Web Forms vs Inbound Phone Calls: A Practical Comparison

An effective online lead generation strategy can only be tested in two ways. First is the quality of leads being generated; think about conversion rate. Is your current rate high enough or painfully low?

Second measurement of effectiveness is the consistency of generating sufficient new leads daily, weekly or monthly.

Unfortunately, if the current performance numbers in these two dimensions are not impressive at all, then something different need to be done.

In this case, the need for improvement depends on how urgent it is.

When it comes to online lead generation, you could be dependent on web form submits like many other business owners or marketers.

Besides, it is also possible that you have phone numbers on few pages in your site. However, you still have no idea of how many phone calls are coming from your website visitors.

While there is nothing wrong with web form lead generation, this post will explore the comparative difference between web forms vs inbound sales calls.

At the end you will have greater insights on specific things that can be done to improve your online lead generation strategy.

Online Lead Generation Form Types

  • Contact Forms

Depending on how your forms are configured and purpose of contact, anyone that spares some minutes to fill out your contact form is considered a lead. This is the most common type of lead generation form used across many websites.

Most useful forms often have multiple text fields that help to filter your prospects’ purpose of contact.

  • Service Quote Request Forms 

Most people who get good results from their sites have this one. These are forms that are created to direct prospects on how to request the exact services they need or quote for specific services.

This one is common among offline service firms in the solar, insurance, painting and other niche markets.  See sample below.

painting services lead generation

  • Lead Magnet Opt-in Forms

These types of online lead generation forms are mostly used to give something of value to website visitors in exchange for their contact information.

Think about ebooks, white papers, case studies, webinars etc.

Regardless of the type you use, it is either you are tracking form submissions or not. And that depends to some extent on your website traffic volume.

Like all other analytics use cases, form tracking helps to make informed decisions and improvements where possible.

And if you have some relatively good traffic volume, doing some form A/B testing will make it easy for you to identify what works better than the others.

For example, you may want to test form submission page copies or text fields.

But why compare web form vs inbound phone calls in the first place?

Well, it’s a mobile first world we live in. And this has lots of meanings and implications in different contexts.

For instance, it means that a great percentage of the purchases that end up on desktop or laptop originate from mobile devices.

According to Google, 70% of people who search for specific products or services on mobile devices often make phone calls at the same time.

‘The phone call has been the backbone of sales for decades and it is still a driving force today. But it is not easy. Not everyone is a cold calling Pro who knows how to immediately capture a prospects attention on the phone.’ – Ramin Assemi, Close.io

In the search spectrum, Search Engine Land reported that 60% all searches now happen on mobile devices. Without doubt, this includes searches for keywords within your niche.

Social Spectrum: On Facebook alone, 90% (934 million) of their daily active users comes from mobile. Regardless of your location, some of these people belong to your target demographic.

Email Spectrum: Kayla Lewkowicz of  Privy once reported that 56% of email engagement now occur on mobile devices. So if you don’t have an automated email marketing strategy in place, think about this.

Web Form vs Inbound Phone Calls: The Key Comparative Difference

#1: Conversion Barrier 

In our fast paced world of impatience and instant gratification, any online lead generation strategy that puts demanding responsibility on prospects proves less effective.

When you read case studies of single vs multiple page check outs, you’ll understand more of what I mean here.

Thus, the main fact is that less is often better.

In many different contexts, many people are not just comfortable giving out their personal information – name, phone and email. So whether you are using free strategy sessions, white papers, quote request or others, it is really important to lower your conversion barrier.

Web Form: In other to qualify leads, most people often use intimidating multiple form fields and long CRM hooks. Practically, this increases the typing work to be done, required time as well as conversion barrier.

So asking for personal information from cold website visitors won’t get you the conversion rate you desire.

Phone Call: In most contexts you can think of, it takes just a single click-to-call button to get connected to a sales rep. Just as a testament to this, Invoca’s data revealed that phone calls convert 10X more than online generated leads.

#2: Lead Quality 

When it comes to effective lead generation strategy, quantity is never a solution to all of the problems at hand.

In simple offline settings, pouring water into a leaky bucket understandably leads to waste. However, in order to avoid the undesirable consequences of empty lead generation pipeline, many people still believe that generating more leads is all they need.

inbound lead lead generation funnel

Hence they continue to invest resources in generation of low quality leads.

Unfortunately at the end of the day, all they get is low or flat zero ROI. Sure you want desirable outcomes better than that.

Web form: Regardless of the lead magnet you use, it is easy for anyone to visit your website, fill a form, download stuff and walk away. In that case, both qualified and unqualified leads are filling your pipeline.

Phone Call: In high ticket service niche markets, many decision makers still prefer phone conversation before fixing appointment (online/offline), requesting a quote, making reservation or payment.

Thus, picking up the phone to call remains a real proof of interest in specific product or service, not your free lead magnet. The other important thing worth noting is that the lead quality is often higher when these inbound leads calls in from paid search or organic SEO.

#3: Lead Drop Offs

Irrespective of your optimization intelligence and experience, majority of your prospective leads will still drop off the web form. In other words, the web form page view and completed form submissions can never be equal.

If you are an inbound lead generation consultant or marketer like me, you may also leverage some retargeting strategies to increase conversion rate and ROI.

But even when all of these things are done 100% correctly, drop offs will still be happening in your lead generation pipeline.

online lead generation strategy

How long does it take on average for you to follow up on web form generated leads?

Web form: Based on the concept of customer journey, it is very obvious that all of your qualified prospects won’t be ready to convert into leads or paying customer at the same time.

Hence, lead nurturing takes time. And then along that journey, many things happen against your conversion goal.

Even at the point of generating leads with a web form, whole lot of things can just cause the drop off to happen. Some of the causes include the form field conversion barrier identified earlier.

Inbound Phone Call: With phone calls, the conversion cycle is often shorter. And there are fewer incidents of drop off.

Depending on how fast you are following up after form submission, you are likely to have even higher drop offs if you wait long than 5 minutes to contact web form generated leads. Thus, in this context, InsideSales found that only 29% of web leads are properly contacted.

Think about the difference between customers choosing when to discuss their need vs you calling them at an odd time of the day.

According to DialogTech, a mobile marketing services provider that helps to trigger phone calls from web forms, calling web generated leads before your competitors often result in 238% difference in conversion rate.

With these facts about lead drop offs, you now have even more reasons to integrate inbound phone call generation in your overall marketing strategy. Let’s explore how to get started doing that.

inbound phone call generation

What is the #1 driver of inbound phone calls in your own business?

Google Adwords Call Extension

When you do a search in Google for product or service related keywords, the PPC ads you see very often is enough to tell you that not all businesses are using call extension now. And if you have been using Google adwords advertising without it, this is the time to pay serious attention.

Remember that right now, mobile traffic is growing strongly in all dimensions – search, email, social, video etc.

Call extension is a simple feature of Google adwords that gives advertisers space to add specific phone number or click-to-call button to their ads.

Obviously, the intent is to attract inbound sales phone calls from qualified prospects as at the time of searching for the product or services they need.

This feature works in two ways.

If the people viewing your paid search ads are from mobile devices, they see a click to call button within your ad. Thus, every call is counted as a click, just like clicking to visit landing pages.

At this level, conversions are counted based on set call duration. And to get maximum inbound calls from this option, you should set your ad to be mobile preferred.

In the instance that your ad was created to run on both mobile and desktop devices, your phone number will display in the search results.

Hence, prospective customers can choose to call right away or visit your landing page.

Google Call Only Campaigns

This is the type of ad that has no destination landing page attached. The singular objective is to generate inbound calls or leads from paid search marketing. After seeing your PPC advertisement, the only option the targeted prospects will have is to call your phone.

Regardless of the sources from which you deliver traffic to your web forms, the lead quality can never be equal. Moreover, the conversion cycle or duration can hardly be equal as well.

Interestingly, if you have call filtering technology in place, the quality is bound to be higher than what is obtainable from web forms.

Based on my experience, the best way to get maximum ROI from call only campaigns is to do some deep keyword research, use local keywords and conduct A/B testing.

With professional keyword research, you will be able to choose the type of prospects to attract based on purchase intent.

Mobile Specific Adwords Campaign

In addition to location and keywords, you also have option to choose mobile preferred for your adwords campaign.  This is a simple feature for telling Google to run your search marketing advertisements on mobile devices only.

So in a case that you are not using call extension, the best you can do is to add click to call buttons in your mobile optimized landing pages. With that a certain percentage of your mobile search traffic will then start calling.

Think of what you could get from generating 1000 – 10,000 mobile search visitors over a 30 days period. Question, how much is a single conversion worth in your business?

Here is a sample landing page with click to call button.

Remarketing List For Search Ads

google adwords remarketing list for search ads

Whether you are aware or not, there are just too many reasons why the majority of your website visitors will leave without converting into leads or customers.

This fact also applies all through whether you are generating a great volume of mobile search traffic or not.

Think you are alone on this? Think again.

In the eCommerce world for instance, one study found that close to 89% of online shopping carts are abandoned by shoppers.

Remarketing list for search ads helps to reach and bring back qualified visitors within minutes, days or weeks or even months after leaving your website.

To a lay marketing man, the next question is how?

When people visit your website and leave to continue their search for specific product or services, this adwords feature enables business owners to reach out to them within 540 days period.

That is the maximum number of days that a remarketing list can be valid.

This is how remarketing list for search ads work. You generate a piece of code and paste in your home of other pages. As people visit the page that carries that code, they will be added to your list.

For example, if I visited the HR training page in your website, you can use remarketing list for search to show me more reasons (additional value propositions) why I should invest in your training – within 540 days after leaving that page.

By leveraging mobile search traffic in this context, you’ll be positioning your business for maximum phone calls from high quality leads.

A simple test research with high value keywords will let you find out if there are advertisers in your niche using these mobile marketing strategies right now. If not, learn to do it yourself or hire an adwords consultant to get you started right away.

To implement an effective online lead generation strategy through remarketing, you should consider splitting your budget between Google adwords and Facebook.

So that when people leave your site and land on both sides, you can as well reach them when the time is right. Obviously, being visible in multiple channels maximizes your opportunity to win the sale from ready buyers.

Integrated Call Tracking

how call tracking works

As I observed in one of my blog posts, competing without data is just the same as walking in a crowded marketplace with closed eyes.

Someone once said that: ‘half of your marketing efforts are not working. But the problem is which half’.

Obviously, the half that doesn’t work often wastes scarce resources – time and money. And to a whole lot of people; identifying that half is a very big challenge. That is why constant testing has been identified as a winning strategy.

Beside the problem of waste, increased insights from marketing analytics help to allocate budget to strategies that drive bigger ROI.

That is what data driven optimization is all about.

And that is where integrated call tracking comes in the context of inbound sales call generation.

While Google adwords tracking serves some people, there is a whole lot of other third party call tracking software providers that serves in the mobile spectrum.

With integrated call tracking, the data layers that help to extend marketing insights include the following:

  • Online campaign tracking: track phone calls from different online marketing channels
  • Keyword tracking: Identify the keywords delivering the most valuable calls to your business
  • Offline call tracking: measure the outcomes from your TV, radios, posters, bill board ads etc
  • Location tracking: Pin point the locations delivering the most conversions
  • Facebook pages: if you are active on Facebook, you can measure week to week outcomes
  • Call routing: route inbound sales calls to the appropriate location or sales rep
  • Call recording : gain competitive insights from prospective customer conversations

These and more are the key features you can expect from a complete call tracking software. Don’t just rely on adwords call reporting only.

Mind you, a simple hint can lead to revenue boosting optimization without spending a dollar at all.


Finally, the fact is that human to human interaction often works better in many different marketing contexts. This is why a lot of businesses still value phone calls more than website visits or email addresses meant for downloading free offers only.

Think about the issues of customer objections.

The effectiveness of addressing them in an interactive conversation cannot be equally same with written texts on a web form.

So when you look at web forms vs inbound calls, think about the conversion barriers, conversion cycle, lead quality and drop offs.

And in the context of search engine marketing, setting strategies to attract people when they have proven need for your services will certainly improve your lead generation strategy.

Even right now, you can take some time to do some test research within Google and your niche. Use some high value keywords, do a search, visit some landing pages and see the people using some of the strategies discussed here in your niche.

Share your lead generation experiences or challenges in the section below. How is your web form working for you right now?

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

9 Points To Consider Before Hiring Google Adwords Consultant

Why consider these points before hiring Google adwords consultant? Here are the reasons.

First is to avoid wasteful mistakes. Whether you have tried paid search advertising on your own before or not, some mistakes could be wasting your money or revenue opportunities if not avoided.

The second reason is to maximize ROI on your Google adwords budget. There are lots of opportunities to attract people exactly the time they are searching for your services.

If you are not aware of the best strategies, you are likely to miss out on them. Hence, you don’t know what to ask for.

This means you could end up hiring less experienced adwords expert.

Prior to becoming aware of any specific brand, a growing number of B2B and B2C buyers conduct active research online. And majority of these researches happen in Google.

Here is the reason why Google owns 77% of global search engine market. Based on this large market share, they earned $19 billion from advertising alone in Q2 2016 according to AdWeek.

For many business owners, their problem is not generation of traffic and leads.

The real challenge is the quality of leads that fills their pipeline. And that’s why they turn to Google adwords to increase the volume of buyer traffic to their online and offline store.

Maybe you have tried it on your own or you just need expert help because it’s not part of your core responsibilities.

Now you need to hire a Google adwords consultant, here are the key points to consider before making commitment.

Google Adwords Consultant Hiring Process

#1: Expert Certification 

google adwords consultant in nigeriaThis is pretty much a basic requirement. While some people could acquire real verifiable experience without certification, every expert worth hiring for consulting work should be certified. This is a documentary proof that the person has certified knowledge of how Google adwords work.

So if someone is trying to convince you that certification doesn’t matter and it’s not a proof of expertise, that person could be right.

But know that he or she doesn’t have it. If they do, the proof will just appear.

The major certifications here include search, mobile advertising, shopping ads and analytics. Someone that has two or all of these could as well have multiple skill sets to serve your need.

#2: Relevant Experience

This is the real thing. On the surface Google adwords advertising seems easy. Almost everyone can select keywords and create running ads. But if you need proven strategies that produce impressive profit, you need an expert with relevant experience.

Better if you can find someone who have worked for businesses like your own and in the same niche where your business belong.

So it is not just the number of years of experience that matters.

Ask the person to share some screenshots, conversation transcripts, proof of payment or reference. The other option is to do Skype screen sharing if possible.

While many will object to some or all of these, the adwords expert you want to hire should at least provide one of these. After review, you’ll then make your decision.

#3: Google Adwords Budget

Here I am referring to the real amount that will be paid directly to Google at the end or during the campaign.

This is your decision to make. You decide how much you want to spend per day, month or campaign. But first, the following are the key factors to consider.

First is your potential earning per sale. How much will your business earn from each sale or completed transaction?

You know this number better than me. From there you think through your monthly revenue goals. Obviously, big goals require relatively big budget as well.

For example, if you are a recruitment consultant earning $5000 per completed transaction. How much would you pay to get that from every 100 qualified leads?

The second point is the prevailing cost per click for the high value search terms in your niche.

The cost per click will determine how much you will pay to get 100 – 1000+ clicks from prospects actively searching for your services.

