Many people come to this site. Some are web designers, some are business owners, some are sales people looking how to get a bigger piece of their pie. This post is for the traditional marketer who has been given the task to “redo” their website with no budget.
We’ve all been there. We’ve been given a task that we’re not sure how to handle and with limited resources to make it succeed. Increasing leads through a website is not a fad. It will continue to be big important factor in your overall marketing campaign. A problem you may not think about is proving the value of your efforts to maybe garner some budget money to expand your online efforts.
While this post won’t be about SEO on-the-fly, it will talk about maximizing the visibility of your efforts to the company’s brass.
1. Contact Forms
This is #1 for a reason. If I had only one item on this list, this would be it. If your website only has one contact form or just a clickable email hyperlink – you have some work to do. As you identify your web customers in different categories, you should have a different contact form for each “purpose.” For example, if you’re a local law firm, you should separate your site according to different clients that would come to your site. Each page that refers to hat client segment should have its own contact form. When the form is submitted, you know exactly which part of the website that lead came from and know the next step. You should also include a generic “Catch all” type of submission form on a contact us page. I use this on several sites to give people a chance to “vent” their problem. They don’t want to categorize themselves, they want to talk and let me categorize them later. I still also include an email hyperlink because I’ve found that some people like the feeling of “circumventing the system” altogether and type whatever they want. It’s another net that captures a different segment of people. Those that typed the most in the last two methods are actually investing their time with you already and conversion of a lead into a sale is more likely.
The major part of contact forms is having the ability of the form to be copied automatically to other people in your company. Before launching an overhaul, I made sure that the CEO, COO, and Sales Manager were copied on all submission forms. I alerted them I would do this as a “…if you want” type of activity” so as to not make a big deal out of it and they agreed.
The payoff was when different marketing initiatives started bringing in very strong web leads.
2. Showing Conversion Ratios
Sales teams love talking about conversion rates. Conversion rates are usually the percentage of sales that come out of leads. For marketing, it’s the step before leads. It’s the amount of exposures of the message that convert to leads. A bare-bones way to use Google Analytics is to compare the number of web submission forms (don’t delete them! Ever!) and compare that to the number of unique visitors on that page for a specific period. Everyone always says that a good conversion rate is 1% for everything from traditional junk mail fliers to websites. I think a 10% or higher rate is achievable on pages targeted specifically for a certain clientele. It works! Once you set the stage of typical conversion rates, your rate will shine.
3. Coming under standard costs-per-lead
For every lead you bring in through your website, quantify your time spent on the site every month and multiply that by your pay rate. Divide that by the amount of leads generated and your have a “cost per lead.” Most businesses have a “cost per lead” number in mind in order to make decisions concerning advertising. One business figured a $240 cost per lead of a new customer. Yours will vary. Imagine if you were able to bring a cost per lead drastically below that number? You suddenly show value toward your efforts like you haven’t before!
As you build your website’s online campaign, remember to keep management in the loop with the value it is adding to the bottom line. You will bring a confidence to your efforts from their support like you never have seen. As one Operations Officer told me three weeks ago in a meeting. “I don’t use the internet, I don’t care for it, but it’s obviously important to our clients and so we must pay attention to it.”