Throughout the holiday season, you probably saw a handful of end-of-year wrap-up blogs as well as some start-of-the-year prediction posts.
Well, now that 2017 is finally upon us and it’s time to get back to work, we wanted to bring you some actionable tips you could use to get a jump on turning it into your company’s biggest year yet.
Let’s take a look at some steps you can take right now to start generating better leads for your business.
Optimize Your Web Design
New year, new you. If you’ve been sitting on the idea of revamping your website for a while, now is the time to do it. Luckily, there are some pretty cool concepts and tools out there to track exactly what’s working for you and what could be improved to optimize conversion rates. Here are two steps forward:
Start a GDD program – Growth-driven design is concept that has changed how digital marketers design and test their websites. Instead of spending the better part of a year overhauling absolutely everything and pushing it live all at once, GDD is an ongoing process that allows you to monitor user activity as you implement changes, letting you know what’s working and what could use some TLC.
Try Hotjar to see what users like – Going hand-in-hand with the GDD process, this analysis and feedback tool lets you see exactly how users are interacting with your site. It shows how long they spend on each page, what they’re clicking, which CTAs are converting, and it even generates heat maps and video recordings of user paths so you can see exactly where visitors are looking. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?
Increase Your SEO Traffic
Unfortunately, there is no exact science to SEO optimization, since Google is constantly changing the attributes affecting its algorithm.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t little things you can do to begin bumping yourself up in the search results, however. Here are a few quick fixes to increase your site traffic in the short term:
Optimize titles and descriptions – Be sure to include keywords you are targeting in the title and meta description of each page as these will have a direct impact on how it ranks in search results.
Give images alt attributes – Since search engines can’t fully read images yet, it’s important to attach a keyword as textual support to help Google recognize what your page is about.
Fix your broken links – Test out your pages to make sure users and search engines aren’t getting any 404 error messages.
Standardize URL structures – Instead of a messy string of automatically generated numbers and letters, give each of your URLs a simple, descriptive name to help Google index your pages.
Kickstart a PPC Campaign
Like SEO, perfecting your PPC strategy takes a lot of trial and error. However, thanks to Google AdWords, you can get started with a campaign and appear at the top of paid search results in minutes. In addition to following the easy-to-use setup guide, we recommend taking these steps to maximize your paid results on any budget:
Opt out of the display network (unless you're a pro) – The display network default setting means your ad will show up not only for relevant searches, but also across the Google Display Network and on the side of pages Google thinks are relevant. While it seems like a good idea, it’s a quick way to blow through your budget on clicks that aren’t actually relevant to your business.
Choose when and where you want to advertise – Google’s default settings serve ads throughout the U.S. and Canada. For businesses that don’t have the shipping capabilities or budget to run ads across a vast geographic area, however, you’ll want to adjust the settings by state, zip code, or number of miles.
Select relevant keywords – Despite your best efforts, it will be nearly impossible to rank #1 when you’re bidding on “metal stamping.” Instead try something more descriptive and relevant to your business such as “progressive die stamping.” The more specific you can be, the better.
Add negative keywords – To save money on wasted clicks and irrelevant search queries, you’ll want to include a list of negative keywords as well. Adding “heavy metal,” for example, can help prevent your metal stamping ads from showing up in searches for Megadeth tickets.
Create Effective Content
As we all know, content is king. It’s also the key to supporting your SEO strategy (literally), helping build your site’s credibility, and developing your brand’s voice. You’ll want to have distinct goals in mind for every piece of content; however, don’t just post for the sake of posting. Here are some ways you can develop content that will resonate with your target audience and, ultimately, your target customer:
Develop personas – You don’t need to have a million, but start to develop one, two, or three types of people you’d like to reach with your content. This might be an engineer, a plant manager, a procurement manager, or someone else. Research their goals and challenges so you can be sure you’re speaking directly to them in your content.
Test different kinds of content – Similar to how different personas have different priorities, different types of content are more effective in different stages of the buyer’s journey. Someone could be interested in a short infographic or blog post, but may not be ready to read a five-page technical eBook. Try writing pieces in a couple different formats to see which CTAs are getting you the most clicks.
Remember the Value of Email Marketing
Although email isn’t as new as some of these other tools and processes, email marketing campaigns are still seeing a high ROI – 73% of marketers reported being happy with their campaigns last year. So, what’s the secret to making people read and respond to these emails?
Engaging subject lines – People can’t read something if they never open it. The most successful subject lines tend to be enticing, urgent, and personalized.
Use inclusive language – Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Instead of saying, “I” and talking about yourself, say, “we” and focus on their goals and how you can support them in achieving them. People respond much more positively to relationship building than to hard selling.
Validate their stresses – Empathize with them by demonstrating that you understand their business and care about helping them overcome the challenges they face every day.
Once You Have Leads, Start to Sell
You’ve spent all this time and effort testing out new website designs, writing beautiful content, targeting the perfect keywords, and increasing your email open rate. In fact, this coordinated effort has produced a robust list of people practically knocking on your door looking for your services – don’t drop the ball on closing the deal! Make sure you:
Follow up ASAP – And we mean ASAP; com data shows that companies responding to web-generated leads within five minutes — while it’s still fresh in the person’s mind — see a 900% increase in the chances of qualifying the lead into a sales opportunity.
Create a professional quote document – Don’t just export a file from your ERP. Have a quote template on hand that you can fill out with relevant information as well as an explanation on why the lead should buy from you over a competitor.
Actually sell – Sending someone one quote isn’t selling. Be adamant about following up instead of letting an opportunity die on the table.
We hope you’ll take some of these strategies back to your business so you can hit the ground running in 2017. Of course, we’ll have more important tips for you throughout the year so be sure to sign up for all of our newsletters to stay up to date with the latest industrial marketing trends.
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