Lead Gen Funnel Unclogging through Strategic Blogging

Posted by Alec Biedrzycki

Mar 9, 2013, 12:35 PM

I think I spent more time writing this title than the actual post. That's not to say the post isn't good--I just think the title's extra special. Alright, let's tackle the latest Question MARK-eting challenge from Joe. First, a little bit about Joe: He's been kicking Inbound Marketing butt for his client Papalia Plumbing. Since taking over as Papalia's marketing consultant, Joe has single-handedly redesigned the website, created plenty of lead gen opportunities and driven increased traffic month-over-month with his blogging efforts.

Of course, any Inbound Marketer will tell you that sustained success through our efforts isn't a one time thing. Inbound Marketing requires sustained activity. It's a constant juggling act of driving qualified visitors to the website, converting said visitors as leads, and closing those leads as customers.

Such is the case with Joe, who says "We are getting lots of traffic but leads seem to be dwindling"

The good news is that we're bringing more visitors to the site! The bad news is that there seems to be a clog in the lead flow. Something is preventing us from getting those visitors to willingly submit their information for lead conversion. What could it be? Let's investigate...

Unclog the Blog

My number one recommendation is to unclog the blog. Not in a literal sense (I'm not sure how one would do that), but from a lead generation perspective. I do have a little analytics insight here (being a fellow HubSpotter) of the website's cumulative traffic. Because of Joe's blogging efforts, the Papalia Plumbing blog is now the highest trafficked page on the entire website. More than double the visitor volume of the next most trafficked page since the beginning of the year. That's awesome.

All this traffic is a great opportunity. However, with great opportunity comes great responsibility! If we're struggling to turn those visitors into leads, let's focus converting all those blog readers. Here's a quick snapshot of what the blog main page looks like:

BEFORE

before

Aesthetically, it's a great looking blog. But, it's missing some lead conversion opportunities. If I'm a blog reader skimming through an article on Water Treatment tips or HVAC Heat Pumps uses, there's a good chance I'm in the market for Papalia services (or at least looking to learn a bit more about them). So, let's capitalize on this opportunity to convert a blog reader into a lead. Here's an example of how you can structure the blog page to better encourage lead conversion:

AFTER

after

Notice the calls to action on the right? I hope so, because I put in some extra effort to add in the opacity layer to make the buttons stand out more. These tri-colored CTAs are ones I borrowed from the homepage. Since the blog is getting so much traffic, placing these buttons in the right column will help foster lead conversion. If you plan to add them, I'd go for the tri-color approach. It helps make them stand out more and look like their own, unique offers (which they are).

So that's a basic way to improve the blog's static sidebar to help with lead conversion. Unclogging the blogging!

Next, on to the homepage.

Tightening Up the Homepage

At first glance, I think there's too much going on here:

BEFORE

papalia-home

I count...

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 7.06.20 PM

I think that's one too many, especially for a home page. My fear is that there's too much going on and visitors are going to have trouble picking one of the Call-to-Actions. They'll succumb to analysis paralysis, which basically says a that decision with too many options may never be made, as the decision-maker is too hesitant to make the wrong choice.

I believe a homepage that's well optimized for lead gen has call to actions that appeal to visitors who are at every stage of the buying process. Basically, there should be useful information that's optimized to capture leads for:

  1. People who are looking to learn more about the services Papalia can provide (Beginning of buying process)
  2. People who are looking to learn more why Papalia is better than the competition (Middle of buying process)
  3. People who are looking to buy services from Papalia right away (End of buying process)

With that in mind, here's how I recommend positioning the home page for your target audience:

AFTER

papalia-home-revise

Alright, so it's a bit small, but you can click on the image to see it larger. A few recommended adjustments I made:

  1. Removed the top three Calls-to-Action and replaced it with one call-out for Emergency Service.
    • Why? I think a static button for emergency service is crucial across the site. I also thought that three buttons in the header gave too much "Analysis Paralysis" to the website viewer. Needed to be simpler and more focused.
  2. Had the main focus be on Jim Papalia, welcoming visitors to his site and asking which service they want to learn more about.
    • Why? Currently, the homepage encourages visitors to "schedule service now." Chances are, folks need to learn a bit more about the services Jim offers before wanting to schedule one, so I thought this approach would be less sales-y. A less sales-focused approach can work wonders for lead generation, as website visitors typically want to learn a bit more about what they're going to buy before submitting their information.
  3. Kept the Discounts and Offers Call to Action, but isolated it as a callout in the center.
    • Why? I believe it's very important to keep this particular offer, because it can sweeten the deal for lead conversion. I though that isolating it would make it seem much more important to the viewer and as a result, more enticing to check out.
  4. Added in a Testimonials section on the right-hand side.
    • Why? I think a lot of people trying to select a plumbing service are sold more on past success (testimonials and customer reviews). Currently, these are buried on the website and serve a lot of potential for folks looking to see why they should choose Papalia over a competitor. Note: The testimonial page should link to service pages, so visitors reading each article have an easy pathway to becoming a lead.

The new homepage mockup caters to website visitors that are in different stages of the buying process, optimizing different elements for lead generation opportunities. Hopefully these tips are helpful, Joe!

After looking at the Papalia Blog and Website, what else would you do to help increase visitor-to-lead conversion rates?  

Is Your Website Dropping the Ball?

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