“If you build it, they will come”. Right?
Many businesses start out like this…
Imagine you’re stuffing your face with Christmas turkey over the holiday period and suddenly, you come up with a brilliant idea:
You’re going to start your amazing plumbing service in the new year.
So you got a pretty logo created, put some stickers on your ute…
You got a brand new facility. Decked it out with fancy furniture. You rounded up the competition and made sure you’re offering the best prices in your area. You even had an introductory offer.
Maybe you’ve even played with Google Ads and launched a few Facebook campaigns, probably throwing away a few thousand dollars while you “learnt the ropes”.
You got the street signage up, distributed a few flyers in the neighbourhood, announced everything on Social Media and asked your friends and family to like the page…
Now you sit and wait for the tsunami of “cashola” to flow in.
Surely, any moment now, customers will be flocking from everywhere to seek your amazing washer changing service!
That’s when your bubble pops and reality hits.
How come it feels like nobody wants your offer even if you gave it for free?
Where did things go wrong?
(Insert confused Kevin Costner look ;-0)
If it’s any consolation, many of us who were ignorant enough to dare start this crazy thing called a business have been there.
I bet there are multitudes of incredible inventions, life-changing services and revolutionary products that faded into obscurity simply because they didn’t sell.
And what does your local business need to make it rain?
Leads, lead, leads!
And because you’re here now reading this, you’re probably feeling the pain of not having enough of them.
Moreover, you want a profitable way of winning new customers without the strain of a 60-hour workweek.
But most of all, you need a marketing engine that will keep driving new customers into your business like clockwork.
So yes, “build it and they’ll come” is a lie.
While it’s true that local business lead generation involves creating a product or service that a group of people is hungry for, that’s not where it ends. Simply offering the service is not enough.
You also have to package and position the unique value you offer to meet your target market’s ultra-specific needs aaannnnd you must get in front of them right when the hunger strikes!
Since 2013, I’ve been helping all sorts of local businesses build their lead generation engines so that leads seek them out in numbers they’ve never seen before.
Today I’m going to share what I’ve learned so that you, too, can apply these tips to your business and start attracting more leads than you’d know what to do with.
But first, let’s cover some groundwork…
The Fundamentals of Lead Generation
Imagine you’re speaking through a magic megaphone that everyone in your catchment area could hear.
After explaining what your business does and the solutions you offer, you ask: “who’s interested?” and several hands go up.
That’s a lead: someone who has “raised their hand”.
They might have come to you via a referral, email, your Facebook Page, your LinkedIn profile, website, or you might have reached out to them in some way.
At the most fundamental level, lead generation involves two things:
How you target, attract and capture the attention of qualified prospects.
How you get a visitor to enter your marketing funnel (lead capture) and how you convert them from leads into buyers (lead nurturing).
The specifics will vary from business to business, but they all boil down to these two.
Therefore, the quality and quantity of your leads will depend on how consistent and how well-targeted your traffic getting strategies are, and how well you continually optimise your funnels to get better conversion rates.
Saying all that though, there’s a “step zero” to this.
Much like how a strong foundation is vital to building skyscrapers, step zero is the “below-ground work” that you must do BEFORE you even look into traffic and conversion. It involves:
1. Identifying + clarifying your target market, and
2. Ensuring you have product-market fit (that is, there are enough people in your target area who want/need the solutions you offer).
Skip this step and your traffic-getting and conversion-related endeavours can only lead to paltry results.
This is why Mistake #1 is…
Mistake # 1: Not knowing how to attract targeted, qualified leads
Qualified leads are “Peeps with the 3 P’s”:
1. They have the Pain (the specific problems that you can solve)
2. They can Pay for the solutions you offer, and
3. They have the deciding Power (authority).
John may desperately want a Maserati but if he can’t afford it, then he can’t be a qualified lead.
However, sometimes the person with the pain isn’t the person with the “other 2 P’s” but they’re influential in the decision-making process. Think of the child who dictates what toys Santa ought to get her for Christmas or the lover who decides which luxury hotel to book.
When this is the case, craft your messages with this nuance in mind.
This is why the key to creating messages, solutions and offers that will attract the people you want to attract is knowing who they are, what drives them, what (and who) influences their decisions and how they’re currently trying to solve their pain.
Because once you know what they are wanting, thinking, needing, fearing, or fantasising about, all you have to do is align with them.
