It’s a common scenario. A marketing manager starts a company blog with the intent of getting more people to their website. They do everything right, including linking up the blog on their website and publishing on a regular basis.
More and more people visit the company website, but there’s one problem… the company still doesn’t see an uptick in leads from the website.
Website Visits Are Up, Leads Are Down
I read a LinkedIn post a few days ago where a marketing manager at a software company told this very story.
The company saw a 23% increase in overall traffic in the second half of 2014 from the first half, which they attributed to hiring internal marketing staff and a marketing agency, and producing more content by blogging 3-4 times a month.
Leads, she said, were down 19% in 2nd half of 2014 from first half.
Their main lead generating web page is a software demo request form, and visits to that page are up 27% but form submissions were down 19%.
Is the Landing Page To Blame?
You might think that the issue lies on the landing page, and you’re certainly right to question the page's effectiveness. But there are a couple of things I noticed after looking at this software company’s website:
- This “free trial” landing page was the only lead generating page on the website. When you rely on one page to generate all of your web leads, you’re putting all your proverbial eggs in one basket. There are several other opportunities to convert visitors to leads, and offering other whitepapers, ebooks, case studies, etc. would help this company diversify their lead generation efforts.
- A “free trial” is probably not something a first-time visitor will sign up for. When you blog, you are attracting people searching Google for your product or service. These people have a problem (hence the search) but may be looking at several options for solving that problem. They are not far along in the buyer’s journey and need more broad, educational content that will help them sort through options. As one commenter on the LinkedIn post so brilliantly put it, “there aren't opportunities for visitors to convert at each stage of the funnel.”
Here was my reply on the LinkedIn thread:
I took a quick look at your company blog. I looked at the three most recent articles, and noticed that there's no "lead generation offer" at the end of each blog post. When you plan out your blog topics, they need to be search engine friendly but also relate to white papers, e-books, or other material that people can download.
For example, at the bottom of your blog titled, "How Tech Can Add Value to Your Relationships," you might want to think about including a call to action at the bottom of the blog post that clicks over to your landing page for your "guide for great integratable technologies."
The idea there is that you're giving a reader a next step to read something that is related to the topic of the blog. To read that guide, though, they have to supply their information thereby generating a lead for your sales team.
Everyone’s Not Ready For a Trial or RFQ
While the person from this LinkedIn post is in the SaaS industry, the concept applies to all B2B companies. Don’t expect that everyone is ready for the free trial or to fill out an RFQ.
Just because someone’s not ready for a trial or an RFQ, they still can be valuable to your company. Use those opportunities to educate potential buyers visiting your website with the right content at the right time, and they will eventually be ready for the free trial or the RFQ.
Does your website do a sufficient job at educating prospects? Do you focus too much on products or services? How can you create content/blogs/pages for your website that help educate -- steering the wrong customers away and drawing in the right customers?