How To Track And Validate Website Sales Leads By Marketing Channel

A broken bone is relatively easy for a doctor to fix, but what if that doctor didn’t know which bone was broken? Putting the patient’s entire body in a cast might solve the problem, but it’s terribly inefficient — not to mention unpleasant for the patient. Knowing as much as you can about a problem makes it much easier to solve, and the same principle applies to optimizing a lead generation website.

Here at PPC services agency Straight North, we’ve found that many online marketers don’t have all the information they need to improve their websites. That’s because they rely on the raw conversion numbers from Google Analytics, which don’t identify which conversions are true sales leads and which are dead ends. Implementing lead validation and tracking into their lead generation websites can give these marketers the additional level of information they need to succeed. The following presentation details the step-by-step process of implementing lead validation and tracking into an Internet marketing campaign. Read it, and you may be able to better identify the problems lurking in your data.

Matt Cannon is Director of Web Services at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and web design services. Cannon manages all web development activities, making sure that every project is applying current development standards and techniques.

How to Track and Validate Website Sales Leads from Straight North, a provider of PPC services

What Is Your Lead Generation Process for New Business?

Believe it or not, most small to midsize agencies have no consistent process for generating online leads.

Business development doesn’t have to be so difficult. With a little forethought and the creation of simple steps and processes, you can create a system that will make it much easier to kick-start your online leads.

Here are 7 ideas to help get you started:

1. Consistently Use Lead Generation Platforms

The battle for new business has moved online.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 80-90% of business to business transactions begin with a search on the web.

Lead Generation
You want to enlarge your agency’s online footprint to have the ability to consistently generate more leads. These are some proven platforms:

  • For over eight years, I’ve prescribed creating a niche blog for agency new business and have helped create over 200 personal blogs for agency principals. A personal blog can provide small to midsize agency owners with a perfect platform to create positioning of authority and appeal to a very specific target audience. It’s like a fishing expedition. You fish for a specific fish with a particular bait, you fish away from the boat (the agency’s website) so you don’t scare off the fish.
  • Repurpose your online content into white papers, eBooks, SlideShare presentations and videos.
  • Create your own training events. Add live webinars, online training courses, offline seminars and workshops to your lead generation tool box as a way to build relationships and buy-in from prospects. You’ll quickly establish value and a positioning of expertise when your first face-to-face meeting is a paid engagement.
  • Use your personal social media accounts to grow your online community of prospects and engage with them online. Most agencies still haven’t tapped into the power of social media for creating new business leads. It is networking on steroids.

2. Create Specific Calls-to-Action

A call to action is an important element for generating inbound leads. Every call to action must immediately answer two primary questions: First, what do you want prospects to do? Second why should they do it? An effective CTA will eliminate the guesswork. A resource that you might find helpful is Hubspot’s 101 Examples of Effective Calls-To-Action.

3. Qualify Your Leads

To begin a successful lead generation program, one of the first steps is to identify and qualify your best prospects.

A business development person without leads is like a fish out of water. Neither can survive very long. Yet …

Only 30% of B2B marketers know the names of decision makers in the companies they are targeting. The RAIN Group

To be successful in new business development, you must first name your prospects. Then it’s important to qualify them. Unqualified prospective client meetings are as bad as no meetings at all. It is a waste of agency time and resources.

4. Try Speaking for New Business

Speaking at events attended by your best prospects will provide you with instant credibility. It’s an excellent tactic for business development, particularly for small to midsize agency owners. Having the opportunity to speak in front of a highly targeted, interested group of prospects is the most effective form of lead generation.

Public speaking is an essential component to my business development program. I have been the keynote speaker for more than 100 events in the U.S., Canada and in the UK, speaking on topics related to leadership, business development, and social media. It’s typical to come away from these meetings with new clients. That’s why my personal marketing is designed to facilitate more opportunities to speak.

5. Eliminate Web Forms to Connect with a Person

Most people don’t like completing online forms. Prospects have no idea who gets their information,  the follow-up or how their info will be used in the future. When a prospect has an interest, it is often short-lived. I encourage my clients to make their contact information directly available to their prospective clients. Remember, you’re not selling widgets! Make it easy for them to reach out to you.

6. Add and Optimize Landing Pages for More Leads

Landing pages are vital to producing inbound leads. According to some studies, over half of landing page visitors leave within 5 seconds. You need to know how to get the most from them. For instance:

  • Using correct targeting and testing methods can increase conversion rates up to 300%.
  • According to the Marketing Sherpa’s Benchmark Report on Landing Page Optimization, only 52% of businesses and agencies that use landing pages test them to find ways to improve responses.
  • You should have only one specific offer for each landing page but 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.
  • Adding videos on a landing page can increase conversions by up to 86% according to a study by Eye View Digital.
  • You may not realize it but long landing pages have the greater potential to generate significantly more leads, up to 220% more leads than above the fold call-to-action. Email Monks

New business success is dependent on the number of qualified leads. So, the first step toward this objective takes place by developing effective landing pages.