My top tips for attracting highly qualified leads:
1. Crystallise your Buyer Personas and re-evaluate them often.
To create irresistible offers and craft effective messages that will connect with your ideal customers, use solid customer intel.
Get clear about who they are, where they hang out, their pain points, what they want now and what they will likely need in the near future. Keep refining your customer data.
Then, every 6 to 8 months, ask yourself if you ought to be targeting the same personas or if it’s time to go after different ones.
For example, a pizza shop that started out by offering affordable pizzas geared towards students, blue-collar working parents and drunk club-goers might eventually evolve to one offering gourmet pizzas loaded with imported toppings. Because of the increased cost they require, now they have to appeal to a more affluent customer base.
By regularly re-evaluating if your target persona is still the best fit with your offer, you ensure that your communications strategy remains effective even as your business evolves and as you adapt to the market conditions.
2. Validate your solution.
A big mistake I see many businesses make is creating the solution before they’ve identified and validated two things:
- that the problem actually exists, and
- that there’s a big enough demand that’s lucrative enough for them to cater to.
For example, suppose there’s a saturation of dentists in a geographical area.
Well, what if sleep dentistry is a more lucrative niche because it’s going to cater to an underserved market? However because it’s a bigger investment, then you must validate it first before you go all in and take the leap.
Or say you’re targeting affluent customers but you’re eyeing a location in a lower socioeconomic area. You’d definitely want to validate your product first. You could try selling 1000 pizzas at 15 bucks versus selling 100 pizzas at 30 bucks and calculate your numbers from there.
You should cater to what the market clearly wants — not the other way around.
The central question you want to answer is: is there enough demand for the business to thrive for many years to come?
A bad way to answer this question is to ask people “If I make solution X, will you buy it?” and then rely on verbal or survey answers.
Don’t do it!
I’m not saying people are liars. But if you want reliable answers, get people to vote with their wallets — not with their mouths.
For example, before you invest in state-of-the-art commercial catering equipment and take out a 5-year lease rental, validate your idea first by setting up a pop-up stand at a market and see how well you can sell 1000 spicy fish tacos (or whatever you plan to put on your menu). Then get your friends and family to go undercover as buyers themselves and then get feedback from people. That way, the data you gather is less likely to be “dirtied” by people’s tendency to be polite.
Use a reiterative testing process to validate your new product or service before going all-in.
Before you commit to kitting out the factory that will manufacture thousands of sweat-blocking, stain-resistant shirts made from recycled materials, you could first create the product page that actually sells the said shirt, drive Google Ads traffic to it, and then see how many completed sales you get.
Before you invest in pizza ovens, take a few pizzas to a local shopping centre. Pit the gourmet options against the everyday value version and see which gets the most sales. Then ask people for feedback. It’s a great way to survey the local market before you go all in.
The point is to pre-sell a number of times before taking big risks. If you do it right you could even get the cash in advance before you commit to larger orders.
This way, when you “fail”, you fail forward. Your loss is minimal and more importantly, it’s feedback-rich. You learn as early as possible your product design flaws, strategy shortcomings, process pitfalls, and other potentially costly issues.
Mistake # 2: “Meh” Messaging
Believe it or not, one of the most attention-grabbing opening lines I’ve seen was from an ad dating back as far as 1927, selling music lessons.
“They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano – But When I Started to Play!”
If you’ve been secretly wanting to learn how to give jaw-dropping musical performances, that headline will definitely hook you. You instantly identify as the protagonist in the story and you want to find out how this undercover piano virtuoso shut the naysayers up.
(And even if you’re not in the market for piano lessons, well you’ll probably still read the rest of the story anyway, because you can’t help but be nosy!)
You see, when it comes to your messaging, what you say and how you say it impact your results more than the platform you use to deliver your message. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook Marketplace. Those are just platforms and they come and go.
When your messaging hits the spot by crystallising the true value you offer, people respond to you on an emotional level.
The aim is to craft messages that stop people in their tracks and pay attention to you.
So if you’re saying the same ol’ thing as everyone else…
If your messaging is so clichéd, that you create no differentiation in the marketplace…
If “yo” message sooo flat, even qualified prospects bail…
Listen up because I’mma tell you where it’s at!
How to Make Your Messaging Magnetic:
Put out targeted, highly-relevant, localised content.
Suppose you’re a builder in Sydney.
If you do a guide on “how much does a commercial kitchen remodelling cost in Australia?” then it’s going to attract prospects from all over Australia.
