Getting more leads from your website is its main purpose without a doubt . A business website has long been considered the hub of an internet marketing plan, however, the popularity of social media marketing has made many small business owners forget about this important element.
With the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it seems that website marketing and optimization have taken a back seat. A business website can be a great way to capture leads practically unattended 24/7 and it requires a very low monthly hosting fee. Unfortunately, frequently it is not used to its full potential.
Some of other reasons for business owners to ignore their website and see it as an expense rather than an investment, is the fact that they think they don’t have a successful website or that haven’t seen the success that they were expecting.
When I say “successful website”, I mean a website that is designed to do its job of generating leads and/or making a sale. I’m not talking about the pretty, brochure style website. I’m referring to a website with some solid internet marketing fundamentals.
While there are other important elements that will help with SEO, these five elements should be present in every website to help it do its job:
1- A great headline – It doesn’t matter if you have a professional looking website, with a superb product or service. Nor does it matter if your sales copy is the best there is. Without the right wording in your headline, you will not make many sales. Do you know how to create the perfect headline?
2 – Testimonials – Simply stated; Testimonials SELL! In fact, testimonials have been known to increase sales by 200% or more! The Internet is a very impersonal medium. People trust people! The more you can do to “humanize” your web site, the more likely potential customers or clients will want to do business with you. Testimonials “speak” to potential customers in a honest, believable way. Testimonials are crucial in the process of getting more leads from your website.
Buying products on the web can be scary and potential customers want to know if they are dealing with a reputable business. They also want to know if the product actually does what they promise it does. Customer testimonials can PROVIDE the answers to such questions. It can BUILD trust and CLOSE sales!
3 – Social Media links – If you have social media accounts, make sure these linked and are as visible as possible. At this moment, some of the most common links are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and Skype. You can add more if you are more active in some of the other social media platforms.
4- Get Mobile – With the increase of mobile traffic and the recent Google mobile update, it is no longer a case of asking whether mobile marketing important, we know it is!
According to the most recent reports, mobile have taken over the fixed internet access and it’s predicted to grow even more.
Check if your website passes the Google friendly test here .
5- Lead Capture form – putting together and implementing a website traffic plan can be time consuming and expensive. However, it all would be for naught, if that traffic is not offered a reason to enter your sales funnel. Having a lead capture form can help get some of that traffic into the funnel so it can be followed up with.
While there are many more elements that can be added in order to optimize a website, this is just a starting point to make this investment start paying off. Getting more leads from your website is an ongoing process that requires ongoing tweaking and fine tuning.
If you implement what I share with you here, I’d love to hear the kind of results you get!
JC Soto is a marketing & business coach who specializes in increasing sales for coaches by helping create more credibility and visibility.
More tips on getting more leads can be found here: Capturing Sales Leads In 5 Easy Steps
Capturing sales leads and list building are two of the most important marketing activities of any business. By building your own list you have the opportunity to sell your products or services more than once, stay top of mind and establish your business as a trusted authority.
You also have the advantage of being able to offer them other products, and services when they become available.
So just how would you capture those leads and make them profitable for you?
Here are your 5 simple steps to setting up your own profitable lead capture system.
1) You will need your email autoresponder setup
Be ready to accept your subscribers. To make it easy on yourself you can pre-load it with messages to send your subscribers from the beginning, to remind them that they are on your list. Useful, informative and educational messages sent once or twice a week automatically, will keep your subscribers interested.
2) Setup an irresistible offer page
Give something of great value to your potential subscribers for filling in the form to subscribe. This page needs to be as powerful as any sales page where you are charging for a product, as you will want it to convert as many visitors to subscribers as you can. Outline the benefits of what you’re giving away, and even the benefits of the information in your preset messages (you did setup those messages right?).
3) Send them to a thank you page
Most autoresponders allow you to set a url (website address) to send your subscribers to after they subscribe. You should send them to a thank you page, and let them know if they need to confirm their address before they receive the first email from you.
If they do need to confirm (they should, this is called double opt-in and may help save you from spam complaints), let your new subscriber know they will only get the email with the gift link after they confirm their subscription to your list.
4) Send them to a web page to download
Your first email to your new subscriber should contain the download link for the free gift you offered for subscribing. The ideal situation here is to send them to a web page to download.
This page can also contain a special offer, sometimes called a one time offer (or OTO). Make this an unmissable deal related to the subject matter of your emails.
Let the subscriber know they will only see this offer right now. If you do not have a special deal to offer, you can instead add a link to a product you sell as an affiliate. Make use of this valuable backend sale opportunity.
5) Make sure you keep your subscribers
Keep sending traffic to your offer page and keep those subscribers coming. Make sure you keep your subscribers by sending them regularly a combination of informative, educational and entertaining emails, and it helps to give them more free gifts on a regular basis.
