As the new year begins, marketing strategies should be critiqued. Consider these insights to stir some fresh thinking.

Who exactly is visiting your site?

There are 4 types of people who visit websites:

[1] Random strangers

[2] Quality prospects — the people we try to attract with our SEO efforts — the people who are searching for the solution we provide

[3] Our current customers, clients and patients.

[4] Researchers

And so, for whom is our website written? When this person arrives, what do we most want them to find, think and then do?

What do we want them to do next?

A prospect visiting a website is like a window shopper. They have some degree of interest and are thinking about doing something — or at least thinking.

The most common call to action has been, “call this number today”.

This call to action is akin to the “one-call-close” – the event where a brand new prospect decides to buy our product the very first time they learn about our offering. This event used to occur rather frequently, but today, it occurs less than 5% of the time.

Maybe, there is a call to action that might be more productive?

Though marvelous to experience the one-call-close, what about the 95% who are not inclined to call today? Are we driving them away? Have we lost them forever? Is there something else to do?

Yes there is – capture their contact information and begin to build a relationship with them.

Building a list of prospects is one of the most valuable of all small business assets. Though it may not have a value on your balance sheet, if and when you consider selling your business, this list will prove its worth. These are your more-likely future clients.

There are too many choices!

Yours is not the only website out there. In fact there are more than 1.3 Billion websites on the web today and every second 2 new websites launch.

Amid all this noise, how can we attract visitors? And when we do, should we be doing our absolute best to engage and connect with them?

Check yourself. Google the keywords you want to be found for online. See how many results come up. And though shoppers may be starved for time and perhaps will select the page one offerings, they are also becoming more and more selective and search-savvy. Just because they go to your site first does not mean that is the end of their search.

What can your website do today?

This is the critical question and “today” is the operative word. Beware of old and out-dated strategies. Today, the site needs to be more focused on the desired visitors and offering them something of value with which to begin a relationship.

When your ideal site visitor arrives, what exactly do you want them to do next?

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Steve Gatter is a customer acquisition strategist for B2B Solopreneurs. His website is www.underdog704.com.

Dale Brodsky, Founder & Owner of Fundus Photo — provides a broad range of ophthalmic imaging equipment and the “NewVision Ophthalmic Imaging Suite”, software designed specifically for ophthalmic imaging and image management.