How To Use A Sitemap To Boost Strategy
Whenever we talk about marketing strategy a sitemap is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Instead we focus on the end goal of making more sales and randomly toss out optin freebies and publish our blog posts to an empty audience. Then we wonder why we are not getting traffic to our sites, generating leads, or making more sales.
This is usually the point where someone brings up sales funnels. So hey, let’s talk about sales funnels for a minute. Wait, don’t panic, hear me out If the mention of ClickFunnels, GetResponse, Convertrio or any of the other funnel builders make you break out in a cold sweat, I’m going to hopefully put some things in perspective for you.
If you are currently using social media, blogging, email, and/or paid ads to promote your business – you already have most of the pieces of a potentially successful sales funnel. The sales funnel part of the equation is just how you put it all together, strategically.
Simply put you are combining the efforts from these tools that already exist in your business with your website design. This is where your sitemap comes in. This is the point where you consider your sites ultimate goal and outline your strategy. Your website happens to fall right smack in the middle of this strategic placement.
This is why it is so important to consider your marketing strategy when designing your website. If you already have your website up and running you may benefit from a website audit. You can find more information on website audits in our recent post here! If you are not planning a redesign, an audit can help structure your sitemap. Your goal with all of that posting on social platforms, putting yourself out there in live videos, and networking in person and online is to get these people to your website. Your sitemap will help to keep you focused on creating a clear path for your readers, or potential leads to follow. It looks something like this:
Let’s take a look at all of these pieces individually and build a clear picture of how your efforts are affecting your marketing strategy.
8 Step Strategy
You can build brand awareness using social media with posts, live videos, stories, pre-recorded videos, etc. You can take this a little deeper with the use of content marketing through email campaigns, blogs, and guest posting.
If I see your facebook post or your youtube video and my interest is piqued, I am going to visit your website. I just went through the first step of your sales funnel. Be sure to share those links in your social profiles and post and video descriptions so I can find you, and make it easy. I can’t even tell you how many times I have tried to learn more about a business owner and can not find a URL shared anywhere on their business page.
Your goal with brand awareness is to drive those people from your social platforms and other content to your website or a landing page for specific products/services, if that is your goal.
Once I make it to your website, if things don’t function properly, your site is a hot confusing mess, or you have stuff popping up all in my face….I just exited your funnel.
Just like everyone else, I want the easy route. When I land on your website tell me right away how you can help me. Then make sure to show me exactly where I need to go next if I want you to help me.
Your Value Proposition
Once you have your potential clients on your website you want to use your home page, about page, services, blog posts, and any and all content on your website to show them the benefit you offer with your product/service.
With your value proposition you are helping your potential client understand the benefit that your product or service offers. You also need to convey why you are the best person to help them. It may take a little work to create a value statement or proposition that is clear, concise, relevant, and believable. Don’t forget about the emotional element. They are going to need to feel connected on an emotional level before they will commit to buying.
Which would you rather buy:
“The sizzle griddle is so durable we guarantee you can cook tasty meals for your family every single night for years to come.”
“Because we don’t think anyone should have to spend all night in the kitchen, the sizzle griddle was designed for fast even cooking and it cleans up in a flash.”
Do you want to be guaranteed that you can spend the rest of your life slaving over the family meal? Or is it more appealing to feel like you can be in and out of the kitchen in a flash?
You want a clear call to action on your home page or landing page, one that encourages readers to sign-up for your free or low cost offer. This gives your visitor a peek at the value you have to offer while adding them to your list as a potential lead.
I’m so excited your site is great, you have an intriguing offer so I sign up for your list. I receive your offer and it is a one page recap of your blog. Not a checklist or a guide. Nope, just a summary of what I have already read. This is probably the point where I decide to unsubscribe, and exit your funnel.
Marketing To Leads
Once you have them on your list you need to start building the relationship. This is where your nurturing email sequences come in.
When writing a strong sales sequence you want to make sure that you speak to your target audience’s pain points. Focus more on the benefit that your product or service offers the customer than on the product itself.
Let’s say you managed to show me your URL, I checked out your site and picked up your offer. Now I am on your list and your emails have absolutely nothing to do with me and my struggles or they are so messed up with typos, broken links, etc. My first thought is that you obviously do not take the time and effort to deliver quality content and I don’t think I can trust you with my business.
