If I could tell you have to improve your website so that it generated as many leads and sales as you wanted, would you listen to me? Well, let me share with you how I deliver on such promises and then you can see for yourself if your online strategy is working along these lines.
The Problem with Web Designers
Almost all website designers fail business owners, oh they start off with the best of intentions but they fail to understand the real requirements of the business owner and simply end up selling the business owner a solution the business owner wants and not necessarily one that works.
To demonstrate this, let’s look at a typical interaction between a business owner and a web designer
Prospect “hello Web Designer, we need a new website”
Web Designer “we can help you with that, what do you want in the website”
Prospect “I thought we would have all the usual stuff, about pages, company page, new offices, products page, contact us”
Web Designer “great, that sounds like a great website and I can sure help you make this a success”
Prospect “how much will it cost and how long will it take to build?”
Web Designer “it’ll cost two thousand dollars to build and will take me three or four weeks to complete it”
Prospect now client “great that’s within our budget, when can you start”
I am sure you can relate to this scenario, the problem with this type of conversation is that the web developer is so focused on closing the sale, that instead of finding out what the clients online goals are and then tailoring the solution to achieve these goals, the web designer simply asks what do you want to include, thus effectively making the least experienced person (the business owner), the one making the most critical decisions. If your website designer know anything about web design and online marketing they should lead the conversation, shouldn’t they?
Is it any wonder almost 80% of Website fail?
Let’s look at how I interact in such a simplified scenario as this.
Prospect “hello Web Designer, we need a new website”
Web Designer “great, I can help you with that, what are you trying to achieve with your new website”
Prospect “we want to increase the number of leads we generate”
Web Designer “why?”
Prospect “because that will generate more sales and will make the website a success”
Web Designer “anything else”
Prospect “we want to increase the number of website visitors, online sales, our mailing list, etc… etc…”
Web Designer “why?”
As you can see the whole conversation is now focused on the actual business and their wants and desires, and although there is a little more to it than this, you can see exactly how someone of my experience works to help clients achieve their goals, by first understanding exactly what they want now and into the future.
Pro Tip – Work Out Realistic Online Goals First.
Let’s Explode those Goals
As you can imagine when working out realistic business goals, we do touch on revenue as sufficient revenue allows growth and achievement of many other goals. I therefore ask every business what their typical customer is worth to them over their lifetime and I’m wanting a dollar value.
Now that we understand the businesses goals and the value of a customer we can work out, how many customers we need to generate via our online marketing activities, using this formula
Revenue Required Divided by the Average Revenue per Customer gives the total number of customers required.
Let’s throw some numbers around shall we, let’s assume you want to make $250,000 from your website and that you’re average customer is worth $20,000 over their lifetime.
This gives us $250,000 divided by $20,000 equals 13 customers
Pro Tip – Work only with online marketing experts that can relate everything back to a dollar amount, this gives you something to easily measure.
The Facts of Life.
Now that we know how many customers we have to find, to generate the required revenue. We have to ask ourselves how many actual website visitors will I, need to attract in order to find these customers. To do this, we need to assume that we will have to have multiple contacts with our website visitors before any of them become customers, this is because it is rare for someone to visit a website once and to purchase on an initial visit.
In the conversion funnel diagram you will see that I have included a subscription segment, this is our first conversion we are taking a typical website visitor and we are getting them to subscribe to our email marketing system. But prior to this we need to work out how many subscribers we actually need to generate the required revenue, so using this formula we can determine this.
Customers Required Divided by your lead conversion rate equals the number of leads required.
13 customers divided by (0.5/100 to make it a percentage) giving
13 customers / 0.005 equals 2000 subscribers.
The above conversion rate is based on just 0.5% this is based on experience, however this figure does fluctuate and can be both higher and smaller, the secret is to measure and then act based on actual measured metrics.
Now that we know how many subscribers we need on the email marketing list, we need to work out how many website visitors we need to attract to generate the required number of subscribers to the mailing list. We do that using this formula:
Leads required Divided by conversion percent equals visitors required.
