inbound 101 - lead conversion process

inbound 101 - lead conversion process

The whole idea of inbound marketing is to create a system that addresses every stage of the buying process…not just generating website traffic.

Simply attracting a bunch of new visitors to your website is not enough. What happens when they get there? What if they’re not ready to buy immediately? How do you qualify them as potential customers worthy of your ongoing efforts?

Many business operators think search engine optimization (SEO) first, which is fine:

• How can we get ranked higher with Google?

• How can we grow our audience?

• Should we set up a blog to attract customers?

• When someone searches for “Insert Generic Search Term”, how can we be listed first

SEO is great…and ranking is a super important metric for many businesses in terms of bringing value to their websites. I get it. The best content in the world is of no use if nobody finds it.

But let’s move beyond the Attraction Stage. Let’s assume we’ve got some people coming to your website. What now? How do we learn more about them and what they’re interested in? How can we continue to deliver value after they leave the site…until the time they decide they want to do business? We need a lead conversion process.

The answer is a Lead Conversion Process…
and here are 4 steps to bring more leads in the door…

Step 1: Craft a Content Offer

inbound-marketing

This is going to take some time and some thought. A premium content offer is a piece of material that your prospects will actually find useful or helpful…it’s got to be something of real value.

For example, our Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing is 45 pages long, with graphics, stats, and detailed info you won’t find all in one place on the web.

Content offers can be Ebooks, White Papers, Webinars, Video Presentations, How-to Guides, Product Comparisons, etc.

You should have a content offer for each buyer persona at each phase of the buying process: Discovery, Evaluation and Decision, but let’s go for just one good one for starters.

Step 2: Create a Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is a link or button for your website visitors to gain access to your content offer. It could be an icon in the margin, or a text link in the body of a blog post. A good call to action is enticing, attention-getting, and consistent with the content offer. No false advertising!

Here are some examples:

website lead conversion call to action
lead conversion process call to action

Step 3: Create Landing Pages

When someone clicks on your call-to-action, they are taken to a landing page. This is where they’ll have the chance to access your content offer in exchange for some contact information. This should be a fair trade for them if they believe your content offer is worthy, and you haven’t demonstrated that you’re going to spam them in the future.

The landing page should present the content offer well and contain the following:

• Clear description of what the content offer is about

• Visual representation if possible

• Short form to collect name, email and any other information

Once visitors complete the form on your landing page, they officially convert to a lead. Submitting the form should take them to the content you promised to deliver.

Here’s an example: 

website lead conversion process

Step 4: Analyze and Repeat

A good inbound marketing website will have a variety of content offers for each buyer persona in different stages of the buying process. This methodology leads prospects from the top of the sales funnel, down through the discovery, evaluation and decision stages later on.

lead conversion path analysis.png

Each conversion path needs to be analyzed and tweaked for improvements. You might find that your pages are getting plenty of visitors, but nobody is bothering to click on your call-to-action. This could mean that the call itself needs to be redesigned, repositioned, or the content offer isn’t intriguing enough.

Take one element and change it up. Compare the two and pick a winner. Repeat at every stage of the conversion path. This is the most important thing you can do to perfect lead generation.

Conclusion

So, a good lead generating conversion path addresses the question: What happens when visitors make it to my site?

The goal is to get visitors to identify themselves, and offer up some information about their interests. To get this information, you’ll need to develop great content offers and an enticing path for them to find it.

With greater converions, you’ll have the ability to set up workflow automations to segment your audience, deliver customized content to them, and nurture your website visitors into becoming your best customers.

Good luck!

Intro to Inbound marketing video

Many companies mistake Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Inbound Marketing. The truth is that SEO is only a small part of the Inbound Methodology’s Attraction Stage. Sure, SEO helps to bring new visitors to your website, which is great.

What happens when visitors make it to your website?

• Do they come and go without a trace?

• What are they interested in? 

• Chances are, they’re not ready to buy just yet…how do you keep their interest over time? 

Inbound methods tackle the entire sales funnel…leading prospects into and through your sales funnel through self discovery and on their own time. Our Inbound Agency specialist Casey Bourque explains in this video how it works in principle…

Here’s your Intro to Inbound Marketing…

inbound-marketing
business-blog-ideas

Blogging is a great way to build up some relevant, optimized, current content on your website. There are tons of useful marketing features inherent in a good blog: lead conversionsearch engine optimization, lead nurturing, lead segementation, and just plain old production of interesting stuff.