Whereas if you do a guide on “how much does a commercial kitchen remodelling cost in Sydney?”, then it’s going to attract Sydney-based prospects.
See the difference?
Sure, your traffic might be less but it’s going to be more relevant and relevance is key.
If your solutions are bespoke and high-end, then you’d want to craft content that appeals to those who value quality, durability and exclusivity over price or speed. So publish content that repels cheapskates or those more suited for mass-produced solutions.
Another way to magnetise your peeps with the 3 P’s is to answer the questions they’re asking.
For local businesses, it’s best to publish content answering questions like:
- “How do I choose which specific solution is best for my specific needs?”
- “What factors are involved and how do they affect costs and pricing?”
- “What options are there and the benefits of each?”
But let me tell you something even better: create content that answers the questions they should be asking. (This is also a great SEO long-term strategy, which I’ll explain in more detail in a minute).
What assumptions, damaging beliefs or myths are influencing your ideal prospects, thereby preventing them from making the right buying decision? Enlighten them about it.
What differentiates you from your competitors?
For example, how do potential customers understand the value of your amazing washer changing service? Maybe the quality of your washers lasts for 2 years instead of 12 months. Maybe you offer a 12 month warranty and will change it again if any issues are experienced.
What red flags should they be watching out for? What shady practices are rampant in your industry that they should be aware of?
What hidden costs are your prospects already paying for heavily (that you can put an end to)?
What are their blind spots — the “unknown unknowns” that are hurting or hindering them without them realising it? What don’t they know they don’t know? Educate them about it.
In my own industry, for example, I detest how unscrupulous some SEO and PPC ad agencies can be. So I coach prospects on specific questions they could ask when vetting agencies. This way, they can avoid making the costly mistake of hiring the wrong people (and ending up with damaging results). Think of ways you can do the same for your prospects.
Most businesses get it wrong because they create “safe” content that adds no value. If you educate and change damaging beliefs systems, trust typically follows. If you’ve got trust then people will most likely seek you out.
Demonstrate Your Value
Let them experience the value you offer first-hand before asking them to make any big investment.
Here are a couple of ideas:
Whether local or virtual events, it’s possible. You can use Social Media to create live streams, host Q & A webinars or be a guest contributor in relevant webinars. You can speak at conferences or hold “taster workshops”. Or participate in Expos or Exhibits.
You can even set up some paid ads around a free local mini-workshop or seminar or introductory course sharing your expertise.
If you have a Gym, you could have a fun morning sharing your knowledge on “How to lose the last 20 pounds fast”. You might even want to promote it in the Springtime, specifically targeting Summer bride-and-groom-to-be’s.
If it’s me, I could do “How to use Google Ads to drive a tsunami of foot traffic to your small local business”.
The idea is to share something that will get your ideal prospects in the door. If you focus on educating, you will create trust and the leads will follow.
Whet their Appetite
People who have never dealt with us before are naturally sceptical.
So if you can give prospects a taste of what’s possible if they choose you, then they become easier to persuade.
A good way to do this is by offering sampler packages, discounted trials, try-before-you-buy arrangements, and other risk-free set ups.
Warby Parker’s Home Try-On deal obliterated their prospects’ objection to buying glasses online.
If you’re a pie baker and you offer 10 different pie flavours, you can create sampler packs with 3 small pies in different flavours. Then charge at “break-even” value. Or offer free delivery within a 5-mile radius for a limited time.
You’re not looking to profit from these sampler packs. You’re looking to minimise or eliminate any barriers between you and your prospects.
Following the same principle, if you’re a spa offering 1 to 2-hour massages, consider offering new customers a 15-minute head and shoulders massage or foot massage at a heavily discounted rate. And while they’re enjoying their oh-so-relaxing mini-massage, incentivise them to extend it to a 60-minute massage with an exclusive offer that’s only valid that day.
However, don’t forget that a big part of making any business succeed is recurring customers. To increase Lifetime Customer Value, give your customers several good reasons to keep coming back for more.
If you’re a pizza place, give a discount coupon or a free appetiser if they buy a certain amount. If you have a coffee shop, reward their loyalty by offering a free cup after they buy a certain amount.
To attract people in bigger numbers, create packages that incentivise couples, families, businesses, and groups. Give them reasons to prefer you over your competitors.
Other traffic-generating ideas you can try are:
- Reward people who refer customers to you.
