19 Ideas to Boost Website Quote Volume – NOW!
2020 was finally going to be the year for the new company website! Until the coronavirus came along.
Many companies have put their new website development plans on hold, but the sales and marketing machine needs to continue in some way. Just because you’re not doing an entirely new site, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a wide variety of low-cost improvements you can make to your digital marketing and web presence right now – short of deploying an entirely new site. Looking for some ideas?
Here’s a checklist from a GGC brainstorm on the methods we use to improve website performance. The virus won’t last forever, companies will come back to work, and we’ll all need to re-start the marketing and lead generation engine. Putting these techniques in place – now – positions you for a faster re-start than your competitors.
Web and Search Have Never Had More Revenue Potential
These are probably items you’ve always intended to do, but never had time to get around to it. So this is the perfect time to finally check these off your list. Why? Companies aren’t scheduling face-to-face meetings with salespeople, so they’re relying on search even more for research into new companies and products. Your online search and digital presence has never been more critical. You’ll notice that we’re sharing this with our community as a gesture of support to help everyone get through this – no landing page, no “meet with us to get the list” sales attempts. Please share this with other marketing professionals you know. We’re all in this together, in what truly is an unprecedented business interruption that none of us have ever experienced. We hope this gives you a bit of a roadmap to accelerate your company’s recovery.1. Analyze Site Data and User Experience Boosting. Website performance always begins with data. Take this time to dig into Google Analytics and Google Search Console to point the way to how to improve the current site as it stands today. Ask yourself:
> What’s your conversion rate? If your site isn’t converting 2% of anonymous visitors to leads, you have work to do. And even if you’re at the 2% benchmark, the savvy marketer will always try new ideas (keep reading!) to improve performance.
> 80-20 Rule – the rule applies to your website traffic as well. The bulk of your traffic goes to a few key pages, for every company. Identify them, and look at the conversion ratios for those pages – are they highly optimized for search? How many of those visitors eventually make it to a Contact/Quote page, and how can you boost that?
>Take a fresh look at Google Search Console to make sure you’re targeting all the keywords people are using to ACTUALLY get to your site. And, look at the click through percentage for those terms – low percentages mean that you should update your meta tags to make your search results more compelling, more likely to be clicked on.
> Run a competitor keyword report to see what terms your competitors are targeting, to be sure you are as well.
>Dig into Google Analytics traffic patterns to uncover where people are bouncing out of the site and how you can prevent that.
> Conduct a User Experience. Review to identify ways to improve how visitors navigate through the site and where they get blocked. Consider putting Hotjar or other tracking tools on your site to see where people go, and where they get stuck. These sessions are recorded, so you can actually see mouse movements in each user session and get a better feel than Google Analytics data can sometimes show.
2. Fix Up the Site Back-end Infrastructure. Site speed performance, SSL certificates, reducing plugins and other basics of website health always need to be in place, of course, but certainly while people are doing more searches to find what they need. Is your site platform updated, and does it support the latest security updates? This is actually the perfect time to run the technical infrastructure reports needed to measure site performance and site health to ensure it’s secure and running with top efficiency.
3. SEO Audit. When someone searches for you, is the copy in your search result REALLY what you want to say? Is your page speed fast enough? Is your domain authority high enough to beat competitors when you’re trying for the same key terms? How many “snippets” do you have at the top of the page? And are you doing search optimization on your YouTube videos? Sales begins on search, and the battle for lead share is fought on page one of Google. The highest quality leads typically come from organic search, so this is the ideal time to revisit your search program and make sure you’re doing everything you can – and everything your competitors are – to win that battle.
4. Refresh Your Header. Even if you can’t do a new site, you can give your site a “new look feel” with a refreshed header at the top of the home page and fresh graphics on high-traffic interior pages. It may not look like a new site to you, but it’s an inexpensive method for making it feel new to returning visitors.
5. Add Exit Interrupts. Before someone leaves the site, pop up a message that offers a handbook, asks if they want to talk to someone, asks if they need a quote. You’ve already done the hard work to get them there – don’t let them leave so easily!
6. Add Side Flags Add Catalog, Quote, Contact buttons on the right margin of the site, programmed to be “sticky” so they always appear. Even if this seems redundant, because those offers are in the header, visitors still click on them. You want every chance at engaging people as you can get.
7. Track Who’s Visiting the Site. HubSpot and other marketing automation tools make it easy to find out if any of your prospects visit the site. Give your salespeople instant alerts if any of their targets return, including insight into what pages they’re actually visiting.
8. Add Chat B2B. Companies need every avenue to engage with a customer, with as little friction as possible. Our clients that have chat find some of their best, qualified conversations take place even with existing customers via chat. It’s just a few sessions a week, but that’s only going to grow as it becomes more commonplace.
