Is Your Web Site Generating Traffic?

by WOHe

Out of all of the visitors that come through a search engine to
a typical kitchen and bath dealer’s Web site, approximately only
one in 400 includes a state name in the keyword search; even fewer
use the name of a city. This means that the majority of visitors to
these sites cannot be potential clients because they’re located in
cities, states or even countries that are outside of a reasonable
business radius.

Surprising? Yes and no.
Does this mean you should be doing something special to combat this
for your site? I encourage you to read on for the answers.

As the Web grows and the landscape of Web search engines
changes, it’s up to you, as a dealer, to stay on top of making sure
your Web site is getting into the hands or on the computer screens
of your target market.

Alternate Connections
Search engines aren’t
the only game in town when it comes to generating Web site leads.
In fact, getting your site listed on industry-related Web sites,
association Web sites and your manufacturers’ Web sites will
provide you, on average, with far more business.

The reason for this is that these sites typically filter
searches via zip code or state. Due to this filtering process,
almost every visitor who comes to you via this method will be
located in your business radius, versus only one in 400 from search
engines. This means that the value of every lead from an
industry-related Web site has the equivalent value of 400 leads
generated from search engines! The comparison is even more
staggering when you consider that it takes 40,000 search engine
leads to equal the value of 100 leads from an industry site.

To ensure your site is generating business and not just traffic,
here are some places to start.

The Web site www.NKBA.com offers the consumer the option of
finding an NKBA professional by typing in a zip code and locating
kitchen designers between 10 and 100 miles away. NKBA.com is a
listing. Unless you’ve requested a link to your Web site from the
NKBA (call 1-800-FOR-NKBA to do this), there will only be a listing
of your name and contact info.

Don’t forget about your manufacturers’ listings! Many cabinet
manufacturers offer consumers a listing of their dealers by state
or zip code. Have you checked your manufacturers’ sites to make
sure this link is active, leading consumers to your Web site? Your
manufacturers normally do national advertising, in which they
include their Web site address. Hence, these links from their sites
funnel truly interested consumers to your Web site, to learn more
about your company, to walk through your door and buy their new
kitchen from you.

On a side noteif your cabinet manufacturer does not offer this
option to consumers, request that they do so. People using the Web
expect immediate results. Some cabinet manufacturers do not list
their dealers on their Web site.

Instead, they ask the consumer to e-mail the manufacturer and
then the manufacturer will e-mail back the closest dealer.

Let’s say it’s early Saturday morning. Your potential client has
gotten up early to search the Web for local kitchen and bath
designers to visit that day. If the consumer e-mails the
manufacturer and no one returns his or her e-mail until Monday
morning, you’ve probably missed out on something. By Monday
morning, when the manufacturer’s office is staffed once again and
someone has returned the potential client’s e-mail, the consumer
has already done his or her research and may have even made a
decision on who will be remodeling the new kitchen or bath.
The truly awful thing about missing out on this consumer is that he
or she tends to be better educated than the client who did not use
the Web to do research (which means you would have had to spend
less time explaining things to him or her). The sales cycle of the
Web-researching client is shorter and, quite often, this is a
higher-end client, with more money to spend.

When you go online to check out the Web sites for your site to
be linked from, don’t forget to search out the competition. If they
are listed on these sites and your site isn’t, whether a designer
or company owner, you can be sure your competition is hoping that
you’re not reading this article.

Using your Web site as a tool to generate business via Web
marketing is only half of the equation. Incorporating your Web site
with more traditional forms of advertising enhances the benefits
you’re already receiving.

Consumers are becoming more Web savvy with each passing day.
Today’s consumer is more likely to visit your Web site from the Web
site address you included in your newspaper or Yellow Pages ad than
the consumer of a couple of years ago. In fact, today’s consumer
expects to find a Web address in your other advertising.

list your web site
Have you checked to make sure that your Web site address is
appearing everywhere it should be? Use this helpful checklist to
double-check yourself!

Your Web site address should appear:

  • In newspaper and magazine advertising.
  • In ads that you co-op with reps.
  • Anytime your work is published in a trade, shelter or other
    magazine.
  • On yard signs.
  • On company vehicles.
  • In Yellow Pages ads.
  • In your showroom (on the door or in frames in your
    displays).
  • On company clothing.
  • On freebies/giveaways/promotional materials.
  • In your home show booths.
  • On your home show handouts.
  • In your e-mail signature line.
  • On the outgoing message of your answering machine.
  • On your letterhead.
  • On your business cards.
  • On your fax cover sheets.
  • In all company newsletters.
  • On any Web sites that your company is listed on (ie:
    NKBA).
  • On pamphlets and any other printed materials you produce.
  • Everywhere your snail mail address appears in your
    organization’s magazine, if you are a buying group member.

Once you’ve completed the checklist above, it’s time to up the
status quo ante and move to the next level the next level being the
Web. Then, you’ll be generating business and not just traffic to
your site. (And, I’ll bet that your competition is hoping you just
didn’t read this article, too!)

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