Capture and Conversion

The difference between successful marketing campaigns and those that fail often comes down to how comprehensive the strategy is. If you tend to think solely in terms of tactics, it’s easy to fall short on execution. Marketing is a process that builds and reinforces relationships over time. Much of the disappointment business owners endure trying to generate a return on marketing investments comes from an over-emphasis on finding that one magic thing that will “take them to the next level.”

Having the power to buy qualified search engine traffic and direct it to your website is addicting. Even more intoxicating is the idea of generating free traffic by ranking organically for high priority keywords. But to actually make a profit from the traffic that comes to your website, you need a process in place to capture leads as well as a follow up system to nurture leads that are not quite ready to buy. This is the area where 99% of most small business marketers fall short.

Search Engine Marketing provides small business marketers with revolutionary opportunities that simply did not exist a decade ago. At the same time, it’s also one of the top distractions that can get a business owner off-track with her marketing program. The pitfall comes when generating traffic takes priority over all else.

Traffic for the sake of traffic is useless. If you have a static, brochure-style website that does little more than let people know you are in business, a #1 ranking in Google isn’t going to mean much. On the other hand, if you have a content-rich website that provides value to interested customers and encourages them to interact, you can literally blow the doors off higher-ranked competitors that are using the same tired techniques everyone else is using.

So how can you start implementing a conversion process on your website? One of the easiest and most effective ways to convert traffic into leads is by offering something of value to your prospects in exchange for their contact information. Not too long ago we discussed some ideas to develop that content here.

The idea is that instead of simply expecting people to land on your website and call immediately to buy something, you assume the role of a purchasing consultant that helps prospects make an educated decision. By doing so you not only provide a helpful service, but you also position yourself as the obvious expert in your field. Once you’ve succeeded in establishing that kind of credibility, it makes price comparisons between you and your competitors difficult and largely irrelevant.

One last thing to keep in mind is that a large percentage of the prospects that respond to your lead capture process are not going to buy right away. This is where a well thought-out lead nurturing sequence comes into play. We’ll discuss that in the near future.

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