Based on some of the stats I have around here, I know that a typical conversion percentage that can be replicated is 1.37% (based on fact) of website visitors to subscribers which gives us
2000 / 0.0137 equals 145,985 visitors
So if we want to make 13 sales and generate $250,000 we need to attract 146,000 visitors to the website, based on the conversion rates used which are conservative and can often be beaten.
Pro Tip – Measure your own conversion rates and using the above figures keep your marketing efforts on track.
Now that we know how many website visitors we need to attract all we need to do is work out, how to attract them, pretty simple eh? There are basically two ways to generate traffic.
Pay For Visitors
Utilizing a variety of advertising methods it is possible to drive visitors to your website, if this is done correctly conversion rates should be better than those that I have used… simply because you should be targeting your advertising to attract only your target audience. The problem however is that most people fail to do this and all they end up doing is attracting a broad range of people with worse conversion rates than used in the examples above.
In my experience pay-per-click advertising works best when coupled with a landing page and a highly targeted campaign, people however are becoming advertising blind and cost per clicks are always on the increase.
Pro Tip – If you must use PPC use an expert to help you achieve this, and make sure you target buyers and not simply visitors and of course send them to a dedicated landing page.
I’m passionate about content marketing and I’ve been actively involved in it, since before it was called content marketing. In its simplest form it consists of your business website incorporating a blog and then having articles posted on it multiple times per week. By having these articles correctly formatted you will attract visitors via the search engines and your articles will improve your conversion rates as you will be perceived as an authority figure within your niche.
Does Content Marketing Actually Work
Content marketing works, it delivers thousands and thousands of visitors to your website and best of all these figures grow month on month, the longer you do it. If you think of a piece of content as a fishing line with a hook on it, as you add more and more pieces of content so you have more and more hooks in the water. Let’s look at a typical business website of say a dozen pages or a dozen hooks and then compare it, to one that does content marketing and has a thousand pages or hooks … which one do you think is going to catch the most fish, or attract the most visitors via the search engines? In its simplest form it really is as easy as that, let me share with you my January 2015 visitor figures according to Cloud Flare (the CDN network I use).
As you can see they are pretty impressive and more so when you think that month on month they increase, is your marketing attracting the same sort of visitor numbers.
How Long Does it Take for Content Marketing to Start to Work
Content marketing is no quick fix, my experience shows me that it takes on average between four and six months before any noticeable improvements are recorded. The following diagram demonstrates this, if you look at the left hand side you will wonder if I was actively posting articles and the answer is yes, it just took four months before it all started to gel and work, this is typical.
Pro Tip – Every business should be involved with content marketing
Social Media Marketing
I love twitter, it allows me to engage with my audience and it delivers thousands of visitors to my website each and every month, most of the information that I post to twitter is automated and based on my content marketing efforts. Have a look at these statistics, which are for just a single month.
Is it Possible to Build a Twitter Following?
This time last year I had just a few hundred followers on Twitter and now a year later I have grown this to over 100,000 people, these are really people many of whom I interact with. Further wanting to test that the system I use works, I have also successfully grown other peoples Twitter followers up to the many thousands because if I know if I can replicate it, I must know what I am doing. In fact, having lots of twitter stats available to me, helps make this easier.
I am one of a select few that utilizes content marketing strategies within the LinkedIn platform and as a result I have experienced great success and by success I mean that I am generating leads directly from LinkedIn. These are generally high quality leads from people that know me, have read multiple articles and like what I am doing.
Social Media and Content Marketing Combined
As I utilize Twitter to drive people to my website, I also utilize it to help me build my connections on LinkedIn. I work on the basis that if I can get people to follow me on twitter, I can get them to my website and for those few that connect with me on LinkedIn they experience more and more exposure to me, and as you know the more touch points you have with someone the easier it is to sell to them.
This therefore means that I am using content marketing and social media marketing combined and working hand in hand to deliver visitors to my website and connections on my social media channels… never of course forgetting the opportunity to generate leads directly off of these social media channels.
Pro Tip – The real power of social media is when this is combined with content marketing, you then get lots of touch points with your audience.
In order to generate $250,000 worth of revenue we needed to secure just 13 new customers, which meant we needed to attract about a 150,000 people to our website. By using content marketing and social media marketing this can easily be achieved, based on the given example, in fact it should be surpassed year on year… with more and more revenue being generated.