3 Tips to Generate More Qualified Sales Leads from Your Website

Get all the leads you want from your website?

…Or would you like more?

Truth be told, no company’s website does a perfect job of driving new leads to their sales team.

Even if you have an excellent website, new techniques and creative approaches always come on the radar.

When it comes to websites, your work truly is never done.

But what could you do right now that would offer you a quick boost to the number and quality of customers you get from your website?

Try these three things:

  1. Go With New and Different Information

Why “new” and “different?” Because it attracts attention. That’s just the way human minds work.

After hearing and seeing the same thing for some time, your mind naturally becomes interested in something that stands out from all the rest.

This is quite easy to do.

You know some common myths and misunderstandings in your niche. So, talk about the truth in those regards.

Or, maybe a new trend is emerging. But, you have a good reason why people shouldn’t follow it.

Talk about this on key pages on your website, which would especially be your home page. Your blog would be a good place to discuss this too.

  1. Discuss Who You Can’t Help

You’ll notice that most small businesses want to talk about some vague notions of being “best-in-class” or “custom” or “leaders.” Your website visitors start snoring when they hear these terms because they read them all the time.

Do you get a certain type of customer who you’re not a good fit for?

Make it abundantly clear on your website that you can’t help them. For example, you might say,”If you need your project done in two weeks, we’re not a good fit for you.”

…And then you don’t have to waste your time finding out you have a customer who refuses to change their unreasonable timeline expectations.

  1. Answer Questions for Customers in All Stages of the Sales Cycle

You know the questions customers ask that indicate they’re just thinking about using your product or service. But, they’re not quite ready yet.

And then you know the questions they ask when they’re ready to buy.

Simply answer those questions on your website pages just like you would in person. That way, you accommodate everyone, regardless of where they’re at in the sales cycle.

You don’t have to spend time answering the same questions over and over. Your website does that for you. And then when people are ready, they call.

See how simple that is, and how much time you save?

Your Website Should Be Your Greatest Sales Person Ever 

It’s not easy to make your website do all the selling it should. Clearly, it would take a lot of work to create all the information you use to sell in-person and put it on your website.

But that should be your goal.

Because once up, your website sells to every person who visits, 24/7/365.

What Amazing Content That Generates Links, Shares, Rankings, and Leads Looks Like

You produce content. But you don’t get the results you want.

Why?

Well, perhaps you don’t understand how to be the best at creating top-level content in your niche.

…And you don’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Because creating the crème-de-la-crème of content takes painstaking hard work and dogged determination.

Even skilled and experienced content creators have to put every ounce of their blood, sweat, and tears into their content to remain at the top.

Yeah.

It’s that hard.

And especially so here in 2018 where you have dozens, if not hundreds, of posts, videos, animations, podcasts, and infographics on exactly the same topic.

So, let’s examine what a truly astounding blog post looks like so you understand what to shoot for:

  1. First, You Provide Truly Unequalled Value

Brian Dean’s Backlinko blog is unquestionably one of the top 2 or 3 blogs in the SEO niche.

The guy gets nearly worshipped as a SEO (and content) demigod.

His most recent post, The Definitive Guide to SEO in 2018, spans an amazing 20,000 words.

But it’s not so much about the length.

It’s about the advice the words deliver.

That’s what keeps people coming back. It’s what gave this post 7100 shares (and counting). And it’s what inspired 473 comments.

Well, those words and Brian’s pre-existing status as a leader in his niche.

How long does it take to write those 20,000 words?

I don’t know. But, you can estimate at least a good 40 hours, and possibly up to 60.

By the way, Brian favors the approach of publishing 1-2 blog posts per month. And these days, he may not even publish that frequently.

All his effort goes into a single post that dominates the competition for a long, long time.

  1. Visual Appeal

In many niches, blog posts sorely lack any real visual appeal.

This isn’t a complete killer for your post’s popularity if you don’t take the time to do it.

But it hurts.

In the SEO niche, blogs on average do a better job of focusing on their visual appeal than most other niches.

But if you can find the time and/or money to have a useful and engaging visual appeal added to your post, it makes a huge difference to the number of links, shares, and comments you get.

For example, when you first visit Backlinko’s post this simple (but engaging) image greets you:

…And then when you scroll down, you see this graphical menu which allows you to click and navigate to various chapters in the post:

…And you’re bombarded with many custom graphics and videos throughout.

I don’t know what the cost for this design would be, but since Brian’s so popular in his niche and wants to keep his status, you can bet he didn’t skimp on costs.

Don’t Feel Constrained to This Ideal

Now look, this is the upper end of what you can aim for – the best the web has to offer (in regard to written content).

You don’t necessarily have to match it yourself because it might be out of your budget.

