So… you’ve done it.  You plunked down some of your hard earned money for online display ads.  You put together that guest post.  You landed that big interview.  You created the most amazing link bait title that has found “velocity” in the Twitter echo-chamber.

Congratulations. But you are not done.  Far from it!

All too often the temptation is to view “the get” as the achievement.  Don’t misunderstand – “the get” is a big deal and when you land them certainly savor those moments.  But it is important to also take a step back and to really appreciate the objective.

Why did you chase “the get?”  You did it for “the click” of course.  And so if you are chasing “the get” for “the click” it is probably even more important that before you even think about “the get” you are thinking about what happens “after the click.”

“After the Click” is what happens once somebody actually takes the action on a third party site, leaving that site to enter yours. 

The fact is all too often site owners will view “the get” as more important than “the click”, after all you had to put so much work into even landing “the get” but the reality is “the get” is not going to put bread on the table.  In fact nor is “the click” unless… “the click” results in a real action of some meaning.

Sign up. Subscribe. Follow. Share. Contact. Buy.  Real actions that quantifiably move a site visitor in some way that is meaningful to you and your business. A real action.

While this is a huge space, here are a few ideas that should give you a nice jump start into thinking about “After the Click”.

Click Planning.  Okay… so you know you are out there looking for clicks.  That is reasonable – you want visits to your site.  But as you are pursuing this effort it is critical that you think through what you are hoping to achieve with each click, and that you are delivering on a meaningful experience for that specific click.  Yes – that means you really need to consider where you are sending people, and often the best place to send someone might not be your home page.  That means you probably need to have that conversation you’ve been avoiding for too long about landing pages.

User Expectations.  Another big item to consider is what the user is expecting.  Again, if you for example run an ad focusing on a very specific service, and “the click” is directing a visitor to a page on your site that really has nothing to do with your ad the likelihood of that visitor sticking around to “find” what they were looking for is slim to none.  Same thinking with a guest post where your byline promises something specific only to now send a visitor to something vague.  If you are taking the time land “the get” make sure you also take the time to consider what the expectation is after “the click.”

Test.  Try out a few different ideas.  If you want to take testing further you can run A/B tests – literally running two different versions of the same landing page to see which one performs better.  Test your headlines.  Test overall your value.  Test your language.  Test your tone.  Test if that video you just shot actually helps or hurts (and consider what that video cost to shoot versus the return).  Test colors.  Test calls to action. There are more than a few companies that offer solid solutions specific to this, or if you want you can run these tests yourself.

Optimize Your “Gets”.  That’s right – make sure you are not only focusing on a “get” that results in action (testing…), but also make sure you are qualifying your “gets” correctly with the right call to action, and that you going after “gets” that might result in value.  Make sure the resulting “clicks” from your “gets” are bringing you site visitor traffic that delivers value versus simply delivering traffic.

The Human Factor.  At a certain point in this entire continuum it is important to remember that a person is at the other end of the experience.  Ostensibly that person is someone that is in some way qualified to be interested, enough so that they went ahead and following your direct action they have now taken the next step with their click.  Manners.  Tone.  Sensibility.  Posture.  These are all things that humans consider.  Providing an amazing experience helps too.

So… before we can consider what happens “after the click” perhaps the best place to start is well before it!