companies are disappointed in the results they get from their Web site. They
spent a lot of money on design and content there may be thousands of unique
visits recorded, but very few calls are resulting. Most companies have Web
sites that reflect an “inside-out” orientation, what we in the search
engine marketing business call “brochure ware.” The original purpose
was met, to provide information, but as a result, the Web site is like a flyer
that is skimmed once and then thrown away.
All the money spent on attracting interest from prospects is wasted if the
interest isn’t reciprocated. Reaching far beyond a brochure, the Web provides a
rich media environment and two-way data-driven communication. This should drive
a Web site with an “outside-in” approach, one that is wrapped around
the wants and needs of the prospect. Your web site is the most valuable real
estate you own. The web provides a single point of access between you and your market–it
can offer 360-degree visual tours, audio or video testimonials, brochures on
demand, discount coupons, and client references–at the same time it can gather
information about your prospect and deliver instantaneous, completely free follow-up.
Especially on the web, successful marketers anticipate the needs of the
prospect, and they work constantly to understand “the mind of the
market.” Search engine optimization helps your site focus on attracting
prospects, giving them exactly what they are looking for. Once prospects get to
your site, the images and words you use are important, but they have to be part
of a larger sales strategy, one that incorporates powerful, motivating messages
and two-way methods of communication. This sales flow optimization is just as
important to your success as SEO.
Flow: The Secret to Successful Search Engine Marketing
sales organizations have been very poor at converting leads into sales. They
have asked the marketing team to give them only hot leads: prospects with
budget, a timetable, and a list of people involved in the decision. Marketing
was expected to qualify each prospect and deliver the hot leads to sales.
Today, the prospect qualifies YOU, not the other way around. One of our largest
clients was using a lead form with 19 fields not just name and phone number,
but size of the expected order and time-to-decision! We told the marketing team
that their sales department ought to be renamed the order taker department!
This form was used by prospects only 3% of the time meaning, 97% abandoned the
site rather than fill out the form. Now, this company gets the information
incrementally, over a few weeks but they are closing over 200% more business
from the web.
Converting a prospect into an active lead on the
web takes courtship. You are wooing, building a relationship. That takes really
trying to learn what people are looking for, to get into the customers head.
Knowing that most prospects are looking for specifications and pricing, you can
make your data sheets easy to find, and maybe even have a downloadable price
list. When they print out the price list or the data sheet, they get the
contact information to follow up. These days, companies find out they are on
the short list just a short time before the customer buys. Thats the power of
effective search engine marketing, but its a brave new world for the sales
person who thinks he or she is in control of the relationship with the