A common complaint: “Robin, my website isn’t producing any leads.” More common: “My MARKETING isn’t producing any leads.” Even more common: “What is lead generation and marketing?” Okay, I digress …
With all the digital and social media marketing available, far too many MSPs still overlook one of the most critical “hubs” of all marketing efforts: their website. All too often, it was set up several years ago and has been sitting out there on the “interwebs,” untouched and preserved in time like a fossil.
So, when an MSP comes to me and tells me their marketing isn’t working, it’s the first place I look. Why? Because ALL marketing efforts, from referrals to social media posts, drive potential prospects to check out your website. You do it, too. When you hear of a new company, service, or product, what do you do? Google it. Go to the website and check things out.
The question is this: Are you driving them to an updated, high-converting site that brilliantly conveys your professionalism and competence, or an abandoned, ancient, broken-down site with “cobwebs” gathering in the corners? (Example of a proven, high-converting site here)
You need to know a few critical things as they pertain to your website for it to be a lead generation machine.
First and foremost, what can you expect your website to do and produce in terms of leads? Second, how do you make sure you’re squeezing all the juice from that proverbial orange without wasting time on frivolous pursuits and time-sucking activities that aren’t really going to move the needle all that much? Let’s begin.
How Much Lead Generation Should You Expect To Come From Your Website?
You ready for this? Zero. You heard me … none. That’s because your website doesn’t make cold-calls, send out emails, stand at a booth at a trade show, or knock on a prospective customer’s door and convince them to buy. All your website can do is get the prospects coming there from other marketing activities to call, opt in, or engage, so your website’s ONLY job is to convert visitors into leads. Therefore, your website doesn’t “produce” leads — your MARKETING does that.
I suppose you could argue that if someone searches “IT Services” in your area and your website comes up, they click on it, and they opt in, call, etc., your website “produced” that lead. But I would argue that Google search produced that lead, and your SEO plan and activities executed through your website facilitated that opportunity. This is hard for many MSPs to get their head around, so they make the mistake of paying someone $10,000–$30,000 to design a website with the intention of getting it to produce more leads and are then shocked to discover it didn’t produce any better, or only produced marginally better, than their old website.
My first big recommendation: Have a well-designed, working website with excellent copy that converts, then take the money you save on expensive design and put it into DRIVING TRAFFIC to your website.
In fact, I’ll argue that your website only really needs five pages:
3) About Us
5) Contact Us.
Testimonials can be put throughout the site, and an offer should be on critical pages like the top of the home page and the Contact Us page. Then use LANDING PAGES for offers and campaigns (more on this in a minute).
If you look at your website’s analytics, you’ll discover the two most visited pages on your site from organic traffic are the Home page and the About Us page. Therefore, those pages need to be very well-written so a prospective customer is convinced to call or opt in.
Conversion: The TRUE Measure Of Your Website’s Effectiveness
Now that we’ve established your website doesn’t produce any leads (your marketing does), how DO you know if your website is effective or needs work? You look at conversion.
Conversion is a measurement of how many unique website visitors call your office or fill in a form. If you had 2,000 visitors to your website last month and generated two phone calls and two form fills from that traffic, that’s a total of four leads and a 0.2% conversion (4 ÷ 2,000). Most websites convert at around 1%–2%. E-commerce sites tend to convert higher at 2%–5%.
MSPs’ websites tend to convert at a lower rate, around 0.1%–1% on average. However, those are averages and do not necessarily mean your site has to convert that low. Further, that’s a measurement of your generic website with general traffic, not necessarily specific landing pages you are using in a marketing campaign that drive people from an email, ad, or other marketing promotion to a landing page.
The first step in figuring out if your website is converting well or not is to get a true measurement of its conversion. That requires you to PROPERLY install and configure either Google Analytics or some other website tracking software to get accurate data. Over the years, I’ve had members make radical changes to their websites because they didn’t “feel” it was producing anymore, or they were bored with it, only to discover that the changes instantly stopped all lead flow.
Further, I’ve seen MSPs taken advantage of by web design companies who convince them their site is ugly, old, and unproductive, then sell them a $20,000 website project WITHOUT ever even looking at the DATA for its current conversion! It’s shameful. Would you allow a doctor to do major surgery on you without data in the form of X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, etc.? I should hope not. This is why a critical first step in improving your website’s performance is to get a real and true reading of conversion.
Which analytics software is best?
Google Analytics is free and very powerful, but it’s a nightmare to figure out and can cause you to waste a lot of time looking at statistics and information that isn’t really relevant to measure for YOUR business.
We use and recommend CallRail, which is a very simple and powerful tool to measure and track website conversion that we put on all our clients’ websites so they can see how their site is producing as well as listen to calls from inbound leads to ensure they are being handled properly.