You can spend hours grooming and thinking of good lines, but if you never leave your house, you’re unlikely to get lucky. The same rule applies to web marketing and generating leads: if your customer never has a chance to see your web page, it really doesn’t matter how pretty it is. The bottom line: The average company in the Top 100 Window Manufacturers List draws fewer than 3,000 visitors per month and generates only nominal amount of actual estimate requests. So why the connection between Web marketing and dating? Hey, sex sells.
Rule #1: First impressions count.
You walk into a restaurant and spot your blind date already sitting at the table. You make some small talk without offering any real information. Your date looks at the clock. As drinks are served, she tries to make conversation.
“So where do you live?” she says. You stare at her blankly, and a full 30 seconds later you ask:
“Wouldn’t you rather look at some highly polished pictures of my place of business?”
You aren’t going to get a second date by being inaccessible or obtuse. The same rule applies to web marketing: You won’t generate leads with a slow or overly complex website. The typical consumer only spends seven seconds evaluating a site. If they can’t find your dealer locator within two or three clicks, they’ll leave. This doesn’t give you much time to engage the consumer and maintain interest. Your tools and hard data need to be available and easy to understand.
- Reduce the number of steps required to find a dealer.
- Offer a simple lead form for the consumer to fill out.
Rule #2: Avoid sounding like a jerk.
You don’t tell your date you have money or that you’re good in bed. And you certainly aren’t going to get a second date if you spend dinner talking about yourself in glowing terms. Instead of running on at the mouth about your many virtues, you show who you are through presentation, relaxed confidence, and your ability to converse about a wide range of subjects without sounding like a complete ass. So how does this apply to web marketing?
Although an active blog can draw readers to your site, a survey of 5000 Internet users shows that company blogs are the least trusted source of information on the Web. This is probably because many corporate blogs are focused on hyping the company—essentially bragging. To make the most of the blog as a marketing tool, build trust by showing readers that you are knowledgeable in your field. As they come to trust your opinion and your information on home improvement, they’ll come to trust your brand as well.
- Instead of writing articles about how great you are, write articles that demonstrate your range of knowledge.
- Don’t talk about your brand directly–draw traffic to your site by creating content that people need.
Rule #3: Get out and play the field.
Invisible people don’t build successful relationships, and the same rule applies to invisible websites. Here’s the bottom line: A 2010 survey shows that 95% of all site traffic comes from page one results. When a homeowner types ‘vinyl windows’ into Google and you don’t show up on the first page, you have a very slim chance of getting that customer. Look below at the search results for a popular window replacement term. You will notice that very few manufacturers’ sites appear on page one.
How do you fix this problem?
- Get links from vertical specific sites.
- Invest a few hundred dollars a month in paid search advertising.
And while we’re on the subject of web presence, let’s talk about search terms. A woman doesn’t get up in the morning and think: “What I really need in my life is a guy named Dave.” Similarly, your typical homeowner doesn’t have a specific brand of windows in mind. In fact, seventy-four percent of Google searches are non-branded. Instead, your potential customer gets online, types ‘window replacement’ into a search engine, and clicks on one of the first sites that come up.
How do you fix this problem?
- Focus on building content that matches with common search phrases such as “window replacement”.
- Replace the brand name in your page titles with top keyword terms like “window replacement”.