While just about everyone is jumping on the artificial intelligence bandwagon, running after the next big trend (which it is)…
Many people conveniently choose to ignore one basic fact:
AI will not help your marketing if your foundations are not in place. Confused? Allow me to explain…
First, why do I mean by “AI”?
Anything that is intended to either send more visitors to your website – like better paid ads or social posts, or designed to convert more visitors into buyers ir clients.
This could take the shape of an AI chatbot, AI automation of your email list’s back end, ad copy (or social media posts) written or improved by an AI language model like ChatGPT, etc.
What do I mean by “foundations”?
Your foundation is the basic things that have to be in place in order for your marketing to work.
These include thing like:
1. Whether you have the necessary information on your website for a visitor to understand what you do or offer.
2. Whether that information is presented in a logical way.
3. Whether or not the visitor journey makes sense, and leads the visitor to buy or inquire.
4. Whether or not the navigation makes sense, and visitors can easily find what they need.
5. Whether or not you have calls to action in all the logical places.
6. Whether or not you make it easy for prospects to reach you, or whether you have so much friction in place that many prospects leave without buying or reaching out to you.
7. Whether or not your website loads quickly, because many people refuse to wait more than 2 or 3 seconds for your website to load the majority of its content.
8. Whether or not your website is cluttered and complicated, or simple.
If any of the above issues remain unresolved, using AI won’t help much, because:
If your navigation is confusing, or your website is cluttered and confusing, many visitors will be unlikely to engage with the AI chatbot because they will already have a negative perception of your website and your business.
And if people have to jump through hoops to contact you, or cannot find the information they need (which the AI chatbot also needs to answer their questions)…
Then it makes no difference if your special ad copy or social media posts written by AI drives loads of visitors to your site – because you will still be throwing away most of them.
And if your website loads slowly, it doesn’t matter if you have everything else in place, because you will still be losing a high percentage of visitors.
And if your email subscription form is hidden in the footer, it will make very little difference if you spend your money on an AI-powered conditional logic system which automatically figures out which email to send next to each individual subscriber…
Because you won’t have many subscribers on your mailing list anyway.
People have become incredibly impatient in our digital age – and if you fail to provide them with the answers they want within seconds, well…
There are many other websites they can visit.
The bottom line is this:
Get the basics right before you invest any time or money in AI tasks or tools for your marketing.
If you don’t, you will never be able to draw much benefit from the installed tools on your site, or from the additional traffic your website receives.
For AI to be a viable solution, the first steps are always going to be having each page of your website doing what it is intended to do. You have three seconds to make a first impression. For some websites it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.