Which do you prefer: one hundred people lined up in front of your business, looking for something you don’t offer or ten people wanting your product or service? Most of us would take the ten (qualified leads) over the other hundred.

Here’s how to get your qualified leads online: Someone searches for your products or services, your website shows as the first result, the prospects click on it. Studies show about 34% of web users will click on the first result, 17% on the second, and 10% on the third. To advance your website towards the top results for searches relevant to your business is called “search engine optimization” or SEO.

SEO is one of the key areas where increasing number of local businesses are requesting our assistance. It’s easy to understand why. By capturing top placement in search engine results for your target 10-15 keyword phrases, your website is generating qualified leads.

But ranking high in Google or Yahoo is only half of the battle. Equally important is lead conversion or motivating the qualified lead to take real action:

○ provide an email address
○ complete a form
○ buy
○ call

Your website needs to have lead conversion built into its overall design. Take a look at TurboTaxOnline.com. That website does lead conversion very well.

Case Study

We provide SEO services to a prominent law firm in town. Getting it ranked number one for its target key words was not especially difficult - largely because we could geographically SEO the site (they provide services only in Hawaii) and because their competitors haven’t yet adopted SEO strategies. The traffic to its website and calls to its office have multiplied.

Now its challenge is to filter those leads in a more automated way and to close them more efficiently. Not all leads are good leads. How can they sort out their preferred customers?

This type of problem is what I call “an elite problem.” It’s the kind of problem we all want: too many leads. But how to leverage technology to help them qualify those leads? How to leverage the website to help them do more by doing less?

Improve the home page content.

Most websites don’t sell well because they focus too much on what the business does and not enough on how the business can help the potential customer.

In the case of the law firm, the home page should
make a value proposition:
1. Litigation is expensive.
2. We strive to settle each case. In fact, we settle XYZ% of our cases.
3. That means you save both time and money.
4. Our fees are PDQ.

This approach is brilliant. It tells the prospects how the law firm can help, why they should choose them, and what to expect in terms of cost. If a prospect doesn’t ‘get it’ or can’t afford it, he will move on. That’s good. If the prospect understands the value and has the money, she makes contact. Perfect.

Dedicate a superstar for lead follow up.

If you call my office and I answer it, you better watch out. I’m going to sell you something! (P.S. Feel free to try me: 942-0773 ext 123). If one of the other SuperGeeks answers the phone, you may not get the same level of selling. My SuperGeeks are IT professionals - not sales animals.

When someone responds to your online call-to-action, be sure to give that lead to the right person. You can’t dump those leads on the administrative staff and expect strong results. Instead, give the leads to your best closer. The ultimate goal is sales, so let the quarterback do the quarterbacking and let receiver do the receiving. Successful online marketing depends on the successful closing of sales leads. It still needs a human.

Placed targeted Facebook ads.

Facebook is a marketer’s paradise. Most people who use Facebook are truthful about who they are, what they do, what they like, etc. As a result, you can place a very targeted ad on Facebook, show it to a very targeted demographic, and send all those click-thrus to a very targeted landing page. And you can measure everything along the way, like how many people viewed the ad, how many actually clicked on it, and how many took action on the landing page. It’s a math equation. And you want to maximize the ROI.

For the law firm, they can now show a very specific ad to a very specific audience, like business owners and other attorneys (referrals) in Hawaii. And they have complete autonomy over how much they want to spend and for what duration of time. It’s awesome.

The bottom line: Successful marketing is more than just online marketing. And it’s more than just SEO. To make it work, you have to engineer the entire user experience in order to deliver the results you need. It requires business savvy and technical know-how. But once you get it right, you won’t be able to imagine how we ever lived without it.

Author's Bio: 

James Kerr is founder and Chief Geek of SuperGeeks, a Hawaii-based IT firm specializing in SEO Hawaii and seo services Hawaii. You can reach him at http://supergeeks.net/