Words of advice, capturing sales leads and building your list can become your own personal goldmine, but don’t treat your subscribers as your personal ATM. Your list subscribers are people just like you, treat them as you’d like to be treated. Now get out there, and start building your subscriber list, using your new lead capture system, and watch how your profits increase as your list grows.
Building a relationship with your list will make the list profitable and help with your Authority Positioning in the minds of your subscribers.
Below are 9 tips to help you get that process started
1. Unsubscribes are good
The only way that you will not get unsubscribes to your list is to never send to them. Not everyone will like your personality or writing style. Those that don’t will never follow your recommendations so it is not a great loss when they unsubscribe.
2. Be yourself
Let your personality come through to your list. People will buy from you because they trust you. Try to be something you are not and it will come through to your list and you will never develop that trust.
3. Be informative.
Make sure that you are supplying quality information to your list. Even if you are presenting a product for sale make sure that you are also supplying information. Create the problem and your product as a solution but also let your subscribers learn something about the topic even if they aren’t interested in the product.
4. Stay on topic
If your list is about desserts that should be the topic of your email. Now don’t send marketing tips to your dessert list or desserts to your marketing tips list. Yes, there may be a few that have interests in both (I am one and have both types of lists), but the person signed up for a specific topic and you are violating that trust you have worked so hard to create.
5. Only send one item per email unless it is a newsletter
Sending multiple items to your list can be extremely confusing to them and never get you the action you are looking to get. Make sure that you have a call to action in every email. Never leave your subscriber wondering what you wanted them to do.
6. Always have a reason
This tends to go with number 5. Make sure that there is a reason for the email that you sent. If you have a purpose then people will tend to keep reading. If they have no idea what your reason is for your email then they will quickly stop reading all of your emails.
7. Track what works
Tracking is the only way you will know which of your emails works and which don’t. This will allow you to improve your emails to your list. Do remember that the only purpose of your email is to create the click through to a sales page. If it does that it is successful whether you sell a product or not. The sale of the product is dependent on the sales page.
8. Use contact information
You are building a relationship and that is based on trust. Let people know who you are and how to reach you.
9. Be responsive
If you receive an email from a subscriber answer it. That goes a long way to building the trust that is necessary to create a customer. People buy from those that they trust.
These tips will go a long way towards helping you in building a relationship with your list. A crucial ingredient to to build a profitable list. Follow me on LinkedIn for more effective online marketing tips.
Small business marketing to stand out from the competition
Small business marketing is easier than ever thanks to the internet. Right?
Wrong. Well, not totally wrong – but there’s no denying that in some ways, digital marketing complicates things for small business owners.
What do I mean by that?
Well, before the internet, most companies were competing with only a few rivals. There were exceptions, of course – mail order companies like LL Bean are a good example. But for the most part, business competition was a local affair.
With the internet, that all changed. Suddenly the marketplace (and the competition) became global. While some companies (those who provide in-person services, for example) still compete on an exclusively local level, many others find that they’re competing with companies across the planet.
Does that mean you should give up? Absolutely not. The key to being seen online is understanding what you can do to separate yourself from your key competitors.
Here are six ways to accomplish that goal.
#1: Focus on the Outcome You Provide
Forget about what you’re selling. What are you doing for people?
When people research a product or service online, they’re looking for a solution. It makes sense, then, that your online marketing should specify that you provide one.
For example, say you run a meal delivery company. That means you’ll be competing against local companies as well as big national brands.
If all you say is that you deliver meals, you won’t have done anything to explain what people can expect if they choose your company over your competitors.
Now, let’s say that your specialty is family-friendly meals that kids love. The result that your target audience wants is no-fuss weekday dinners they can get on the table in a hurry.
There’s your outcome: Stress-free weeknight dinners for busy parents. You can see how approaching your marketing from that angle would be appealing to your customers.
#2: Find What Makes Your Product or Service Unique
What makes your product special? There must be something, or you won’t be able to differentiate yourself from your key competitors.
Imagine that you’re marketing a hair salon. There are probably several others in your area – so what makes yours special?
If you have tablets with a selection of kids’ movies to keep kids from wiggling around and getting bored while their hair is being cut, that’s something that sets you apart from the other options available.
In other words, your marketing should focus on why a potential customer should choose you. What do you offer that nobody else does?
Keep in mind that your unique sales proposition doesn’t have to be complicated.
You might simply have the lowest prices or the longest business hours. Whatever it is, though, make sure to highlight it in your digital marketing.
#3: Develop an Unforgettable Brand
What happens when you combine the first two items on this list with memorable graphics and a unique voice?
You have an unforgettable brand – something that defines your company and its products and imprints them indelibly in your target audience’s minds.
