We’re going to discuss a number of steps in lead generation – this eye tracking heat map shows quite clearly who’s getting the the clicks and we’re going to discuss why and how you can get clicks on your listings.
As you can see from this image from Mediative, taken from a study they did to analyze where and why people clicked on listings on Google, there’s a definite pattern that’s fairly simple to understand.
There are quite a few different factors involved when it comes to the likelihood of you getting business from your web presence.
It’s not just about getting the top position on page 1 of Google – although this is important.
It’s not just about getting as many of the search engine listings on page 1 of Google as you can.
It’s not just about getting listed for as many keywords as you can…
Yes, all these things are very important. Crucial, in fact. But there’s still more to the online marketing equation. We’ll get into this a little later. First, let’s examine what the current statistics say about position versus clicking. Then, we’ll look at clicking versus buying.
When it comes to generating leads, is Page 1 enough?
According to Optify’s study, no it’s not. Take a look at this graph and you’ll see that getting on page 1 might not even get you any calls at all. If you’re aiming at page 1, don’t bother unless you’re aiming as the top spot. As you can see from the graph, the top 3 spots are really where the action is:
Any lower and your chances of getting any clicks diminishes dramatically.
The balance of the clicks – 42% – gets divided up amongst the rest of the page.
Just to clarify – so far, we’re talking about organic listings, not paid. Organic listings are the free search engine results. Organic listings get a lot more traffic than inorganic – or paid – listings get. User Centric did a study in which they looked at data on both Google and Yahoo that showed between 70% and 80% of people actually ignored paid listings. Paid listings at the top of the page got more attention than the listings to the right, but essentially both got far less clicks than the organic listings. http://searchengineland.com/eye-tracking-study-everybody-looks-at-organic-listings-but-most-ignore-paid-ads-on-right-67698
When it comes to organic listings, what kind of listings really get the phones ringing?
You might not have thought about this yet, but of all the organic listings, which ones generally come up right at the top of page 1 of Google? Google+ Local business listings… formerly Google Places… of course. In advertising lingo, these listings are called ‘above the fold’ which refers to the prominence of the upper portion (above the fold) of a printed promotional piece. In printed promotional pieces, it’s important to get your ‘hook’ above the fold so that it’s the first thing people see.
In internet marketing, it’s important to get your listing (your ‘hook’) as high up on the screen as possible. Google gives preference in most instances to their own organic listings and they’ll feature them right at the top of the page just under the paid listings. If there is a full complement of Google+ Local listings for the keyword i.e. 7 of these listings, and some paid listings, essentially these listings pretty much take up the entire top portion of page 1.
The advantage of Google+ Local Business Listings for getting business online.
Besides the fact that they end up at the top of page 1, Google+ Local Listings have another, very significant, psychological advantage. They appear to be virtually an endorsement by Google as to the veracity and reliability of your business. Of course, they’re really no such thing, but even so, they still have that kind of impact. Businesses whose listings end up in the coveted ‘7 pack’ will find the same competition that we’ve discussed for organic listings on page 1.
Position counts. The first 3 Google+ listings also get proportionately more traffic than the lower listings. Take a look at the image of the heat map at the beginning of this article to see what we mean. There’s just one thing that can change that dynamic and that’s the number of positive reviews you can show on your Google+ local listing. A listing that has reviews displayed will get more clicks than one that doesn’t irrespective of it’s position in the 7 pack. Reviews are a huge asset in driving traffic and, because Google aggregates reviews from all the major review and opinion sites across the web, it’s an area that you can’t afford to ignore if you’re serious about getting business from your web presence. The flip side of this that if you have negative reviews they can be equally powerful in stopping people from clicking your listing no matter where you’re positioned.
What should you do to maximize the chances of lead generation by optimizing your web presence to top the search engine results?
According to Optify’s study, the best thing to do is to optimize for a variety of keywords and get multiple page 1 listings – anywhere on page 1. Then concentrate on moving your listings to the top positions.
This is good advice. We’d add to this by saying, get your Google+ local business listing set up and optimized and showing a minimum of 10 – 15 genuine customer placed reviews. Work on getting this listing as close to the top position as possible in addition to getting multiple organic web presence listings on page 1.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but really, if you want to get business online and you don’t want to pay for advertising, then this is the bare minimum.
Two final steps to the puzzle: 1) capturing leads and then 2) achieving high percentage conversions:
At the start of this article, we mentioned that there were quite a few factors. As you can see, getting the top postion is a key factor and it’s not all that easy. But, when you’ve achieved that #1 position and you’re getting lots of traffic, lots of clicks, but your phone still isn’t ringing… then what?
This is pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how frequently these details are overlooked. Seems silly to spend all that time, effort and money on getting your web presence all SEO’d and then not get a single lead, doesn’t it?
It’s vital that you have a proper lead capture system on the landing pages that your listings click through to. What is a lead capture page? Simply a page that makes some kind of offer in return for the viewer’s name and email address and permission to contact them. You can take a look at our front page here for a B2B example.
Once you have this information and permission to contact them, you need to have a way to convert them into loyal fans and customers. This is a big subject, so we won’t address it here, but we’ll just say ‘Autoresponder’ and ‘Education’ and ‘Value’. Make sure you have something of value with which to stay in touch with your leads, offering them something useful so that they stay on your list and eventually get to know, like and trust you so much that they buy from you. Feeling overwhelmed? You can always contact us for help.
Of course, this model is open to interpretation, and in some instances you can sell on the first go round, but, for most B2B online marketing, it’s an ongoing process – putting in place all the steps for lead generation as we’ve discussed.