29 Jun How to Grow Your Sales, Conversions and Customers – (Part One Of Three)
We’re all looking for ways to grow our sales, increase our conversions and get more customers. This outline from a recent business breakfast presentation puts the kettle on the mettle and shows ways to build your business using your website, your analytics and your offline CRM.
Transcript – Part One Of Three
Paul: You’ll notice I’m actually recording this. Now what I’m particularly doing is recording the audio track. I haven’t bothered to set lights up and so on for a good thing. I thought of just adding a little bonus for everyone. Just quickly, show of hands, how many people here have a website? Okay. Leave your hand up if you’re doing some kind of blogging or adding content on a regular basis.
Here is probably one of the best tips that I can give you right upfront when it comes to content, content marketing, content management, call it what you want. Never create content for only one purpose. It takes a bit of time to create content.
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know about you. But if I’m going to write a new blog post of some sort, it takes time. I’ve got to figure out what to write about, maybe do some research. If I’m doing it for SEO, I’ve got to do some study. Then I’ve got to find out what my customers actually want to know. Then, of course, you’ve got to write it, which takes time. Then you’ve got to present it, format it, create the images to go with it, hopefully, and then get it out to your audience. So it takes a bit of time.
If you can learn nothing from today except this one thing, and that is never create content just for one purpose. You have to use everything at least twice.
So I’m recording the audio track of this as we’re going. This just happens to be the best microphone that I’ve got for doing that. I’ll then match it up with slides later on, and I could perhaps get a transcript of that audio. This is going to be probably around 45 to 50 minutes, somewhere thereabouts. I could easily make out four or five blog posts from that. I could put those slides with the audio and maybe match up some video for YouTube with that. Of course, if I get a transcript for the blog post, then I can put that to social media. If it goes to YouTube, I can put that to social media.
Maybe I could, and I won’t be with this one, but I have done in the past, just create the whole thing, get a transcript and create a really powerful, dynamic authority page full of powerful, useful information for my customers, put that onto my website, and then with different blog posts, link to it.
Of course, the more times you link to any particular page on your website, the more important Google thinks it is. The more people who come and look at it, the more important they think it is, they share it on social media, Google goes, “It must be important.” So good for Google and good for the customers. All I’m doing is recording a transcript.
Now that actually has not much to do with what we’re talking today, but I just thought this morning I’d throw that in. Never create content just for one use.
For example, I thought I’d try something different. Who’s heard of the tool Canva online? Okay. For those who haven’t, write it down, Canva.com. Usually in the past, I have just done what most people have done for a presentation. I’ve used PowerPoint, and we just point out bullet points, and we go through and talk with that.
This time I thought I’d use Canva to create a little bit more, hopefully, interesting graphics than just some text and a photo and put it together. So what I could do is, using then the slides through Canva, I could also put them up on something like SlideShare. Or with something like Windows Movie Maker, I can have the slides playing one after the other with the content.
Every piece of content that you create, of course, you can share to social media. It should go on your blog. If it’s video, it’s to YouTube. Maybe a PDF can go to some of the document sharing websites.
All you did was write one blog post, or all you did was record a transcript of one video. You can get multiple uses of content out of it, just from that one thing, unless of course you have enough time to actually write and write and write, which is what you really do need to be doing to keep customers and Google happy.
So take note of that. If you’re not yet actively engaged in some kind of continual content management, really good idea, never create content just for one purpose. That has a little bit to do with what we’re talking about today — How to grow sales, conversions, customers.
Who wants more sales? Seriously. Some of you don’t. Amazing. Okay, maybe what you would like is just to get your conversion rate a little bit higher with your existing customers.
Does more sales equal more customers? Not necessarily. More customers doesn’t necessarily equal more sales. You can just get them to buy more often, unless of course you’re a celebrant. Not such a good idea. Come once. We don’t want more.
Have a look, and as we go through today, think about your product, your service, and ask yourself some of those questions.
Is it that we need more traffic coming to the website?
Everyone says, “Oh, I need more traffic if I want to make more sales.”
Not necessarily. It’s one thing that can affect. It’s like when you look at your profit margins. You can increase your profit margin just by spending less, keeping your sales figures the same. There are many things that can also improve on those sales, the conversions, and the customers.
This key here in the middle, the conversion rate, CRO, Conversion Rate Optimisation, it’s the one thing that most people never spend enough, if any, time doing on their websites. It’s looking at individual pages with things like maybe analytics and going, “Hmm, what could I do to improve this page? Not just to get more people to it, but also to get more people out of it to that conversion point as well”.
So as a starting point, it’s worthwhile understanding these are the different key areas that we need to be looking at. Landing pages. Looks like this screen is cutting out a little bit of that slide, but we’ll get the idea.
Landing pages. Where do people land on your website? Now, there is a thing going around where people say, “Oh, a landing page is just a little page just designed to get a subscription of some sort, or a name, or a phone number, or an email address.” Yes, that a landing page. Lead pages, is a good source for generating that kind of follow-up and subscription.
