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By Marc Lutz
Business Journal Editor
MODESTO – Antonio Chau wants to help business owners get the most from their websites. Specifically, how to drive traffic and generate customers.
Chau, the chief marketing strategist for Pleasanton-based Leads Ngin, joined forces with 1+1 Technology and the Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to teach businesses how to attract, retain and convert online visitors to loyal clients.
“The website is more like the foundation. So some of it is going to be about the website itself, but how do you drive the correct traffic to that website and get it converted to leads?” Chau said. “They build a website and do nothing with it, and think people will just start to find them.”
Chau said having a website and doing nothing with it is like buying a car and never refueling. “It will eventually run out of gas and not do much for you. Your website is the best kept secret in the world. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that no one drives by,” Chau said.
The key, Chau said, is identifying the person you’re trying to get in front of.
“Everyone that goes on the internet is searching for information,” Chau said. “Regardless of why they’re online, they’re in search of something. Who is that person that you’re trying to get in front of, and is that problem or need they’re trying to fill?”
And one company’s website isn’t necessarily a catch-all, like Amazon or other large online retailers.
“Instead of trying to have a website that speaks to everyone, who does my core customer look like and what are they looking for,” said Jake Solis, Vice President and Co-founder of 1+1 Technology, also based in Pleasanton.
Leads Ngin employs what it calls “The Inbound Marketing Funnel,” a means to entice customers. It starts with having the right content.
Savvy online marketers will provide blog, video or text content (or all three) that pertains to the core group of customers they are targeting. And it starts with their searches. As people hop online, usually visiting a search engine like Google, they’ll begin to enter a question, or what Chau referred to as a longtail keyword.
Google, for example, will try to finish a user’s query by offering the most popular choices. Knowing what topics your potential customers are researching can help you to provide content geared toward that research. More relevant content will often show up at the top of search results.
“We’re casting a wide net in the attraction phase,” Chau said. “Through that, we’re going to figure out where the high-quality fish are.”
The content a business provides should pass the value content test, Chau said. Three key questions will determine your content’s worth: Is it readable? Is it usable? Is it shareable?
Once your site has attracted a user, the next step is to capture that audience, providing them with useful information. Chau also suggests offering something of value in exchange for their email address or contact information.
Chau said it’s helpful to build an email database that follows the 90/10 rule. Ninety percent of your marketing emails will be nurturing or informational in nature, giving those potential clients something they can use. The other 10 percent will focus on a sale or offer. Continually bombarding customers with sales offers will turn them off.
From there, the focus falls on converting prospects to paying customers. And once a business has that customer, the focus should be on “wowing” clients, continually giving them value for their loyalty.
“We want to create advocates so they come back and do repeat business with you, or they now tell other people, friends and family, about your business,” Chau said.