- Formulate fun contests that involve spreading the word about your business.
- Use exciting give-aways that encourage repeat purchases. Think along the lines of a “McDonald’s happy meal”.
- Give a no-strings-attached personalised advice
Mistake #3: Not having a strong and credible online presence.
When it comes to local business lead generation, a useful question to ask yourself is:
- What do your ideal prospects typically do when they go looking for a solution like yours?
- Do they drive down every street, hoping to stumble upon the solution?
- Do they ask their people for tested-and-trusted recommendations?
- Do they pull out their mobile phones and ask Siri, Facebook or Google?
Chances are they do something that involves online searches.
Therefore, local business lead generation means getting in front of them when they do these searches… and captivating them.
So when your ideal prospects search online for solutions to their problems (that you can solve) and you don’t come up in their search results, it’s a missed opportunity.
Say your business is a beauty and skincare clinic that offers a wide range of beauty treatments including laser hair removal in Melbourne.
(The beauty clinic here is merely a “placeholder” I’m using to make concrete examples. But whatever business you’re in, convert these details to what’s applicable to you).
If Mel performs YouTube searches for, say:
- “laser hair removal pros and cons”,
- “what I should know before laser hair removal”, and
- “top laser hair removal questions answered”…
…And there’s no content from you that she could have consumed (read: no content that could have “pre-sold” her to availing of your services), that’s a missed lead.
If Jessica goes to Google or Google Maps and searches “best skincare clinics near me” and your website doesn’t show up anywhere (whether in the ads section of Google or the organic search engine results), that’s a missed lead.
My top tips for having a stronger online presence:
Have a Long-term SEO Strategy
When we worked with Pristine Home in Sydney, we created hyper-relevant pages that attract people from specific areas. We built unique pages (so Google doesn’t flag them as duplicate content) for a suburb or region — what we call “suburb pages”.
We wrote over 68 suburb pages, most of which ranked within the top 3 spots in the Search Engine Results Pages. All of these pages were written uniquely to avoid duplicate content and hopefully future-proof it for algorithm updates down the line.
Look at the screenshot below and notice the keywords we targeted (and how well they ranked). You can do the same for your business.
The other side of SEO is content generation. Like I mentioned earlier, create content by answering common questions your clients are asking (or should be asking).
A more SEO-forward content creation strategy is to create client + location style pages. If you’re a pest control company, for example, you could create content on “How we exterminated this Care Home’s termite problem in Mitcham”. Then simply tell the story of what you did for them.
The advantage of this is that you’re creating unique content based on what you’re already doing on a day-to-day basis. Easy!
“But Byron, how often should I publish SEO-centric content, and how long should they be?”
See what I did there? 😉
Not to sound cliché but SEO really is a marathon, not a sprint. So if you can publish 4 articles (aim for 1000+ words per piece) every month and focus on delivering quality information, you’ll eventually gain traction.
But what really matters here is consistency and quality. So if you can only do one article or video every month, but it’s 4,000 words and jam-packed with useful knowledge and value, then do that. Try to be involved, inject your own experience rather than just writing fluffy pieces where there are already a million and one articles already.
To give you a motivation boost and to put things in more concrete terms, the 135+ blog posts we wrote for our client Pristine Home increased their organic visitors by 408% and increased their organic monthly leads by 135%.
Now I’m not claiming you’ll get those results if you do it. Maybe you’ll do even better, who knows? But you can reach out to me if you have any questions.
Leverage Google Ads
Pay-per-Click is a great way to drive qualified, highly-targeted, traffic to your website or landing pages. And y can get results much quicker than SEO.
When we built a Google Ads campaign for Pristine Home, they enjoyed a 119% increase in monthly leads from Google Ads alone.
How did we do this?
We created a combination of service and location campaigns and used a technique called Dynamic Keyword Insertion to create dynamic landing pages.
These pages allowed us to create “perfect matches” between the search term, ad copy and landing page and significantly improved conversion rates. This improved Quality Score, which then reduced the overall cost per lead by more than 51%.
I’ve freely discussed many of our ninja-level Google Ads strategies in my blog posts (and many of my emails) here:
- 7 Game-changing Lessons I Learned From Optimising 400+ Google Ads Landing Pages
- How SEO and PPC Can Work Together for Your Business
Get Yourself Listed on Local Listings
According to BrightLocal, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year.
