When buyers are looking to compare products, one of, if not the first thing they do is search for it on the internet. To be more specific, with nearly 80% market share, most of these searches are happening on Google.
It would follow then, that in order to be competitive in a given market, a company needs to have good visibility in Google search results. Further, they need to reach the first page of the search results to have a good chance of capturing a searchers attention.
So how do you get your company on the first page of Google, and how can you convert the resulting click traffic? Rank well, drive traffic, convert, repeat. Let’s dive in.
Improve Your Visability with SEO
Rank Well: Get Specific with Keywords
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of strategizing and executing a plan to improve your ranking position in search engine results. The ultimate goal is to rank your website in the top ten results when people search for things related to your business.
How do you do this? First, determine which relevant keywords and phrases you should rank for. Put yourself in your customers shoes and decide what you would search for to look for your product. For example, if you sell men’s clothing you might consider the following keywords:
- men’s clothing
- shop men’s clothing
- men’s denim
- men’s red relaxed fit denim
Ask yourself: what would someone search for that my product or service would be the perfect result for? In the example above, as you can imagine, the competition to rank on the first page for “men’s clothing” is very high because of how broad the search is, while competition for “shop men’s red relaxed fit denim” searches will be lower since it is more specific.
Once you know the keywords and phrases you want to rank for, you can begin adding them to your website. Each page on your site should represent its own unique topic. The ultimate goal is to make it clear to Google which page is the best place to send a user to for the topic they searched for.
Add your keywords into the copy of each page in a way that flows naturally and doesn’t seem forced. If you force the keywords, Google can see this as manipulative and a bad user experience, and can hold it against you in the search rankings. If there isn’t much content on the page, you can optimize the headers and sub headers.
If you have a large site and a marketing budget, it may be worth consulting an SEO agency to help you with the complexities.
Generating Leads: Offer some Value
Ok, so you’ve optimized your site for search engines and you are beginning to see the results. Traffic is flowing in to your most important pages, but that is only half of the battle.
Make sure you have a sales funnel in place to ensure you can capitalize on the traffic to your site. Having a contact form is a no brainer, but often that isn’t enough.
If a potential customer is in the research phase of their purchasing funnel, you can be sure that they are comparing you against your competitors. So, you may need to offer them something to remember you by.
A Free Trial – This works well for service and software products. A free trial can get your customer immersed in your product, allowing them to get past any hesitancy or excuses they may have.
White Paper or Research Study – these days users can be guarded over their email address so you need to offer something in return. If you have some research on the industry or a detailed product comparison that no one else has, offer a free download in exchange for an email signup.
Discount – offering a 15% discount or a $25 coupon in exchange for an email signup can work really well with ecommerce websites.
Create an Obvious Call to Action
The call to action on your site is extremely important, and a user should never have to search for a way to give you their information. Most web designers that are worth their salt will include a contact link in the header, as this is where most users expect it. Attention spans are short on the internet, so if it isn’t in an obvious place, you’re already losing lead opportunities.
Look at your website analytics and identify which pages on your site get the most traffic, then make it easy for users to convert from those pages.
For example, if your blog articles are getting a ton of inbound traffic, consider adding a call to action or a contact form to these pages to capture leads. Again, don’t make your users work to give you their info.
There is a fine balance between making your customers feel like they are being sold to and making it very easy for them to buy. The former can hurt you, while the latter is becoming almost a necessity.
To accomplish this, make sure your website is clean, simple, and structured in a recognizable way. You may want to add bells and whistles to your site to set yourself apart, but if this comes at the expense of usability it can seriously hurt your conversion rate.
Tools to Help Conversion Rate
Heat Maps – heat map software allows you to see what elements users are interacting with on your site. The software will generate a color-coded heat map to show you things like where users click and how far down the page they scroll. Are your visitors trying to click on an item that is not clickable? Do customers even see the content at the bottom of a page? Heat maps are a great way to find out.
A/B Testing – these tools allow you to show different versions of a page to different users and compare them to see which work better. Will more users click a green button versus a red one? Does this header image entice users more than the old one? Stop guessing and make updates based on real data.
Analytics – If you don’t already have an analytics platform in place, don’t panic, but stop reading this and go get one right now. Google Analytics is used by most, is free, and is powerful enough for most websites. An analytics platform can give you a ton of data on your site traffic including which pages users view, how long they stay there, and how they reached your site.
Integration and Lead Tracking
If the ultimate goal of your website traffic is to gain more leads, then ensuring your lead tracking is working correctly should be a top priority.
If you don’t have this set up already, the first step is to implement a contact form. Depending on the website platform you are using (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc) you should have a contact form built in, but there are many third-party plugins that can do the job as well.
Once you have a functioning contact form, you will want to consider integrating it with the other tools your sales team uses. This will allow you to have a plan and process in place for inbound leads so they can flow directly from your website into the hands of the sales department.
Marketing Automation – even for low volume lead generation, integrating your contact form with a marketing automation platform is a good idea. At its’ simplest, this will allow you to automate welcome emails and begin building an email list. Many platforms also include advanced email template design tools for email marketing.
CRM Software – integrate your contact forms to send data directly into your CRM software platform so your sales team gets them right away with all the information they need to pursue the sale. This automates an otherwise manual data entry process saving time and reducing mismatched data. Your sales team will love you for this.
Google Tag Manager – Google Tag Manager is a free cloud product that allows you to deploy tracking code and track events and send the data directly to Google Analytics. This will integrate your conversion point data into your analytics software to connect the dots between how users got to your site, and which of those users converted. You can configure micro and macro goal tracking to track anything from a button click to an ecommerce checkout without adding any code to your site.