To do this, it's important to identify what a good lead looks like for a business. Who and what is the target market? What emotions are we selling to? What value does your product or service bring? Are we tracking our leads currently? Do you want to target locally, regionally, statewide, or nationally? What does an ideal lead look like for your business? What other competitors are your leads also searching for? All are relevant questions to answer upfront.
We must also identify the types of leads your business currently receives. Knowing where your leads come from, how many you receive, how many convert to sales and what sources of leads you get (referral, word of mouth, drop bye's, sales team, or online generated) are of extreme importance when developing a marketing campaign targeted to increase business.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GENERATE LEADS ONLINE?
Some marketing agencies will tell you the best way to generate leads online is through a pay per click (PPC) campaign while others might say display advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), or paid social media advertising. While all of these are useful and productive channels to generate additional business through, the best way to generate more leads online, in our opinion, is simple: Drive more qualified website visitors to an aesthetically pleasing website that's geared to convert visitors into leads at a high percentage. How you grow traffic depends on the opportunities available to us online, but this simple solution is truly the magic formula for online success.
WAYS TO INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC:
- Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Growing your website traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) is accomplished by optimizing your website correctly. SEO is not an overnight marketing strategy but if done right, and assuming there is search volume out there to obtain, this strategy can produce all the traffic and leads you can handle long-term. This strategy involves several factors like online; reviews, credibility, social media use, website content, backend programming, fresh updates and most importantly; a good amount of people to capture that are searching online for your products or services.
- Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is as simple as increasing your sales department's reach or your internal marketing efforts in your business. This could be making more phone calls, driving more brand awareness campaigns, or sending out direct mail, e-blasts or newsletter campaigns that drive traffic back to your website.
- Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is a tailored promotion approach that involves creating premium content one can download from your website. In exchange for giving the information out, you capture that visitors contact information and then send drip campaigns to those that have interest in your business, product, or service.
- Display Advertising: Display advertising uses text, images, animations, and a URL ad placement that show up on other websites to those that show interest in your product, service, or industry. For example, have you ever gone to your own personal social media account and viewed an ad of something you recently searched or showed some interest in? This is display advertising. These ads show up on social media or other websites you frequent like news outlets, sports programs, or shopping sites. Display ads are based on behavioral and contextual searches one makes and can even be used to target those that visit your competitor's website.
- Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC): Pay Per Click advertising does serve its purpose but is a costly means to produce website traffic. In fact, we would only recommend this strategy if you have a bigger budget, your business is brand new, or your in need of immediate leads now. Only 30% of PPC sponsored ads get clicked and most agencies that run a PPC campaign charge a high management fee (25 - 30%). in addition, PPC agencies often don't focus as much on website strategy as they should and often promote traffic to an already poorly designed home page of a website versus having a tailored landing page for the targeted ads.
- Social Media and Paid Social Media Advertising: Utilizing social media so it drives more website traffic to your business is smart. It's also a much more affordable way to spend your marketing dollars. Whether you are using social media posts that drive traffic back to your company website or you're paying the social media platform for their targeting capabilities with strategic advertising, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn are beneficial in driving traffic if utilized correctly.
- Association Backlinking: Backlinking is when you have a link to your business website coming from an outside 3rd party website. The more credible the association link, the more favored your company website becomes and the more website traffic you gain. This 3rd party could be a directory, a chamber of commerce, a blogger, a manufacturer website, or a trade association. Proper backlinking takes time and tremendous effort but it's undeniable how beneficial they can be when done right.
CONVERTING LEADS TO NEW CUSTOMER SALES
It's important that you not only partner with a marketing agency that helps track your leads but one that can provide lead intake coaching and training to help convert your leads to a higher percentage. You want an agency that can create a higher converting website for your business and one that takes the extra step in really understanding your lead intake process. New website generated leads mean nothing if your company struggles to convert them.
Critchfield Consulting uses our own proprietary content management system (CMS) that does a lot of the lead tracking for our clients. Within this system we track our clients email inquiries, phone calls, live chats, newsletter sign-ups, and any internal page contact forms that get submitted. We also rely heavily on Google Analytics to analyze and support our lead data by measuring what website traffic is doing on our client's website and identify, over time, how many visitors we've expanded to.
As you can see, there is an art form to driving website traffic and generating quality online leads. If you have a business in or around Kansas City and want to talk to us about your company's digital lead generation, we encourage you to learn more about Critchfield Consulting and visit some of our project case studies. If you'd like to chat, give us a call at 816-718-6617 or email us here directly. We look forward to providing you the ammunition and guidance to grow your leads!