Is Your Web Site Generating Traffic?

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