So take advantage of local listings like Google My Business, Bing Local, Merchant Circle, Yelp, City Search and Yahoo Local. Helping local businesses connect with consumers in their area is exactly what these directories are for.
They can also help in terms of some basic link building that can also boost your local SEO visibility.
Complete your business profiles and make sure to list as much useful information as possible. Make sure your listings contain relevant keywords and optimise them so you appear higher in the search results.
BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey results say that in 2020, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses (up from 81% in 2019). So encourage your raving customers to post reviews about your business and make it worth their while.
If you want to do the same for your business, read How To Get Google My Business Reviews.
Speaking of Google My Business…
Adding your business to Google Maps can help drive more walk-ins and phone calls to your local business.
For example, if someone in your area searches for ‘podiatrists near me’ on Google Maps, your podiatry listing will appear (this is where you want to be in order to be found!).
It’s super easy to get listed and it’s free.
You will be able to add key attributes like your business description, opening hours, photos, menu, website, contact number, etc. You can even publish posts, just like how you can make announcements on Facebook.
To prevent fake listings, Google will ask you to verify your listing by receiving a postcard by post. It could take days to arrive, but once you verify it your listing will go live.
Just go to google.com/business, sign up for a Google My Business listing, and follow the instructions.
Mistake # 4: Sucky website.
It hurts to say this but most business websites are liabilities instead of being the lead-generating assets that they’re meant to be.
I know, because this is the starting point of almost every single business we’ve helped.
It’s very common for businesses to buy traffic only to direct those prospects to ineffective (often confusing) websites or landing pages, which results in low conversions, which ends up in discouragement.
If you’re a local cafe or restaurant for example, at the very least you should have an easy to use online ordering system. It would be even more compelling if you make it more affordable than Uber Eats. Combine that with faster delivery times within a certain catchment area and you’ll likely increase your sales.
If your website isn’t helping you achieve (or advance) your sales goals, here are three things you can implement today.
How to Get More Leads From Your Website
1) Make your Unique Value Proposition clear, conspicuous and compelling — on every page.
Before we worked with All Lift Crane Trucks, they were using a Wix website which they themselves had built. The issue was their website wasn’t providing prospects the ammunition they needed in order to conclude for themselves: “I should choose All Lift Crane Trucks instead of considering other options.”
So we custom designed a high-converting single page website that we also used as a landing page for Google Ads traffic.
Here are a few examples of what we did:
We emphasised their unique features and benefits so that their customers can easily understand the value of their service:
We also used strong call to actions (“Get a fast Quote Now”).
We made it crystal clear what they offer and for whom:
We didn’t stop there. It’s vital to give your prospects both logical and emotional issues why they should choose you over your competitors.
Also, do your best to use actual pictures of your team, office, or equipment (no stock photos). Showing them your real “face” helps your prospects conclude for themselves: “these are real people running a legit business; I can talk to them, I can trust them.”
Speaking of trust…
We understood that the top concerns of All Lift’s prospects are reliability and conscientiousness. The cost of hiring the wrong people to do this kind of job can be enormous, after all. So we made sure to address that, so it doesn’t even come up as an objection later on in the sales process.
Think of ways you can do the same.
The result? A 480% increase in leads generated and a reduction of 88% in their cost per lead.
2) Collect their emails or phone number.
The key to converting leads into buyers is in the follow-up.
Some buying cycles are shorter and simpler while others are more complex (e.g., deciding what restaurant to book for lil’ Mary’s 3rd birthday is simpler than deciding which architect or cosmetic surgeon to go for).
Whatever your business is, you need a way to keep engaging your leads long after they leave your website or Social Media page.
One of the most effective ways is to ask for their emails so you can send them useful and relevant information.
The key is to entice them with information that will help them achieve the desired result.
Check out how we implement this on the Pixelrush website:
And if you haven’t downloaded our guide yet, do it! It really is jam-packed with actionable secrets that can skyrocket your sales if you apply them. #shamelessplug
Pro Tip: keep form fields simple. If you need more information from them, you can always ask them later in the relationship as you build your CRM database. There should always be a balance between collecting their core details versus overwhelming them with too many questions upfront. For a local business, keeping it simple is often the best. See how we did this for Sydney 24 Hour Plumbers:
Mistake # 5: Not having a lead nurturing process.
According to Weidert, companies that nurture their leads make 50% more sales at 33% less cost!
It makes sense because the fact is, 97% of Visitors Aren’t Ready to Buy.
