As a small business, you understand the importance of generating quality leads and converting those leads into sales. However, like many small businesses, you may also be overwhelmed by the multitude of ways to market your company online. Whether you’re considering outsourcing your lead generation, or managing it internally, you need to know how to do it effectively.
While Social Media and SEO are both really good long-term solutions for driving traffic to your website, you still have the problem of “How do I generate targeted leads and traffic to my site RIGHT NOW”?
For every person who has had success with various forms of Paid Search (AdWords, adCenter, Facebook Ads) about 3 others have failed brutally, throwing away obscene amounts of cash away to see absolutely zero measured results. One of the understated issues in being a successful internet marketer is the science behind creating a successful, ROI positive Paid Search campaign. That being said, here are 7 tips will help you increase conversions, deliver a better Return-on-Investment (ROI) and add more leads to your marketing funnel.
Are You Tracking Conversions?
This may seem obvious to many of you, but you may be shocked at the amount of clients we run into that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on AdWords AND NOT RECORDED A SINGLE CONVERSION!
If you’re running a paid search campaign and don’t have conversion tracking set up, you need to set it up immediately. Too many small business owners think, “I know when I get a conversion. Why do I need to set up the tracking?”
Conversion metrics tell you exactly which campaigns, ad groups, ads and even keywords are leading to conversions. Certain ads or keywords may drive loads of clicks at a low cost, but if they aren’t converting then you are wasting money.
Tracking conversions through Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter (Yahoo & Bing) is an easy process. Simply place the code that Google/Microsoft provides anywhere within the and tags in a valid HTML file. Ideally, this file should be the “Thank You” page after a customer registers or signs up on the landing page.
Don’t Ask For Too Much
It’s tempting to try to capture as much data as possible on a landing page. After all, if someone is willing to provide their name, email, phone, address, and birthday, why not ask for it?
The more information you ask from a person, the less likely he or she is to fill out your web form. Not only are site visitors hesitant to provide personal information, but they usually have a short attention span and are likely to bounce if your sign up process is even mildly inconvenient.
Even if you only capture name and email on your landing page, you’ve added a potential customer to your marketing funnel and can continue to engage through email.
IF CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION IS CRUCIAL to YOUR SALES PROCESS:
You might consider using a multi-step process with your web form. By doing this you can capture the information needed to follow-up on step 1, and in step 2 or 3 you can drill down on more exotic information that will allow you to more effectively follow-up via email or sales call.
Stay Focused on Your Goal
What action do you want visitors to take on your landing page? Do you want them to download a free report? Purchase a product? Register for a webinar? Your landing page needs to be 100% focused on the action you want a visitor to take.
When creating a landing page, remember to Keep It Simple:
- Keep your text as short as possible (bullet points help!)
- Eliminate visual distractions
- Reduce the number of actions a visitor can take
- Don’t compete with your call-to-action
Have a Clear & Consistent Call-to-Action
When you write a PPC ad, it needs to have a strong and clear call-to-action. Take a look at these two Tap Dance Studio ads:
Tap Dance Lessons
Learn to Love Your Feet.
All Ages, No Dance Exp. Needed.
Tap Dance Lessons
Two Free 40 Minute Lessons.
Sign Up Today and Learn to Dance!
It’s clear that both ads are offering tap dancing lessons, however the second ad’s offer is much clearer (Two Free 40 Minute Lessons) and the call-to-action is much stronger (Sign Up Today). In an A/B test, the second ad destroyed the first in both click-through-rate and conversion-rate
While the call-to-action in the ad is important, it must also be reflected on the landing page. When a person clicks Tap Dance ad #2, he or she will look for exactly what the ad offered on the landing page. If instead the landing page offers a free video or an information packet, you should expect a high bounce rate.
Keep your call-to-action consistent from ad to landing page to drive better conversions.
Testing, Testing, and More Testing
This is Perry Marshall Rule #1. If you are not testing as much as you possibly can, you are doing your marketing budget a major disservice. The key thing to remember is using good testing methodologies. Revert back to your high school chemistry class if you can’t remember what that looks like.
Start with 2 very dissimilar variations (i.e. long copy landing page vs. short squeeze page with a video), and as winners are discovered, start testing more subtle differences (button colors, headlines, etc.)