7. Provide Social Proof

As part of my consulting work, I’m asked to review a lot of agency websites from a new business perspective. Recently, I was reviewing the website of a large agency in New York. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t find a single testimonial from a happy client. A good number of agencies neglect to add this important component to their marketing mix.

Third-party validation is a powerful tool.

63% of consumers indicate that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has reviews and testimonials. – CompUSA and an iPerceptions study

Adding client testimonials and recommendations is one of the easiest ways to empower your lead generation program. Testimonials help to eliminate skepticism, provide credibility and trust.

 

Professional Guest post by Michael Gass, Business Development Consultant | Speaker | Author of Fuel Lines

Three display Advertising issues to watch in 2016

Digital advertising has emerged as a large-scale business and revenue generated through digital advertising is expected to exceed $150bn in the year 2016.

And even though an exact amount that accounts for the cost of display ads globally is hard to calculate, it is around 50% of the money spent on digital advertising.

With such grand costs, display advertising poses its fine share of issues and problems to advertisers.

Apprehension about how ads are delivered, where they go, and how ad views are priced makes marketers hesitant to continue investing as heavily as the campaign requires in order to reach a maximum.

To help such marketers reach a decision, I have summed up three of the main issues digital display advertising had to face in 2015 – and what you might have to tackle within 2016 whether for clients as advertising agency or an individual.

  1. Ad blocking

stop-blog-comvortThe issue in 2015

Ad blocking technology has been met with raised eyebrows for as long as it has been available in the market. After only a couple of years of its release, in 2010, Exonsultancy was shamming ad blocking for killing site Ars Technology in their blogs and article. (Ars Technology surprisingly survived!)

The issue resurfaced in 2015 when Apple enabled ad blockers to work their way into the App Store.

Suddenly, advertisers feared that this threat to an entire niche of digital advertising would run rampant among other sites and companies as well.

The PageFair and Adobe report furthered this concern by showing that ad blocking software usage increased a good 41% year-on-years from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015.

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This meant that presently the number of people using an ad block was 198m, bringing about a loss of $41.8bn loss in online ad revenue by 2016, as shown in the report.

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Image source: theascent.biz

 

What to watch for in 2016

According to a report from Harvard University Neiman Journalism Lab, considerably fewer people employed an ad block on mobile.

Publishers kept from giving exact figures, but Nieman Lab claimed that according to most responses of tests and surveys conducted the share of mobile ads being blocked was about ‘1 or 2 percent’.

Not even close to the ‘admageddon’ feared by advertisers.

Neiman Lab did call desktop ad blocking a prevalent issue, with 77m Europeans and 45m Americans using ad blocking software, according to the PageFair report.

But, new technologies which give publishers the option to hide content from users which have ad blocks on have come to being.

If publishers continue to use this technology, hopefully the issue will find a way on its own and digital ads revenue wouldn’t have to experience a loss as big as $41.8bn this year.

  1. Ad Viewability

The issue in 2015

In August, the Media Rating Council posted its latest viewability guidelines:

The current industry standard for a viewable display ad impression is a minimum of 50% of pixels in view for at least one second, and for a viewable digital video ad impression, a minimum of 50% of pixels must be in view for at least two continuous seconds.

The IAB is contended with this definition of standard. In an interview in September, the IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg said, “Debate side [of viewability] is over now and that it’s up to the publishers to implement the standards.”

These standards meant marketers will have to buy ads with new dimensions, because of a ‘viewable CPM’ (vCPM) which leaves advertisers with only the option to buy ads which can be viewed.

vCPMs are already available for purchase on Google Display network.

What to watch out for in 2016

Not all were pleased by MRC/IAB definition. A survey of senior digital execs by ClickZ in September showed that hardly one third of respondents find the MRC standard to suffice their particular need.

Also, Google declared its support for vCPMs by claiming to aim for 100% viewable pixels and advising advertisers to not invest in unviewable ads at all. Google went as far in its support as changing all the CPM campaigns to vCPM ones.

Facebook too followed suit and signaled advertisers that it would charge for only 100% viewable ads. Facebook will involve a third party, Moat’s verification services, for video ads.

But Econsultancy’s Patricio Robles highlights a point to ponder in a recent article on this topic, “Advertisers should ultimately be basing their investment decisions on whether or not the media they’re buying is moving the needle or not.”

This statement suggests that segmenting your audiences and measuring properly on the back end leaves advertisers unharmed by viewability in many respects.

However, if your ads are not being displayed on a platform, its only understandable to draw back funding from that platform.

  1. Inappropriate Ad Placement

The issue in 2015

An inappropriate placement was the third major issue that appeared in 2015.

When the purchase of display ads is based entirely on programs, they may be placed at unfavorable positions because of placing by interest or keyword.

Comvort Blog

Image source: www.newsiosity.com

 

This problem is also faced by brands with advertisers indulged in unethical activities. This Singtel is showing up on a site which offers illegal streaming of sporting events.

Comvort Blog

Image source: https://econsultancy.com/

 

This can pose an issue of considerable magnitude to brands and businesses.