Push for a sale too early and you could lose their trust.
Close too late and you lose a sale.
The sweet spot is to keep them engaged so you’re top of mind until they’re ready to buy. But how do you help them get there?
Well, ask yourself:
What do your ideal customers need to know at each stage in their journey?
What do they need to understand to feel ready to buy from you with confidence?
Answer these and you’ll be able to nurture them with relevant content, delivered at the right time, in just the right dosage.
Here are my top lead nurturing tips:
Match your messaging according to where they are in the Buyer Journey
Map out your typical buyer’s journey and reverse-engineer it.
For most businesses, here’s generally what that journey looks like:
- Awareness / Problem Recognition: Your prospect, let’s name her Sam, has identified a problem and she’s aware she needs a solution.
- Information Search / Consideration / Comparison: Sam is searching, evaluating and comparing products and services. She’s probably got a spreadsheet listing all your Pro’s & Cons and comparing this to your rivals.
- Preference / Intent: Sam has formed logical and emotional reasons. Now she’s got a preferred solution.
- Conversion / Sale: Sam has bought your product or service.
- Retention / Review: Sam evaluates her experience. Ideally, she’s delighted with you and intends to buy again!
(By the way, I have discussed this topic in-depth here: How to Boost Sales by Mastering the 5 Stages of Buying)
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey will help you match your message to what they still need to know in order to move forward.
It’s really all about empowering them to make the best decision for themselves.
Suppose you’re a Cosmetic Tattooist and Sam is always late for work because it takes her ages to get ready every morning.
When you’re dealing with a Problem-aware Sam, sample messages that match her current psychology could be…
- Half your Make-up Time Every Morning, Permanently! Here’s How…
- Look Instagram-ready in 10 minutes, effortlessly!
- Perfect eyebrows anytime, anywhere, 24/7
Whereas, once she graduates to Stage 2, you could say:
- Perfect eyebrows that look natural — satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!
- Certified cosmetic tattooist with 13 years of experience.
- See for yourself! Here are the un-Photoshopped Before & After pictures of our raving customers here.
Then, once Sam is convinced you’re her best bet, keep it simple. Ask for the sale. Close the deal.
Once she buys, you commence your After-Sale Customer Care process, which could involve asking for reviews, referrals, or a Loyalty Program of some sort.
The more you automate your repetitive marketing tasks, the more you can focus your time, money and energy on your #1 priority as the business owner: growing your business.
The idea is to build a lead generation engine combined with a strategy that will get you compounding results.
Automation allows you to take care of certain steps in your lead generation efforts in a do-the-work-once-and-enjoy-the-results-again-and-again kind of setup. That way, you accomplish a lot more with less.
For example, you could set up your lead nurturing process on autopilot via email marketing.
You could automate your social media marketing by scheduling posts in advance.
You could automatically explain how your Referral Reward System works to those who have bought from you more than once.
But this doesn’t mean your messaging sounds impersonal. You can automate while also making your prospects feel they’re getting a high-touch, personalised experience.
Getting all these right means choosing the right set of marketing automation tools that suit your business.
Because there are various factors you need to consider, evaluating the solutions available can be tricky. This is something we help our clients with.
If you want to build lead-generating assets that work together and adapt to your business needs, just reach out and we can have a chat about it!
Mistake # 6: Not Having a Proactive Approach to Conversion Optimisation.
If, for every 100 people that get exposed to your marketing, only 2 convert into paying customers on average, wouldn’t you want to know why?
There could be a number of possible reasons.
Maybe your product or service packages pale in comparison to your competitors’.
Maybe you’re not coming off as credible enough.
Maybe you’re not highlighting the benefits your customers actually care about.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of uncovering these barriers to the sale (and fixing them) so that over time more and more people buy without you spending more.
Think of it this way: your marketing funnel is a bucket. And because no funnel starts as perfect right from the get-go, it’s got holes in it.
Without CRO, your bucket will just keep leaking — regardless of how much traffic you pour into it.
Here’s How to Fix Conversion Leaks:
Evaluate every aspect of your marketing and sales funnel through the filters of your target customers
Because CRO is highly nuanced and contextual, I can’t possibly cover everything here.
So here’s a series of questions that will help you focus your thinking.
Use this as a self-coaching guide whenever you need to improve any aspect of your marketing and sales funnel:
- “Does the information on this X (ad, article, web page, video, email, etc) satisfy the prospects’ intent? Is it immediately evident that it’s highly relevant to them?”
