When I sit with clients, prospects and colleagues, I try to spend the time both teaching and learning. In particular, when I coach many of the smart people that I am thankful to work with, on a variety of digital marketing and social media business strategies, I have a tendency to often lose them. This is most likely because of the speed that I explain things.
I have a bad habit of assuming that people know what I am talking about because I get very passionate about sharing my experiences and knowledge. Ask my wife and she will not only agree but laugh that I am stating this fact.
The critical focal point in the first sentence above, however, is learning. I have found that as I am teaching others, I can actually learn more than I am teaching in many cases. For example, (take a social assessment and strategy development for a B2B company) – I’ve consulted with some very intelligent and savvy business people in the B2B arena on social assessment projects – but I’ve learned to become a better listener. Which, ( …BTW) – allows me to be a better learner and ultimately a better teacher.
Outside of an extremely detailed assessment ( among other deliverables) – including “listening” to the social landscape of:
* Brand mentions
* Customers, across several industries
* Service offerings/products
Prior to developing a strategy – the recommendation to begin improving their web sites is sometimes needed first and foremost. As my colleague Shauna Nicholson states, “It’s like dressing up before you go out to a business event.” However, what if your client really likes their current site? (Even if it has not been updated since 2001) Feeling that there is nothing needed for improvement. In fact, they feel that:
* The creative is great. (In reality: It looks like 1998 is calling!)
* It has functionality and conversions are great. (In reality: They don’t know the potential that they are missing.)
* It must be optimized correctly, right? Just leave it and let’s move forward with Twitter and Facebook, right?
How do we explain this most basic step? Putting your clothes on before you go out… a small (but very important) part of the overall strategy, without irritating or losing a client? Here are some slivers of the website technical optimization pie that can hit a cord with a President of a large B2B organization.
Let’s say that Google, Yahoo and Bing are the hosts of a major trade show in your industry. Anybody that you ever dreamed of getting in front of is your audience – and they are at this trade show, which gives you many opportunities to tell them all who you are and what you do. You go outside of your booth passing out some really great items to draw them to your booth (as well as having the opportunity for your hosts to draw traffic to your booth…) But, what happens when they get there?
Let’s look at what you are telling your hosts first:
Page Title - Does your page title (or tradeshow banner) effectively tell Google (or your trade show host) who they should recommend visiting your booth?
(Is it relevant and descriptive to the industry you serve?
Then… there is your audience (what if they come):
They’re Heeere! Once your users show up, is your website clear, consistent and easy to navigate? Or is it cold, gloomy and/or hard to understand? I’ve personally spent more time at trade show booths that have occupied my attention (without overwhelming me) and offered great information. The same goes for websites. So, you have a 24-7 (365 days a year) trade show going on and your okay with a dingy booth with incomplete messages and no one hanging around, eh?
Driving traffic to a site can be the easy part – in some cases, outside of the fact that we want to get relevant traffic – we want to look the part. Do we have a nice outfit on, have our hair combed, teeth brushed and flossed with a smile on ready to do some business?