Concentrate on what’s important: your customers and why they buy from you

A client contacted me last week asking why they weren’t getting much search traffic in the US. They have a New Zealand-based business and they asked if there was some setting in the back end of the website that would make their website much more visible to people browsing in the US.

Man, wouldn’t it be great if every website had a switch you could flick that was marked ‘Make my website much more visible to US audiences’? if digital marketing was that easy, then I would be out of a job.

It takes a lot of time, effort, brains, and sometimes luck to get to number one in Google, especially in a place as big and competitive as America. And even if you do, there’s no guarantee anyone is going to click through to your site. Maybe no-one’s searching for any of the words you’re at the top for. Maybe they’ve never heard of you and all you’ve got on your website is your brand name. Maybe your search engine listing is completely incomprehensible to an American. Maybe it’s right next to a big ad for your competitors. Maybe your company name is the same as a big American brand that sells something completely different.

If you want to get serious traffic in America, it can be done. I’ve seen it done many times, in all sorts of different industries. But it’s not easy, and even when you get it, it might not solve all your problems like you thought it would.

In order for a business to be successful, you need to know who your customer is. And you need to know why they buy from you. Some people call this a value proposition. Or unique selling point. Or the special sauce. Or whatever…

So how do we apply this to getting search traffic in America?

Well, you need to work out…

  • In America, who would buy from us?
  • And why would an American buy something from us?

America is a different country to New Zealand. It’s a long way away. They have different words for things. They don’t always know where New Zealand is. Sometimes they like to try new things. other times they stick to what they know. Your job is to find out how Americans talk about your product or service, what problems they have that you can solve, how else they might solve it, and how much money they expect to pay for a solution.

You can do all sorts of market research to get this information. But one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get started is with Google Ads. You can instantly put your marketing messages into the first page of Google’s search results – you can try out lots of different versions of ads to see what works best, and most importantly, you can see what your audience is searching for. For every person who clicks through to your site, you can see exactly what they typed into Google to find you. 

See what is generating interest

Then if you have set up goal tracking in your website (you have, right?) it’s a pretty simple exercise to see the words and phrases that are generating the most interest – and maybe sales – from your visitors. This might only take a week. Or maybe a month. It depends on how much traffic you get.

Then you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to be talking about – what words to use, what features or benefits you need to talk about. You can also see what states and cities you should be targeting the next time you head over there, or where you should establish a network of dealers.

Just remember… any time you feel frustrated with digital marketing, bring it back to what’s important. And 99% of the time that means asking yourself ‘who is my customer?’ and ‘why do they buy from me?’. Google Ads is the fastest, most cost-effective way I have seen to answer these questions. It’s not a shortcut, and it’s not free – but if you’ve got a better way to do market research, I’m keen to hear about it.

And once you’ve got the basic building blocks of buyer personas and value propositions, you can start to build out your content marketing to get compelling content in front of these people. But that’s another topic for another time… 

Talk to us today if you feel like your digital marketing is stuck in first gear!