The key to growing your base of qualified leads, boosting conversion and fostering engagement on your website is setting the right net for your ideal audience. In search engine optimization […]

The key to growing your base of qualified leads, boosting conversion and fostering engagement on your website is setting the right net for your ideal audience. In search engine optimization terms, this is referred to as "funneling".

The Value of Granular Targeting

Although a high traffic figure in your choice of analytics software looks and feels great, the reality is that traffic is next to worthless unless it is being thoughtfully monetized. A good example is that of a retail store owner: would you be happy if you had a constant stream of customers, none of whom ever bought anything?

Herein lays the challenge; how do you a) know your ideal web audience, and b) attract them to convert and/or make repeat visits?

Designing Your Net

Step 1: Know Your Customer

Do some research! Demographics, psychographics and search behavior are all very important. If you can figure out what keyword phrases (KWPs) your preferred Internet traffic searches for, it makes targeting your landing pages much easier and quicker to pay off. To get an idea of your website's demographics, consider installing an advanced tracking software such as Quantcast and letting it run for a few weeks.

Don't make the assumption that if you have a brick and mortar presence, every customer is going to make the same purchasing decisions in both physical and online channels.

Step 2: Build Your Funnel Structure

Start with your homepage. Are your calls to action clear and sensible? Do they lead your customer to a revenue generating opportunity in 3 clicks or less? Are visitors using them? (You can determine clicks with a tool like CrazyEgg.)

If the CtAs are performing, load up Google's AdWords keyword tool and figure out what people in your target group are searching for. Ideally, you want a balance between low competition and traffic of 3,000 searches or better – keep in mind that the more searched a term, the harder to get an attractive page rank in Google.

Once you pick out 5-10 of these KWPs, build landing pages around them with focused, strong content and highly visible calls to action. Make your pitch succinctly and don't over-fluff your page.

Step 3: Attract Return Visitors

Conversion is only the first step in a lead's journey with you as a merchant, provider, etc. Now you need to make a promoter or "fan" out of of them so that they will enhance your brand value by spreading positive information via social channels, mouth-to-mouth and email.

There are many effective ways to accomplish this, but news and/or blog content is an inherently portable method that is perfect for social sharing. A custom news marketing solution is a good choice for your organization if you can't justify (or don't want to hire) full-time employees to write content on a regular basis.

Evan is Head of Creative & Digital at Brafton. He is a visual designer and brand strategist, manages Brafton's external marketing efforts, SEO and PPC initiatives and plays an integral role in product development across the business.