Once you have hired an SEO expert and the optimization process is underway, the universe of possible prospects from organic search is defined and content is developed to engage those prospects and tell your company’s story. The next task is to design a conversion system that takes maximum advantage of an organized approach to obtaining information about your customer from your website.
Getting to “Yes:” You may need multiple conversions to create a qualified lead
Too many companies will spend significant resources on website design, copy, sales flow, etc. without giving adequate thought to conversions. A conversion is an action by a visitor that creates an opportunity for rich interaction between the visitor and your company. Many marketing managers will create a few stock conversions like newsletter signups, or filling out lead forms, or posting the 800 number in red on every page, and leave it at that. But when we understand that the objective of the visitor when the search was initiated was to find a solution to a specific problem or need, we can take a more layered approach to what constitutes a conversion. A white paper download is a conversion. Viewing an edited sales deck is a conversion. Visitors who spend significant amounts of time viewing deep, technical content on specific pages can be conversion events. Prospects who click a box that promises an email notification when a new product is released is a conversion. A page with your company’s trade show exhibition schedule with a sales consult signup for each trade show is a conversion. Conversions are the fruits of your optimized website. Good SEO campaign management means using your website for ongoing restatement and renewal of your value proposition and giving your prospects more ways to interact with your company.
A good salesperson knows how to gauge interest and provide just the right information to match that interest and keep the conversation going. Providing prospects with a “web” of possible conversion steps the visitor can engage with, simultaneously gives your company feedback about the prospect’s interest level for possible follow up.
When you have developed your conversion system, one which understands there are various levels of interest, you create opportunities to develop actionable data regarding our prospects and their needs.
Goals: Determining the value of conversions
We turn conversions into goals by determining how much they are worth — if one out of every 100 completed lead forms results in a sale, and the median sale is $100,000, then each completed lead record is worth $1,000. If a white paper is downloaded 1000 times, has a dedicated ‘800’ number at the end, and two percent of the people call, then you have 20 calls from downloads. If two of that number result in a sale, the median value of which is $25,000, then each of the 20 calls is worth $2,500, and each download is worth $50. The key is to create a unique sales flow for each conversion that allows your company to determine how much that conversion is worth in terms of actual sales.
Funnels — a rich information source for insights into prospects’ behavior
Prospects get to your company’s website through various routes: organic search, directly (by typing your URL into their browser), social networks, referrals from other web resources, paid search, etc. Typically, multiple visits are required before a visitor purchases your product or service, and each visit can come through a different path. The visitor may click on a link to your website from another website, then return to your website directly some time later, then fill out a lead form. Or the initial visit may come off organic search and go directly to contact with the sales staff…or the first sales contact can come directly from someone on the committee evaluating vendors. We can use Google Analytics information to determine which paths are most fruitful for visitors turning into prospects.
The most useful metrics for evaluating which paths to your website result in the best prospects are engagement metrics: time spent on site and number of pages viewed. Coupled with conversion data, engagement metrics give you feedback on whether your website is giving prospects the information they need to purchase your product or service.
When you hire experts like RefreshWeb to guide your SEO campaign management, you are signing up for an ongoing process of turning your company website into a 24/7 sales tool that creates interactive experiences for your best prospects at the moment of maximum need. The interaction between your site and prospects is a rich source of data about your marketing and sales process, and RefreshWeb will help you collect, understand and act upon that data.