9. UX Audit Your Ecommerce Store. With so many working from home and not seeing salespeople, every visitor to your store is precious. You certainly want to eliminate any barriers, and do everything you can now to reduce the number of clicks before purchase. Is the abandon rate too high? Would you get more conversions with more technical detail? How about adding 360-degree photos or even more photos? Conduct a UX audit of your store sessions to eliminate any barriers to converting to a sale. They’re certainly the visitors most ready to buy!
10. Tighten Your ROI Tracking. Good times or bad, improving our ability to report ROI is at the top of every marketing survey’s list of priorities. The good news is that with tools like HubSpot and CRM, it’s never been easier. We track leads coming in, we move it into CRM, and report sales success in closing them. Reporting on “influenced revenue” and closed revenue is clear cut and built into most technology platforms today, but many companies haven’t taken the time to build out the dashboard reporting that will mean so much to management. Now’s the time for drawing that straight line from marketing to sales to ROI.
11. Update Your Dashboard Template. It’s a good time to review the dashboards and KPIs you’re reporting to management. Are they clear? Are you reporting just Outcomes, not Activities? And are you focused on KPIs that tie to real business goals, not just “vanity metrics” like traffic and Facebook likes? Clean up your dashboards, use inexpensive real time visualization tools like Databox, and provide your team with metrics that are more meaningful.
12. Diagnose Your Funnel Metrics and Remove the Roadblocks. Every company has leads coming in, even during a downturn. And every company gets new customers. Now it’s even more important to know how well that process works. Identify every conversion ratio at each stage of your funnel – as a contact moves from lead to marketing qualified to sales qualified to quote to customers, you MUST know what the percentages are for each stage, so you can diagnose what might be blocking movement through the funnel. Here’s an example. Consider a company that converts 5% of leads to marketing qualified. Why so low, what could that mean?
>You’re targeting the wrong people
> They’re not finding your message on target or persuasive
>Your sales processes aren’t efficient at converting them quickly when interest is highest
Any of those could be the case, and ALL of those need to be fixed! Use your CRM to look at that data company wide, and then perhaps by salesperson, by industry, by product line to uncover additional insights.
13. Conduct a Lead Mapping Workshop. A half day workshop with your marketing and sales team in a room – or on Zoom video conference – will uncover gaps and missing steps in how your company handles leads and prospects. Consider this: it’s not unusual for us to find 20-30 different “touches” of a lead as it moves through the website, through the funnel, through marketing to sales. That’s not very efficient. How can we accelerate that, remove the touches, automate the process? Use this time to re-engineer and optimize your lead process.
14. A/B Test Your Landing Pages and Email Templates. Long copy vs short, graphics vs text, morning vs afternoon, message A vs message B. A/B tests have never been easier to conduct, and it’s an inexpensive way to squeeze more efficiency out of what you’re already doing that’s successfully bringing people to your site.
15. Look at Your Website Visitor’s Age Demographics. The key warning here is if your site is drawing traffic predominantly from the 45+ year old audience. You’ll have to get more aggressive about reaching younger decision-makers or you’ll quickly age-out of business.
16. Ungate Your Content. It’s counter-intuitive, but the trend for the past few years has been to remove landing pages that gate content, providing it to visitors without requiring their information. The landing page format has become a bit tired, and in many audiences stats are showing people are less likely to complete a form. So they leave. By ungating, you’re not only getting your message in front of people you’ve worked so hard to attract, but you’re improving your Google rankings by making it easier for Google to index the page and tag you with higher page authority on those particular keywords.
17. Add CTAs To Your Blog Post. It’s a basic strategy in blogging, to push people deeper into the funnel by directing them to a Middle- or Bottom-Of-Funnel offer. Yet for most clients we engage with, we typically find no content offers (or interior links) in blogs that will convert to the leads you need.
18. Add Brand Campaigns To Paid Search. if you’re doing paid search, most companies find the highest click through rates and conversions on campaigns that involve branded terms. Yes, it’s frustrating to pay for a click for someone who already knows your name – but you’re looking for results, and branded campaigns were you’ll find them most easily and most efficiently in a paid search campaign. Also, consider Yahoo/MSN/Bing. Cost/click is often much lower there for the same keywords, and lead quality doesn’t show any difference between there and Google. It’s an easy cost-saving strategy to test.
19. Product Selector/Calculator. If you can’t afford a new website, it may be a good time to add a few tools, such as a product configurator, Check Stock tool or ROI calculator. These are priceless methods for moving prospects deeper inside the funnel in ways that capture the attention of real prospects. In our entire careers there’s never been a better time to re-think, re-design, reimagine and innovate around sales and marketing. So many projects don’t require much investment if any at all, other than our brainpower, the tools we already have, and our willingness to be open to new ideas. This is actually, in many respects, a time when it’s OK to try new things and fail, learn and iterate, and try again.
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