Read through those emails in your sequence, twice. Then double check all of your links to make sure they work and they go to the right place. Just make the effort to have them as error free as possible. Then hit publish – you can always revisit and improve the content later if you need to.
Make sure your emails are engaging. Tell me why I need to buy it. Then make it easy for me to buy – right then and there.
If your content to this point has been in line with your service offerings you should start seeing those leads become customers/clients. If your leads are not converting, it’s time to find out why.
One of the most important things you can do to build a solid marketing strategy is to pay attention to your metrics. Make sure you know how to install and understand facebook pixels, google analytics, analytics with your email service provider, etc.
You will be able to tell where your traffic is coming into the funnel. Is it through social posting, blogging, etc. and you can also determine where it stops. This gives you a couple of opportunities to improve your funnel. Identifying where the majority of your traffic is coming in lets you know where your efforts are paying off. Now you can focus your time and attention on growing your reach with more social posts or blog posts.
If you have a nice flow of traffic but you are not converting any of your visitors to buyers, you can go back to your analytics and see where they are dropping out. In the example I shared you know that I dropped out during the email sequence. In that type of scenario you would probably notice that your open rates decreased and your unsubscribes may increase for that email sequence. That is the point where you want to check your email sequence. Look for errors or bad links. If everything is good on that end, you may want to look at tweaking or rewriting your email sequence in a way that encourages your readers to take the next step.
Thinking about the customer/clients you’ve gained from your efforts. What are their next steps in growing their business/revenue. You can also ask for feedback and review from these clients. Take all of this information and create a new product or service. This will be what your existing clients need for their ‘next step.’ Don’t drop the ball when you convert a lead to a customer.
Build long-term relationships, a past or current customer is already a warm lead. You’ve already spent the time and effort to build that know, like, and trust factor with them. They are the most likely group to buy from you again. This is your opportunity to give them the next service or product that they need, even if they don’t know it yet.
If you have done a great job of making your client happy, they are going to want to tell everyone about your great product or how much your service has helped them in growing their business. This creates a whole new group of warm leads for you.
When you reach a point where it is time to grow your business, you need to know each step that you want your reader or potential client to take. Creating a sitemap as part of your website design process allows you to stay focused on each step. You don’t want your readers hitting your home page and wondering:
Where will they start?
Where do they go next….and next…
If you are spending a lot of your time and effort then you need to get it right.
I don’t say this to overwhelm or make you feel like everything has to be perfect before you publish. A few typos or misaligned text is not going to scare anyone off. Just saying take your time and proof your content so there aren’t any glaring errors.
You have to put yourself out there to be seen. You can always go back and correct errors and update information where needed. We’ve all received emails or visited websites that have a stray typo or a broken link. If a couple of small mistakes run off a potential client, then they probably aren’t your target anyway. The problem is when there are multiple mistakes on multiple levels.
Finding the leaks in your marketing strategy
As an example, I saw a social media post that I found interesting. I clicked on the post which led me to a blog post on a website. The article was interesting, I noticed a few typos and formatting issues but it didn’t detract from the value. This led me to check out the home page to find out more about this person. I liked the website it looked nice and wasn’t overdone. There happened to be a lead magnet with an intriguing title so I signed up. The lead magnet was ok, I think I read through it and discarded.
So now I am on this person’s email list and I start receiving emails (most of them with minor issues). I get a couple of ‘welcome’ type things that let me know a little about the business and what is offered. Then I get a series of sales emails for a new program that is being launched.
Now this program is perfectly in line with my business and what I offer so I am really interested. I followed the link within this email (and the next 2 days). The sad part is, it lead me to a sales page for an OLD program. It didn’t lead me to the one being discussed in the email series. I had to hunt around on the website to find the one that interested me.
I am sure you’ve realized at this point that I did not buy this program! It was probably a good program and may have done great things for my business. The problem was that all of the errors and bad links, etc. did not build trust with me. If I am paying that is 4-5 steps ahead of me, I need their content to convey that message.
You should have a good idea of what you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy. Now it’s time to get to work on your sitemap. Download the guide below to make sure that your website design is inline with your strategic plan for marketing. You can use this sitemap for your next website design or redesign for yourself or your client.
You can download ‘Your Strategic Sitemap in 3 Easy Steps’ here: