So last time we looked at the ever so important topic of keyword research. Keyword research is our first step in determining the opportunity available to a new client who is considering growing their business online. After the keyword research is complete and you have a good content strategy in place to target new keywords and engage your audience, it’s time to capitalize on the new traffic to your site.
Turning traffic into customers is where much of the magic happens in our world. Many businesses become enamored with high traffic numbers but often fail to look at conversion rates from that traffic. Which leads to the question: Would you rather have a site that generates 10,000 visitors per month and one new lead from those 10,000 or would you rather have a site that generates 100 visitors per month and 10 new leads from those 100?
I would take 100 visitors with a 10% conversion rate any day of the week. So we see that getting visitors to your site is only one piece of the puzzle. Turning those visitors into names and email addresses is the second piece. This process of collecting names and email addresses from visitors is called conversions and conversion optimization.
Most of our customers deal with high relationship selling. Generally our customers are selling high ticket items or long-term customer /provider relationships. These sales don’t often happen online. Instead, in these cases, the role of the website is to:
- Attract an audience
- Educate that audience on the problems your product or service can solve
- Convince that audience your business is capable of providing a quality solution
- Identify those in the audience who are ready to move the relationship off-line
This process means we segment our leads into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). The MQL has expressed an interest in your products or services and supplied their first name, last name and email address through a form on your site or by responding to an email campaign. The MQL generally isn’t ready to buy but they are ready to be educated. The SQL has come through the MQL process and is now ready to buy. Often they have provided more profile information that makes them a qualified lead such as gender, age, income level, or size of business. The SQL has also taken some action on your site to identify them as sales ready. Perhaps they have read all the surgery preparation articles on your site and they have been back to your surgeons bio page 3 times in the last 2 days. These actions have identified this lead as sales ready. And it is the job of your website marketing software to monitor these actions and help you capitalize on the data.
In the example above, the prospective patient could be sent a personalized offer for a free surgery consultation, special limited time pricing, or information on a new surgery technology related to the procedure they have been researching. At this point any personalized outreach will help to move the relationship from strictly on-line to a more personal level that is conducive to the sales process.
This process takes time to implement. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Software and expertise from professionals can save you a lot of time as you strive to generate more business from your site. I could probably remove my own appendix and have terrible results and in my dying breaths complain that surgery doesn’t work. Or I could go to the experts, take advantage of their vast experience and be back up and running quickly. The same is true with web marketing. There are professionals that do this every day and know the best route to take. You can dabble in it on your own and never really see great results. You could also hire a web design company that makes pretty websites but doesn’t have experience in delivering quality leads from those sites. Or you can hire a company that specializes in making a website perform for your business. Next week we will talk about how to identify the right web marketing company to help you get results from your site.