Acquiring Internet Customers Without Search Engines
Search engines are certainly the favorite places to acquire customers on the Web. However, many other types of referents are also necessary in order to be part of a client's decision-making process. Indeed, we know that about 39% of visitors to a site come from a search engine, that 33% come from external links and that 27% have direct access. What these numbers actually tell us is that almost 60% of traffic to a site comes from somewhere other than a search engine.
WHERE DO INTERNET USERS COME FROM?
External links are links from other sites. As for direct accesses, they come from the user's bookmarks, from a link in an email or from entering the URL directly into the address section of a browser.
External links are links that are generally available from business partner sites. It is strongly advised to develop a policy of external links with its partners, since in addition to potentially sending you Internet users, they will also participate in the better positioning of your site in the search engines. Indeed, search engines consider these external links as a
This is a form of vote of confidence in your site, which may have a positive effect on the positioning of your site. Several other non-partner sites can also refer you
qualified customers interested in your products and services. What are these types of sites? The answer will differ enormously from one company to another and will be part of the approach of your economic sector.
However, all companies have the opportunity to be talked about in the electronic media. I invite you to read the article by my colleague Simon Lamarche Use the Internet for your public relations, it pays off which explains how it works. You can then register your site with a host of economic portals in your sector. For example, on the sites of your chamber of commerce, your sectoral association, your CLD and the company databases of the various government bodies. Finally, you must above all register your site on the various portals specific to your product or service.
HOW TO IDENTIFY IMPORTANT PORTALS IN MY INDUSTRY
Put yourself in your customer's shoes and seek to acquire your product or service category on the Web. Do not type your business name into a search engine, but rather the generic name of the product or service you offer. Look at the first five pages of the results in English and French and identify the sector portals, intermediaries, specialized directories and specialized media there. You will already have a good idea of the major players in your sector.
Once this portion is complete, repeat the same procedure, but instead of entering the generic name of your product or service, type the problem to which your product or service responds. Indeed, Internet users often tend to want to solve a problem rather than wanting to buy a solution! In addition, this exercise will allow you to identify blogs, forums, portals and solution comparators that specifically discuss the products and services you offer. These specialized forums are all places where you could promote your products and services and insert your hyperlinks or negotiate visibility.
HOW TO GENERATE DIRECT ACCESS
Several opportunities lend themselves to you daily in order to generate direct access to your website. Each point of contact you have with your customers is a privileged moment to let them know about your site. In your e-mail signature, in your telephone service on-hold message, on your stationery, business cards, uniforms and in many other places. It is also advisable to make it known when sending out your electronic newsletter, when you grant an interview to a journalist, when you sponsor an event and each time your company is mentioned, whatever the medium used. Having a URL that is easy to remember and effectively represents your business is certainly an asset that can increase traffic to your site. Finally, your URL must be considered with the same importance as that which you give to your telephone number and your business partners are allies of the first choice in an effective e-business strategy.
By Michel LeBlanc