Doug: Here are some statistics to give us a little information on the importance of advertising and promoting yourself, your company, and your products on the web. Explain to me what we're looking at.
Stephen: This was an industry study that really looked at buying process now that people are used to using the internet. The buying process, whether it's a consumer buying a product or a business buying a product or service from another business, there is more of a research phase that occurs, and that's represented on this chart in the blue columns. Then there is the transaction phase, the actual purchase or contract signing and the business transaction, which is the red column.
Doug: Define what I'm actually looking at here.
Stephen: What you're looking at here is a bar chart that shows, from this research that was done, what impact the information provides to the buying process in those phases. What you're looking at here is that the first two bars represent the salesperson, the next two are the website, and then the search engines are the third group.
Notice in the blue bars there, that during the research phase when someone is deciding about a product or deciding about which company they want to go with, actually, the website and search engine result has a bigger impact on the buying process than the salesperson. When someone actually goes to buy, the salesperson can have a big influence, but the user or the buyer has already done their research. They already have more research and more information coming up. If a client or a company, a better way to say that, does not have a good presence on the website or search engines, they many never make it to the buying process, because they never made it through the research phase.
Doug: They never get to the salesperson, at all.
Doug: Interesting. How about this one?
Stephen: This is two case studies we ran: One was for a website in the insurance selling to businesses, that's the gold bar. The next is in selling education to consumers. The left-hand chart shows normalized revenue per visitor, so this is how much the company made per visitor. You will notice they're all about the same, down in that 3 units.
Doug: On this side?
Stephen: Correct. 3 units per visitor coming in.
What we did on these sites is we changed the copy, we changed the calls-to-action on the site, and we changed the navigation to talk to the audience, based on their needs and their benefits. The after-chart shows that in both industries, two different segments, business and consumer, in both cases, we more than doubled the revenue per visitor of the website, showing how much more effective we can make a website when we concentrate on the end user and building it specifically to get results.
Doug: It kind of gives a picture of just how importance it is.