Have you ever asked yourself “Why isn’t my website generating any leads for my business?”
I’ve been in the web design space for almost 20 years, so I’ve heard this question numerous times. At first, I used to get frustrated, and sometimes even offended when people asked me this, because it was like they were blaming me and/or my website.
Then it hit me that people genuinely don’t understand what it takes to generate leads. Once I came to grips with that, it was much easier for me to deal with the situation.
I bring this up, because recently I was asked by few of our awesome clients why their sites aren’t yet generating leads, so I wanted to take the opportunity to explain why websites are successful online, and why they are not.
Ready? Let’s do this:
First things first, a website is like a billboard in that it’s a stationary object.
You could have the best billboard in the world, but the billboard itself can’t make cars drive by to see its message. If no cars drive by, no one will see the message on this awesome billboard.
Same thing goes for a website. When it comes down to generating leads, there are two main factors that go into it: traffic and conversions.
Traffic and conversions
Driving traffic to a website is like an algorithm created with the perfect combination of art and science, and there are many different variables that go into that algorithm.
Simply put, a website can’t rank itself. It can’t generate traffic by itself, because it’s stationary.
As I mentioned a few times before, a website needs your attention to grow.
There are normally pretty obvious reasons why a site isn’t performing well online:
1.) the site owner isn’t active enough with creating & promoting the site and it’s content
2.) there is a very low search volume online for what they’re offering, and/or where they’re offering it (i.e. insurance agency in Seattle, WA)
3.) the website has little or no incoming links from other sites (huge for SEO; the single biggest ranking factor by far)
4.) the domain has no authority (a.k.a. Google doesn’t trust the site because it’s either brand new, or there’s no links or worthwhile content on the site)
5.) the site suffers from numerous technical SEO issues that inhibit Googles ability to crawl and index the content on the site (not the case with Advisor Evolved sites)
6.) the site owner is not participating in paid advertising
7.) there is no mechanism in place to capture info from site visitors (re-targeting or lead magnets)
In the digital world, there are many things you can’t control when it comes to driving traffic. What’s great about the things I just mentioned above is that they are all within your control.
The 30,000 foot view of your situation
Ask not what your website can do for you, but what you can do for your website.
If you’re not getting any leads from your site, you need to ask yourself some questions.
Are you doing everything you can be doing to promote your site?
Are you creating engaging content and promoting it on social media, and to your email list and client base?
Do you even have an email list?
Are you asking for online reviews (important for SEO purposes)?
What is it that your selling? Are you trying to capture everyone and anyone with a pulse, or are you going after a niche product or market?
Is your website dated, sloppy, too busy, or suffering from technical problems?
Two ways you can drive traffic to your site
At the end of the day there are two ways you can drive traffic to your site.
Free and paid.
Free strategies require effort on your part and are more longer term strategies. They aren’t things that will necessarily generate immediate results. In fact, in many cases they can take months, or even years to move the dial for you online.
The flip side is that they are much more longer lasting strategies, and will typically yield results much longer than paid strategies will.
Let’s take a look at these two a little closer:
Free (a.k.a. “organic”) ways to drive traffic to your site
- content creation + promotion
- SEO + link building
- social media activity
- webinar marketing
- drip email automation
Paid ways to drive traffic to your site
- Facebook ads
- LinkedIn ads
- Google ads
- Print media
- Radio advertising
There’s an old saying that rings true when it comes to making money online.
You can either pay with your time, or your money.
If you’re willing to do both, you will absolutely generate traffic for your website and leads for your business. If you’re not doing either, you can’t really question why you’re not getting any results.
That might sound like tough love, and maybe it is, but it’s the reality of situation.
Playing Google’s game
As Google continues to change it’s algorithm over and over again, generating organic traffic through SEO techniques is becoming more challenging because it’s like trying to hit a moving target.
There are two things that have held steady through the years and withstood Google’s ever changing algorithm. These two things are more important than ever before in the world of today’s Google: content creation and link building.
The more inbound links pointing at your website from other websites (especially authoritative websites), the more Google is going to trust your website. If you have no links, you’re not going to rank for a whole lot. That’s just how it goes.
If you had the chance to read my Beginners Guide to Insurance SEO, you know the importance of building links, and the dangers of relying on shady black hat link building techniques.
Here’s the thing: you have to have some kind of link-worthy content on your site for people to link to. If there’s nothing of value on your site, why would someone link to it?
In 2015 and beyond, you have to consistently create content for your website — period. Why? Because that’s what Google wants. Google wants quality information that it can return to it’s searchers. That’s what they want, and that’s what they’ll rank your site for.
Oh and by the way, you won’t get any links without creating content first.
How to create solid content for your site
Creating content for your site is not rocket science. I’m sure everyone reading this article took high school English class. If you can think you can create content.
In case you missed it, not that long ago I outlined a few different ways you can find content ideas.
Take questions from your insureds and answer them in the form of blog posts and/or YouTube videos like this agent. Mix in other content that is shareable like recipes and other tips to promote social sharing.
Do what you can to get your brand in front of people.
You must create value, or you will have no audience. Without an audience you’re not going to generate leads. Not for free anyway.
This leads me to my next point. Be willing to spend some money at least on some Facebook ads.
The ability to laser target custom audiences with Facebook ads is actually quite amazing. Target an audience within a 10 mile radius of your agency and blast ads at them driving them back to your site, or a landing page on your site.
With Advisor Evolved sites, you can create a landing page for a specific product in a matter of minutes with a few clicks of your mouse.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. Start off with a $100-$200 budget and run ads for 10 or 15 days and see what happens. Don’t be discouraged if nothing comes of it at first, but just know if you write one policy you’ll make your money back and then some.
Again, free and paid folks. If you can do a little bit of both, consistently, you will be successful online.
Make time for success
When it comes to generating traffic and leads online, you either want it or you don’t.
You can’t use the time excuse anymore.
Success online (and offline) doesn’t walk up to you. You have to go get it.
Schedule time to work on these things.
Take a half day each week, or each month, whatever you can manage and work on your business instead of working in it.
This is what it takes to run a successful agency and generate business online.
You can do it. Now let’s go get it!