But, the closer you can come to this ideal, the better off you’ll be. Not only that, but your search rankings will stay secure not just for the next couple months, but for years ahead while your competitors figure out what to do.

By the way, other great example blogs to study and imitate include:

You may have your own favorites too. For now, you understand what your blog must look like to dominate your niche.

How to Dominate SEO in 2018

Think of your favorite sport.

Who’s your favorite coach in that sport?

…What do they constantly harp on?

“Fundamentals!”

Fundamentals. Fundamentals. Fundamentals.

Every successful coach understands the fundamentals. And they have a way of keeping their athletes focused on them and doing them right so they stay at the top of their game.

SEO is no different.

But, unlike sports, the fundamentals can change over time.

What do they look like for SEO in 2018 and beyond?

Something like this:

  1. Content Stays at the Top, And Especially This Kind of Content

A recent social media Examiner poll found 37% of marketers stated visual content was the most important kind for their business.

When you create visual content and promote it aggressively, you can attract your fair share of links and social media shares.

Infographics still work.

And so do embeddable images. “Embedabble images” have code others can easily grab and insert into their website.

Others will frequently link to it.

What if they don’t?

So what!

Visual marketing isn’t about tightly controlling the copyright to your image. You want your content to get out there and in front of people who will link to it and share it.

Most website owners understand that having outbound links to reputable sites like yours boosts their own SEO too.

  1. Include Video

Strange as it seems, video is still catching on, speaking in terms of its SEO value. You’d think websites would have understood and implemented this on a large scale by now.

But, that’s not the case.

First, understand YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine.

That shocked me. I thought that would be Amazon or Facebook.

But for now, the distinction rests in the hands of Google’s YouTube.

Many marketers simply won’t take the time to produce videos.

So, you have a distinct advantage when you produce videos and optimize them for YouTube.

  1. Unique Data

You’re certainly aware of the overabundance of content on nearly every subject.

It’s still possible to stand out with your own unique version.

But, it’s much harder than it used to be.

One easy way to differentiate and win attention is by publishing your own unique data.

You don’t have to do anything sophisticated.

Simply make it useful.

What if you run a “boring ol’ HVAC company?”

Publish data you 1) either research on your own or 2) find from a highly credible source that cites the number of Americans who feel uncomfortable with their home’s air temperature.

Or, do a quick survey of your own customers and publish the data.

Then, you wind up your discussion of the data with the fact that you offer a free audit that shows homeowners how you can help them stay cool and comfortable.

SEO doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. You just have to stay updated on what works…and what doesn’t.

And we’ll always be here to help you understand how to spend your time so you get the most value.

Apple’s New iOS 11 Will End Cookies and Change Online Advertising Forever

You know what cookies are, right?

In case you’re not exactly sure, they’re small files some websites store on your computer that include information a company has tracked about you. Most commonly, they get used for advertising. Those retargeted ads that seem to follow you around from site-to-site have their data stored in cookies.

Cookies may also be used to store information regarding whether you’ve seen a particular newsletter subscription offer. For example, you get 10% off for joining a website’s email list. Once you sign up, you don’t get shown that ad again thanks to the cookie.

They also may store information about how you like to view a certain website. For example, ESPN lets you select your favorite teams to follow, and that info gets stored in a cookie.

That’s what cookies do. They allow the web to be customized to you in a more personal way.

But now, as is often the case with Apple, they’re changing that. iOS 11 now shifts the web to “intelligent tracking prevention” (ITP).

After 24 hours, advertisers will have their cookie data blocked by ITP. Publicly, Apple says they’re doing this to safeguard user data and deliver even more relevant advertising.

But is that the case? Learn a little more about ITP and what it will do:

  1. The Good For Consumers

You’ve heard about all those massive online data breaches in recent years. Apple’s ITP truly does offer better data protection. That’ll help you feel more at ease.

And, since those retargeted ads will have to disappear and be replaced after 24 hours, that’ll give you more relevant and useful ads. Ideally, this makes shopping online easier and more enjoyable.

  1. The Online Advertising Industry Will Consolidate

More automation and real-time activation will be needed to successfully advertise online. Companies will have to switch their focus to devices and identity resolution, rather than cookies. Any company that refuses to change, or without the capability to do so quickly enough, will fall out of relevance themselves, or have to close their doors.

  1. ITP Technology Won’t Have a Massive Effect

Though groundbreaking and disruptive in concept, only about 15% of mobile browsing happens in a browser, notes an Adage article. And 30% of that 15%, or just 5%, of mobile browsing happens in iOS.

What about all the rest of mobile advertising? It happens through apps.

Why Should You Care about This?

You’ll definitely notice the changes – both as a consumer and business. While it’s not likely to devastate your bottom line (thankfully), it will affect your approach and personal experience.

