Be a Webmaster - or Just Sound Like One
Your website can be the best marketing tool you have, or the weakest link in the chain. Your website will either help you convert visitors into prospects or, it will confuse your prospects and cause you to lose opportunities before you even know about them.
In my experience, webmasters can be pretty tough cookies. They aren’t called webMASTERS for nothing. These folks are usually quite intelligent, but they don’t always see the world through the eyes of a marketer. Chances are they see marketers as a bit talkative and “fluffy” while they are more comfortable alone with their computers tweaking pixels. I’m probably getting a bit carried away with the stereotypes but the point is the website is their domain and they don’t always appreciate you sticking your nose into their business.
In order to improve your marketing, you need to be able to collaborate with these technically oriented colleagues. And, in order to collaborate you need to be able to speak their language. Maybe not fluently, but enough to communicate effectively.
There are two halves to making a website work for you:
First, you need to drive visitors to your website.
Second, you need to get them to take the desired action once they get there. This is usually referred to as a conversion. This action could be any number of things such as downloading a whitepaper, signing up for a webinar, calling your sales department, or even just clicking through to a sub-page that you are trying to direct them to. We’ll save the discussion of the relative quality of these various “calls to action” for another day.
Drive visitors to your site through search engine optimization
There are obviously a number of campaign tactics that drive visitors to your site. Your webmaster is going to be more concerned with Search Engine Optimization. This means setting up your website so that the search engines see your site and you show up higher and on the first page of the search results.
To speak the language of your webmaster, you should learn as much as you can about search engine optimization. If you are a member of MarketingProfs, you’ll find more than enough educational materials to get you going. If not, here are a couple of links to free webinars from very reputable sources:
Network Solutions webinars Scroll down past the live seminars for the recorded webinars
I’ve worked with Network Solutions and I’ve long been a fan of HubSpot although I haven’t had the opportunity to work with them yet. (These are not endorsements, but then I’m not getting paid for recommending them either.)
Convert your visitor to leads
A few posts ago, I mentioned Conversion University, a free training offering from Google that focuses on their free Google Analytics tool. You can take a certification exam for $50, which may well be worth it if you ever need proof of your competence. (Perhaps an opportunity to enhance your resume?)
You should also take a look at Google Website Optimizer. This is another free tool that allows you to easily test various versions of a web page to determine which one performs better.
It doesn’t matter whether your webmaster actually uses these tools or something else. The tools all manage basically the same things, although some with more sophistication than others. As long as you are understanding how to interpret conversion rates, bounce rates, abandon rates and other website metrics you’ll be on your way to a meaningful discussion with your webmaster.
All the best!