In today’s article we are going to focus on how to attract those visitors (still ‘strangers’ to your business) to your website.
Define your buyer-personas
The marketing of a ferry service company is quite unique. Especially because you have to adapt to the different buying behaviors of your customers. In addition, you need to identify the types of customers who might be interested in you. You can work on the basis of ‘intent to travel’ to segment your potential customers and differentiate various segments on which you will focus.
Now that you have identified your customers (also called buyer-personas), you have to find a way to capture their attention and convert them into leads.
Optimize your website for search engines: SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving your website to attract more visitors from search engines. Because nowadays, who doesn’t use the Internet for information?
Therefore, the content of your website should include keywords that search engines can easily identify and classify and, of course, that your target searches for on the net. Did you know that 60% of users will click on the first three search engine result entries? And that’s where you should be, without the need to use ads, such as Google Adwords (Pay-per-click or PPC Ads). But do you know how to get it?
- Perform a keyword search
You have to know and research what topics your prospects would search for on the Internet and then create a list of keywords that you will work on to provide them with information and educate them about it. That’s why at this point you should have already done a search on the needs of your buyer-personas and categorized them according to these characteristics.
Make a list of keywords, do a search for alternatives according to industry trends and adapt the vocabulary to how your buyer-personas would perform that search (the way of expressing themselves may vary depending on the age of your prospects, for example). You can also use tools like Google Webmaster to find some ideas.
- Create content of interest around these keywords
Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and can understand users’ search intent. In this sense, here are some tips on content creation:
1. Use keywords as similar as possible to the searches: play with the order of these keywords and with synonyms.
2. Use variations on the main keyword.
3. Try not to be too repetitive and delight your readers with your content.
- Optimize your website
Google’s search engine values the websites where users spend the most time, so you should offer an optimal user experience (UX). Make sure your website is intuitive and easy to navigate so that your visitors don’t leave because they don’t understand how to use it.
Going further, 70% of Internet users perform searches from their smartphones or other mobile devices, so your website must be adaptable to any screen size.
Create content with a purpose
A good way to attract ‘strange’ users to your website is to offer them valuable content. By responding to the information that your users are demanding on the web, you will create a relationship between your brand and the target that will facilitate the conversion of your visitors to leads.
Content is important, but how do we create valuable content?
There are three basic steps to follow according to the buyer’s journey. You must create articles that answer the questions that will arise to your buyer-persona in each step. Let’s take as an example a ferry company in Greece: imagine a UK customer in his 40s, who wants to go on vacation to Greece with his wife and children, but has not yet decided on the exact destination.
- Exploration: First, this potential client could search the Internet for the best places or the best beaches to go with children. Therefore, you could offer him an article describing the three best Greek islands to visit as a family or inform him about the different activities to enjoy in Greece with the family.
- Consideration: In a second step, this client will discover that he/she has to book flights or a boat trip to move around the various Greek islands. This is where you can offer an article about the best ways to move from island to island, the different services, tips to get organized or important topics to know about the legislation of traveling in the destination.
- Decision: Finally, this potential customer has understood that he will have to book a ferry ticket to move between the different islands. And now is the time to offer them your service as a ferry company and explain why you are the best choice.
Remember that this example has been created for a specific customer: a 40-year-old consumer who will be traveling with his family. The language would be completely different if we were talking about a 25-year-old couple. They would even change the keywords used for the searches. For this reason, you must be very clear about your buyer-persona and adapt your content to each of them.
Share your content on social networks
Social media is very important to gain visibility for your content. Currently, 80% of marketers and 60% of salespeople find qualified prospects through social media. There are three basic steps to follow if you want to efficiently share your content on social networks and, in this way, attract potential customers to your website:
The first step is to search for the best social media strategy for your business. You can interact with your ideal target and gather information about your buyer-persona. In this way, you will discover new market trends and you will be able to define your SMART (Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; Timely) objectives.
In this step, you will have to make sure that your publications are perfectly aligned with the image you want to give about your brand. Optimize your profile with your company logo, add an appropriate description and, of course, a link to your website. Create a style guide and adapt your content to the characteristics of each of the social networks you are going to work with. For example, on Twitter you should be more creative and compelling in a few characters (and don’t forget to add an image!), whereas on LinkedIn you can share valuable content in a longer format.
Finally, analyze the results of your social media campaigns and focus your efforts on those that are most effective for your business. Don’t forget to post regularly and always personalize your responses when communicating with your customers, whether through private messages or public comments (both positive and negative).