In this tough economy marketing dollars are tight. As a savvy marketer you know that right now is the perfect time for you to pick up market share as your competitors are tightening their belts. Let’s assume your emotional side has gotten the best of you and your rational side can’t pry another dollar from your marketing budget.
What do you do?
That’s the question I ask myself everyday. Fortunately, all of the marketing I am responsible for here is online and therefore trackable down to the impression/click or action. This is all made possible by the ad serving technologies we use (i.e. Doubleclick) and web analytic providers i.e., (WebTrends, Google Analytics, Omniture, Coremetrics, etc.).
Part of the challenge with access to all of the data is making sense of it and using it to further your objective, which for discussion is about increasing lead capture to gain market share.
Over time, I have developed a very simple exercise for making your online marketing investment work twice as hard for you without spending a single extra dollar on marketing. I refer to it by the term conversion rate optimization analysis. In laymen terms it means getting more people from point A to point Z by removing potential obstacles along the way. The only caveat is that it does require an analytics platform and minimal tagging on key confirmation pages. Google Analytics makes this simple to implement requiring no more than 3 or 4 hours at most even for a beginner.
Start by asking yourself what is the prime objective of driving traffic to your site. Ask yourself what marketing methods will you employ, e.g. banner’s, paid search engine campaigns, distributed listings, etc. I am willing to bet your prime objective is turning traffic into inquiries based around a listing or helping a prospective buyer search for their new home. If that is the case, then identify the path you think the user should be following to get from point A to point Z.
I’d imagine the first action is running a search (whether it be for listings or agents), that is the top of the funnel. Have you checked to see how easy is it for the user to find that function on your home page? Is it above the fold (meaning is it visible without scrolling)? It is important to focus on getting as many people into the funnel as possible because you are going to lose them on the journey to becoming a lead.
The next step is typically a search results page and the desired action is selecting a listing(s) or agent to view in more detail.
Lastly, is the detail page, which has the call to action for converting a browser into an official lead.
Let’s look at this process via a funnel analysis with numbers as it effectively communicates the point. 100,000 visitors come to my home page a month, 30% of those visitors run a search, 40% of the searchers view a detail page and 20% fill in a lead form or call for more information. That means I have 2,400 leads and 2.4% conversion which isn’t half bad.
Now let’s assume that through my funnel analysis I make minor tweaks to streamline the path from home page to lead capture and I was able to increase the visitors running a search by 5% to 35% by making the search box more prominent. Then let’s say I tweak my search results page to allow 50 results per page instead of 20 that increase the likelihood to click on something by 10%. Lastly, let’s say I add 3 bullet points explaining why a user should reach out and contact me next to the call to action button to initiate a lead form that raises our completion by 15%.
Do you realize that by making those simple changes you receive over 3,700 new leads!
The point is this: To increase lead capture, there are numerous things you could be doing to your site to accomplish this that won’t cost you a dime. Focus on improving your web site sales funnel and I promise it will have a dramatic impact on your marketing ROI.