In a recent AppNexus survey in APAC, programmatic buying was met with hesitance owing to the ‘the fear of adverts appearing on undesirable sites’ and other significant issues such as the ‘lack of transparency on where advertisements end up’.

Image source: Image source: https://econsultancy.com/

Image source: Image source: https://econsultancy.com/

 

What to watch out for in 2016

Pixalate is a data platform created for the sole purpose of introducing transparency to programmatic ad buying. It built a ranking index for the display ad sellers depending on the quality of the ad they produced.

That offered some help to big ad buyers in having some idea of the sites their ad would be displayed on. However, still the safest way to be sure that your ads don’t appear in the wrong place is manually blacklisting the sites you want to keep distance with.

As Singtel told Mumbrella, “As new sites are constantly introduced, we regularly update our exclusion list to ensure that we only run advertising on relevant and appropriate websites.

We are reviewing the process to ensure that advertising only appears on suitable sites.

Beside these issues…

Display advertising is a great means of creating product awareness and will continue to be so in 2016.

The problems this market has seen; ad blocking, viewability, and even publisher quality are being addressed to some extent.

These issues can have varying impacts on different brands for as long as they prevail. But even in 2016, nothing can outdo high-quality back-end analytics in figuring out return on ad spend.

Professional Guest post by Junaid Ali Qureshi

Tips to plan and execute a successful conference or customer Event

Great things do not just happen. A great event does not just go perfectly without serious planning before it all starts. Conferences and customer events are very interesting but not so easy to plan especially if you are keen on everything being perfect during the event. However, nothing is ever impossible. You just need to make your research and find those tips that are worth considering so that you might be able to plan memorable events that will make you feel proud of yourself. Take some time before the event to plan everything in detail and leave no room to unwanted surprises that might just ruin everything you have worked so hard to achieve. The success of every event is always in its details, do not forget it!

Tips Comvort Blog

Establish the Target Audience

Before planning anything for the great conference or customer event you have in mind you should clearly define your target audience. Once you have established this, you will be able to take proper decisions concerning the format of your special event, the prices to be spent, the location where it should all take place, how many people to invite or expect to be there, what kind of programs to include in the event as well as all the details related to any other special moment you may think of planning for your guests.

List Everything You Consider Important

Now that you know the kind of people to target for your conference or customer event, it is time to go forward and establish the next important details. Try to imagine how everything should happen and make a list of all the important details. Do not leave anything out because even the smallest detail can be very important and you do not want a conference fiasco just because you forgot about something. Think of the program content, details related to lighting, transportation and even parking when this might be an issue. No matter what kind of details might come up in your mind, write them down because it will be all on you if anything might not go well. When the event is great, the credit will also be attributed to you, the conference or the customer event planner.

Comvort Blog tips

Establish the Clear Purpose of Your Event

Whenever you are planning an event, you should have a clear purpose for it in your mind. It cannot greatly achieve more than one purpose so it needs to be a clearly defined one to bring you desired results in the end. Just try to focus on what your message should be through the planned event or what you actually want to promote through the event: the services of your company, the new product of your client, a certain type of business, etc. Also, is this an event meant to raise money somehow or for any type of cause? Everyone involved in organizing the event should be aware of this purpose so that you might all be able to work together and help the event achieve its main purpose.

Be Aware of Limitations

It is more than obvious that your goal is to plan the perfect conference or customer event but this does not mean that you should just lose it. Be aware of limitations at all time and be ready to face any challenge that might arise. Be realistic because if your expectations will be higher than it might be possible to achieve you will never feel like you have done a great job. Analyse the things you can plan for the type of budget you have available as well as the amount of time in which you are required to plan the event. Not to mention the importance of the event venue in Suffolk. You cannot achieve more or less than what the venue of the event allows you to achieve. Make sure you do not invite more people than you should because it is never comfortable to have the crowd unable to understand why they came there.

Planning the perfect conference or customer event is challenging but not impossible. With the main purpose of the event in mind, in a perfect event venue in Suffolk and with every detail carefully considered, your event will be a blast.

 

Professional Guest post by Denny Averill (WildernessReserve.com)

The “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic

We are happy to share today a useful infographic sent by one of our professional collaborators of Comvort blog, Bri’an Fields, CONTENT MARKETING SPECIALIST from StraightNorth.

The “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic was created by the Chicago SEO experts at Straight North, a B-to-B website design, SEO and PPC firm. It’s served as a blueprint to show how multiple online marketing channels can be leveraged to develop one online lead generation campaign.

lead-gen-ecosystem

This infographic can help both beginner and experienced marketers to:

  1. Understand how various online channels can be combined to create an effective online lead generation campaign;
  1. Identify issues in your current campaign that can be potentially costing you leads, and create alternatives to revise and scale your current campaign.

The hexagons at the top show the numerous channels that can be used to drive traffic to your website. The middle section illustrates the process for reporting, contacting and lead validation, which should be managed by more seasoned Internet marketers. And, at the bottom of the infographic, it shows the leads gathered become a new customer.

Professional Guest Post by Bri’an Fields, Content Mktg Specialist from StraightNorth.