It’s common for small businesses to make the mistake of thinking that their brand is just their logo. But let’s face it, Nike’s brand is about much more than that distinctive swoosh.
If you take a minute to look at Nike’s website or Facebook page – or any of their marketing – what you’ll notice is that they have a consistent brand that’s associated with:
These things are exemplified by their slogan, “Just Do It.” The written content, photographs, and videos that Nike uses for marketing all adhere to their overall brand.
The more consistently and memorably you identify and market your brand, the more likely it is that your target audience will know you, remember you, and buy from you.
#4: Be an Expert in Your Field
If you expect people to become loyal customers, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back to your business for what they need. One way to do that is to know your industry inside and out.
What can you do to be an expert? You can:
-Read industry publications and stay abreast of new developments
-Leverage your experience to gain insight to your customers
-Learn about other topics relevant to your customers
For example, if you own a sporting goods store, you might educate yourself about sports medicine, nutrition, training, and related topics to help you relate to your customers and make recommendations to them.
Once your customers view you as an authority, they’ll be willing to trust you with future purchases – and to recommend you to their friends.
#5: Guarantee the Results of Your Product or Service
Any new customer who comes to you is likely to have questions and concerns about your product or service. Will you deliver on your promises?
Any marketing you do must focus on overcoming potential customer objections. One way to do that is to offer a guarantee based on the results of the customer’s purchase – and make it a better guarantee than what your competitors are offering.
For example, imagine you’re selling HVAC systems. If research reveals that your competitors are offering a five-year guarantee of their work, you might consider offering seven years or ten years.
A simple guarantee – provided you can back it up – can do a great deal to alleviate customer concerns and convince your audience to choose your company over your competitors.
#6: Break the Rules
Marketing rules are rules, right?
Well, maybe not. As the saying goes, rules are made to be broken.
In the end, any marketing advice you hear should be taken with a grain of salt. The things we’ve outlined here are universal, but they’re not clad in stone.
Do you have a brash marketing idea, the kind of thing that none of your competitors is doing? Give it a try! There’s no reason you can’t take a chance with your marketing.
The main thing to remember if you venture off the beaten path is that you shouldn’t do anything to devalue your product or service. Be bold but not foolhardy. The risks you take should be calculated ones.
Marketing is a science…
But it’s also an art. And every artist knows that they’ve got to take chances some of the time. In the end, your marketing should make your business successful and profitable. If it does that, nobody will care whether you followed the rules.
Back in 2007, when I started my marketing consulting firm, my main focus was video marketing. Using a real video camera, not a cell phone, I would record reality style videos for my clients’ websites. Then I would upload them to every available video platform. I would search for other ways to get visibility for their videos, online and offline.
As time went along, I concentrated more on mobile and text marketing. It was a more affordable way for my clients to stay in touch with their customer lists. Back then, creating a business video could cost 10 times more than a well organized text campaign.
High cost, disappointing results
Recently I’ve been visiting local small businesses, and I was stunned by a very alarming trend. Some of these business owners have paid upwards of $3000 to so called video marketing “experts”. These “marketers” that recorded the videos, uploaded them to YouTube and a year later, the videos had an average of 20 views. Also during that time it haven’t generated any leads or sales.
I’ve owned businesses in the service, retail, internet and professional arenas. One aspect of business I learned early on was that I could be the best at running my business, however if I didn’t learn marketing, it would be for nothing.
So for the past twenty years, I have been constantly learning and updating my marketing knowledge. I have studied proven marketing concepts from the best minds of the past and present. And nowadays anyone with a mobile device can record a video and upload it to YouTube. However, it takes more than that to do video marketing or any type of marketing for that matter.
It takes having a marketing mindset along with some real world business experience to spot great marketing opportunities. We need to keep searching for the best marketing strategies.
This trend reminded of the beginning days of the internet when anyone with a computer and some knowledge of HTML, would call themselves “internet marketers”. Back then it was a common practice to just sell websites without any knowledge on how to make the website produce for the business owner. This is a dis-service to small business owners who put their trust in these “marketers”.
The Power of Video
Video marketing is a powerful marketing strategy for authority positioning, getting leads and sales. Establish your credibility and gain visibility also by doing video marketing. The statistics don’t lie. The number of people watching video everyday, is staggering. Google knows it too. But like I already mentioned, recording a video and uploading to YouTube is not enough.
Publish multi-media news releases since it allows for the embedding of videos which helps to get more juice out your video content.
Convert your video into an effective marketing tool by educating yourself first. Asking the video marketer for suggestions and ideas on how to best market a video, besides the obvious YouTube, is good starting point. It would give the business owner an idea on what to expect, even before the video is created.
Authority Positioning can help with two of the most challenging aspects to becoming a successful public speaker: the constant task of finding enough speaking gigs in order to get booked solid throughout the year and the goal of getting paid higher speaking fees.