Here is a sample screenshot below.

google adwords budget estimation#4: Google Adwords Consulting Fee

If you are looking for a full service digital marketing consultant or agency, the fees will be somehow bigger.

This is because the workload will be bigger. Hence, the expert will be working on all your online marketing strategies across channels like search, social and email.

If the person has skills for analytics, it will then serve well for performance tracking and conversion rate optimization.

Besides this, Google adwords consulting fees are determined by factors like location, niche market and billing model. For example, the fees charged in high value niche markets like legal and finance cannot be the same for local clothing businesses.

However, the most influential factor here is the billing model.

Based on percentage of monthly adwords budget the prevailing rate ranges between 5 – 20%. If you have a higher revenue target and with $10,000 budget, expect to pay $1000 per month to the expert you hire.

Other people charge a fixed amount of money for one time or ongoing campaign.

The last option is paying a percentage of earned revenue. This seems to work well for both business owner and adwords consultants, but sales fluctuation causes an imbalance.

#5: Customer Lifetime Value

how to get customers with google adwordsThe difference in customer life time value depends largely on business models. Here is the reason why Google adwords work well for businesses that has long customer life time value.

Interestingly, most of the clients I have served in recent years belong to this category.

In the recruitment niche for instance, a single customer could pay for multiple placements per year.

If you have opportunity to make 3 placements per year for a single client at $5000 each, how much would you pay to get 100 prospects that can afford your services?

Looking at subscription based services for instance, how much would you pay to get a customer that pays $100 per month over a 12 months period?

Customer life time value is about repetitive revenue per customer over a specific period of time.

If you don’t understand this point, you may make the mistake of trying fruitlessly hard to spend lower than your competitors. Unfortunately, this could trap you in a cycle of low performance in terms of traffic volume, lead generation rate and ROI. Pause and think about this for a while.

#6: Google Adwords Remarketing

Here is another interesting fact you should consider before hiring a Google adwords consultant. Your entire paid search campaign should have an integrated remarketing strategy. But first, this question could be popping out in your mind now.

What is google adwords remarketing?

This is an online marketing strategy for showing ads to only the people who have visited your website or used your mobile app.

In the context of adwords, such ads appear on Google’s advertising properties or their partner websites (ie: adsense participating websites).

As stated by Lindsay Kolowich of Hubspot in one of their blog posts, 96% of website visitors don’t convert on their first visit.

While it is possible to make good profit from the other 4% in their very first visit, remarketing helps to maximize profit from the money you spent on prospects that would have been lost otherwise.

In effect, you will be creating additional opportunities to convert a certain percentage of these lost prospects into leads and customers.

Another reason why remarketing is very important is that it takes 2 – 8 touch points before closing an average B2B sale.

If the adwords consultant you hire knows nothing about remarketing, don’t make the commitment.

Let’s say your Google adwords budget could bring in 2000 visitors per month. What we normally do at Weblife is to set aside 20% of the total amount for constant remarketing.

With this strategy, people don’t have to join your email newsletter or become a lead before you do repetitive reach out campaigns to convert them.

Within 30 – 540 days, we can use different ad formats and value propositions to grow your brand awareness and conversion rate after the first visit.

#7: Website Readiness

If you are not informed enough, an amateur adwords freelancer will tell you that your website is perfect to get started once it passes adwords review and approval.

Note that their very first intent is to convert you into a client and take whatever money agreed. Every other thing is secondary.

The interesting fact here is that all websites are not created equal in terms of converting prospects into leads or paying customers. This fact holds true whether you are aware of the reason why or not.

In addition to using dedicated landing pages to generate leads and sales, your main website has to be ready.

While there is no standard of a perfect website that is assumed to be ready for profitable conversions, cluttered design and tiny texts could be wasting your money.

Some of the key factors to check include error free navigation, attractive headline, contact information, clear value propositions, illustrative image, testimonial, strong call to action, mobile usability, legal pages and other relevant pieces.

To get the best results, you should consider a split testing strategy with the consultant or agency you want to engage.

This will help both of you to discover the best combination of website design variables that delivers most valuable results instead of 100% dependence on assumptions.

If website redesign is required, ask for the exact details of what needs to be done, the cost and duration.

In most cases, it is better to have the same person or agency handling the redesign, adwords campaign and split testing.

But in case of an individual adwords expert, the person may have skills and experience to handle this or trusted web design specialists he works with.

#8: Performance Tracking

One of the key benefits of using Google adwords is the instant nature of the traffic that flows from it.

Unlike search engine optimization, you can start seeing results, feedback and data within one hour after your ads approval.

In other words, you can start seeing performance results almost immediately.

But first, you need a performance tracking system in place. With that in place, you will start seeing metrics like cost per lead, return on ad spend and cost per sale in terms of businesses with online payment systems.

Combined with keyword, ad copy and other data points, the insights gained from integrated performance tracking helps to reallocate resources for higher ROI.

Even though proper integration of Google adwords and analytics is good enough for most standard campaigns, there is one other interesting area ignored by many.

And that is inbound phone calls generated from paid search advertisements.

Whether you are using call only ads or not, your pay per click search adverts is likely to generate phone calls. And it’s even better because these are prospects actively searching for your services.

This is why call tracking is very important.

With advanced call tracking software tools like Call Rail, you’ll be able to see the exact keywords, campaigns, web pages and locations delivering the best leads to your business.

You’ll also get a record of customer initiated phone conversations.

Imagine this scenario.

You are running an adwords campaign that generates leads from your website. But the conversion rate is very low; meaning you are barely breaking even.

At the same time, the same campaign delivers phone calls from qualified and interested prospects that end up buying your services.

Suddenly, you felt like the ROI on your Google adwords budget is not impressive. So the assumption that your ads are not working led you to stop the campaign. Consequently, your sales volume and monthly revenue starts dropping.

Who would you blame?

The fact is that, an adwords consultant who cannot generate and track phone calls could only deliver half of the results you want.

Mind you, mobile search traffic is now greater than what is happening on desktop. See this guide on how to generate inbound sales calls from mobile users.

#9: Monitoring And Reporting

Fully outsourced Google adwords campaign includes constant monitoring. You never know when an unexpected change will happen and cause serious losses. This is why you need to discuss monitoring with whoever you are hiring.

The question should be, how often would your ads be monitored?

Keeping an eye over your ad status, click through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) makes it possible to spot opportunities for increased ROI as soon as they arise.

The other important thing is to agree on a reporting schedule.

Most people chose the weekly reporting schedule. But if you have reasons to use monthly reporting, there is nothing wrong with that.

Also at the point of discussion, decide on the format in which the report will be delivered.


At this point, it is worth reiterating why you should consider these points in the first place. Without proper considerations, a seemingly trivial mistake could lead to continuous loss of revenue opportunities. Now you know better, this could help you avoid some of them.

Hiring a Google adwords consultant is easy.

The hard part is about knowing the most important factors to discuss prior to making a commitment. Directly and indirectly, this will also impact your bottom line ROI.

Note that this was not meant to be an exhaustive list. Hence, there could be many other interesting factors that will influence your outcomes.

Worthy of note again is the fact that adwords cannot work for everyone in every situation.
[thrive_leads id=’164′]
If you are selling low value items (under $20) and you can’t afford $200 – $1000+ budget, you may end up wasting your money and time. And then join the list of people complaining that Goolge adwords doesn’t work.

Share your experience and challenges in the comment section. What have you tried?

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

Understanding ROI Metrics In Outsourced Search Engine Marketing

Outsourced search engine marketing services provide amazingly great benefits. But if you don’t understand the ROI metrics prior to outsourcing, you could end up gambling away some real scarce resources – your time and money.

For ecommerce online stores, tracking ROI from search engine marketing is a whole lot easier. The online order, checkout and payment systems present digestible data points.

However, when you come into B2B lead generation contexts, the story is different.

The complexity of multiple touch points involved poses a great challenge to low experienced digital marketers, traditional marketers and business owners. And from my experience, this is happening across different industry verticals.

NOTE – this post is about 3,036 words long. Consider the usability option below.

After auditing over 2000 adwords accounts, the CEO of Disruptive Advertising found that close to 75% of advertisers do not have conversion tracking set up in place.

Without further analysis, I bet that majority of these people are business owners and traditional medium marketers.

And they are all doing the ads themselves to avoid hiring paid search engine marketing consultant, agency or full time staff.

He also stated:

‘’While most companies struggle to make adwords profitable, majority of these people can succeed by fixing few common mistakes. Whether it’s setting up a small tracking programs, eliminating useless keywords, creating effective landing page strategy or giving the ads the attention It deserves, these problems can be overcome with little extra effort.’’ – Jacob Baadsgaard

It was only in the fifth month that Darren Holmes, an event services expert became aware of how conversion tracking works.

Prior to our first 30 minutes Skype call he assumed everything was perfect because he gets more than he pays for his monthly pay per click search advertising campaigns.

So in that frame of mind, he was driving all traffic to his home page. Now imagine if he was to start outsourcing with those assumptions he had then.

In this context, conversion tracking seems pretty much basic to a whole lot of people.

But defining what a conversion is and understanding the ROI metrics makes the whole picture a little more complex for many different people.

Asked what kind of performance report she gets for her outsourced search engine marketing, Anne responded ‘targeted traffic volume’. Probably, that was what she wanted and asked for from the SEM agency she hired.

Like many other small and medium sized recruitment agency owners, Anne Forrst thought that higher website traffic volume would solve all of her problems.

But at the end the seventh month, she was barely breaking even. The same reality applied to all outsourced digital marketing services.

In most cases, it’s either you are driving useless traffic to your website, have a poor performing conversion funnel or both.

But how would you identify the problem if it is you? Yes, I mean you, reading my post right now.

Before proceeding to ROI metrics, let’s take a little time to look at some of the key fundamentals. Sure you could pick one or two useful hints from there.

Why Search Engine Marketing

website conversion rate

Assuming you are one of the people still at the consideration stage currently, a question in this line may be popping in and out of your mind – why search engine marketing? Well, among many others, you’ll experience the benefits of purchase intent matching, immediacy and measurability.

Unlike many traditional marketing channels, you’ll have the opportunity to measure and report the outcome of every $1 spent.

And most importantly, it is performance based. You don’t pay until you get real prospects coming to your website, visiting offline operating location or even calling your phone. Check this post to see how pay per call advertising works. 

Forms of Search Engine Marketing: Google Adwords

With this option, you’ll be paying money directly to Google for each click or prospect delivered to your website. That’s why it is often referred to as being performance based or PPC. Call it paid search if you like.

While there are many other search engines that runs PPC advertising, Google adworsd is the market leader across the world.

Currently, Google owns 77.8% of global paid search ad market.

Forms of Search Engine Marketing: SEO

In the context of digital marketing, SEO stand for search engine optimization. It is a process of making the contents of your website eligible for higher ranking within search engine result pages.

That is when someone searches for specific keywords or phrases, a page from your website will show up with clickable link.

Unlike adwords, you don’t have to pay money directly to search engines for higher ranking.

One of the key benefits of SEO is that it almost seems like free traffic when the contents of your pages are optimized to rank higher for high value keywords.

For example, i did a search for the keywords ‘wedding planning lead generation’, and found this 2016 content ranking in the first page of Google.

wedding planning lead generation ideas

The implication is that a piece of content ranking in the first page could be providing quality traffic and leads for a multiple number of months and years. And in some cases, your website don’t even need to be on the first page to get good amount of organic search engine traffic.

Outsourced Search Engine Marketing: The Core ROI Metrics

In their State of Inbound report 2017, the team at Hubspot found that one of the major challenges many still face is that the leads delivered by marketing people to sales often don’t convert as much as expected.

And this means real disappointment for almost everyone in the value chain – the business owners, executives, marketing managers and agencies.

But that is mainly for people that have the resources to employ full time marketing and sales team.

Thus, if the conversion rate is perpetually low, the ROI will also be affected in the downward side.

The question is; where are you currently generating majority of your leads from? Remember, doing the same thing over and over again will give you the same results you’ve always had.

Website Traffic Volume

Practically, marketing means just two things to almost everyone in the business world.

Especially if you are business owner or have a role in marketing, the way you see It is the way you’ll do it.

First is like gambling. Yes, people who make 99% of their marketing decisions based on assumptions see marketing as gambling. I guess you know what the concept of luck is all about.

So whether you intend to outsource search engine optimization or PPC advertising management, without data based ROI plan, you are just gambling away your resources (time and money).

The second perspective is investment. On a relatively advanced level, marketing expenditure is supposed to be an investment.

This holds practically true when it comes to content based search engine marketing.

When you spend money to create and rank quality contents for high value buyer search terms, the ROI compounds over time. Here is an example of such keywords.

Below are some of the important website traffic related variables you should consider before outsourcing.

Traffic Volume: Without targeted website visitors, you won’t have anyone to convert into leads or paying customers. On the other hand, without conversions the website traffic generated from your outsourced search marketing remains useless.

Thus, this is the core variable that you can be measuring from time to time.

And then find ways of improvement with whoever you hire.

If you are a business owner and you have no idea of your website traffic volume, that website you spent real money to build could as well be practically useless.

Website Traffic Sources: How does website traffic source relate to ROI metrics you may ask?

lead generation

Well, all traffic sources are not created equal.

And if the person responsible for marketing in your business doesn’t care about sources he won’t know which sources that delivers better conversion than the other.

With SEO traffic for instance, Google search console integration will give you insight on the keywords that brings the most valuable visitors from search engines to your website.

The insights derived from the top ranking pages and search queries will then provide opportunity for consistent improvement in all of the performance metrics that matters most t you.

Interestingly, without measurement, you can’t improve it.

Website Visitor Location: Obviously, people whose products and services can be bought and sold online shouldn’t be concerned about location.

However, for most offline service based businesses location of the people that visits your website makes a whole lot of difference.

Whether you are aware of it or not, people that visit offline business websites often consider location proximity. And it happens mostly while considering some product and services for purchase.

See this data from Google on how localized mobile searches leads to offline visits within 24 hours.

Among many other things, visitors from non branded search terms are never within your control.

Practically; with an active local search engine optimization strategies you can begin to increase the number of qualified and interested prospect visiting your site from preferred target locations.

For example, imagine how local SEO will work for a wedding planning or event space rental business serving one state in a country. Hint: a lot of your competitors still don’t know how local SEO works.

Conversion Metrics


I know that growing website traffic volume is good. You also know that. We all do. But at the long run, real conversion is better. It doesn’t matter what valuable conversion means in your own business or company.

Before outsourcing search engine marketing, you have to understand the peculiar conversion metrics that are most valuable in your business.

In this day and age, buying SEO services without conversion tracking is really dumb.

Here is one reason why you may consider a full service digital marketing agency as opposed to niche experts. Among other things, you get the benefits of centralized performance tracking.

You’ll be able to see the outcome of your marketing budget spend on each channel – paid search, SEO, social, email etc.

Unfortunately, without conversion you have no basis to calculate ROI. Also without conversion, proving marketing ROI won’t be possible.

This is the biggest challenge I see among people learning how to outsource search engine optimization for the first time.

If you need better ROI on your marketing budget without wasting time on mismatched audience, click this bold link to Schedule A Skype Call Today.

Now let’s look at the major conversion metrics.

