It’s no secret that many companies have struggled with the move to digital marketing. It can be a fast moving and complex beast, so the task of harnessing it to achieve your company objectives can be tricky. That’s completely understandable! However, I think it’s important to remember that the essence of online marketing is no different from good old traditional offline marketing. In fact, I would go as far as to say, that driving hits to your website, requires similar thought and preparation to hosting a conference. Here’s why…

No self-respecting event organizer would consider hosting a conference without first ensuring that the event space was as inviting as possible. They’d make sure that all the facilities were clearly signposted, so guests knew where everything was when they arrived. They would guarantee that their guests had information provided on how to find the venue, so that they weren’t stressed out from their journey on arrival. They also check that the toilets are clean and in good working order. Essentially, they would try to think about all areas of a guest’s experience in advance of the event. After all, it would make a bad first impression if all these things weren’t fixed up nicely in time for their arrival.

Well, the same principle is true online when you are directing people to your website. First impressions matter just as much online as they do offline! Whether your aim is to drive hits to your website through social, your newsletter, a cross promotional link or via PPC, you need to make sure that the reception your virtual guests gets when they arrive at your site, is a good one. You need to ensure they have a stress free digital journey and that arrive at your site in a positive frame of mind that they stay in throughout the duration of their time on your site. You’ll probably only get one chance to make a good first impression, so you need to make it count.

To do this you should go through the webpages that you are driving your guests too with a fine tooth comb! Check that all hyperlinks work properly and are correctly linked to appropriate pages. Check that the site loads quickly and that it is optimized for mobile users. And of course, check that it contains relevant and up to date content. When considering the content, try and see it through the eyes of a new guest. Perhaps they’ve clicked on your social post (or a link from your newsletter) because they found the deal or piece of content you were promoting interesting, but now you need to maintain that interest whilst they are on your site. Your aim is to convert them into a sale or at least obtain some of their personal details, so that you can re-market to them later on.

All this can be easier said than done but just remember – it’s counterproductive to spend a huge amount of time and effort creating a beautiful invite to your event but then not putting in the time to make sure the toilet is sparkling clean!