Fine Tuning Your Online Lead Generating Machine

Posted by Bear Files , November 15th, 2011 in Blog, Search Engines, Web Analytics, Web Design

Fine tuning your lead generation machineAs a new website is launched one of the first questions should be: “how will leads be collected on the site?” Many businesses in the past looked at their corporate websites as online brochures, where they directed their prospects, partners and customers to “go have a look”.

Our Customers Say Our Site Looks Great… But Will It Generate New Leads?

By now even the most conservative businesses are interested in attracting a share of online searchers to their site. Will these visitors eagerly consume your site’s content? Will they give you a call, buy your product or service, support your cause? What does it take to turn your website into a lead-generating machine that keeps your phones and email humming? It’s easier than you think to get started…

First, Define Your Key Audiences

Everyone wants something different from your company’s website. The company’s marketing team may want excitement and social media integration. Sales may want to add product feature lists and company background info. Management may just want to “out-web” their competition. But what about the most important audience, your website visitors? Every website has a diverse set of users, all looking for slightly different things. It’s important to define which audiences are most important to the business, then tailor your navigation and content to suit them.

So What Makes a Conversion?

To make informed decisions about lead generation activities, different types of websites will have different measurement challenges to prepare for. E-Commerce websites can use the sales numbers as an easy way to see how the website is performing. For companies with with longer buying cycles such as B2B a prospect may visit the site multiple times before purchasing.

If your site attracts thousands of website visitors it’s a complete success, right? Hold up! You need to check a few things first. Looking at the website’s visitors, many of them will have entered the site using a specific keyword in their search engine to get to the site. Where we can connect the visitor data to a specific keyword we can analyze the profitability of each search term, using some popular metrics:

  • Bounce rate: higher bounce rates may indicate that the site lacks relevancy for the keyword they used;
  • Time on site: are users engaging with your content, or are they leaving immediately;
  • Number of pages visited: you’re on the right track to profitable traffic when a search term shows above average “time on site” combined with higher than average pageviews;
  • Conversion goals met: how many and which goals did visitors achieve for each of the site’s most popular search terms – this is a especially helpful metric to judge keyword effectiveness.

Setting up Conversion Goals in Google Analytics can show how engaged visors are with your content and help discover which keywords are most helpful to the business. There are countless ways that GA conversion goals can be set up, from one simple goal like “Visits to the Contact Us page” to a maximum of four sets of five goals each, which can help track behaviors of different website user groups. After you have segmented and analyzed your visitor traffic, it should become clear which are profitable visits and which are futile ones.

Tracking Your Emails

One easy way to track leads generated from your website is to just monitor the contacts arriving via your website’s lead capture forms. How many did you get in a month? Compare that to your unique visitors for that month. Now, turn this into an ongoing tracking and measurement activity. Extra credit: Consider what elements on the site or form page could be changed to encourage more form submissions?

About Those Form Submissions

By tracking visitors successful completion of a lead capture form, you will quickly find that certain keyword terms have little chance of leading to a new customer. Knowing which keywords your form completions come from is critical in fine tuning your keyword target list over time.

So…… Did You Close ‘Em?

Is your sales and marketing team in synch with your website support team? If so, communicating sales closure rates back to your marketing and website teams can help them understand and focus on lead sources that deliver the most qualified prospects.

Improve The Tools To Improve Your Results

For larger companies who are making significant investments investment in online marketing, paid monitoring and measurement tools may be a good choice.

How is your website doing in delivering leads? Please share what’s worked for your business in the comments below.

About Bear Files

Visual designer, brand consultant. Owner of Evolution Design, a digital design studio in Carlsbad, California. Husband, dad, mountain biker… a few broken bones are worth the fun!

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4 Responses to “ Fine Tuning Your Online Lead Generating Machine ”

  1. Lissa Duty says:

    Bear, great blog post! You have some very real and valid points. I get quite a few submissions from the contact form via my website. They are not always those wanting to hire me, some just asking social media questions. Either way, I am getting emails from the form, which equals visit to my website. Conversion to hiring me for coaching sessions –> this has got me thinking. I like to give away free information, maybe I shouldn’t do it so much though that they don’t have to hire me for a social media coaching session. You have me thinking now, which is definitely the purpose of your blog post, right!

    PS. I have subscribed via RSS now, so I will be seeing a whole lot more of your blogs! Can’t wait!

    • Bear Files says:

      Hi Lissa, so glad you’ve subscribed! That is so awesome that you’re getting a good flow of incoming emails off your web form. And I really like your idea of doling out your free info carefully. If someone has just filled out your web form but don’t seem like a lead maybe you could email them an offer of a free “Chapter 1″ of whatever info doc you have. And of course include plenty of links in that free doc on how they could “take it to the next level” by using your service.

  2. Robin Moss says:

    Bear, this is so true! It is not just the call to action, but the tracking of it, did you achieve your goal (i.e., make the sale, get the subscription, etc.). You definitely have to engage with your audience and to continue the conversation you have to know who is interested!

    • Bear Files says:

      Robin, thanks for commenting. And great point about having a call to action… we can’t just focus on a pretty website, although I sure would like to some days! Creating and refining page content and call to actions is important… yet it sure isn’t easy to dedicate the appropriate resources to it.