THE biggest lesson to keep in mind: LET CONVERSION BE YOUR GUIDING LIGHT. Don’t optimize based upon click-through-rat, as it only tells half the story. We’ve seen multiple ads that generate tons of clicks, but NEVER Convert. Always pay attention the to the action closest to the sale.
What should you be testing?
- Ads- If every ad group doesn’t have at least 2 ads running at all times, you’ll never know if another ad could be generating clicks and conversions at half the cost. Once a winning ad has been determined, test it against another one. Always compete against the control (best performing ad). Sometimes even slight variations produce significantly better
- Landing Pages- A well-executed search campaign alone won’t solve every problem. Many times, the campaign is only as good as it’s landing pages. The difference between a 10% conversion rate and a 17% conversion rate could be the difference in generating negative to extremely positive ROI. That means a subtle tweak to your landing page could mean the world to your bottom line.
- Calls to Action- If sending prospects to a Free Report is just not cutting it, maybe the answer is to send them to a more direct piece of collateral like a demo or consultation. We all know that the beauty of Search Engine Marketing is that prospects are seeking out our offering RIGHT NOW. So sometimes, a more direct, less educational approach is best. The inverse can also be true, hence the importance of testing.
Nurture Your Leads
Don’t expect to sell PPC leads right away. Unless you have a true e-commerce site, paid search is most effective when used as a lead generation tool. Keep your landing page’s barrier to entry low and try to capture name and email.
By capturing this basic information, you can maximize your marketing funnel with a follow-up email sequence. Once you add a lead to your marketing funnel, make sure your emails are educational and provide clear value.
Remember that relationship building is important and you don’t have to sell them with each email. Having a soft call-to-action at the end of every email allows prospects to raise their hands when they are ready to buy.
It’s extremely hard to succeed in AdWords, much less Internet Marketing with only one foot in. You must dive in entirely, and a passion to stay current and relevant is goes hand-in-hand with that statement. Here are some things to look at that are happening in the always changing field of Paid Search Advertising:
- The Display Network (previously known as the Content Network) is no longer the Wild Wild West. Years ago, marketers avoided it like the plague because it was thought of as an option that was prone to click-fraud and extremely difficult to optimize. Kudos to Google (and MSN to a lesser extent) for improving this network and turning into a viable option for marketers. IMPORTANT LESSON: Use this network to push educational content only. Unlike the Search Network, prospects from Display are not seeking your product or service now. The Display Network crawls relevant content across a number of different web entities when showing your ad. Yes, the visitor is relevant; no they are probably not looking for your service right now.
- ANOTHER IMPORTANT LESSON: Gmail advertising is located within the Display Network. Use it. Love it. Create campaigns that focus on Gmail only. You won’t regret it
- Click to Call is here! Finally a way for Google to track advertiser behavior when they call in. Google creates a unique dynamic number, allowing you to place a phone number alongside your ad, and it won’t come at the expense of precious ad real estate. The best part (as of now) when you call into the number, it only costs the advertiser $1! We all know dollar leads are hard to come by these days ☺.
- Remarketing is the process in which you can continue showing ads to people that have visited your site via AdWords and not taken a conversion action. This is done on the display network, and can be an extremely cost efficient way to get leads, especially since they’ve seen your offering before and will most likely recognize it when they see it again.
- We don’t go into a lot of detail on Facebook advertising on this Free Report, but we will mention one important aspect to make sure you get the most out of advertising on the social network: Push educational collateral only. Just like Google’s display network, Facebook can be extremely relevant, but not exactly as time-specific as the Search Network. Facebook is still an amazing ad platform that produces a lot of leads efficiently, but just make sure your marketing mix (email marketing) is in play to make these leads convert
Want to Discuss Your Lead Generation Needs?
My name is Dan Weik and I’m the Owner and Business Rater. Too many small businesses are running expensive Paid Search campaigns with no results. If you would like to personally discuss your Lead Generation needs with me, I’m happy to offer a No Obligation Free Consultation. My team and I will personally review your website and offer our expertise on how to drive ROI for your business. To take advantage of this Free Consultation offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you!
President / CEO
Business Rater Industries