Earlier this week in my article about aiming for less competitive phrases in the early days of your SEO attempts, I mentioned the fact that most searchers conduct several queries and visit several sites before making a purchase. This action mimics offline sales patterns as well. Research has shown over and over again that it takes multiple exposures to a product before a consumer is ready to buy. Yesterday, Patrick Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer drew a simple, but pointed analogy on this concept.
While at SES San Jose conference and exhibits, I had the chance to be the attendee and not the exhibitor in the exhibition hall - meaning I got to walk around and evaluate different products and services that I may be able to use in my job. When I walked in the hall for the first time, I was greeted by a representative from an exhibiting company wanting me to carry around a bag with their logo on it to carry all the little trinkety, cheap giveaway handouts - or better known as "schwag" - that is handed out by exhibitors. Having decided I wasn't going to pick up any "schwag", I declined.
He goes on to talk about making a few more visits to the expo hall over the course of the show and how he eventually started spotting some items he thought he might like to take home. He also notes that every time he entered the expo hall, the company with the big red bags was there waiting for him. Eventually, he was laden now with enough items to actually need the bag.
To my pleasant surprise, the same company was there offering that bag and this time, I happily said yes. I then wandered around filling the bag with junk that never would make the trip home with me. But, I was carrying that big, flashy red bag with that company's logo on it everywhere I went.
Patrick's goal is to offer up a simple reminder about the need to get in front of your audience in many ways and at many points in time. Simply capturing a single click thru from a search results page isn't enough. You need to capture them at multiple points of the search buying cycle. You need to capture them in their bookmarks. You need to capture them via email marketing. If you're a brick and mortar store, you need to capture them with your store experience and your promotions as well.
Search engine marketing and analytics provide an amazing way to see exactly what a visitor does when they come to your site. Unfortunately, that knowledge has led many a site to discount the actions a visitor might take after they visit your site. What are you doing to capture your audiences attention more than once?
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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