But in honesty, if you’re looking at Google Analytics, for example, the entry page is what they call the landing page. It’s just the first page that somebody sees. Do it’s an incredibly powerful report to be looking at within your analytics and go, “Hmm, which page are most people seeing when they first come to my website?” You look at your percentages, and that would be the order.
If they’re seeing that page, and I looked at a customer’s reports just yesterday, they said to me, “Paul, why is our referral traffic, why does it have such a high bounce rate?” The bounce rate for their referral traffic was around 75%. I looked at it and I thought, “This is going to be a tough one. Let’s go in and dig a little bit deeper.” I thought, “Referral traffic, let’s have a look and see what’s the first page that they’re arriving on? What’s the landing page for that referral traffic,” meaning it’s come from another website.
Looking at their reports yesterday, I said, “We can see here that last month you had 580 people landed as a referral on your homepage. 78% of them left, just off that. I said, “500 people, 78% left. That’s not such a good number.” I said, “Of those who did hang around, they spent an average 47 seconds on your website. Not such a good number.
Could be one of two different things, could be they’re just coming from the wrong place, wrong kind of traffic.
Could be that your homepage sucks.”
I then went and showed them their homepage and said, “Guess which one I think it is.” I said, “This makes sense to you because you know what that means, that means, that means, and that means, but a new potential customer, maybe not. They don’t want to be digging around, trying to find what they’re looking for.”
Looking at the numbers on the landing page, how long those specific people were spending on the site, and then where they left, that exit page, gave me enough information to say, “We need to fix your homepage.” Now here’s the thing. The homepage just needed fixing. You didn’t need analytics to tell you that.
But let’s say we do fix the homepage or whatever the landing page might be — doesn’t have to be the homepage that you’re working on — and the numbers really don’t change that much. I’m sure they will, but what if they didn’t? What would that suggest? Wrong kind of traffic.
So then we’ve got to look at what are the referral sources for that particular thing. Or say, for example, another time talking with another client, and now they were using Google AdWords, paying for their traffic, getting lots of traffic, not many conversions. I said, “Well, that comes down to one thing. Could be your ad sucks, or could be that the page they’re landing on does.” So you’ve got to look at these things. These things can make a huge difference.
Who’s using Google Analytics? Okay. The others, you’re using some other form of analytics, I hope, on your websites?
Woman: I don’t know about analytics.
Paul: Not sure? Okay. They are the numbers that simply tell you what’s happening. Whoever built the site, good thing to make sure that they’ve got the analytics.
Woman: Not sure about that.
Paul: Worthwhile finding out about that. There’s another thing. For those of you who are using Google Analytics, who has goals set up? One person, two, three, okay.
In a room full of business owners, how can you possibly measure the potential for success without knowing what the benchmark is? Not very easy. Very difficult. Goals with analytics could be something like time on site. I’m writing content, I’m producing content, but I want to find out if people are reading it.
So I could set up a goal to . . . in the example given earlier, 47 seconds, not very good. The average across the site was about two minutes, just under. So I’d set a goal for two minutes, average across thousands of visitors. They had traffic coming from many sources. On my main site at PaulBarrs.com, I have a goal set for 2.5 minutes because I know you can read through one of my blog posts in 2 to 3 minutes. I try not to make them too long. People never read word for word, but that’s average from one to the other.
I also know that bounce rate on my particular site is quite high, because of my blog. So many subscribers, they get a notification, they come in, they read, they leave again. That’s a goal achieved to get them from that newsletter to read the blog post. It’s a goal.
Contacts or leads. Who has a contact form? Who’s primary goal from their website is to have people contact them? Quite a few. You can set up a goal within analytics to track the number of contacts. You could be thinking, “I know how many people contacted me.” But do you know how many people got to the contact form and didn’t submit? That would be good to know.
Anyone using CAPTCHA or some kind of qualifier on their contact form, “Please, type in this letter, these names,” whatever? CAPTCHA, which is an actual company, they’re the ones that give you the squiggly images that you sort of look at them like this and you can’t read them. They keep changing. There either more simple one, A, B, C, or what’s nine plus six or something like that.
I found there was — let’s see, it has been probably a year and a half or so ago — that my contact rate had gone down dramatically on my site, and I’m thinking, “I should be getting this amount every week. I usually do. What’s going wrong?”
I went and had a look at my analytics, and because of the way that my goals had been set up, I was able to track the number of people who arrived on the contact page and then either did or didn’t submit the form. I found that the number of people who wanted to contact me was still the same. Just a whole lot less were actually contacting me. I’m thinking that maybe the form is broken or something like that.
Go and have a look, and CAPTCHA, as a company, had changed from, “This is our English Word” to this is, “What the hell does that say?” No one could submit the form. Therefore they left. I don’t use CAPTCHA anymore. I use a more simple form. Do I get a little bit more spam? Yes, but not that much.
The way my goals are set up, I have particular pages where I have what you might call a simple sales funnel. This is the landing page. I want you to read about this event. That event says, “Click here to contact me.” Goal starts. It tracks whether they click or not, whether they contact or not. One, two, three, really, really easy. I can look at the numbers and go, “Well, people are reading this page, and they’re not clicking through. Therefore, the call to action or the content on the page isn’t good enough. Or they’re clicking through and then they’re not actually submitting the form. Why? Maybe I’ve got to look at is there a problem with the form or some lead beforehand.”
But without this, I don’t know what to fix on my website. I’ve got no idea. It’s guess work. Now I’ve been doing this for 18 years. It’s still guess work, unless I have the data to back it up. Does that make sense? Very, very important.
Then we have this thing called the conversion points. The conversion points are like I just illustrated along the line. It’s that call to action or time spent on that site. If the page is this long, it was two, three, or four pages long, you’d like someone to spend at least five minutes reading that page. Put the contact form right at the top just in case they know what they’re looking for, but also at a couple of points throughout. They’re conversion points, and then of course tracking sales.
So that’s just an illustration for a contact form. Who sells directly off their site, e-commerce of some sort? You can track the exact same thing. You can track the different conversion points through the actual, not just the sales funnel, but through the shopping cart. You can track shopping cart abandonment rate. How many people, “Yes, I want to order this, and holy crap, this is difficult”? Often it’s well over 50% as an average.
I saw someone one time and they said, “Yes, I’ve got it all set up and I’m getting lots of this, but I’m just not getting the sales.” We looked at the numbers, and I went, “Hmm, people have to sign up and create their account as part of the sales process.” “Yes.” I said, “Why?” “Well, so I know where to send it.” I said, “Guess what. If they buy it, they can tell you where they want it delivered.”
So that guest checkout option solved their problem. Who cares if they create an account or not? They’ve got to tell you where they live if you’re sending something to them. Or if it’s a download of some sort, they’ve got to tell you what the email address is so they can get the download link. Make it as easy as possible for people to contact you along the way.
Let’s just have a quick look at some of the numbers, the rules, the information surrounding what I call landing pages, just the entry pages. Now I went through and I looked at a whole bunch of different statistics. These ones came from MarketingSherpa. 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign. That’s nearly half. Why would they do that?
Who’s running paid advertising, Facebook, AdWords, Bing, something like that? Anyone doing any kind of paid advertising? A couple of people. Yeah, handful.
We’ll just take a random product, something off here. We’re selling, here we go, off the table, pink lollies. These are the best pink lollies in the world. They’re guaranteed to give you tooth rot. They’re guaranteed to pull out your dentures. They are the best gummy pink lollies in the world.
If I’m creating an ad for that particular coloured pink lolly that does this, this, and this, or taste like that, do I want to send them to my homepage?
No, because if they want to buy the pink lolly, what page do you want to send them to? The Pink Lolly. That’s just the way it works.
At least half of the marketing people in the world, according to these statistics, have finally figured out that if you’re doing any kind of paid advertising or any advertising of any kind, really any campaign, you send the person to what they want to see. Makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s why when we post a blog of some sort on social media, we send them back to that blog post. It just pulls the URL out. Makes sense.
But I see the half of these people just advertising and promoting and marketing and doing whatever, and just sending them to the homepage. “Hi, look at us. We sell these. Go to our website and go looking for them.” That doesn’t make sense.
68%, and this was a business to business statistic, these businesses use landing pages to garner new sales lead for future conversions. Who here has, and I’m hoping everyone is going to put their hand up for this one, some kind of email database of prospective customers? Not already paying customers, prospective customers. Okay, half and half. Not sure.
Man: Working on it.
Paul: Working on. All right. I’m going to say this absolutely flat out, and I hope not to offend you, but for the rest of you, please hang your heads in shame.
How can you possibly grow a business without a prospective customer database?
You’ve got two choices — spend money, spend money, spend money, or time, “Yay! I’m going to use social media, get a lot of people to my website, spend money, and keep generating a new lead. Thank you so much for coming to my website, but oh, you didn’t buy.” No. That’s what it’s like. “I don’t want to see you again. You didn’t buy.”
How much time, how much money did you spend getting that person to your website? Why wouldn’t you want to try and get their name and their email address to follow them up? “Oh, look. Okay, I understand you didn’t buy. Maybe you were busy. Didn’t quite have what you were looking for, but let me share with you this. Let me show you this. Why don’t you download this? It could give you more information,” and then follow them up. That won’t cost you a cent.
Then you have these quiet times. We all have quiet times in business. Spend money, spend money, try and get more leads into my business, or go back to my email database, “Hey, I’ve got 500 people in my local area. Hi guys, we’ve got a special offer. Here it is.” Now I’ve done that, I don’t how many times, to small lists of 500 or less and have made thousands of dollars overnight and generated weeks of work, just because I had a prospective customer list.
I know that I’m a little bit harsh on this. Most presenters are friendly. Most presenters just give you what you want. I’m giving you what you want. You just may not know it.