- “What is not yet clear to them at this point? Considering the possible gaps in their knowledge at this stage in their buying journey, what could I give them to help bridge those gaps?”
- “What information might help them determine if my product or service meets their needs the best (versus all the other options in the marketplace)?”
- “What about my business/my team/my product or service do they need to know, in order to understand why we are indeed their best choice?”
- (Sometimes, to be more persuasive, we just need to clean up the “noise” and mental clutter we have inadvertently created.)
So ask yourself:
- “What elements or aspects of my marketing funnel that, if I eliminate, would help simplify, clarify and amplify the value I offer?”
- “What elements in my marketing materials are just serving as distractions instead of helping them focus on the one thing they need to do (to advance the sale)?”
- “What proof can I show to substantiate the claims I make about my company and product?”
- “What elements that, if we either add or change in some way, might help boost our credibility, legitimacy and authority?” (e.g., testimonials, reviews, case studies, etc)
- “Regardless of what task they’re looking to complete while on my website — whether they want to check prices, ask a question, place an order, etc — is it easy to do, or simple to figure out?”
- “What questions and objections might they have, and how can I answer them using their language?”
- “How can I minimise their perceived risks/costs AND increase the perceived value of what I offer (and not necessarily through price cuts)?”
- “What are their most Frequently Asked Questions (and how can I answer them in interesting ways)?”
- “How can I make their entire experience easy, educational, useful and delightful?”
- “How can I make the call to action compelling and enticing? (Hint: make it promise something they want)”
- “What compelling reasons can I present to justify a sense of urgency? How can I incentivise a prompt and timely action?”
A word to the wise: Don’t burn yourself out by implementing everything at once. Remember that CRO is an ongoing (read: it’s never-ending!) endeavour, so prioritise doing the above things well more than doing them at warp speed.
Remember to Track & Measure!
It would be frustrating to have a sudden drop in conversion without having the faintest clue as to what might have caused it. Even a surprise surge in sales that you’re unable to replicate would be equally excruciating!
So whenever you can, track and measure the effects of every change you make.
Remember that a “conversion” isn’t strictly a purchase.
You may define a “conversion” as a phone call, an email, a completed Contact Us form on your website, an appointment booking, a request for a demo, you get the idea.
Now how exactly you track and measure would depend on your setup and the tools you use, but some of the common tools are:
- Google Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
- A CRM software like Hubspot
- Google Optimize
- Google Data Studio
Here are some of the top metrics I recommend you track:
- Click-through rate (CTR) is the click performance of any Call to Action
This could be the CTR of your Google Ad, your Facebook Post, an email verification, etc.
- Conversion Rate could be the number of people who completed the desired action (e.g., signing up for your newsletter, clicking on a Book Now button, booking a consultation from one of your emails, downloading a freebie, etc).
- Time to conversion is the time it takes (on average) from the moment a lead discovers you to the time they perform a target action. (I must admit — shortening this time for our clients gives me the giddy puppies!)
- Cost-per-click is the cost you pay every time someone clicks your PPC ad.
- Cost-per-lead is the money you spend (on average) to acquire a lead. For greater accuracy, consider variable, recurring and one-off costs.
- Lead generation rate by channel. How many leads are coming through via Social Media, word of mouth, SEO, PPC, foot traffic, etc?
If all these are overwhelming, I get it. This is why we’re here to help.
At the very least, aim to set up a Google Analytics account and gather data from it religiously. Track who is visiting, where they’re coming from, what pages they quickly leave and which ones they stay on, which links they’re clicking and which ones they’re missing or ignoring, etc. Then use this information to inform your strategies and business decisions.
The idea is to do more of what’s actually working and less of what isn’t — without guesswork or blind intuition.
There are deeper nuances to tracking of course, but these basics will give you a great head start!
Conclusion – So, what have we learnt?
New customers are the lifeblood of any business.
Regardless of what local business you have, setting up systems and processes that will constantly attract the interest of high-quality leads and get them to come to you in droves should always be top priority.
Apply the lead generation strategies and tactics I have shared here and you’ll be several steps ahead of the game!
But if you need expert help, why not take advantage of having a no-strings-attached, tailored consultation call with me?
I can evaluate how your local business is currently getting leads and suggest the best ways forward, given your resources and goals. The best part? It’s absolutely free and you have no obligations whatsoever!