Search engine Optimization (or SEO) is just one tool in a marketer’s toolbox for moving internet traffic. A lot of us forget that there are DOZENS if not hundreds of ways to move traffic where we want it and SEO is no better or worse than any of them.
The primary reason anyone wants traffic is so that they can convert visitors or prospects into leads, and leads into clients. The general thought is the more traffic you can move in your direction, the more conversions you’ll get and the more conversions you get the more sales you’ll make.
All of that is a pretty simple concept really. That is, until you realize that traffic on its own is pretty useless if you aren’t any good at the conversion piece. Who cares if you rank #1 in Google for insert client niche/ city here? If you can’t convert traffic into leads, and leads into clients you have nothing more than a parking lot for all that traffic (and likely an expensive one).
The same concept applies for your own personal SEO business and equally to the clients of your business. Sure it would be nice to rank your business in the top for SEO Chicago or Best SEO Chicago. This kind of accomplishment would likely generate some traffic to your site BUT if you don’t convert the traffic into leads all you’ve got are bragging rights in certain groups…and hopefully food stamps to buy your lunch!
At the end of the day we all need to have a system to convert traffic to leads, and leads to clients. Then ideally you’ll be able to move them up the value chain and actually make some real money.
If you do this well, you can easily charge more for your services, and you will keep your clients a lot longer meaning you’ll have a lot more money for a lot longer period.
The ability to move and convert traffic has been one of the keys to running my business on autopilot for nearly 5 years now!
Delivering traffic to the site is an important part of the equation but that’s the point where you need to take a step back and ask yourself one question.
What does that traffic want when it arrives?
The answer to this varies from business to business and it does require having a good understanding of the market you are trying to service. The better you understand the buyer persona the easier it will be to move them through the sales cycle. People can spot a fake a mile away and taking the time to understand them will quite literally put money into your pockets.
Let’s take a second and look at a local business example through the eyes of selling SEO services (something I think we can all relate to) and think about how we should approach building a PROPER marketing funnel for it.
This funnel would have to include selling them an SEO package, then a lead generation package and perhaps even an email drip set-up complete with auto responder sequence.
Did you notice how instead of just pitching them SEO you now have three products to sell? What does this do? It prepares people to buy, it warms them up, it gets them comfortable that you aren’t a one trick pony (even if you are) and getting people comfortable with you and what you have to offer is the KEY to conversion.
Let’s discuss the kitchen renovation & cabinet installer niche as another example.
Big keywords in this market are Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Renovation, and Kitchen Remodel.
Assuming you rank well for these locally you will get traffic.
But in this niche you are selling a high-ticket product ranging in price from $8k to $100k depending on the value of the prospect’s home.
As you might imagine not everyone that is looking for kitchen renovation or kitchen cabinets is ready to buy today. It’s your job to make them comfortable with your client and what they have to offer so that they get warm to the idea.
If you had to guess what percentage of traffic would be in the buy now mindset coming to this site? I’d suggest it is 2-5% at best yet amazingly the vast majority of business websites focus 95% of their attention on the buy now mindset.
Take a minute and look in your local market for kitchen renovation
What calls to action do they have on the site? Call Today, Book A Free Design Consultation, and Visit Our Showroom, Free Quote.
ALL of these are set up to sell today. Problem? Absolutely!
A lot of SEO’s make the same mistake with their own marketing efforts and I’d be willing to bet that you’ve done it yourself (I know I used to). Too often SEO’s will focus on the prospects that want to buy today and they skip the 95% of people that aren’t ready to make the commitment today. To make yourself indispensable to your client and to make yourself some SERIOUS money you need to think longer term as the buyer pool is SO MUCH BIGGER! That’s not to say that you can’t try to clean up on the buyers who want something today but they should be the appetizer before the main course.
So how do you warm up the ‘I’m not quite ready yet’ buyers?
How about adding a lead generation call to action so that you can build a list of leads that are interested in kitchen renovation but aren’t ready to buy today? Think another step further and set up an auto responder with the intention of getting leads to know, like, and trust your client. Getting warmer….
You should effectively position your client as a trusted advisor. How do I do that?
– Educate the potential buyers on everything they should know about renovating a kitchen
– Set expectations for job timelines
– Provide them with pros and cons to consider before renovating
– Give them video in a time lapse mode of a kitchen renovation happening right before their eyes
Ideally you want to frame the buying decision, by making sure they know what to look for in an excellent kitchen renovation company…which of course would line up nicely with your clients strengths and those which you are pushing on their web-site. You want to drop them in your funnel, give them the information they need to become comfortable with the buy decision and THEN sell to them.
Now how warm do you think those leads will be? White hot!
Example of Lead Generation Ideas For Your Funnel – Turn ‘Not Now’ Buyers Into ‘Future’ Buyers
– 7 Important Factors To Consider Before Hiring A Kitchen Renovation Company
– How To Calculate A Realistic Kitchen Budget Range For Your Home
Now that you have the hook to interest potential buyers you can easily begin to build your list. You’d simply put this information behind an opt-in page and you send them the information. They get value and you get their direct contact information. It’s a win-win scenario.
Once you have their information I would certainly recommend retargeting these people as well. They are obviously in the research mode for buying a kitchen and you need to ensure you are on top of them when they change from ‘not now’ to ‘today’ buyers.
An important piece to the proper funnel set-up is to spend time with your client, and build out a follow up sequence that educates, entertains, and positions your client as a trusted advisor. If you take the time to do this properly they will be well positioned to get the business when the lead is ready to buy and you’ll look like the hero. It’s another win-win scenario but this time you can be assured it puts money into your own pocket.
As a bonus when you’ve moved the traffic carefully using the above techniques, price becomes much less of a factor as leads are comparing your client to other renovation companies. Yet another assurance that they will buy from you and more reason you’ve added value to your clients.
We all know that with all things being equal people prefer to buy from someone they know, like and trust. You can easily build all of that with an auto responder that will work 24-7 for your client.
Applying this to your own SEO business
There is no doubt that the application of a proper funnel can drive traffic directly to your client AND convert them at a much higher rate. This means your client will be successful, which is why we are in this business in the first place.
I have been able to apply this approach when selling my SEO services and have been wildly successful doing it.
The other benefit of doing this is you can increase the average monthly fees your client pays you by adding a tremendous amount of value to your service. And as an added benefit your clients will stay with you for much longer.
Hope this helps, if you found it useful please share it on twitter or Facebook or directly with anyone you know. Or leave a comment below.