Five Strategies to Apply When Your Service Business Online Marketing is Failing
We’ve all read those articles on what to do to achieve unbounded success online. Well this time I thought I would go with the opposite view. What to do when it’s not going well. Maybe the order book is looking a bit light. Or you start the week with a calendar full of white space without a prospect appointment in sight.
This is the time for quick results and a solid return on any marketing investment. When prospects call us at this stage we know we have to apply proven tactics that work quickly to turn things around. All while delivering the greatest return on their money. No pressure, eh?
Here I outline five of the many tactics we apply, and why each has made the list. Note that the order in which you apply these tactics is important. If you skip one or apply a few out of sequence, our experience is that the overall result is doubtful.
So let’s get started.
Strategy #1 – Clean up your traffic
In its current form and given its current content, your website will need a certain type of traffic to make it work – that is, convert visitors into leads.
Let me explain the “current form” part a bit more. We all know that in deciding which pages to rank over others one of Google’s key criteria is page content. (If you’re not convinced, reading their guide to “Search Engine Optimisation” will remove all doubt.)
This principle also applies to your website’s ability to convert visitors into leads. Content matters. A lot. Your content will hopefully convert a certain type of visitor – perhaps not all of them, but certainly those who like what you have written.
So the task remains to find this group, show it your content, and hope they convert. And because it’s always easier to fix one thing at a time we surmise that the
content will do its job, IF we can find the right audience.
Therefore we need to “clean up” your traffic to locate this group. I define “dirty traffic” as website visitors about whom you have no idea why they came visiting. The non-paid part of the Google search engine – commonly called organic traffic – could contain these people. Google’s no help here because it doesn’t reveal the keyword search terms these visitors used to arrive at your site – so you have no idea what they were looking for. What’s more, some struggling websites struggle to rank for the terms their prospects use.
So the only reliable way forward is to buy traffic using Google AdWords for the keywords you think your prospects will use.
That’s the easy bit. Making your money deliver a really clean group of visitors is a lot harder. Fortunately, you don’t need to test hundreds of keywords at the outset – you can just start with a few.
Then, once you have tapped into some “clean” traffic, you need to decide where to send them. Which brings me to Strategy 2.
Strategy #2 – Master your first impression
So the prospect sees your ad, clicks, and is best sent where?
Anywhere but your Contact Us page. Last month we completed a website re
view for a new client and discovered that their web optimisation company had been sending all their paid advertising traffic to that page.
The client supplied a $10,000 minimum home furnishings service for the renovation market. Their website contained pages and pages of great pictures showcasing their work. But those pictures remained hidden from their paid traffic – and 85% promptly left without looking any further.
Strategy #3 – Cover all the content bases
Once you’re sending your search traffic to the right page, you need to ensure it includes the right content. Take our home furnishings client above. Their visitors clearly expect to see lovely pictures of homes that have benefitted from their service.
Don’t skimp here. Provide lots of content. Make the pictures great – poor photography hurts your brand.
Once you have included the “must have” content, add content that shows your point of difference. For instance, you may be a design agency that crafts solutions specifically for the professional services market. Or an architect who only works on build projects on Waiheke for over $5 million. Or a lawyer who works on divorce cases for professional males between 40 and 55 years old.
Our home furnishings client had a great reputation backed up by lots of testimonials. Also, their sales process was low pressure and delivered by experts. Finally, they were experts in producing custom solutions that their competitors found too hard.
Presenting this “differentiation” content can take your prospects of success to a new high. In fact, the only thing that could hold you back is not applying Strategy 4.
Strategy #4 – Ask for the “Goldilocks Commitment”
The classic sales mistake is to either ask your visitor to to commit to too much too early, or fail to ask for an
y commit at all.
Let’s go back to home furnishings. Pointing visitors at the Contact Us page was definitely asking for too much commitment too early.
But when you looked through their gallery of photos, the opposite mistake was being made. There was no reference to their smart showroom or how to book an appointment with their sales team.
Presenting the right commitment choices to your audience at the right time is an art. It’s one we’ve been practising for over 10 years now, so we know what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, it takes two or three visits to achieve a commitment from a web visitor. Therefore, you need to…
Strategy #5 – Play the long game
Thankfully, there are are an array of smart online marketing tools to help you recycle your clean traffic enough times to ensure it converts. Remarketing and email marketing are among them.
Remarketing is an easily set up Google product that lets you “follow” your non-converted website visitors as they browse the web, presenting targeted banner ads to them. You’ll need a range of banner sizes to display and someone to help you build your target audience. You can also choose the frequency at which your banner ads are seen, allowing you to hit the sweet spot between visibility and annoyance.
Email marketing is the stalwart of online marketing. It’s been going so long that many forget the reason for its longevity – it works. The main challenge is providing content that the customer deems worthy of giving you their email address. Every year the bar is raised higher.
So there you go – my five strategies to fix a failing service marketing solution. We have seen clients use these steps to transform a system that hasn’t delivered a lead in 10 months to one that delivers every month.
Call us for more information, or if you’d like help applying these steps to your business.