Total Sales: Starting with the end in mind within this context implies that both your website and search engine marketing strategy should be aimed at generating revenue. But without targeted website traffic and real sales, you could be gambling some resources away.

For most ecommerce and online businesses, tracking sales conversion is relatively easy.

And because of this, calculating the contribution of search marketing (Adwords and SEO) to bottom line ROI doesn’t require high level expertise.

Simple ecommerce conversion tracking in Google analytics could just be enough.

But when it comes to offline businesses with multiple touch points and longer sales cycle, the story is different.

The complexity is more than what an average in house digital marketing expert can handle. Maybe you are still struggling with an overworked in house generalist.

On the other hand, you could be the person in charge of marketing with intimidating workload, limited budget and timeline.

Finally, without sales you won’t be able to tell if you are breaking even or losing money.

In the worst case scenario, you may be the one wasting good amount of time on vanity social media metrics that brings zero results.

Quality Leads: Even with common sense, you should be able to tell how the quality of leads affects both conversion rate and ROI on marketing budget.

Especially in the context of organic search engine optimization, many people still don’t track leads, including inbound marketing agencies. The question I hear most often goes like, if all our sales happen offline how do we attribute that to a particular lead source?

While full scale analytics is beyond the scope of this post. Below are some options you should consider.

Use Google analytics conversion funnel tracking. Attach a dollar value to every single lead generated from your search engine traffic.

Leverage on inbound call tracking software to get data on leads and sales closed over the phone.

With call analytics platforms like CallRail or Invoca, you could be getting reports deep down to the keywords delivering leads and sales from your outsourced search engine marketing campaigns.

But don’t stop at traffic and leads. Because at the end, high volume leads doesn’t equal high volume sales.

Cost Per Acquisition: Regardless of whether you are operating from ecommerce or lead generation context, cost per acquisition impacts almost everything else. And for the purpose of this post, CPA can be viewed in two different perspectives.

The one you choose will depend on your role and goals.

First is the cost per lead.

If your role and responsibilities is centered on lead generation, you should think through CPL very well in order to plan for profitable campaign.

The question is; how many website visitors do we need to generate a single lead?

If you don’t have historical data to work with, here is an option for you. Assume 1% conversion rate on your website traffic. Specify the potential revenue per sale.

And then set 2 – 10% of potential revenue per sale for lead generation. With $1000 as potential revenue, $100 (10%) becomes the amount you need to spend to generate a single lead out of every 100 prospects.

In this scenario, how many $100s will you spend to generate the volume of quality leads you need? Will you focus on SEO, Google adwords or both?

The second option is looking at cost per acquisition as customer acquisition cost.

How many leads will it take to get a single paying customer, not a lead?

So if you stop at lead generation metrics, you’ll be seeing only half of the marketing performance picture.

Let’s say you are working for a recruitment consulting agency. Attach $20 to 100 leads.

Based on your average billing per transaction, how much would 1% conversion worth in your business or company? This will enable you determine how much it will cost to get a single paying client.

Improved understanding of customer acquisition cost (CAC) will also enable you allocate your marketing budget to the best sources of quality leads.

‘Earning revenue is good. But if 99% of that goes to customer acquisition, then you are trapped in a vicious cycle.’ – David Skok

Conversion Rate: This is simply the percentage of your website traffic converting into leads or paying customers. On the other hand, it could also mean the percentage of your leads converting into customers, not just website traffic.

In practical terms, if your conversion rate is very low, possibly under 1%, this will be impacting the ROI on your search engine marketing budget or other channels in use.

In general settings, quality of website traffic, quality of leads, value or lead magnet and conversion funnel; all impacts conversion rate.

Among many variables, source of traffic and leads makes the highest impact. Get enough wrong leads in your pipeline and you’ll become helplessly busy at wasting time.

Core ROI Metrics

Except in rare social enterprise settings, the ultimate motive behind every business is profit making. And we all know that without active marketing, profit making goals can hardly be accomplished.

I guess this is why people seek outsourced search engine marketing services in the first place. For most people, hiring a full time in house digital marketing expert isn’t affordable.

The above stated fact simply implies that without profit you either don’t have a business or you are just busy with a hobby.

The same fact applies to outsourced search engine advertising as well. Google adwords for instance is supposed to bring back more than what you put out.

With a well thought out SEO strategy, you should take this into account from day one. Below are the core metrics that defines marketing ROI in many different industries and niche markets.

Understanding them will help you start with the most valuable end in mind as opposed to taking whatever that is offered.

Return On Ad Spend: Especially in paid search advertising, this is the real measure of how effective and profitable your campaign is.

Unlike organic search engine optimization that takes an unpredictable duration before deciding whether it’s profitable or not, you can see your ROAS in a very short time.

For example, if you spend $1000 and got $5000 back, your return on ad spend will be revenue divided by cost. In this case it will result in 400% return or 4:1, meaning that you get $4 for every $1 spend.

Profit Margin: The entire world of capitalism is centered on this one.

In practical terms, if you are not breaking even, then what you are doing as a business may not be much different from pure gambling.

Consequently, any search engine marketing agency you want to hire but doesn’t take profitability is often interested in their earnings and nothing else. The fact is that if you are acquiring each customer at a cost of $200 but earns only $203 from each, you’ll need higher volume to stay in business.

But the underlying fact could be that your current customer acquisition channels and strategies need either full replacement or improvement.

Among other things, profit margin determines how long you’ll stay in business and the financial growth potential.

Constant inflow of external funding won’t even save the situation if you are not breaking even.

Customer Life Time Value: In comparison to customer acquisition cost, the question is how much would you earn from a single customer over the period of your relationship with a person or company?

This metric isn’t relevant to all businesses, but it affects bottom line ROI.

Thinking through this one helps to decide how much is acceptably ideal for acquiring a single customer.

So a high customer life time value warrants higher cost. Putting this into consideration will determine how aggressive you should or shouldn’t be in relation to the competition in your niche.


For those still paying for visibility alone within traditional mediums like newspaper, flyers, posters, and billboard, now you have a better understanding of how search engine marketing works.

With the insight provided here, you’ll be able to go beyond surface level guesswork with regard to ROI on your current marketing practices.

And if you have made up your mind about outsourced search engine marketing services, don’t stop at website traffic only.

Without conversions, your website traffic is useless. Perhaps, things could get really worse than as it is now if you continue spending money to attract wrong visitors.

The big question is; how many of your leads are actually converting into paying customers?

On the first instance, this has a lot to do with the quality of your website traffic. Low quality traffic makes for lower conversion rate and vice versa.

While driving traffic with paid search advertising and SEO is relatively possible for many inbound marketing agencies, not all of them tracks conversions.

The few people that do it stop at conversions only.

However with Call tracking integration, you’ll be able to get a proof of which channel delivers more inbound phone calls and sales than others.

Check this SEO case study on how we helped a Colorado, USA company grow their organic search traffic by 1,697% in 10 months.

If you need improved competitive advantage, click either of these links to Request SEO Audit or Schedule A Skype Call Today.

When Your Qualified Leads Cannot Afford It

In many B2B service markets, the quantity vs quality lead generation challenges still persist. Interestingly, most of the people facing these challenges do not know how inbound marketing works.

Hence, they stay busy filling their pipeline with low quality leads.

‘For us the problem is not about generating enough leads. Our major problem is the quality of leads that don’t convert as much as we want. Unfortunately, this traps us in low ROI at the end of every accounting month. While we have the will and budget to make improvement, we don’t know where to start.’

This was what Allen Hull told me in our first interaction. He is a staffing business owner in Florida, USA.

Through further analysis, I discovered that all their marketing efforts are based on demographic variables only.

Based on this fact, their outbound marketing strategies reaches out to a lot of prospects who are demographically qualified but not interested or can’t afford their services.

The low conversion rate tells the full story. Then they were barely breaking even.

While major outbound marketing strategies still work to some extent in different settings, 100% dependence on them is not a smart competitive strategy. Let’s look at some of the key reasons below.

Disadvantages Of Unsolicited Outbound Marketing

  • Annoyingly Intrusive 

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of outbound marketing. It is practically intrusive.

It breaks patterns of the target audience attention. Intrudes into their moments of personal engagement and ultimately annoys them.

In reality, you are actually pushing your own interest and forcing messages on people exactly the time they may not be open for such.

This is why it is often called ‘spray and pray marketing’; kind of trial and error luck thing.

  • Low Response Rate

The fact is that everybody is busy.

You are busy. I am busy. So no one enjoys wasting their time and attention on messages judged to be self promotional.

Depending on the power of your advert copies and contextual relevance, it feels like pouring water on stones to break them most of the times.

Study the buying patterns and cycles in your niche. Then decide if it’s time to make some desirable alterations. Stop doing the same thing over and over again.

  • Vague Performance Metrics

Now think about the last purchase you made and at the end of the day, you got nothing in exchange for the money spent.

Most outbound marketing services are just like that. In effect you are paying for visibility and trivial brand impressions only.

Obviously, this alone cannot solve all your lead generation and revenue problems.

Take television, newspaper, radio and trade show ads for example, how do you actually measure the outcome of your marketing spend?

Beside these ones, there are many other disadvantages of unsolicited outbound marketing. But because it still works to some extent as noted earlier, many people think it is the only way.

Thus, they continue to operate out of the old scripts that exist in their heads.

At a stretched level, this should make you begin to think about how inbound marketing works and the benefits that can be experienced from it.

Maybe you already know a little bit about it. However, let’s explore the fundamentals.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

lead generation

This is an interactive marketing strategy that engages prospects’ attention based on proven need, interest and purchase intent.

In most cases it has to do with defined audience, medium and message. With business blogging or content marketing for example, the medium and message are hardly separable.

The main goal is to influence and attract prospects to visit your business website or offline office voluntarily when they have the need for your services.

From the foregoing definition, it becomes obvious that a certain customer segment or demographic could be qualified for your services, but at the same time not interested or can’t afford it.

According Brian Halligan of Hubspot,

‘Understanding your buyer persona is half the battle’.

So when the majority of the leads you generate currently are qualified but not interested, you need to think above luck (spray and pray marketing) and begin to take progressive actions.

Your current conversion rate could just be enough proof already.

Below here we’ll be exploring the best channels that will help you make some desirable improvements in all the performance metrics that matters most to you.

Best Inbound Marketing Channels

#1: Business Blogs

I bet that before now, you must have heard or read about the benefits of starting a business blog. Probably, your company already has one.

But like many others, you are not generating considerable volume of quality leads from it.

Here is one fact you have to take away from this post: all business blogging strategies are not created equal.

In practical terms, it has to do with the topics you choose to write about, how you write the contents and who you are writing for, conversion funnel and blog promotion strategies.

If you think this is not a challenge to many, just do a search for ‘business blog topic ideas’. And then observe other search terms related to it.

Here are some practical tips on how to write high conversion blog posts that generate quality traffic, leads and sales.

Choose Customer Focused Topics: Do not write about general industry trends, events or your services only.

Focus on contents that relates to your ideal customer’s pain points, current needs, interest, fears, hopes and aspirations.

What are those outcomes they are craving to experience in their business or job?

Use keywords they are searching for as well as mirroring the purchase related questions in their minds.

There is a whole lot of expertise around this, that’s why many business owners are now actively searching for content writing services. Perhaps, not everyone knows how inbound marketing works in the context of defined business blogging strategy.

Write Attractive Headlines: This is the very first place you connect your prospects’ needs, interest and purchase intent with your content.

By using relevant search terms, questions, outcomes and pain points in your headline, you’ll have better click through rate.

Learn how to leverage buyer keywords or commercial intent search terms in your headline.

In an ideal sense, attractive headlines define the audience and exclude irrelevant prospects.

Example: 9 Wedding Lead Generation Ideas Worth Testing Tomorrow.

Optimize Your Target Keywords: Besides your headline, try to use your target keywords within the first 100 words, in your sub headings, internal links and few (1 – 5) times within the post.

This last point should be determined by the length of your post.

This on page SEO strategy will make your blog posts to rank higher for those targeted keywords. So that that when people search for those terms, your posts will be visible in search results page (SERP).

Note, you may have to build some quality backlinks to boost your ranking for those targeted keywords.

#2: Paid Search Advertising 

If you really understand how inbound marketing works, you’ll know that it is not all online advertisements are outbound.

This is why I used the term ‘interactive’ in that definition of what is inbound marketing.

Paid search advertising with Google adwords or Bing are usually triggered by an action of using a particular long tail keyword or head terms.

Such action follows an interest or intent to find information, identify business address, confirm availability, make comparison, buy something or others.

For example if I did a search for ‘google adwords expert in Oakland California’ and your advert shows up, the contextual relevance makes it attractive.

To start generating leads with proven need and interest in your services, consider taking the following actions.

Promote Your Blog Posts: Having no promotion strategy is one of the business blogging mistakes I see a lot of people make every other day.

Some experts like Derek Halpern of Social Triggers states that your business blogging strategy should be like 80% promotion and 20% writing. Mind you, sharing your posts in free social media business pages isn’t just enough. Maybe the results you already get tell the full story.

The benefits of using Google adwords in this case is that it gives you opportunities to attract people actively searching for many different keywords.

Moreover, beside your blog posts you can as well promote your core services page with paid search advertising. This blog post promotion case study will expand your insight on this.

Leverage Google Adwords Extensions: These are special features of Google search advertisements that extend the points of attraction within the ad.

Without these extensions, you can still create standard advertisements.

But the real benefit is that it helps to improve relevance and conversion rate. With location extension, you’ll have the opportunity to add business address within your ads. Letting people know where they can find you.

Combine this with local search terms and you could be growing offline traffic to your physical office or store from paid search advertising.

Call extension on the other hand adds phone number or click to call button within the ads. Obviously, the purpose is to get inbound sales calls from prospects actively searching for your services.

The third one is site link. This one links people to specific pages on your website. Think about your pricing or testimonial pages for instance.

So the benefit is exposing your target audience to multiple page links, instead of one. Below is an example of google adwords site links extension. Do a search for a high value keyword in your niche and you could see it in action.

google adwords site link extension

Create Call Only Ads: In most high ticket niche markets, a lot of people prefer phone calls for lead generation and nurturing.

This is the reason why many people still depend largely on outbound cold calls.

Within the paid search advertising spectrum, call only ads generates no other outcome except inbound phone calls. Now this is how call only ads work.

You create your search ads with selected high value keywords. But instead of seeing links to website pages, your target audience sees click to call button. In other words, a click on the call button is the only way your audience engages with the ad.

In essence, you are paying for every phone call triggered by inbound search for what you are selling.

Now let me ask you this, if you can close a single sale through 100 inbound sales calls from qualified prospects exactly the time they are searching for your services, how much would you pay per call?

Do the math to find out the potential profit based on how much a single sale is worth in your business.

#3: Search Engine Optimization 

In many different circles, a whole lot of people still see search engine optimization and inbound marketing as different strategies.

But in practice, these two are strategically inseparable. One cannot effectively exist without the other.

Just as the term sound, inbound marketing include all the strategies that maximize opportunities for qualified prospects to find you and your services voluntarily when they need to.

It doesn’t have to be forceful and intrusive.

From the above point, it becomes very obvious that SEO is a sub set of inbound marketing strategies.

In fact, it seems to be the biggest and most profitable part of it because of the direct impact on traffic quality, lead generation and financially beneficial conversion rate.

Basically, search engine optimization is the technical and creative processes of making your web pages eligible for high ranking within search engine result pages.

It positions your brand for higher visibility when qualified prospects are in active search for solution to their problems.

To understand more of the contextual practicality, let’s look at how SEO relates to other parts of inbound marketing.

SEO And Business Blogging: The contents consumed within the business blogs we read today are made of written texts.

And for all intents, the majority of all searches performed today starts with written words and phrases.

Thus, if you are still writing blog posts without an effective SEO strategy, the ROI on the time or money spent putting them out will remain below average if any at all.  If no one finds your blog posts, no one will read them. And without readers, there will be no conversions.

Think beyond visibility and brand impressions only. Refer to the section on business blogging for more details about the basics.

This SEO course could help increase your results and ROI from it.

SEO And Content Marketing: Content marketing goes beyond writing and publishing great, unique contents.

Without being told, you should know that writing is somehow different from the old concept of marketing.

However, in this modern information age, creative people across different industries and niche markets are finding ways to combine the two at the same time.

Search engine optimization is just one part of combining content and marketing.

By doing the basic SEO as at the point of writing your contents, you’ll also be aligning your marketing objectives effectively.

However, beyond attractive blog posts, content in this context includes custom images, infographics, videos, webinars and ebooks.

During and after the content creation, active optimization increases findability, visibility, search traffic potential and even conversion rate by voluntary search.

This is what inbound marketing is all about.

SEO And Social Media: Social media content share count is one of the user experience signals that search engines take into account. But in this case, it has to do with the sharing of contents within your website.

Unfortunately, if all your websites contents are meant to convert first time visitors into customers, then you are not leveraging the full potential.

A considerable volume of contents on your site should be helpful, entertaining and influential.

Learn to create attractive contents first before putting some promotional efforts in social media. To extend things further and reach precisely targeted audience, consider Facebook advertising or LinkedIn Ads.

All of these things contribute to an integrated inbound marketing strategy. And within them, lots of competitive advantages abound.

See this social media marketing case study on how and why Robbie Richards got 19,000 shares on a single blog post.

For a whole lot of people in business development, marketing and CEO roles, their problem isn’t generation of website traffic and leads. The real problem is the low conversion rate on the leads they spend huge amount of resources to generate.

Even though outbound still works for many, nothing stops you to invest a part of your budget in data driven inbound marketing strategies.

Invest in starting a business blog if you have not done so. Learn how to write high conversion blog post, not aimless shit that merely fills web spaces. Consider paid search advertising.

And then start an active SEO campaign.

By growing your search engine traffic and adding some integrated tracking systems, you may be surprised to find out that a sub set of your audience is ready to convert into paying customer within 24 hours to 30 days.

With integrated call tracking systems for instance, you will be able to identify which marketing channels, web pages and keywords are bringing the most valuable leads and customers.

Note, all traffic and leads are not created equal.

Unfortunately, you won’t know the difference and how best to allocate your resources unless you are actively leveraging competitive insights.

At the end, being demographically qualified is one thing. Having interest in your services and the purchasing power is another different thing.

Hence, timing makes a lot of difference in B2B lead generation strategies, just as the sources of the leads flowing into your pipeline. Question; have you tried inbound marketing before?

What was your experience like? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

How Mismatched Messaging Wastes Your Marketing Budget

Regardless of the channel you chose, mismatched messaging could be wasting your marketing budget right now. Having sufficient budget is one thing. Getting good result from the expenditure is another thing.

However, if you are just looking for insights on marketing budget allocation, this post will also enlighten you a little bit.

Down the lines, this post is a comparative analysis of messaging effectiveness between some offline and online marketing mediums. Th the core intent here is not to favor one against the other.

However you will experience increased awareness on how to eliminate possible waste in your current marketing strategies.

It is also not intended to state that all your current offline marketing efforts result in waste.

Different from that, you’ll discover the benefits of allocating a part of your current marketing budget to online channels like Google adwords, search engine optimization, Facebook ads etc.

To spend your small business marketing budget without any useful outcome is the same as wasting.

So my question is; have you ever experienced such a waste?

Mismatched brand and product messaging is just one of the biggest causes. I want you to understand here that it is not always the lack of resources that prevents people from getting the results they desire.

Poor and futile allocation is also a problem.

Targeting everyone and anyone doesn’t make much difference. For one thing, good sales and branding messages is half the battle.

You also need to choose good and proven channels to reach the highest number of qualified prospects. Fail in this regard, and you’ll continue to waste some scarce resources either as a business owner or marketer.

Consequences of Wasted Marketing Budget

Loss of money: depending on the purpose of expenditure, if you can’t break even, your money is gone forever – till November, like Wyclef Jean use to sing.

Loss of time: Time is a very precious resource to everyone. When this kind of waste happens, your time follows too. It could be the time you spent doing the work involved or hiring a consultant to do it.

Missed revenue target: When your money is lost in wasted marketing spend, you miss your revenue targets. And that also means reduced ability to hit that target. This makes a whole lot of things harder.

Unpaid salary bill: Got 1 – 10+ dependent employees? Seat up. This could be the worst. Without earning enough revenue, you may not be able to pay your staff. The situation could get worse if you keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Small Business Marketing Cost Examples

  1. Printed brochure, business cards and letterheads
  2. Offline events
  3. Local Newspapers
  4. Posters and flyers
  5. Billboards
  6. Radio
  7. Television
  8. Digital banners
  9. Direct mail
  10. Yellow pages
  11. Website

These are the major types of advertisements for small business owners. Probably you have used one or more of those or currently using them.

Depending on who spends your marketing budget on any or some of these communication channels, mismatched messaging can happen in all of them. Interestingly, many of them still deliver good results till this day.

But the question is, must you be 100% dependent on them?

Let’s look at the limitations of each of the major channels mentioned above and how it could be wasting your small business marketing budget right now.

I will be doing this subtle analysis in comparison to online marketing mediums like Facebook advertising, Google adword PPC, search engine optimization, email marketing and mobile advertising.

Newspaper Advertising

If you are yet to start newspaper advertising or already spending money on it, here are some things you need to consider.

Are you paying for product marketing or brand awareness campaign?

Your answer to this question will determine the results and level of satisfaction your get in return.

Beyond the core message or advertising contents, you also need to take into account the location of your target audience.

One of the key attractions of offline newspaper advertisements is wide readership. However, if the majority of your target audience is not within commutable distance, it doesn’t make much difference.

Mismatched advertising message regarding location will end up wasting your time and money.

The effectiveness of this medium is also limited by ad clutter and short life span. Unless you own a big company with huge budget.

Now tell me, do you want to pay for visual impressions only or real results?

In comparison to paid Facebook advertising for instance, location targeting is one key driver of the effectiveness.

And you’ll have the opportunity to see the number of persons that actually saw your advert, who visited your website from the ad and actual sales in terms of sales conversion.

Below is a sample of website traffic volume (link clicks) I delivered to a client from Facebook advertising.

marketing budget

As for location, you can target your advertisement based country, state, city and county in addition to age, gender, industry, interest, purchase behavior.

It may interest you to know that many (50 – 90%) of the smart phone users in your target location spends up to 50 minutes daily on Facebook. That’s according a report in New York Times.

Disadvantages Of Poster Advertisment

Printed poster advertisements pasted on some strategic by pass points seems to be location targeted. What better way can one get attention except by definitive visibility.

Unfortunately, visibility alone doesn’t get results. I have also tried this one myself.

While your copy may be precise as to the target audience, the delivery is usually for everyone and anyone.

And because of ad blindness, posters doesn’t get much response rate. The short life span also contributes to its limited effectiveness. However, this is not to say that it doesn’t work at all.

With online marketing strategies like search engine optimization, you’ll be attract only the people who are actively searching for products and services like the ones you offer.

When done very well, money you spent on SEO can be bringing in qualified and interested prospected for months or years to come.

According to ComScore, 78% of mobile searches related to business, product and service information results in location visit.

And with tools like Google search console, you’ll have daily, weekly and monthly report of people coming to your website and the specific keywords that brought them. See the screenshot below for example.

small business seo services

The Problem With Billboard Advertisements

I understand that most companies that use this medium do so for branding purposes. But here is the problem with billboard advertisements.

Except for branding purposes only, any marketing efforts that starts and ends with visuals only doesn’t get much response rate or ROI.

However, I still see a lot of small and medium sized businesses who have immediate sales priorities spend their marketing budget on billboards.

For example, I recently saw an international education consulting company using this exact medium.

Like poster and newspapers, it appeals to almost anyone and everyone on the street. And that is why they belong to the class of mass media.

But let me ask you. Do you want visual impressions only or better ROI on your small business marketing budget?

Assuming I am a married, struggling employee accountant. It doesn’t matter how many times I see your education consulting services advert while driving to and from work. Because I have no need for that at the moment, I won’t respond to your mismatched messages.

Even when I want what is on offer, but can’t afford it, the response rate will be flat zero.

Now can you compare that with someone who is actively searching in Google for the keywords ‘UK education consultants in – add city name’?

With Google adwords, you can start attracting people who are searching for your products, services and related keywords. The same amount of money spent on 1 – 3 months billboard advertising contract is just enough to get someone started.

In fact, you can start with $10 Google adwords daily budget if you know how to implement it. Here is a sample advertisement I created for a client.

google adwords ad examples

Limitations of Radio Advertisements

This is one of the oldest mass media advertising still in use today. Probably, it could be working for some people.

However, am sure you are aware of the fact that one size doesn’t always fit all.

With branding and product marketing messages, one size doesn’t fit all.

Tell me, and say the truth. When was the last time you listened to and responded to radio advertisements?

I bet you’ll rather be browsing on your mobile smartphone instead of listening to radio advert jingles. Joke aside; i don’t need anyone to tell me that you spend much of your media consumption time online, not on radio.

In a world full of people with intensely distracted and fragmented attention spans, one minute radio adverts aren’t enough to get the exact results you desire.

Sure you could be combining this with other mediums.

To get any response at all, you need a budget to maintain a relatively high degree of effective frequency. That is for the few people who may have interest in your product and services to get the contact information.

Without messaging frequency, you may be wasting your money on futile brand awareness campaigns. Perhaps you want more than that.

On the other hand, email marketing offers a low cost alternative for messaging frequency, leads and sales generation.

But first, you need to build an email list before getting started. Email marketing funnel integration works because a lot of people spend good amount of time inside their inbox.

Targeted and personalized. That’s how it works. Check this 44 email marketing case studies for more insights.

Call To Action

Here is the gist. Decreasing effectiveness, high cost and competition in the traditional marketing channels known to you requires different strategies now.

You really need to stop competing in a crowded marketplace with close eyes.

Before you spend your next or current small business marketing budget, you need to clarify the goals of building brand awareness, product marketing or immediate sales generation.

However, you don’t have to put a halt to all that are currently working for you right now.

Like I use to say, having good information is good, but not enough. It is your commitments and actions that will make the real difference.

So just take a look at all the traditional mediums listed above. Tick the ones you use currently. And see if you can create an online marketing budget reallocating your resources for bigger ROI.

Please share experience or challenges in the comment section.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

Why Your B2B Lead Generation Pipeline Will Remain Empty Tomorrow

When your b2b lead generation pipeline become empty, life literally comes to a halt. And in that state, thousands of confusing questions begin to pop into your mind.

And while you are cracking your head to find the best answers, it becomes even harder to understand why this happened in the first place.

Maybe your own pipeline is not yet 100% empty.

So you may not have experienced what it feels like. Currently, your marketing strategies could be bringing in some low volume quality traffic. And from there, you generate some leads and revenue.

However, you understand the fact that without a constant inflow of growing leads into your pipeline, becoming empty remains inevitable.

And when that happens, making progress towards your revenue goal becomes even harder. Thus, without looking further, you’ll already know that your current lead generation efforts are not working as much as you desire right now.

But why?

According to a study published by David Kirkpatrick of Marketing Dive, 77% of business owners surveyed said that lead quality improvement is their #1 challenge.

Another 55% also identified low quality leads as their biggest barrier to success.

What Is B2B Lead Generation Pipeline?

This can be referred to as series of marketing assets and activities aimed at reaching qualified prospects and engaging them for product or service sales. Especially in B2B online marketing contexts, you need to generate leads first before sales.

Derek Edmond wrote inside search engine land that balancing lead quality and quantity poses a great challenge to many marketers and business owners. Besides these issues of quality and quantity, below are the core reasons why your b2b lead generation pipeline could become flat out empty tomorrow.

You’ll also find a solution to each identified problem.

#1: Low Traffic Volume

Without explanation, you already know what this one is all about. Whether you are the person generating it or not, without sufficient volume of website traffic you may not be able to generate as much leads as you want now.

Here I’m referring specially to online marketing space.

Understandably, a higher volume of targeted website traffic will provide more lead generation opportunities.

But what if your target prospects are not visiting at all?

staffing lead generation strategies

By low traffic volume, I mean something less than 1000 targeted website visitors per month. Among b2b service based businesses, many people still abandon their websites just after creation.

Except having the website address on marketing materials, they get no measurable business value from it.

And beside the purpose of providing information, what strategies do you have to convert prospects into actual customers? Yes, I know you have a generic lead magnet that says ‘join our newsletter’.

Why would I join, what is in it for me?

Probably you’ve owned a business website for a while. And because no single lead had been generated from it since then, you assume the potential isn’t there.

I also know you have other lead generation strategies that may be working in your business.

But the fact is that if your pipeline is already empty and you don’t generate sufficient volume of targeted traffic today, it will remain that way tomorrow.

Your website’s potential for quality lead generation will be largely untapped.

Action Tip: Plan and execute strategies for growing targeted traffic to your website daily, weekly or monthly.

Below are some specific things you can do.

  • Create Linkable Content
  • Add prominent social sharing buttons
  • Start doing guest blog posts
  • Post to active facebook groups
  • Create and publish Youtube videos
  • Comment on popular blogs

#2: Low Quality Leads

On the extreme, low quality leads are just as good as no leads at all. Regardless of the sources from where you get the leads, quality often matters more than quantity.

And if you have been focusing on volume, volume and volume only; think again.

‘My excitement quickly subsided after the first few rigid responses. After 185 calls, I took a moment to analyze the lead sources more closely’.

That was Adam Hurley’s realization at one point in his sales job.

‘Not only was I wasting my time, but the repeated failure began to get inside my head. The leads came from a webinar.

And the title was ‘The Future of Social Media’.  On the surface, this title  seemed relevant for selling social media management software.

Looking at the topic, just about anyone, including my mother could sign up for such webinar.’

Point is; the topic is too broad. It doesn’t speak to any pain point or need the target customer is facing. And therefore, even thought the quantity is impressive, the low quality makes for zero conversion.

Just as noted above, the ROI you get from your b2b lead generation pipeline is to a large extent dependent on the sources.

Practically, the sources will determine the audience you are targeting.

In addition to that, the other important variable is the actual message you are passing out. What value propositions are contained in your message?

What specific pain points, fears, hopes and aspirations are you addressing?

So if your pipeline stays empty for some time longer than you are comfortable with, then you need to rethink your sources, audience and the message.

Action Tip: Try a different source of new leads. Redefine your audience or buyer persona. And create precise pain point or solution based messages. Below are some pointers to the required actions.

  • Invest in growing search engine traffic, both organic and paid. Attracting prospects exactly the time they are searching for your products or service will increase lead quality
  • Use Facebook and LinkedIn ads to leverage deep, laser targeting.
  • Integrate click to call buttons and use mobile device targeted ads. Getting people (leads) to pick up the phone and call often converts better than filling web forms

#3: No Retargeting Strategy

google adwords remarketing list for search ads

Whether you are aware of it or not, the advancement of technology helps to accelerate growth and profitability in many business spectrum.

However, it is the active integration of the best tools and execution that bring results, not mere possession of knowledge.

For a whole lot of people, getting traffic to their website is not the problem. The problem is converting a good percentage of their website visitors into actual customers.

To some extent, the problem gets painfully worse when you get zero leads from the resources invested in growing your website traffic.

A very big part of the problem is not having a retargeting strategy in place.

Based on the concept of customer journey, it is very obvious that everyone of your website visitor won’t convert into a lead or customer on their first visit.

Retargeting technologies help to bring back and convert a certain percentage of these lost prospects.

According to Retargeter, only 2% of website visitors convert on their first visit.

I don’t know your bounce or conversion rate but the question is, what are you doing currently to get value from that 98% traffic you spent money and time to generate?

Regardless of your traffic source, retargeting strategy holds great potential for growing conversion rate and revenue.

Here is a retargeting case study of 7,245% ROI from a single campaign.

Now this is how retargeting works. Some prospects visit your website. Let’s assume 100 visitors a day.

And then only 2 converted into leads or customers. Retargeting makes it possible to reach out to those lost visitors (98), show them some ads via Facebook, Google adwords (RLSA) or adsense partner sites.

Eventually, some of those lost prospects will start coming back, especially when they see something similar to what they viewed on your site and from the same brand.

Fact is that without retargeting, you’ll continue losing qualified customers to smart competitors in your niche.

And the beautiful thing is; you can target people who viewed specific pages on your website.

If I viewed women shoes, you can show me more brands of women shoes, hand bags, discounts, emphasize free shipping, shipping duration and other trust building factors that affect conversion rate.

Action Tip: Use Goolge analytics to identify the most trafficked pages on your website.

If you have dedicated lead generation landing pages or blog posts, pin point them out as well. Then start a retargeting campaign.

These are the basics on how to go about it.

  • Leverage Facebook retargeting to bring back lost visitors
  • Use Google adwords retargeted list for search ads (RLSA). When people visit your site and leave to continue their search in Google, this one shows up.
  • Use Google’s display network advertisements to make your ads show up when people visit adense partner sites after leaving your website.

Even if your b2b lead generation pipeline is not 100% empty right now, this is likely to happen if you exhaust the leads at hand without improving current processes.

As we have observed above, growing your traffic volume may not be the ultimate solution.

At other times, the quality of leads generated could be the key metric that needs improvement right now.

And based on this issue of quality, I am tempted to ask, what processes do you have in place to test the quality of leads generated from each of your current sources?

Without proper conversion funnel tracking, A/B testing and analytics, half of your lead generation efforts could be wasting unnoticed.

And if this should continue, it will have severely negative implications for your bottom line ROI.

Vividly, you now know very well that you are leaving money on the table if you have no retargeting strategy in place. All these things could be contributing to an inevitable empty b2b lead generation pipeline.

Finally like I used to say, having good knowledge is half the battle. Execution is everything.

While everybody, including your competitors can spare some time to acquire free knowledge, very few will take it further to explore the possibilities that exist within their potential.

Ask questions or share your lead generation challenges and experiences below.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

4 Business Blogging Benefits Beyond Brand Awareness

Beyond growing brand awareness and vanity metrics, the following business blogging benefits are practically within your reach.

It means you can experience them in real time, but only if you start and operate on the right foundation.

I say this because starting a business blog doesn’t cost as much in comparison to the potential benefits; some of which you might have heard or read about.

One interesting fact you have to note is that all business blogs are not created equal, both in terms of design, function and outcomes.

However, the form and function part of a profitable business blogging strategy isn’t what this post is about. You can learn more about that by searching for company blog examples in your niche.

For a recruitment business owner, you can search ‘recruitment business blog examples’ and follow the links that appeals to you.

While making a lot of people aware of your brand is a good thing; that alone won’t bring you the most valuable results. If you stop at that, you can start and continue to experience zero business blogging ROI.

The vanity metrics in this context means you could be getting comments, replies, likes and shares on your contents and nothing more than that.

Now, let’s explore the specific business blogging benefits you can experience when you start.

#1: Targeted Traffic

Just like business blogging strategies, traffic quality can hardly be the same even across 100 different blogs in the same niche market.

Thus, if the quality of the blog traffic you generate daily, weekly or monthly is very low, you won’t get much value from it in relation to other performance variables. Done very well, a conversion focused business blogging strategy delivers the benefit of targeted website traffic consistently.

Combined with local search engine optimization, you can as well start attracting qualified prospects in need of your services within preferred locations.

For most business bloggers who don’t know any better, all they care about is the growing number of people reading their blog posts. And that could be anybody, from anywhere with any intention.

And then they complain of getting no return, just like this comment posted by Andy Brent on a wedding services marketing blog.

‘Right now, we get lots of positive comments on our posts and some considerable traffic volume too.

But the return on time and money spent is flat zero’.

Unlike brand awareness, targeted blog traffic is measurable and scalable.

From the onset, your chosen topics, blog headlines and content writing style determines to a great extent, the type of readers that will be attracted in the first place.

Your business blog promotion strategy also plays a big role here. See the post below to learn more on this.

How To Write High Conversion Blog Post

Here are the core determinants of blog traffic quality, especially if you are blogging to promote your business and not to make money from affiliate advertisements.

  • Reader Location

The internet is a borderless and open marketplace. This means that your contents can be found by anyone from any location. Except in the cases of ecommerce, location variables make a lot of difference in traffic quality.

The other exception that comes to mind are online businesses that can serve customers from anywhere around the work.

Think about software and pure internet companies.

For most offline service based businesses, if the majority of your readers are in distant countries, states or regions, they will never consider visiting to do business with you.

Both at the writing and promotion stages, you can leverage local search engine optimization strategies to attract people from within your target location.

Check out this study on how local search drives inbound sales calls.

  • Purchase Intent

While it is not a good thing to flood your company blog with sales pitches, it doesn’t hurt to match precise purchase intents with your contents from time to time.

The key thing is to leverage on well researched buyer keywords.

Use keywords that have commercial intent to write about topics, solution, pain point and services that people are actually searching for.

This is one of the determinants of how valuable your blog traffic will be.

  • Buyer Journey

Granted, not all the people that come to your company blog are ready to discuss their need for specific products or services.

business blogging benefitsIn other words, all your readers are likely to be at different stages of a purchase cycle.

That is if you are attracting the right audience with your contents. By aligning your contents with different stages in the buying cycle within your niche, you’ll be able to attract people ready to make purchase within 24 hours to 30 days.

#2: Higher Quality Leads

If you need more than vanity metrics, high quality leads is one of the business blogging benefits you’ll experience by going beyond brand awareness.

By looking at it very well, you’ll see that traffic quality will have direct impact on the quality of leads being generated from your blog in each passing month. Dare I say, the whole thing is inter related.

Unfortunately, if you have high volume of quality traffic flowing through a badly optimized conversion funnel, you won’t get much ROI from that.

In essence, you are just pouring water into a leaky bucket.  (add image).

Among many others, one of the key benefits of consistent business blogging is that it maximizes your website’s potential. Moreover, it attracts qualified prospects exactly the time they are searching for specific services or solution to their needs.

Mind you, this can be accomplished while growing brand awareness at the same time. See this 20,314 visitors SEO case study on Robbie Richard’s blog for more insights.

The following variables affect the quality of leads from a business blog.

  • The Lead Magnet

The big question is; what will you give in exchange for your target customer’s contact information – name, email, phone etc?

In a case where your lead magnet is not strong and attractive enough, you won’t convert much of your blog traffic into leads and paying customers. If you make it about you and your awesome services which can be found in a thousand other online locations, then I have to tell you that no one cares.

People care about solution to their problems, pain points, needs, hopes, fears and aspirations.

Danavir Sarria of Copy Monk has this monster list of 101 B2B lead magnet ideas that work. Go check it out and pick what you can easily execute.

If you are still using generic newsletters, that’s like competing with closed eyes in a crowded marketplace.

  • Call To Action

Even though call to action might not have much to do with quality of leads, using vague offers and CTAs on your blog won’t get you the results you want.

You have to be precise enough in instructing your prospects what to do before, during or after reading each of your blog posts.

If you are currently generating some considerable volume of targeted traffic, here is what you’ll do.

To improve your lead quality, simply start split testing your calls to action. Do this in relation to whatever lead magnet you choose.

  • Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a process of increasing the quality of leads from the first to last stage in a buyer’s journey.

The core premise is based on the fact that it takes 2 – 8 touch points to close a sale especially in high ticket service niche verticals.

So if you still expect a significant percentage of your traffic to convert into quality leads and clients in their first visit, wake up and face the reality.

In case you don’t have an optimized lead nurturing system in your sales funnel, that means you could be losing ready buyers to your smart competitors.

This part of the marketing goal that can be accomplished with automated email series.

#3: Growing Sales Volume

Here is the big question: Can business blogging bring in paying customers? My answer is an affirmative YES. Event at the beginning stage, this blog here at Weblife contributes to our customer acquisition process more than any other channel.

However, the whole thing works in an integrated strategy with SEO, social media and paid content promotion.

Whether you are in product or services niche. There are literally unlimited angles you can leverage to generate real sales from your business blog or content marketing strategies.

Do this consistently, and you’ll be on your way to growing sales volume from your company blog.

Beyond my personal opinion, here is a case study of why Neil Patel spent an average of $5000 per month on generating quality leads and sales.

Noah Kagan also shared a detailed case study with some insightful tips on why Intercom wrote and published over 500 blog posts over a six year period. There you’ll see how blogging integrates with other strategies too.

In fact, it is not a question of whether it is possible to get sales from business blogging or not, the challenge is: ‘how’?

Before you join the group of people currently complaining with statements like ‘we are getting website traffic, but no sales’, here are the core determinants of reader to customer conversion variables you should understand.

Fail in this regard and you could get busy wasting time and money on aimless contents within your blog.

  • Market Demand

This is the very first variable that influences almost everything else.

Website or blog traffic is good, but without quality leads and revenue, it is practically useless. In that case, the money and time you spent generating them are just being wasted.

Making better decisions in this regard will also impact your B2B lead generation strategies and bottom line revenue.

Unfortunately, you can hardly experience the business blogging benefits of growing sales if the contents you create are disconnected with real market demand. This is where proper keyword research helps a lot.

  • Website Traffic Volume

How much traffic is enough?

Well, I have to tell you that it is somehow related to the demand for products or services you are selling.

The question is; how in touch are you with your target market to gauge the demand with it? And is it sizable enough to match your revenue goals?

The interesting fact is that, if there’s sufficient demand for your services, people are likely searching for them in Google. And it happens even as you are reading this post right now.

However, in a case where the traffic coming to your blog from search engines and other sources is very low, you won’t get much sale from it, if any.

To experience consistently growing sales, you need growing traffic volume too.

  • Conversion Funnel

When it comes to business and marketing, there is nothing like one size fits all reality. Every industry, niche market, services and even business owners are different.

Hence, the thing that works for business owner A may not work well for B, especially in terms of getting sales from blog traffic.

Conversion funnel is simply the component for moving qualified and interested prospects from awareness to purchase. Without an optimized conversion funnel, even the highest traffic volume won’t solve all of your revenue problems.

With conversion focused business blogging strategy you should be driving traffic to your sales page, lead generation landing page, opt-in forms or even phone lines.

  • The Trust Factor

I bet you must have heard this statement a number of times before now – people buy from people they know, like and trust.

If you pay attention very well, you’ll observe that knowing, liking and trusting are three different things.

Somehow it defines the stages in a typical buyer journey.

The other important thing worth noting is that people respond more to and buy solutions to their known problems more than the promise of pleasure they can live without.

So a significant number of your blog posts should be centered on solution first, products or services second.  For example, beside the known benefits of business blogging, what problems can you solve with that?

Answer: static traffic volume and low quality leads.

#4: Long Term ROI

According to George Herbert:

Good words are worth much. And cost little.

In reality, every piece of well crafted promotional content is like a media asset, which could have decade long life span.

By simply owning the media, you own the attention too.

But here is the problem; an overwhelming majority of prospects in your target market are bombarded with thousands of advert messages and sales pitches every day.

And you know we all struggle with insatiable tendency for instant gratification and short attention span.

Now let’s look at cable television for instance.

Based on voluntary drive, most TV watchers seek out and discover only the contents that match their immediate interests and current tastes.  This implies that without seeking a certain type of content, they won’t discover it.

The same thing applies to content marketing with a business blog.

If your contents are not optimized and promoted, qualified prospects won’t find them.

With regard to long term ROI, let’s look at the factors that will determine whether you’ll lose money or break even in your business blogging strategy.

  • Long Term Search Traffic Potential

Unlike pay per click search marketing, the targeted traffic you can get from a business blog is not limited to a certain budget.

Here is what I mean. If for instance, you are generating 2000 visitors per month with $2000 spent on Google adwords, your advert will stop running when the budget is exhausted.

On the other hand, if 20 of your well optimized lead generation blog posts bring in 2000 visitors per month from 50 different search terms, the traffic will continue to flowing in as long as the ranking lasts.

Below is an image of sample blog posts that have multi-year life span.

convert blog traffic into customersBased on real data, Hubspot reported that 92% of their monthly leads from a business blog come from old posts. These are posts that are 3 – 12 months old.

  • Customer Life Time Value

Depending on revenue model, if the customer life time value in your business is relatively long (6 – 24 months average), you are bound to experience long term ROI on customers acquired through business blogging.

The reason is because customer acquisition cost tends to decrease as the lead and revenue generation benefits compound over time.

Now tell me, why would you focus on growing brand awareness only?

Contrary to outbound marketing that annoys and distracts people from their important personal engagements, SEO optimized blog posts attracts prospects only when they are searching for solution to their known problems.

Take cold calling and emailing for instance.

In their highest level of effectiveness; you’ll be spending much of your time on demographically qualified prospects who may not be interested or can’t afford your services.

However, this is not to say that outbound marketing strategies don’t work at all.

  • High Profit Margin

Let me ask you this, if you are barely breaking even in your business blogging strategy by a margin of $1.01 will you continue spending money and time on it?

Probably your answer will be dependent on a number of considerations.

The main point here is that blogging for your business is supposed to be profitable. Even though some experts say you shouldn’t expect sales or profit from the beginning, there is no reason why you should ignore that entirely. Plan for profit from day one.

Interestingly, a combination of long term search traffic, decreasing cost per lead, higher conversion rate and long customer life time (if your revenue model warrants that) helps to boost business blogging ROI.

From a perspective of brand building and lead nurturing, Alex Turnball of Groove found that their blog delivers $972/month from every 1000 prospects who subscribed and tried their product vs $270/month from 1000 non blog subscribers.

After writing for 365 days in a row, Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit earned $683 per day from the time and money invested.

Among many other variables, writing 68,181 words in 71 blog posts contributed significantly to this earning milestone.

While it is unclear how many hours per day or amount of money he spent on it, the profit margin is very uncommon.

Compare that with what you can get from paid banner ads or disruptive outbound marketing.


From the foregoing, we’ve been able to establish the fact that well crafted contents are like media assets. As the the owner of attention grabbing contents, you also own the attention of a well defined audience through time and space.

The challenge is how can you serve their immediate and future interests in relation to your own marketing goals?

Technically, starting a business blog is easy. It may not even cost as much as you assume now.

Doing it consistently well to experience the benefits is a different ball game. So note here that it is only strategic execution that will bring the benefits of targeted traffic, increased quality leads, growing sales volume, long term ROI and many others.

Unfortunately, if you start and your strategy is limited to the vanity metrics that relates to growing brand awareness only, then painful waste remains inevitable.

Now you can share your current business blogging challenge and experience in the comment section.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

9 Wedding Lead Generation Ideas Worth Testing Tomorrow

In response to my question ‘what wedding lead generation ideas have you tried lately? Jane Holmes responded ‘all of them’.

Then I raised my eyebrows surprisingly and asked again, how has your marketing ROI been from all of the strategies you committed to work on?

It turned out she got only 7 leads in the last 90 days. And from there she was able to close only a single wedding planning gig.

While this is certainly not the experience for everyone, many new and old wedding planners are constantly struggling with how to generate more leads online.

In fact, it is common among all consulting business owners, including my humble self.

From a little deeper analysis, I found out that Jane was doing what most other people in her stage and niche does, which include:

  1. Trying to learn every free marketing strategy out there
  2. Operating in too many different roles almost at the same time

The intent is usually obvious. And that is to minimize cost. Unfortunately for many people, this is a recipe for failure.

Call it pure waste of time if you like. Even though the things you are trying or tried are proven marketing strategies, they won’t work for you if not implemented properly.

For instance, if your website conversion funnel is not optimized very well, growing traffic volume will not solve your inconsistent revenue generation problems.

Maybe you’ve been following vague advice around generic tips without execution details.

And that has brought you where you are now.

Now from beginning to end, we’ll explore some twelve wedding lead generation ideas that make real desirable difference.  Note, in order for any or some of them to start working for you, you have to actually do the work.

  1. Video Testimonial

In today’s modern internet, video comes on top of written text and images with regard to effectiveness.

After serving a client who is obviously satisfied with your services, take this simple action: ask for video testimonial or interview.

Getting good videos won’t cost as much unless you want to add high professional touch to it.

Your smartphone could just be enough. So instead of losing this lead generation opportunity, start with what you have. Here are some tips you should take into account.

  • Use a first person statement from the client as the title. That is, make the client state what they loved most about your services. Example: ‘the experience was really worth more than the cost’, ‘Above what we expected’, Got what we didn’t know was possible’.
  • How did the past client find you? Let other prospective clients know how you could be found. It makes them feel normal about reaching out or being contacted from the same channel
  • Add call to action within or beside the video wherever you post it. Don’t just share the testimonial or interview and assume that prospects will know how to contact you. You can as well show your real business location at the end.
  • Don’t overload your website with video contents. When it slows down your site loading speed, you could be losing real revenue opportunities.

This could results in majority of your website visitors bouncing off in less than three seconds. Create a Youtube channel. Post on your social media pages. Then promote with Facebook or LinkedIn ads.

It will give you opportunity to target people based on demographics like age, location, employment status, marital status, interest, engagement and other variables factors.

You can start some real tests with $100 – $500 assuming you don’t have enough money to hire Facebook ads expert.

Below is one facebook video ad example to see what it looks like. (add image)

  1. Wedding Venue List

When it comes to an event as important as wedding, prospective clients do a lot of research before paying for any service.

Wedding venue is one area where people do research a lot.

By making a list of wedding venues in your target location, you will be attracting people who are in active search for it.

With this list you will be helping them to save time.  And this is far better than searching from one place to another, either online or offline.

Bringing targeted website traffic to this list will give you opportunity to convert a percentage of these people into quality leads and clients. Now i have a question, do you know your current conversion rate?

In the case that a person researching venue is acting on behalf of a prospective client, referrals can also be obtained in this context.

To make it more effective, don’t just provide a list. Do the following instead.

  • Use real images of each wedding venue
  • Add price information according to seating capacity
  • You should also describe other services available at the venue
  • Include the address and if possible, phone number
  1. Venue Video Showcase

When you hear or see the term ‘content marketing’, this is one example of the use cases. Hence, content marketing is not just about business blogging.

As noted earlier, video content often works effectively more than written text and static images.

You may say that your core business is not about venue rental and related services, but the volume of quality traffic flowing into your website matters a lot.

Interestingly, website traffic quality is one variable within your control, if only you know how to act on it.

The other important factor is about timing. Better to attract people exactly the time they are searching for relevant services than to waste time reaching out to everyone that falls within your target demographic.

  • Get walk around interviews from venue service managers. This will give you opportunity to build referral relationship with them
  • Include location, price and other related information
  • Showcase the hall before and if possible, during a wedding
  • Use $100+ facebook ad budget to promote and grow your brand awareness among targeted demographic of local residents
  • Don’t forget to add call to action
  • Optimize (SEO) the content for targeted keyword to help generate quality leads
  1. Engagement Related Blog Posts

Beyond the advice of simply telling you to start blogging for wedding business, what are you going to write about? Probably, you’ve been into this for a while. So tell me, what Is your business blogging strategy?

If you think that this isn’t a challenge to anyone, think again.

Just do a search in Google and see how real people like you are actively searching for ‘wedding blog post ideas’.

Here is another practical tip on wedding lead generation ideas.

Write engagement related blog posts. Why, because it will bring quality traffic to your website.

On leaving this blog post I want you to understand that the best time to prepare for a competition is before, not during the competition.

Certainly, you must have known this all along. But you don’t know how it applies specifically to wedding business blog.

Regardless of your niche and location, you are actually in a competition. And because of that reason, timing matters a lot in everything you do.

If you are a wedding planner or photographer and the majority of the people visiting your website had already hired your competitor, growing your traffic volume won’t make much difference.

Remember, your website traffic quality is one variable within your control.

Taking consistent actions to increase the quality will certainly unfold more answers to your question on how to generate more wedding leads online.

Start by writing engagement related blog posts. Below is a sampling of topics you can create headlines from.

Remember to promote your blog posts after writing. Don’t stop at free posting on social media pages. Discover some proven blog post promotion strategies. And get to work on it.

At the very point of engagement, you’ll have more opportunities to convert quality leads into paying clients.

  1. Active Local SEO

What is SEO? Obviously, this is the very first question to ask, assuming you don’t know what it is already.

Just as the name suggests, it is a process of making your web pages eligible for inclusion and higher ranking in search engine result pages.

When you do a search in Google, those non paid listings appears there because the website owners have taken deliberate actions to make them visible.

Interestingly, you can either take an online SEO course to do this optimization work on your own or hire an SEO expert.

Among many others, the benefit of search engine optimization in this context is attraction of qualified prospects.

And that happens exactly the time they are searching for your services or keywords related to them. Remember, timing makes a lot of difference.

This is better than wasting time on people who are demographically qualified, but not interested in your services at a particular moment. Obviously, timing makes a lot of difference.

For example, I did a search for the term ‘engagement rings’ and found out that it gets up to 69,000 searches per month within the UK market.

According to stats I have seen, over 50% of all organic search traffic goes to the websites ranking in the first 3 positions.

Now imagine what will happen if your website is ranked in SERP position #1 for the search term ‘engagement rings’ within your own target market.

Maybe you are in Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa or some other country.

What are you doing to get quality traffic from organic search ranking?

The essence of local SEO in this case is to bring in prospects that are currently searching for your services within specified locations.

With active local search engine optimization strategy, you can begin to increase the quality of your website traffic. This could be based on variations of country, state, city and county.

Below are some specific actions you can take to increase your local search traffic.

  • Claim your Google My Business Listing
  • Integrate and optimize Google map in your website
  • Add your website to local business directories
  • Generate reviews from your past clients
  • Create and optimize locally relevant contents within your website
  • Build local inbound links to your website

Do these things consistently and thank me later. If you need help to execute these strategies at scale, get in touch today.

  1. Paid Search Advertising

This is all about paying money to have your commercial advert placed within search engine result pages (SERPs). As an active user of search engines like Google, Bing or others, I bet you must have been seeing some of these.

A simple search for product or service related keywords will make some paid search advertising visible to you.

If you are ready to put some wedding lead generation ideas to work, paid search advertising is one good way to start.

Once you have a good website, you are good to go. Done very well, this could help solve the problem of empty lead generation pipeline or inconsistent revenue generation. But as you may have expected, it costs money.

And if you can’t handle it properly you won’t break even at all.

Now here are the benefits of using Google adwords, Bing ads or other pay per click search engine marketing platforms.

Precise location targeting: with free social media posting for instance, you can’t choose the location of prospects that will see your contents. The only exception is location based groups. Google adwords helps to generate leads based on specific country, state, city or county.

Immediate intent: You can simply look at this as the immediate intent to get what we want now. The search intent usually falls within rsearch, comparison or direct purchase. At other times, It could only be to get location information.

Instant targeted traffic: Unlike SEO, you don’t have to wait for 3 – 12 months before seeing good results from it. You can start getting quality traffic and leads within one hour after approval of your ads.

Depending on your Google adwords buegt size, you will have constant inflow of traffic everyday for 30, 90 more days.

Performance based advertising: In this case you won’t be paying for visibility and impressions only. Your pay per click advertising budget will only be spent when someone in active search clicks a link to visit your website or even call sales phone line.

I want to reiterate here that this post is to give you some lead generation ideas worth putting to test. As for execution, a whole lot of strategies apply behind each of them.

Let’s look at some specific ways on how to create google adwords ads that earns profit.

  • Use Dedicated Landing Page

One of the common Google adword advertising mistakes I see among beginners is driving all traffic to their home page. In most cases, this doesn’t convert well, if at all. But what exactly is it?

This a page on your website created to accomplish a single thing: convert prospects into leads. It could be simply filling out web forms or getting inbound phone calls.

Obviously, your website has different contents meant for different customer segments and use cases.

On the other hand, the people you spend money and time to bring into your website often have different needs and interests. These people often have different purchase timelines too.

Because of this, using the same message on everyone doesn’t always work. In the worst case scenario, it actually wastes money.

Just do a search for ‘wedding planner in ‘your target city’, observe some Google adwords advertisements. And then click some of these ads to see what the landing pages looks like.

Here is one google adwords landing page example you can learn from. (add image).

  • Add Extensions

Extensions are special link or text features of paid search advertisements that help to get specific responses from prospective customer segments. Perhaps, because ad extensions are optional, many beginners often ignore them completely.

Why care when standard search ads are somehow working for you?

From the onset, Alan Hull, an event planning expert in Oakland California appeared to know everything about running profitable adwords campaigns.

When our interaction started progressing further, I found out he had some data to prove it’s working profitably well for him.

However, it was his desire to reduce workload and increase ROI that made him contact me.

At the end of our second Skype call, it became clear that he didn’t even know what ad extensions are or how they work. Interestingly, this was noted as improvement point number one.

A full detailed analysis of his current data revealed some other points for testing and improvement.

At the end of the first month, we did some segmented keyword targeting, added some extensions and integrated call tracking.

The amazing outcome was that his monthly ad budget stayed the same, while conversion rate increased by 79%.

This also resulted in three new client acquisitions within that first month. The Google adwords extensions we used includes: –

Site links extension: These are simple text links within your PPC ads that leads to specific pages on your website. With this you can add links to your quote request, service description, testimonial, portfolio or other pages. See sample below.

Location extension: This one is used to make business address visible within Google adwords advertisements. Combine this with location related search terms and you could start growing local traffic to your offline location.

This study by Google provides more data on how mobile search leads to local offline visits.

Call extension: From the description of the first two above, you should already know how Google adwords call extension work. On desktop devices, it makes phone numbers visible within your ads. On mobile devices, it shows click to call buttons.

If you want to learn more and start doing the work on your own, this Google adwords advertising course will take you farther from where you are now.

  1. Facebook Advertising

For you to convert leads into clients, you have to generate the leads first. And for you to generate quality leads, you have to generate quality traffic. Hence, without traffic your wedding lead generation pipeline will always remain empty.

In many different circles, most of the people that suggest social media as a way of generating leads often refer to free postings on business page and within some groups.

And because it’s free, almost everyone does the same thing.

However, the unfortunate fact is that the spray and pray kind of gamble is not scalable. In other words, if you need consistent growth, you don’t have to depend on free promotional means only.

Looking at Facebook groups for instance, the reality is that most of the people that visit very often do so with the intent to sell their services, just like you.

Another interesting fact about group promotions is that there is often no defined demographic of people that will see your postings.

Benefits Of Facebook Advertising

  • Deep targeting

With different Facebook ad formats you also get access to demographically layered targeting capabilities within their advertising platform. This is very much important because your message matters just as the audience.

Trying to reach everyone and anyone won’t get you the most valuable results.

If you still post on your business page and expect to generate leads from there, you need to think above that horizon.

While page likes on your posts still serves well for brand awareness, I am sure you want results better than that. Thus, the question of who sees your promotional posts determine the quality of leads if any at all and the conversion rate.

Facebook ad targeting options include: age, gender, location, interest, hobby, employment status, marital status, engagement, industry, job titles etc.

For more, deeper insights into Facebook ads targeting best practices, check this guide.

  • Facebook Ad Pricing Is Affordable

Remember, trying to do everything alone at the same time in other to promote your wedding planning business is a recipe for failure.

Hence, it doesn’t hurt to spend some money to promote the contents on your business page or website.

What matters here is the right audience and ability to create effective advertisements.

With $100 – $1000, you can start reaching out to a pre-qualified demographic of people within your target country, state, city or county.

Now let me ask you this. What if you can convert 1 out 100 visitors into paying clients, how much would you pay out of your Facebook advertising budget to get that single deal?

How much is a single transaction worth to you on average?

  • Steady Inflow Of Targeted Traffic

With the size of data within Facebook, a whole lot of things work beyond luck. As at the time of their Q1 2017 report, they had 1.9 billion active users. Within that period, they earned $8.03 billion, majority of which came from advertisements.

By plugging into your active user base, you will have access to steady inflow of targeted traffic.

And if you have been around the ecommerce community for a while, you’ll discover that amazing businesses are being built entirely with Facebook ads traffic.

Depending on what is affordable to you, you can create ads that deliver traffic consecutively for 30, 60, 90 ore more day.

  • Valuable Performance Metrics

This another great benefit of Facebook advertising exclusive to people that do it. I’m talking about the measurability of outcomes from your social media advertising efforts.

Being busy with free advertising efforts is good.

But unfortunately, busyness is not the same as progress.

However, if likes, shares, comments and replies are the real outcomes you are after, then stay busy getting just that.

With Facebook ads and other online marketing channels, you will be able to see the number of real prospects that visited your website, as well as leads and revenue generated from there.

  1. Inbound Sales Call

In almost every high ticket niche market, majority of individuals often prefer human to human interaction before making the purchase. This is the importance of increasing inbound sales calls from your online marketing efforts.

Think about the fact that we now live in a world where mobile device usage is greater than desktop devices.

It happens across search engines, social media, email and video platforms like Youtube.

According to Invoca, phone generated leads often have a higher conversion rate. These guys have tracked over 30 million customer calls across many industries.

Let’s look at how to generate inbound sales calls to increase lead quality and conversion rate.

  • Call Only Search Advertisements

This is a type of paid search advertisements that has a singular objective: to generate phone calls. Practically, you are paying for phone calls not clicks to a web page. Call it pay per call if you like.

When interested prospects do a search for keywords describing your services, the ad displays a click to call button just like the one below.

A tap on the button automatically connects the prospective customer and sales rep via phone call.

The beautiful thing is that these calls come from interested prospects exactly the time they are searching for your type of services.

Now, compare this with intrusive advertising that breaks attention patterns in moments of personal engagement.

  • Mobile Ad Targeting

Obviously, a greater number of phone calls originate from mobile device users. In comparison, desktop users that visit websites are often exposed to too many distracting elements. This is part of what makes web form conversion rate lower.

Targeting your advertisements to display on mobile devices only increases the chances of getting phone calls from qualified prospects.

With free social media postings, you can’t choose the device on which your contents will be viewed.

Through exclusive mobile targeting and by adding click to call button on your landing pages, the number of inbound leads you generate per day, week or month will start increasing.

Note that mobile targeting options are available on Google adwords, Facebook ads and other advertising channels.

  • Integrated Call Tracking

On the very first impression, you could be wondering what has call tracking to do with wedding lead generation ideas.

A lot is what I have to say.

This is all about adding some phone call tracking systems in your marketing strategy. Among other things, it helps to identify which marketing channels works for your better than others.

With the insights derived you can begin to make better resource allocation decisions.

To a more detailed extent, you’ll be able to identify the location, online marketing channels, web page, campaign, ad group, ads or keywords that deliver’s the best quality leads.

Consequently, increased allocation of marketing resources to those specific combinations of variables that work for you makes bigger ROI possible.

For effective call tracking, Call Rail, Call Tracking Metrics and Invoca serve really well. You’ll also get a record of all sales conversations.

  1. Split Testing

This is a simple process of putting variable ideas to test in order to find out what works better in terms of conversion rate and ROI. In some practical sense, this is a real competitive advantage for the few people that do it within the wedding services niche market.

From a different perspective, the ideas being tested could also be seen as assumptions.

Interestingly, we as marketers and business owners often have assumptions about what is and isn’t effective.

And sometimes, it has to do with past, present and future.

That’s why I tell some people that today’s best practices often become outdated norms and wasteful liabilities. Things change so fast. And on the internet, it seems even faster.

For example, some people still assume organic free posting on Facebook pages still works effectively for lead generation like in the past.

In reality, the reverse is the case because groups and ads made it somehow obsolete. If you don’t do active and scalable promotion of your contents and brand, no one will see them.

Another great benefit of split testing is improved conversion rate.

In simple terms, conversion rate is the percentage of (website) visitors that took specific action in fulfillment of your set goal.

Such actions include filling a web form, calling your sales line or completing a purchase. From what I have seen, many people still assume that growing traffic volume is all it takes to generate more leads online.

But in reality, this is far from the truth.

Growing traffic volume will not solve the problem of bad sales or lead generation funnel. It’s like pouring water into a leaky bucket. Hence, it is better to test than to rely 100% on fallible assumptions.

In other words, you may not need to spend more money to generate more wedding leads.

If you are currently generating a good amount of targeted website traffic or you have a plan to do so, here are some influential variables you can put to test.

  • Website design layout
  • Image
  • Call to action
  • Value propositions
  • Pricing
  • Audience segment
  • Testimonial
  • Phone number position
  • Mobile vs desktop
  • Adword copy
  • Online marketing channel
  • Advert image
  • Link color
  • Lead magnet
  • Opt-in form type
  • Keyword groups … and many others.

Remember that the main thing is to create variations and get busy testing them at a time. Only you can decide what to test.

Without being told, I am sure you have lots of assumptions or hypotheses around some of these variables mentioned above. By doing some tests, you will certainly get some real data to start with.

Check these conversion rate optimization case studies to see more on how it works.


Personally, I am aware that there are many wedding lead generation ideas that work offline.

However, this post was only meant for people interested in online channels. Maybe you’ve been making some efforts on your own.

I believe by now, you’ve gotten some great ideas popping up and down in your head.

Mind you, it means nothing unless you make commitment to execute on them. Note that you don’t have to start working on all of them at the same time.

One other thing worth noting is this: the fact that some channels are working for you right now, doesn’t mean that others won’t work for you.

From video content marketing, engagement blog posts to paid advertising channel, there are many possibilities for interesting combinations. And you don’t have to spend a very big amount of money to get started.

Before leaving this page, understand that your website has potential to generate even greater volume of quality leads if used very well.

And if you are currently generating some traffic, probably from organic search engine rankings, then you already have the most important variable required.

Next is to create an execution plan and start taking consistent actions.

What are your current challenges in wedding lead generation? Share in the comment section.

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

Google Adwords Location Targeting Guide For Recruitment Agencies

If you are an active user of search engines like Google, I bet you must have experienced location based marketing.

In the context of search, Google adwords location targeting is just one form of it.

The other option is organic local search engine optimization.

Interestingly, not everyone outside the digital marketing space knows there are effective strategies for making their website links visible when people are searching for related product and service information.

This is what SEO is all about. Search for ‘’local SEO strategies’’ and you’ll understand what I mean.

location based search engine marketing

Below these paragraphs we’ll explore how location targeting works in the context of search engine advertising with Google adwords.

Jane Daniel is a marketing manager in local niche staffing agency. Every three months, she goes to a local radio to promote their training services. As expected, thousands of people listen to that station according to the managers.

At the end of the last program before I met her online, she got 17 phone calls.

NOTE – This post is about 3,695 words long. Consider the usability option below.

[thrive_lead_lock id=’331′]Hidden Content[/thrive_lead_lock]

From the conversations, it turned out 11 out these callers were in locations where it will cost 4X the training fee in order to get to the specified location.

When I asked her what was her main objective, she responded ‘growing brand awareness, generating leads and attracting new trainees’.

Yes, some people are now aware of their brand, including unqualified prospects. But the number of registrants who paid as a result of the radio promo was less than expected.

In effect, it seems like looking for needle in the haystack.

One newspaper advertising pitch reads like ‘our readership spans across an estimated 650,000 high networth individuals, professionals and executives in any sector you can think of.’

Obviously, your recruitment services are not meant for anyone and everyone.

For example, if 100% of the people you are reaching out to are demographically qualified but can’t afford your services, you’ll end up wasting your marketing budget.

On the other hand, sharing your promotional videos, blog posts and images on free social media pages won’t make much difference either.

If your value propositions are mismatched with my current interests, needs and pain points, why should I care?

In a bid to leverage online marketing, many people resort to and depend on sharing blog posts, videos and promotional images on free business pages within social media.

Clarification; i am in no way saying that is is not good. Effectiveness depends on how well you do it.

But the unfortunate thing is that if no one sees these pieces of contents or the people that see them are not within commutable distance, the return on resources spent creating and posting them will be flat zero.

The point is; content marketing goes beyond content creation and free organic promotions.

Among many others, one great benefit of using google adwords advertising is right timing. For instance, selling recruitment services to me just after hiring a consultant won’t move me to any purchase action.

With Goolge adwords location targeting, you can begin to attract only the qualified prospects within reach exactly the moment they are searching for your services.

Now let’s explore the options below.

Google Adwords Location Targeting: The Best Options

  1. Country Targeting

Except search engines and social networks, there seems to be no other affordable advertising medium for reaching an entire country.

That is the reality for the majority of recruitment agency owners. However, that reach somehow still depends on the size of your budget, target location and demand for what you are selling.

The other options here are television and online versions of national newspapers.

But in case where your staffing agency doesn’t have the capacity to deliver services across an entire country, there is no point in targeting an entire country with Google adwords paid search advertising.

As for businesses that can deliver their products or services within an entire country or set of countries, country targeting is a perfect option.

Example, if your company provides online courses that could be bought, sold and taken from anywhere in the world, you should consider targeting a selected number of countries that appeals to you.

Google adwords allows advertisers to target multiple countries for each campaign at a time.

Here are some tips to maximize ROI from country targeting.

  • Change the default location recommended by Goolge from ‘People in, searching for or viewing pages about my target location’ to, ‘people in my target location’.

This is to exclude people who are searching for and viewing pages about your target location from the countries you don’t want to reach.

  • Use country specific search terms. Examples are ‘recruitment agency fees UK’, ‘staffing consultant charges USA’, ‘nationwide recruitment agencies in usa’. By using country specific search terms, you’ll begin to have some control over the location of leads that will be generated through your website or landing pages.
  • Create different campaigns for each target country. If your company has presence in multiple countries, using one campaign for all of them isn’t the best practice.

Among other things, engagement and purchase patterns are bound to be different.

So by targeting different countries with different campaigns, you’ll be able to discover which ones deliver better ROI than the others.

You may discover that you have better competitive edge in a country different from your home base.

  1. Area Targeting

Within the country your business operates in, you already know the best locations where qualified prospects can easily come from in order to do business with you.

In the same vein, you already know the specific locations where most of your current clients come from; that is referring to their homes and offices.

Practically, Google adwords provide different options for targeting people within the country in which you are doing business.

This is another interesting scenario in which precision and intent matching makes a lot of difference.

Contrary to reaching anyone and everyone within your operating location, you’ll be attracting only qualified and interested prospects that are actively searching for your HR services

Here is one statistic that buttresses the importance of search engine traffic.

In June 2016, Search Engine Journal reported that mobile search delivers around 48% of inbound sales calls for local businesses.

Probably, you could be reading this blog post with a mobile device in your hand now. Let’s look at some of the Google adwords location targeting options for adverts within a country.

  • State/Region Targeting

Depending on geographic distances, there are lots of businesses that have the capacity to reach and serve other businesses within a state or province.

On the other hand, your own company could have the capacity to deliver recruitment services to other businesses in selected states within a region.

So it is the peculiarities of your company or business that will determine what is suitable in terms of state and regional targeting.

An example in this targeting option will be California, United States.

google adwords location targeting

You can add the name of a state you want to target in your country. Use the same form field to add multiple states within your target location.

For the purpose of split testing, I suggest you create different campaigns for each state and test against multiple states in a single campaign.

Do your research and make use of state descriptive search terms.

I bet you’ll discover some amazing facts about your market that will invalidate some assumptions.

  • City Location Targeting

For some reasons you may want to target a particular city or some selected cities within a state in your country.

And the most important consideration is the distance between your office and the majority of prospects that will see your paid search advertisements.

So in some instances, targeting every prospect within a state may not be ideal for you. In case where the majority of people clicking your ads cannot easily visit your office within a short time, the money spent generating that traffic will be wasted.

Just like the option for state mentioned above, you can create single campaign for multiple cities or different campaigns for each city.

Here is one important thing you have to note.

Some city names are just exactly the same across different states and even countries. Example is Oakland within the states of California, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee and Maryland in United States.

google adwords location targeting guide

In this case, if you are to target the search term ‘Oakland HR consultants’, but your operating area is one state, people from the other 4 states are likely to see your ads, click them and waste the budget.

Hence, the traffic won’t convert because of commuting convenience.

You can follow the preceding tips to create your paid search campaigns for targeting different counties within selected states and cities.

  1. Postal/Zip Code Targeting 

Postal code is another great option for Google adwords location targeting. By using specific zip codes, your ads will be enabled to reach people searching for promoted products or services within the target location.

All you have to do is to type in the exact zip or postal code and Google will automatically show you more codes related to the ones you already added.

In addition to the add button, you’ll also see the estimated reach (potential number of Google search engine users) within each of the suggested location or zip code. The screenshot below shows how it looks.

You can type in the zip code for your own target location to see if it is currently available. Note that zip code targeting is not available for all countries.

Like all other options discussed earlier, you can add and exclude multiple zip codes for each campaign.

Perhaps, it is better to test than assume things. Be sure to use relevant keywords containing the name of each location that appears with each selected zip code.

Examples are ‘HR consulting firms in northern Virginia’ and ‘recruitment consultants Houston TX’.

  1. Radius Targeting

With this Google adwords location targeting option, paid search advertising gets more interesting. Let me tell you the reason why.

The distance between your office and the prospects currently in need of services you provide matters a lot.

In fact, finding and comparing the service providers within their reach are some of the key intents that drive people to use search engines in the first place.

In alignment with this fact, this infographic shows that 76% of local searches results in a phone call.

Here is another interesting fact. With organic search engine rankings, your website will be visible to almost everyone searching for the targeted keywords.

And that includes people who cannot easily pay the high price of visiting your distant office or spend long commuting hours. Radius targeting in Google adwords helps to exclude such people from clicking your ads or visiting your website.

To make use of this targeting option, here is what you do.

Click Advanced Search in the first location selection box after selecting your campaign.

Click on Radius Targeting in the other window that opens up. Enter complete location name around the office you want to bring traffic to.

google adwords location targeting strategy

And then enter the miles defining the distance between your office and prospective clients who can easily visit or drive in after seeing your adverts. Examples are 10, 20 or 50 miles from your office. See the screenshot below.

Click Search and then the red Add button. The opening map will show you how the whole thing looks between your office and surrounding locations.

You’ll also have option to add nearby locations just around the address or the map.

To test things out, try creating different campaigns for 10, 20 and 50 miles and discover which one converts more than the other. With this option you can as well use relevant search terms containing the locale names within and around your target radius.

If you use specific address, endeavor to use Google adwords location extension to make the same address visible within your paid search advertisements.

  1. Location Groups

Just like many others discussed earlier, this Google adwords location targeting option makes it possible to group and target selected locations for a particular campaign.

The only difference here is that it provides another layer for advertisers. So you can reach your prospects based on household income data for each of the location selected.

With location group targeting you can group selected countries, states or cities within a state. And then select the average household income level of people that will see your ads within those selected locations. This is for Demographic option.

See this image below for a selection of three states within USA.

google adwords location targeting tips

The household income data is being derived from Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That is for United States, you can check to see if this option is currently available for your own country.

The assumption around affordability is why location groups look appealing. But as for me, I am yet to test that.

For now, the options I use are working well for me.

In order to use My Location option to build location groups, you have to go first and create location extension feed in Google My Business Location Manager.

  1. Bulk Locations Targeting 

Within the space provided for this option, you can enter selected number of countries, states, cities, counties or postal codes per line.

The second approach is to copy and paste a list of locations you want to target for your ads.

After the entries, you click Search to confirm if the selected locations are available for targeting via this bulk approach. Make sure to enter on top, the code of the particular country to which the selected locations belong.

For example, if all the bulk locations you select belong to United Kingdom, you enter UK in the space provided above.

Besides precise location targeting, the following strategies will help you get more from your Google adwords advertising budget; but only if you put them to work. Yes I said that because having good information is half the battle.

Sure you haven’t forgotten that marketing implies a career in competition.

How To Maximize Google Adwords Advertising ROI

Keyword Segmentation

This is simply a process of grouping target keywords into different segments in order to increase click through rate, conversions and ROI. The premise is that all search terms or keywords are not equal in terms of the potential for quality lead generation and conversion rate.

While some people using certain keywords could be looking for information only, others at the end of the funnel are usually ready to make a purchase within 24 hours – 30 days.

The conversion data in our client adword accounts provides much evidence of this fact.

Besides segmenting your keywords based on the buyer journey, the other variable factors worth considering are the following.

Product/Service: If your company has different pages for each of the services you do provide, you can segment your target keywords based on those unique services.

For a whole lot of reasons, this is far better than using generalized set of search terms for your adwords campaigns.

For example, a company that provides both recruitment and training in HR services niche will have different pages for each service.

Create two separate lists of target keywords.

Add your keywords to unique ad groups, create individual ads and then link to appropriate Urls or web pages for each keyword list.

Location keyword segmentation: Location is one determinant variable that influences purchase decisions. Depending on the size of your target market, you can segment your location keywords based on country, state, city or county.

Examples of location based search terms are ‘HR training Sydney Australia’ and ‘recruitment consulting fees Liverpool’.

Long Tail/Head Search Term: Head terms are very short, usually one or two words, that describes a broad topic. In the context of search engine usage, these are mostly informational keywords; meaning that the searchers are usually looking for information only.

Keywords like laptop computer and apple computer are examples of broad head terms.

commercial intent search terms

Based on the keyword sample researched via Ubersuggest, you’ll see that a thousand persons searching for ‘apple computer’ at the same time will certainly have different needs and intents.

While some are intending to make a purchase within 24 hours – 30 days, others are merely looking for information. I am sure you don’t need a soothsayer or data scientist to tell you this. Think about search terms like ‘Apple computer history’.

Now let me ask you, if you are an Apple computer store owner would you pay to attract people searching for keywords like the example give above?

Long tail keywords on the other hand are search terms that contain three or more words in them. Think about apple computer repair Miami FL, apple laptop computer under $2000.

This same pattern of segmentation also applies in your niche. So learn to segment and test your keyword lists – long tail buyer keywords vs the rest, buyer keywords vs informational.

Optimize Your Ads To Drive Phone Calls

Paid search advertising with platforms like Google adwords remains one of the best means of generating inbound sales calls on a regular basis.

Without being told, I am sure you already know that people who commit to call after searching and finding that you have what they need are quality leads.

And in most cases, the time between ad engagement and closed sale is usually shorter in comparison to web form generated leads.

Obviously anyone, including demographically qualified leads, can fill a web form to download your ebook or white paper and forget about you. And if you don’t have a prompt lead nurturing strategy, you won’t get much value from your current website traffic volume.

This is why inbound sales calls make a great difference in conversion rate and ROI.

Use Call Extension: By integrating with Google My Business data (name, address and phone) into a centralized management system, call extension will be readily available when you are creating your campaigns. Prospects searching for your services can call directly from the ad or copy phone number in terms of desktop visibility.

Add Click To Call Button: Whether you like it or not, a percentage of visitors to your landing pages or entire website will certainly be coming from smart phones.

Make sure your website or landing page is mobile friendly, then add click to call button.

The benefits of click to call button is not just about paid search traffic, but for your entire website traffic. And if you can afford $19 – $99 per month, put a call tracking system in place.

This will help you identify which campaign, keywords and web pages are driving the highest volume of inbound sales call.

Try Google Adwords Call Only Ads: With this form of search engine marketing, qualified and interested prospects searching for your services have a single engagement option – just click to call.

In other words, there is no landing page to visit or time consuming web form to fill and wait for your unpredictable response.

Remember to use these things in combination with location targeting and keyword segmentation.

Leverage Remarketing: Regardless of the source from which you generate your website traffic, all of your visitors can be re-engaged with Google adwords remarketing campaigns or Facebook ads.

Let’s say you generate 3000 website visitors from organic search engine rankings, 2057 from social media and 1890 from paid search, all of these prospects can be brought back with remarketing advertisements.

The fact is that majority of strangers visiting your website will not convert into leads or paying customers in their first visit.

Your current experience already proves this. So I don’t need to tell you more or why it happens in most business websites.

For one of our wedding services clients, a simple strategy to retarget only the visitors from organic search engine ranking resulted in 47% increase in conversion rate. The real results are quality leads and impressive ROI.

The key thing was segmenting the remarketing list based on visitors of most valuable pages – training and planning services description.

And then use remarketing list for search ads and display remarketing to get additional conversions.

Use Sit Link Extensions: This particular Google adwords extension provides opportunity to add multiple links to different pages on your website instead of one destination page.

Among other benefits, using multiple links increases click through rate.

Because of the fact that a typical group of 100 – 1000 persons searching for recruitment agencies in your location are abound to have different intents, using this extension makes it possible to match your ads to their intents.

Below here is a sample of site link extension used by a recruitment firm in Chicago, USA.

google adwords site link extension

If your own company has specific pages for training, service fees, employers, job seekers and locations, you can use the links to these pages in a single ad, just like the one above.


For most offline businesses, location matters a whole lot in marketing. Find a way to leverage on the documented explosion of mobile search traffic.

And you’ll begin to see the real opportunities better than before. One thing worth noting is that a great percentage of purchases and deals that happens offline often originate online.

If you are tired of your sales pipeline being filled with low quality, non converting leads, paid search advertising is one good option you can add to your multi channel marketing strategy.

At the end, the size of your target market and revenue goals will determine how to leverage Google adwords location targeting options.

You can go by country, state, city, country, radius or postal code in combination with all the ROI maximization strategies shared above. To go beyond fallible assumptions, a small sized Google adwords budget is enough to get you started with a simple split test.

In a case where you can possibly earn $2000 – $10,000 per placement, what would a single deal worth to you? That is assuming 1% conversion rate is possible with 100 – 1000 leads.

[thrive_lead_lock id=’331′]Hidden Content[/thrive_lead_lock]

And if your recruitment agency website is currently generating 1000 – 10,000 visitors per month, you’ve got an edge.

With that you have real opportunity to leverage on remarketing list for search ads as well as precise location targeting.

Share your experience or challenges in the comment section. Have you tried Google adwords before?

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.

The Long Form Content Marketing Advantage

Long form content marketing is real hard work. It takes a lot of time. But is it really worth it?

This post will explore the advantages of making them part of your business blogging strategy. With a little bit of increased understanding, you’ll become enabled to experience the benefits in real time.

But first, you have to invest money, time or both to get the ball rolling.

One real estate blogger said that 300 words should be enough. If your blog posts reach 700 words, then it goes out of hand.

Maybe he is correct. All niche markets are not the same.

After all, Seth Godin writes short posts only. But I am 100% sure you are not Seth. Probably, you don’t even know who he is. Why would you spend long hard working hours writing long form blog posts?

In an intensely distractive and fragmented world of short attention spans, short posts seem to make a lot of sense.

According to a study by Microsoft many people can hardly focus on one thing for more than one minute. Maybe the impulses in us that are constantly seeking for instant gratification could be part of the cause.

So some people reason, who really have time to read long form contents?

Interestingly, the answers provided below with some data points will help to explain what you could have been missing by ignoring it.

And if you have been into business blogging for months or years without impressive results; pay attention – now.

Long Form Content Marketing: What Is It? 

It is a process of writing and promoting long form contents for the purpose of sales, lead generation or growing brand awareness.

The commonly types of contents in this scenario includes blog posts, white papers, case studies, sales pages etc. Thus, the main aim behind the written content is marketing.

As for word count, it is usually from 1500 words upward.

For a whole lot of people in your niche, consistent business blogging is already hard enough for them. Add long form content writing and procrastination takes over.

That’s why sometimes you see a lot of blogs that are either outdated or full of aimless contents.

However, for most people who understand the benefits of long form content marketing, there are always two things holding them back.

‘I have more important marketing work to do, so no time’. This was exactly what an event planner once told me. The other challenge is blogging without return on invested time and money.

If this is your issue, check this post on the ultimate guide to conversion focused business blogging.

Why Invest In Long Form Content Marketing

More Social Media Sharing

One painful thing is that shallow content wastes time and money. Because they are usually aimless and don’t resonate with anybody, nobody shares them.

Hence, they deliver no measurable business value. Here is one of the reasons why business blogging doesn’t work for many.

And then someone somewhere quit, thereby adding another orphan blog to the internet.

Without promotion, shallow posts get buried in your blog archive.

Besides my personal opinion, there are also some studies and data backing up the fact that long form contents often commands more social media shares than short, shallow formats.

A reader psychology study of some leading news publishers like The New York Times, CNN and The Huffington Post shows that the most shared articles have an average of 2012 words.

long form content marketing

Obviously, it could be that these contents provide more value than the opposite.

So the longer the content the higher the share count and traffic volume. Thus, for most business blogs, 2000 – 5000 words is good.

For example, below is a screenshot of the most shared blog posts about ‘content marketing’ according to BuzzSumo.

content marketing tool

Higher Backlinks Count

If you have been around internet marketing for years like me, you’ll already understand the benefits of consistent link building. Specifically, it affects the ranking of a web page for some precise keywords.

However, in the context of business blogging strategies, more social media sharing also correlates with higher backlinks count, at least with a common sense intuition.

Because of growing visibility as a result of more social media shares, many people who found long form blog articles valuable end up linking to them.

These natural white hat backlinks helps to boost the search engine ranking of the pages being linked to. Consequently, the higher ranking leads to constant growth of organic search engine traffic.

And in practical terms, the social media sharing, natural backlinks, higher ranking and growing traffic volume continues in an automatic cycle.

This is the biggest benefit of long form content marketing.

Because a fewer number of your competitors are doing this right now, you may commit to taking advantage of this business blogging strategy to generate leads and revenue.

This study of 1 million articles by BuzzSumo has some more data and insights regarding the social media sharing and linking to long form contents.

Higher Search Engine Ranking

One of the most profitable benefits of organic search engine traffic is that you don’t have to pay additional money for the continuous inflow of quality traffic to your website. Yes, you really don’t have to after the major SEO work is done.

It only takes few actions to monitor and maintain the ranking for specific keywords that matters to your business.

In comparison to having a static website, you’ll be missing out on the above benefit of SEO traffic if you don’t have an active business blog with valuable long form contents.

This analysis of blog contents ranked in first page by Garret Moon of CoSchedule also proves the point.

How much content does top ranking pages usually have? Another study at SERPiQ also provides good answer to that. Based on the finding, long form articles of 2000+ words perform better across board.

This is one of the secret search engine optimization techniques you may not understand especially if your occupational responsibilities are outside internet marketing.

Overall and according to HubSpot, businesses that engage in active blogging generate 68% more leads than those who don’t. Obviously, this may have something to do with growing search engine traffic volume and commercial keyword intent.

Longer Time On Site

Tell me, of what good is it if 70 – 99% of the website traffic you spend money and time to generate bounces off in less than 2 seconds?

It may not be you. But it happens to real business people like one event planning expert I had interaction with.

That interaction led to full SEO audit and analysis of his website. And almost 87% bounces off without converting to anything or moving to another page.

High bounce rate is one of the major disadvantages of short, shallow contents. And it gets worse if you don’t have business blog at all.

The only exception is if your site is built for affiliate marketing. In other words, you really need to send out majority of your visitors via affiliate links.

If you have high converting landing pages and huge paid advertising budget, this visitor exit metrics may not concern you as much.

I want to ask you again. What is the current bounce rate in your own website right now?

It is neither your fault nor your problem that attention span is getting shorter these days. In an age of intense distractions, social media addiction and instant gratification, impatience is on the high side. Hence, selling is becoming harder and harder.

According to one leading tech executive:

The true scarce commodity of the near future will be ‘human attention’Satya Nadella.

Test; can you sell me your solution in 3 seconds only?

The key challenge is to match my intent, need or problem with your content. Here is one of the reasons why it is important to start your business blogging strategy with buyer keyword research.

There are many reasons why your current bounce rate could be abnormally high. It could be the slow page loading or poor design.

At other times, it could simply be because the content of your page is mismatched with website visitor intent.

However, getting attention is just half of the battle. Keeping that attention longer than 3 seconds and then getting real value from it is the biggest challenge.

And that is where long form blog posts serves well again.

You can use content pieces like pre-sale lead generation posts, case studies, product tutorials and cost analysis to influence people and make them spend longer time on your website. Internal linking and video contents also increases time on site.

Expert Positioning

There is always a depth of technicality behind every business or topic. Long form content writing gives you opportunity to show your own depth of technical know-how in any topic. So beyond surface level fundamentals, you can begin to share your diverse experience and perspectives with a target audience.

With a specific client or buyer persona in mind, you’ll be positioned to share stories that relates to their current pain points.

Among other thing, long form content marketing helps achieve influential positioning in the following ways.

Differentiation: In various marketing contexts, differentiation influences brand perception. Practically, the advantages in top of mind recall can be experienced when you begin connecting with some of the strong universal emotions that makes us human.

Filling a void: Whether you are interested in white papers, case studies or pain point focused blog posts, these types of contents can be used to fill a void in your target customers’ mind.

Maintain a relative degree of brand messaging frequency and you’ll have a winning strategy. Here is one scenario where retargeting works really well. Check this retargeting case study for more insights.

Examples of filling a void is starting with keywords your audience are searching for or the relevant questions being asked on Quora and other similar websites.

Leveraging authority: It’s all about doing one thing exceptional better than all other things, long term focus on it and becoming known for that one thing.

In this regard, Jeff Goins had a title that reads like:

‘Stop Running The Wrong Race And Choose Your Own Craft’

Examples of single minded expert positioning in this context include Peep Laja’s blog for conversion rate optimization only – ConverionXL, Brian Clark on copywriting only – Copyblogger, Brian Dean on SEO only – Backlinko, Jon Loomer on Facebook ads only – Jon Loomer Digital.

Higher Conversion Rate

Remember here we are talking about the use of long form contents in business blogging strategy only. If you add affiliate marketing or lead generation landing pages the conversion rules become different.

If you add other benefits discussed earlier like more social media shares, longer time on site, higher search engine ranking and expert positioning, it becomes clearer how all of them contributes to higher conversion rate.

While there is no guarantee that you’ll get higher conversion rate from long form content marketing, the chances of getting the other benefits discussed above is always there.

Depending on the conversion funnel integrated within your business blog, yours could be zero, low or above average conversion.

Your best bet is to test some variations.

Before you get started on your own tests, the guys at Crazy Egg got 30% higher conversion by increasing the content length on a particular page. And here is how to do it.

Call To Action

Now you know the benefits of long form content marketing. Where can you go from here?

Warning: I don’t know how long it has taken you to get here. But if you do nothing with the information, it is just as good as wasting your time to read this piece. And that my friend, is not my intention.

As I have noted earlier, short form posts also work. It just depends on how well written and the conversion funnel integration within the post.

However, I believe that the data points and benefits highlighted above will expand your perspective on what is possible.

Make sure to add some lead generation elements to your post while linking to sales pages where necessary. Do this before making commitment to actively consistent blog post promotion strategy.

Regardless of the niche in which you operate, you’ll always find some blog post writing ideas.

But just in case you can’t do the work very well or have more important things, you can hire an experienced business blog writer.

A friendly conversation is enough to get started for consistent business blogging traffic and bigger ROI.

Now you can share your business blogging experiences and challenges in the comment section. How has it been working out for you and your company?

You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.