REFRESH YOUR SALES WITH PRE-QUALIFIED LEADS
NO ONE LIKES TO FILL UP THOSE FORMS IN YOUR WEBSITE. WHY SHOULD THEY? WHAT IS YOUR OFFER?
Chances are your company is not generating enough leads and you are thinking — exhibiting at trades shows should do the job. Well, if that is your mindset, it is not going to help. You will not get quality leads at industry trade shows if you do not pre-qualify your audience.
Many companies invest a majority their digital marketing dollars into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), stepped-up email campaigns and other methods of increasing their overall website activity.
The truth: You can drive all the traffic you want to your site but it won’t result in noticeable uptick in leads unless you provide visitors with a compelling reason to complete your website forms. In this article, we havel discussed how to maximize the percentage of website visitors who fill out your forms, minimizing those who surf your site anonymously before leaving.
YOUR WEBSITE AS A TRADE SHOW BOOTH
Just as the majority of trade show attendees aren’t going to march straight into your booth to complete an onsite sale, the majority of your website visitors aren’t going to rush to your contact us page to fill out a quote request form. Website traffic and trade show traffic are both primarily composed of prospects who are in information gathering mode, rather than buying mode (especially in today’s digital era). And just as a good booth staffer “works the crowd” to get attendees to engage and reveal information about their business development plans, your website needs to actively pull visitors out of anonymous lurk mode, converting them into 'targets of interest' that can be actively qualified and nurtured.
YOUR WEBSITE AS THE CANDIDATE FOR CONVERSION
FIRST, THINK WHY WOULD PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH YOU.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU OFFER THAT WOULD HELP YOUR AUDIENCE?
The placement of your website’s forms are one key to achieving this. Since most site visitors view only one or two pages before they “bounce,” it’s critical that conversion forms are placed in high-visibility, high traffic pages.
Your home page is a primary port of entry for many visitors, so some form of conversion form (even if it’s only an e-newsletter signup) should be prominent here. If your business focuses on a very clear and defined service or class of products, a home page submission form allowing a downloadable catalog or buyer’s guide may be prudent.
IF YOUR MARKETING PLATFORM IS POWERED BY INTELLIGENCE AND YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW THE PSYCHOGRAPHICS OF YOUR BUYERS, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GATE YOUR CONTENT FOR YOUR EXISTING CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS
You put your content behind gates (meaning, have them sign up) so that you can can capture their names, phone numbers and/or addresses, and the challenge that they are facing.
If your business instead offers a diverse set of products or services, your home page is likely too early in the traffic funnel to try to capture these leads. In such situations, you are often better off having a series of individualized sign-up forms on each of the second-tier site pages that list your unique categories of products or services. Each form might then offer a slightly different download, specific to that page’s class of products or services. This is something we do at Skyline that has proven to work very well for us.
Where you place a form on these pages can also be critical. If your visitors rarely scroll to the bottom of your pages (tools such as Hotjar or Google Page Analytics can reveal how much of your page content is being seen by users), then placing your forms “above-the-fold” is important. If your website has an editorial-style design (with large blocks of text accompanied by a narrow, right-hand column full of ads and graphics), you should consider placing your webforms in-line with your articles, rather than in that often-ignored sidebar area.
THE CONTEXT OF YOUR OFFERING — WHY YOU ARE OFFERING WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING
The specific type of value-added content you provide via these signup forms may vary. It might be a coupon, a contest, a self-quiz, a idea materials, a case-study, a video or an in-depth how-to article. If you sell custom or intangible services (ex. software or consulting services), offering a download of yet another piece of text-based content may not be effective. You may need to demo what your products and services can do, so offering a sign-up for a webinar, lunch-and-learn seminar or other interactive events may be a better way to hand-sell your company’s offerings. Whatever your high-value offering is, make sure its topic is directly related to the content of the associated landing page and signup form. Again, this is something that is very effective for us. Our offering on International Exhibiting is quite popular now because it is interlaced with the context of the daily media bombardments.
And our perennial content prominence still resides with getting to know the 'design principles'.
THE CRADLE OF YOUR OFFERING — THE ATTRIBUTES OF YOUR FORM SHOULD SPEAK TO THE NEEDS OF YOUR AUDIENCE
Minimize the amount of effort users must make in completing your forms. If you don’t plan to do direct mail marketing, don’t bother asking for full addresses. Don’t ask for a phone number if you don’t have a dedicated sales rep our outsourced call center willing and able to place follow-up calls. When possible, utilize smart forms that will pre-populate fields with users’ previous, third-party form data. Most marketing automation programs have this capability built in to the software.
If you have to include demographic fields to help you pre-screen leads, using radio button checklists and image/graphic-based selection choices to minimize the amount of typing the user must do. When you need to collect extensive information from a prospect, breaking your forms into multiple screens (rather than one, long and busy form) can make them appear less complicated. The fewer form fields you require, the higher your conversion rates will be. We have tested this several times and found short forms always do better and lead to higher submission rates.
KEY REMINDER: IF YOU ARE PROVIDING QUALITY CONTENT, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE FORM. YOU HAVE TO CAPTURE INFORMATION THAT HELPS YOU TO OFFER QUALITY CONTENT
Remember, preview your forms on a smartphone, as completing complex forms is much more difficult for mobile users. This is especially important today!
EMBRACE PARADIGM SHIFTS — WE ARE ENTERING THE ERA OF ENHANCED DIGITAL COMMERCE VIA VOICE AND VISUAL SEARCH
With the rise of personal assistant devices, combined with the improved accuracy of voice recognition technology, voice search adoption is being embraced in the digital commerce. To prepare for the impact of voice search on B2B SEO, take steps now to begin optimizing for voice queries.
10 tips from Search Engine Land to optimize your site content for voice search
1. Add multiple images to each product or topic page.
2. Optimize the images for the web and swift page load.
3. Consider adding raster images and add message and call to action (CTA) in the photo so it is more compelling when viewed in Google Images or repurposed.
4. Upload image eXtensible markup language (XML) sitemaps and ensure that product inventory is updated across all search engines and retailers.
5. Maintain a logical site hierarchy that is connected through relevant internal links.
6. Make sure your images are hosted on authoritative pages that respond to a specific user intent.
7. Map keyword categories and themes to your images, and then use these queries to optimize image alt tags, titles and captions. Put relevant keywords in the image file name.
8. Develop a unique brand aesthetic across all visual assets. This will help search engines relate your brand to a particular style.
9. If you use a stock image, tailor them to ensure that they are brand specific and brand contextual. Search engines will find it difficult to understand your image if it is replicated across the web in different contexts.
10. Although visual search reporting is gaining traction, keep a close eye on your image search traffic to keep track of any increases in demand.
Effective website conversion optimization isn’t rocket science, but it does require careful planning and design. If you’re in need of help getting more leads from your website, Skyline 360 offers turnkey solutions that dovetail with your trade show floor designs and your other marketing efforts.
Trap the interest of your prospects. You should be all set in gaining qualified leads. Happy Exhibiting!