Is Google’s HTTPS Requirement Providing A Search Rankings Boost?

Google first incorporated your site’s usage of HTTPS way back in 2014. In 2017, they became more forceful and began requiring it.

Their intent has been good. HTTPS, after all, uses an encrypted connection to transfer data between your computer and the website you want to visit. Anything that makes the web more secure and more difficult for the bad guys is a good thing.

It’s not 100% bulletproof. But it’s another step that throws a wrench into the plans of cyber thieves.

So, it’s a good step.

Now, the real questions need answers:

  • Has this made any difference?
  • Do websites using HTTPS see the promised rankings boosts?

Let’s find out.

Does HTTPS Make Any Real Difference to Your Search Rankings?

SEO thought leader Brian Dean, with likely the largest subscriber list of SEO-interested folks online, did a study to learn the difference HTTPS actually makes to your search rankings.

His team found “HTTPS had a reasonably strong correlation” with rankings on page one.

So in this case, Google followed through on its promise.

However, it’s important to note that HTTPS isn’t a cure for poor search rankings. It’s not going to lift you from obscurity to page 1 by itself. The general consensus is that it gives you that extra nudge to beat your competition, assuming everything else is equal.

And How Many Sites Have Actually Adopted HTTPS?

Surprisingly, it appears not too many.

AHREFS, which makes a popular (and good) SEO analysis tool, did their own study to better understand HTTPS adoption. To get their data, they analyzed the 10,000 most popular websites.

They found:

  • Just 10% of websites have a “flawless HTTPS setup”
  • Only 35% of websites use HTTPS
  • 60% have no HTTPS at all
  • 5% have HTTPS, but with significant errors in the setup

By the way, you can read the whole study here.

Setting up HTTPS is not overly complex. But it can cost a noticeable amount of time and money.

For these larger websites, the costs wouldn’t have been prohibitive. But they would be inconvenient.

Smaller and local businesses might take issue with the cost of implementing HTTPS.

Should You Implement HTTPS?

If you haven’t already, you should do it as soon as you can. Google’s confirmed it as a genuine ranking signal.

Research supports their claim.

HTTPS is not astronomically expensive. And much of your competition doesn’t do it.

So why not give your users a more secure experience, dramatically reduce their risk of private data theft, and help them feel more confident in your website, and company as a whole?

With HTTPS, the sooner, the better.

How to Use Micro-Influencers to Gain Customers

 

You know the big-time influencers in your niche. They may have 100,000 social followers, and maybe even a million or more.

You know their name. Your co-workers know their name. Everyone knows their name.

You can’t doubt their status.

When you use the word “influencers,” that’s what most people think of.

Why Do Companies Care about Influencers So Much?

Today, they hold the key to lots of sales. And those sales come fast. They have a high level of trust with their audience, and when they tell them to buy something, their audience doesn’t hesitate.

But big-time influencers can be difficult to reach. Everyone wants to have a business relationship with them. And since they have such a high level of trust with their audience, they’re highly selective about what they recommend to them.

So, it can be nearly impossible to get through to big-time influencers on a consistent basis.

Instagram, in 2016, generated $570 million in sales through influencer marketing, for example.

So, Why Go After Micro-Influencers?

Because, they’re much easier to access, while still having a large enough audience (25,000 or less) in a focused niche that can drive serious sales.

Here’s how you might do that:

  1. Focus on Influencers Who Embody What Your Company Does

As you look at social media accounts, you’ll come across people who love to hike. If you sell products for outdoor enthusiasts who like hiking, you’ve found a natural connection.

Make sure they get a good amount of comments, likes, and shares when they post. That way, you know they have an engaged audience.

  1. Get Users to Generate content for Your Campaign

Say you run a company that conducts tours. Pretty boring on the surface, right?

Yep. But not when you involve influencers.

For example, you might ask them to post pictures of the amazing sights they see on one of your tours. You could offer them a free tour in exchange for their honest feedback, for example.

User-generated content works so well because it comes across as more authentic. Compare that to a $100,000 photo shoot depicting a celebrity doing the same thing.

Which would you trust more?

  1. Sponsored posts

These are logistically easy. Simply reach out to the influencer, ask them to create a detailed content piece about your product, but only after they experience your product firsthand.

It’s important you don’t show you’re trying to influence their opinion. You want their honest feedback…and not positive feedback just because they get their product for free.

Even if that feedback ends up not being positive, at least you learn how to improve your product to fit your market’s needs.

As you can see, building relationships with micro-influencers doesn’t need to be difficult. Just make sure you take time to qualify each one first.

Do they seem to be the perfect fit for your product?

Do they have an engaged audience?

If so, reach out. It could be just the spark your business needs to catch fire.