For many small businesses, especially service-based businesses, generating leads from their website is their one and only online goal. The problem is that many marketers fail to realize this and are disconnected from small business goals. This means that it is often left up to the business themselves to figure out how to generate leads from their site. With the troves of information available, along with conflicting strategies, ideas and goals, it can be nearly impossible to sort through and develop an effective lead generation strategy.
For this article I am going to be using examples of two painting companies.
Develop A Tiered Content Strategy
One of the beautiful things about online marketing is that there is no limit to the amount of content you can create within your site and entry points you can create to your site. The idea with a tiered content strategy is to develop broad pages about each of your service. Then continually add more content until you have very narrow focused content.
Broad Level Pages
For our painting company example, these pages are about their broad range of services such as interior painting, exterior painting, residential painting and commercial painting. For each one of these broad level services we write great content explaining what the service is, what problems it solves, how it benefits the customer and finally how to get ahold of the business.
Mid Level Content
Mid level content is when we break down everything the company offers into individual services. For a painting company the pages are often as follows: Interior Wall Painting, Wallpaper Hanging, Painting Kitchen Cabinets, Exterior Cedar Staining, Garage Painting and so on. Cities and areas that you offer your services can also be mid level content pages.
As you can see, the pages have become more specific about the exact services that the company offers. When working in WordPress, both broad level and mid level pages are usually created as pages, not posts. Once mid level pages have been created, I often go back into the broad level pages and include links to the mid level pages and vice versa.
Narrow content is when we break down the services into individual projects, how to’s, tips and more. It is often created as blog posts on our projects and includes posts such as: How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets, The Fastest Way To Remove Wallpaper, Which Exterior Paint Is Best and so on. These can also include portfolio style pieces showing off your work.
Every piece of narrow content should always link back to mid level or broad level content. If I write a post on “How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets”, I will make sure to link back to the mid level content “Kitchen Cabinet Painting”. It describes a service and Interior Painting which shows what else the company does.
Geo-Target All Of Your Content
Geo-Targeting your content is as simple as making sure to mention specific areas where you offer your services in all of your content. If you are a painting company in the Minneapolis, MN area you need to make sure that you mention Minneapolis and/or Minnesota in every page or post.
Make Contact As Easy As Possible
This is one of the easiest and dumbest mistakes many website owners make. Offering just a contact form or just a phone number is not good enough. Some people don’t want to talk on the phone while others only want to talk on the phone.
You also need to make sure that there is a contact form and phone number at eye level on every single page and post within your website. Only having a “contact” link to your contact page in your top navigation means that you are missing out on leads. Today’s internet users want what they are looking for immediately. If you make it hard in any way, they will leave.
If you use sidebars in your website, make sure to have a contact form at the top of your sidebar. Also, including a small contact form at the end of your content is also a great idea. I have actually replaced all comment forms in some of my clients blogs with contact forms to great success.
Ask The Visitor To Contact You
This is one of the oldest rules in sales, if you want the sale you need to directly ask for the sale. The same holds true in online marketing. If you want the visitor to contact you, make sure to ask them to contact you. Don’t be happy with a contact form on to the side of your content, in your content tell your reader to contact you and tell them to do it now. A simple “For a fresh look in your home, Contact Homefront Painting Today” can actually increase your leads significantly.
Design Is Secondary
This is a problem that really gets under my skin. I have seen web design companies absolutely destroy any chances for success with many of the small business they work with by putting all of their focus and effort into their website design. They do this by convincing the business to invest all of their money into their new website. When they are done, the small business has spent $3,000 – $10,000 on an amazing looking website.
The problem now is that they have no money left over to market the website. They have the best looking website that nobody sees.
If you have a small budget, say $3,000 for example, for your total online investment, DO NOT invest $3,000 into a new website. Find a freelancer to build you a nice site for $1,000. Or even hire someone to set up your site using a premium theme. Infact, you could most likely do this for well under $1,000. Then use your remaining $2,000 to hire top quality copywriters and marketers for your site.
I’m going to share something with you. This painter site is using an old theme from Studio Press (I can’t stand the theme, it is so out of date). But they invest in weekly blogging, quality written content and a good marketing strategy. They typically see between 15-30 leads a month for a small 3 man painting company. This website completely runs their business. With their small budget would it be better to spend $5,000 on an amazing new site? Or $500 a month on a great marketing strategy?
Create A Sense Of Trust With Your Visitors
While design shouldn’t be #1, you need to make sure that your website convinces your visitors that they can trust you. You can do this a few different ways. Firstly, by utilizing a quality design that is up to date and professional looking. It doesn’t have to be amazing, just professional. Second, testimonials are worth their weight in gold. Don’t try to write fake testimonials, a visitor with half a brain can sniff out fake testimonials a mile away. Last, in depth, smart content shows your customers that you know what you are talking about and builds you up as an expert in their mind. If they see you as a trustworthy expert, you just turned them from a cold lead into a warm lead.
Develop Complimentary Content
Complimentary content is a supplement to your website. Complimentary content is things such as youtube videos, social media and guest posting. For the painting companies we market for, we like to use Youtube to create supplementary content. For example, we wrote a truly epic 2,000 word post on how to paint your kitchen cabinets complete with a list of items to purchase and many great photos. We then created a 9 minute Youtube video to go along with it. The Youtube video now has over 64,000 views! It has been huge at generating new leads and building trust for the company. They often hear from clients how they watched the video and ended up deciding it looked too much work. Meanwhile, they looked like the perfect company.
A word of caution about complementary content. It can be very easy to become distracted by social media and start believing that it is where you should be spending most of your time. It isn’t. 80% of your time needs to be spent on your website. Why? Because you own your website, it is built by you and for you, it is what ultimately turns visitors into leads. Also, don’t fall for the thinking that you need to be involved in every social site every made. Choose 1 or two and keep your efforts focused.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can give your website a shot of adrenaline and get the leads flowing in. If you’d like help getting your service website generating leads for your business, feel free to contact us.