the site within 30 seconds).

So as with the above and your digital marketing it is important that the experience from advertising right through to lead conversion or sale is as seamless as possible. We have often had clients arrive to us in a situation where they have a budget, they have heard Facebook (FB) or Google Advertising will generate a huge volume of leads so they are ready to put as much as they can into it however looking through their website it’s hard to find a Call to Action (CTA) let alone a landing page and typically a lot of content is out of date.

A quick summary checklist should help outline what a customer will go through:

  1. Offsite Listing
    1. Search Engine Listing (SEO)
    2. Advertising (e.g. Google, FB)
  2. On Site
    1. Home page
    2. Product/Service Pages
    3. Contact Page
    4. Landing page
  3. Follow Up communication/Customer Service
    1. Thank You emails
    2. Online Store Receipts
    3. Phone Calls

It is important then that you spread your budget between your advertising and the customer experience of your website. Customers typically will hit traverse your site for information before converting into a lead or sale so ensuring you maintain this experience is important. If you owned a retail store you would certainly maintain it so try to think of your website as that store that you need to maintain, keep clean and safe. Your budget needs to cover:

  • Up to date content
  • SEO
  • Landing pages
  • New offers
  • Software Updates (Plugin Updates)
  • Image Updates
  • Hardware (Hosting)
  • Security (SSL)

There is no right or wrong allocation of a digital budget however as we have gone through here there is more to successful lead/sale generation online then simply advertising. Try to establish a 12-month plan where you are constantly updating the three main areas of digital marketing:

  1. Advertising – Try refreshing your messages at a minimum of 2-3 times per year
  2. Website – Maintain content and software/hardware
  3. Customer Retention & Branding – Keep all of your listings up to date, your communications and any electronic newsletters etc you do

Try to remember a customer starts with your advertising and hopefully goes on to become a referral so taking in all of those stages is a great way to balance your budget and look for any deficiencies you may have along the way. Having employees, friends or relatives go through your process and identifying any short comings is a great way to find any issues you may have and fix them. The more you can refine your process and keep all of your onsite content up to date the more budget you will have to push into your advertising and messaging.