What happens when you run out of things to write about?

Where do you go for ideas?

What subjects can you fall back on to fill in the creative gaps? 

Here are some quick tips…

We’re All Hunting for Business Blog Ideas…Keep it Simple

You’re probably over complicating things. Really. Most blogs are published for the Attraction phase of the inbound marketing process. You’re trying to capture the attention of internet “passers by”. They’re not so laser focused on intricate details at this point. In fact, they probably found your blog in the first place through search engine optimization or social media. They’re not far enough down the learning path to get into much depth. So don’t.

Mind your FAQs

Back when you started blogging, you were probably told to begin with the 10 or 20 most commonly asked questions that you hear from prospective customers. This is a great place to search for new material.

Maybe you rolled out a new offering and you’ve got a new batch of queries that need some answering. If you wrote about frequent questions before, go ahead and look them over and maybe you can write an update or revision.

The questions that your customers are asking you the most are also the questions they are asking the internet the most.

Using these keywords and employing the language that they’re used to hearing is going to get you found. Make it a point to aways write about the questions people are asking.

What’s the industry up to?

We’re always looking to provide helpful information. Think of the prospect’s perspective. What do they really want to know about?

Everyone can use an occasional quick brush up on happenings in their industry. Take a look at your buyer personas and think about the industries they are in. Research some current events and put them into your own words. Keep them short and easily digestible.

Post something funny

Everyone likes a good laugh…and there’s quite a lot of value in making people laugh. Maybe it’s time to show the world that you have a fun personality. Shoot for publishing something that your subscribers will share. Good old fashioned humor is great for breaking up the monotony. Maybe it’s a video or funny photo to compliment a quick tip.

Teach from a mistake or shortcoming

It sounds counter intuitive, but showing people that you’re not perfect instills a sense of modesty and legitimacy. You can always spin it positively of course, but letting people know that you aren’t perfect, and that you’re williing to disclose your shortcomings is a valuable human (and writing) trait.

Down the line, when you actually want to shed some advice, it’ll come with greater acceptance. Remember that phys ed teacher in junior high who always ripped on everyone for being out of shape? I bet that time when he complimented your dodgeball skills really meant something.

What’s the competition up to?

Take a look at what your competitors are writing about. Is there something on their pages that has attracted a ton of attention? Of course you can look at your own analytics in the same way, but your competitor websites are a great place to find writing fodder. Chance are, whatever they’ve posted can be improved on with some better visual aids or stronger data points.

When all is lost, make someone else do it…no, seriously

Sometimes you’re just lost for words. Ask an expert some questions or have someone comment about their area of expertise. Record the responses or write it down and publish as an “interview”. Maybe you walk over to the graphic designer’s office and ask her about the new Photoshop software upgrade or the 3 quick tips for developing a great logo. People will talk if you give them a chance.

Good luck!

how to seo

Here’s our basic guide to kickstarting a search engine optimization process for your website…How to SEO. Search engines are getting smarter, and the old “tricks” don’t work. Develop some sound strategy for writing content and formatting your pages so that both search engines and humans love it!

Here’s what we cover:

  • What is Search Engine Optimization? – How do search engines work and how do they know about what the internet is talking about? Who do the search engines care about most and how that affects your strategy.
  • How can my website rank higher in Google searches? – What is search ranking and what factors help you rank higher? What is the value of showing up on the first page of Google results?
  • What’s the difference between organic and paid results? – Does paying for positioning make sense? How do you compete for organic results? Which is better?
  • How to research and select keywords – You can’t rank #1 for everything, so how do you target which searches you want to win? How many searches take place? What kind of competition is there? What benefit is there for ranking high?
  • What is semantic search and why does it matter? – Search engines are getting smarter…they’re accounting for what searchers “mean” when they type in keywords. Stuffing keywords on your pages won’t work.
  • How do I optimize pages for search engines? – What are the exact steps for creating pages that search engines will love? What elements are most important?
  • The Golden Rule of SEO – Of all the things to remember, this is the center of all modern day SEO…

It’s all in the book…along with tons of other resources to help you deliver new business for your company. Here’s anothe article on search engine optimization you might find interesting.
If you like the book, we’ve got plenty of other web design and inbound marketing resources on our website.