Because of the growing availability of speakers in every imaginable subject, it has become a struggle for many new and established public speakers to stand out and succeed in their careers.
Position yourself as the go-to expert in your particular subject matter and become the logical public speaking choice. This is the key for any struggling public speaker to get an edge on the competition and succeed.
Implement Authority Positioning strategies in your public speaking business. This as very effective way for to promote yourself and stay top of mind of potential speaking gigs.
Apply these five Authority Positioning strategies to start getting some traction:
Publish a press release. Press releases have been around for a long time. Many marketers have dismissed them as an outdated and ineffective medium. But the fact remains that they’re being used effectively everyday by savvy marketers who know how to format and write them. The prices of press releases vary but they carry a lot credibility. They can also help boost the visibility and trust factors. Let the world know about your speaking engagements, events and invitations by publishing a news release regularly.
As confirmed by Apple, there are currently more than 550,000 active podcasts out there, and this number is rapidly growing. With so many podcasts out there, it’s easy to see that a well targeted podcast aimed at the right audience can reap powerful benefits. Also, leverage your participation on a podcast because it can go a long way for public speakers to increase their expert status. Spread the word about your podcast on social media for even more traction.
Related: Video Marketing
Create your own videos. The proliferation of video platforms have made it very easy for public speakers to share their content online by using video marketing. YouTube, is owned by Google and it provides a convenient way to share videos with the whole world. Have a properly optimized YouTube channel where potential prospects can go to. This can help provide professional exposure for your public speaking career.
Write a book and you’ll be automatically looked at as an Author-ity. Writing a book or being part of a Multi-Author book can help public speakers to distance themselves from the competition. It can take the place of a business card when meeting potential speaking gig decision makers.
5-Social Media postings
Post media mentions, accomplishments and public speaking appearances. Also, announce upcoming events. These are some of the powerful opportunities available by using social media for authority positioning.
Mix and match these five tips. These five strategies can help your public speaking create powerful credentials for getting more speaking gigs and higher fees. They can also help you quickly build an expert reputation and position yourself as the Authority. Differentiate yourself by posting industry content that educates your potential clients.
Through the years, LinkedIn marketing has proven to be the most powerful social media marketing strategy for businesses and careers. Because it is the biggest business networking outlet in the world, users have a different outlook when logging in to LinkedIn. Specially when compared to their counterparts such as Facebook and Twitter.
On LinkedIn, there is a different mood and the messages tend to be more professional. Moreover, discussions are headed toward transactions and partnerships and everything is focused on building businesses or advancing careers.
To market a business online, here are some tips that can improve any LinkedIn marketing potential:
Have A Completed LinkedIn Profile
The business profile says a lot about the business brand, because as the saying goes “You’ll never have a second chance to make a great first impression.” For starters, make sure you fill your profile 100%. Your LinkedIn profile is not merely an online resume, but it is also a place where you could display your specialties, credentials, and expertise. Also make sure to feature past projects, tackle causes you are passionate about, and express your personality. It must clearly demonstrate the importance you have brought into the organizations you were a part of. Use your profile to specify how you could help potential clients. Add documents, photos and videos whenever possible to help you stand out.
Connect with Everybody
Some LinkedIn beginners would say that businesses must only connect with others that they already know and trust. It is understandable where they are coming from. But you cannot expect to increase your options and opportunities when you close your communication to other members of LinkedIn.
Now, think about this: you are already familiar with the opportunities that your closest connections could share because you talk to each other more often. It is time to use LinkedIn marketing to introduce your business, make new connections, and help more people connect. You can also accept invitations from others because the more connections you have, the bigger your network grows. In the long run, this would help create more opportunities for you!
This is one of the basic things that everyone must do. Businesses can create a call to action, which can draw more attention than creating a generic link to the company website. If it is unique and appealing, people who visit the business profile would feel inspired to click on the links. It can also motivate prospects to visit your business websites again.
Have A Compelling LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn profiles should not be boring. To avoid this, businesses can have a video recommendation, put an interesting story in their summary, or tell people about the business, who they help, and how they help. These suggestions will help visitors to have direction when they look at your business profile.
Join Targeted Groups
It actually does not matter what industry a business is in, this is an important part of LinkedIn that every business must focus the most. Joining niche-related groups and being the owner of a certain group both have their advantages. These groups are like independent social media where businesses can connect with their partners, spread their message, and take their business to a whole new level.
Optimize Search Ranking
Individuals are always searching for other people on LinkedIn. They want to find freelancers, employee candidates, industry experts, etc. If they optimize their profile, they can be easily found by more people who look for their specialization.
Businesses would get a stream of opportunities when they take advantage of LinkedIn marketing and improve their profile.
Make sure to follow me on LinkedIn.