Chris Raines: All right. Welcome to episode nine of the Dodgeball Marketing podcast. My name is Chris.
Michael Utley: I'm Michael.
Chris Raines: And today, how are you doing?
Michael Utley: Good. Yeah. Happy Friday [crosstalk 00:00:13].
Chris Raines: I was about to go into it, but then [crosstalk 00:00:15].
Michael Utley: Yeah. Happy Friday.
Chris Raines: We're feeling. I'm feeling good. We got. . . corporate bought donuts.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah, it was good. Nice to show up and have donuts provided. Yeah, it was awesome.
Chris Raines: So we've got donuts and coffee. Little caveat, we went through a tornado a few months ago and right now at the top of the building, there are like 10 guys with drills and [crosstalk 00:00:36].
Michael Utley: All kinds of stuff.
Chris Raines: So, you might hear some noise and if so, that's what it is. So, we won't address it or anything. We'll just let you know now.
Michael Utley: Yep.
Chris Raines: Okay, cool. Michael, I'm just going to hold this whole time.
Michael Utley: Yeah. What’s the topic? What are we talking about today?
Chris Raines: We're going to talk about website conversion rate for lead generation. So, unless you're in e-commerce, most business, websites are built to generate leads. So, you're going to ask people to do something, ask for their email address in exchange for something else. So, what we're going to talk about today is conversion rate, and that means ensuring that the maximum number of people that hit a given website or page, actually do the thing that you want them to do. So, this might be download a white paper, this might be schedule an appointment, this might be take a quiz. It could be any number of things.
Michael Utley: So, the conversion and conversion rates converting traffic into leads.
Chris Raines: Exactly. And so, this is important, especially if you're paying for traffic. If you increase your conversion rate from 3% to 6%, well, now you're getting double the leads for the exact same amount of money.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah. Huge improvement. Yeah.
Chris Raines: Yeah. So, [crosstalk 00:01:39].
Michael Utley: Small number, huge improvement.
Chris Raines: Exactly. So, [there are] small tweaks you can make. And luckily, there are just general principles that exist across all websites, no matter what industry you're in and no matter what kind of business you run, that will serve to increase your conversion rate. And we're going to talking about those.
Michael Utley: Yep.
Chris Raines: Awesome. Okay. First things, first. Michael, I'll let you kick this one off. Phone number in the header and the footer.
Michael Utley: Yeah. There's kind of an old school way of thinking about phone numbers. That's like, "Oh, we don't want to push the phone number out there. It's a lot of work." But, if you're trying to generate leads, you've got to kind of make sure that that hasn't kept you from using your phone number where you want to. If you're trying to get the phone to ring, if you're trying to gain new business, you really want that phone number everywhere. And so, you want to be thoughtful about how you put it on a website, so it's not confusing or creating any redundancy. However, we think it's reasonable to have a little mini CTA with phone number in the header. And to repeat that again, in the footer, or even in a full width block above the footer. And then, also going back up on the page, in the hero area, sort of what shows above the fold, either on desktop or mobile, to have it kind of feature there in combination with some other content.
Michael Utley: And then, for mobile users, we really like a sticky header that stays pegged at the top of the window frame, with a clickable phone number. Because if somebody is on their phone, they're really less likely to want to complete a form and more likely to want to just do that one click and get something moving. So, yeah. [crosstalk 00:03:12].
Chris Raines: Yeah. That's a good point. Of all the conversion actions, it takes a little bit of time to fill out a form. It takes time to do other things on site, but some people, especially if you're in home services or something. If you're, think about mold remediation services or water damage, or... They got to problem to solve [crosstalk 00:03:27] they want to smash...
Michael Utley: Roofers, painters, plumbers, everybody [crosstalk 00:03:30].
Chris Raines: They want to smash a button and get somebody on the phone to help them, so...
Michael Utley: Landscapers. Yeah. And that sticky header, you'll have to work with your website developer or whatever to do this, if you don't have it already, but we're really talking about just keeping that phone number right there, where it's always they're one click away from becoming a lead.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Awesome. Phone number in the header. Number two. Yeah. Why don't you talk about this one? Yeah.
Michael Utley: Yeah. So, this is answer your phone and make your phone experience easy. So, you might say "this doesn't have anything to do with conversion rate. This is sales after the phone call happens." But, if you're doing phone tracking on your website and somebody comes through, that's a piece of script that swaps the phone number, so you can track it and record phone calls and that sort of thing. If you don't answer the phone, it doesn't actually come through as a conversion.
Chris Raines: Right.
Michael Utley: The way the phone softwares work is you have to actually answer the phone. So, there's a few things you can do and that are really simple to make sure that happens. One is make sure it routes to someone who is ready for it and eclipse to deal with inbound sales calls. And a lot of times this means setting up, routing it to maybe a personal cell phone of somebody who's more in charge of sales and business development. It can be problematic to push that phone call to somebody like a front desk person that has a lot of other duties and maybe don't have the sales skills to really take a cold lead and really warm them up and get them to take the next step.
Chris Raines: Yeah. That phone ringing is the gold. That's the little piece of gold that you spent months and years dreaming about. And so, you don't want to lose that when you have it in your hands.
Michael Utley: And it's different, especially with something like PPC leads. A lot of those are just on the colder side, right? So, they're maybe they're shopping around. Maybe they're just dipping their toe in the water. So, you really need to be able to grab that cold lead, develop some rapport, engage in salesmanship and warm them up so they can take the next step. And so, that means having the right person in place. And it means things like, I mean, we've had clients before that maybe push people to a phone tree or did some other things that, where they would push the bulk of their calls that are coming from other sources. But, that's a really great way to cool down a lead if they're having to wait and go through and go through some steps in a phone tree.
Michael Utley: So, yeah. Just simple things like making sure it goes to the right person and make sure that person's ready to answer the phone call and they've got their phone set up to where they know that that phone number is from the website lead [crosstalk 00:05:51].
Chris Raines: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's a great idea. Yeah.
Michael Utley: You can, they can change the contact number to say like a Google Lead or Website Lead.
Chris Raines: Sales Lead, yeah.
Michael Utley: And make sure that they answer the phone. So, that's just something that's actually really simple to implement, but it's so important because you don't get that conversion [crosstalk 00:06:04] unless you answer the phone.
Chris Raines: Yeah. And it's a real reality check. I like this topic because there's so many horror stories. We've done a lot of call recording and monitoring and tracking over the years. And if you use something like CallRail or what's another one?
Michael Utley: Phone Wagon, Ring Central, there's a few [crosstalk 00:06:23].
Chris Raines: You can record these calls and see what the customer experience is. And if you ever catch any of these calls where they get into a phone tree, you can even hear someone going to another number and verbalizing a countdown, five, four, three, two, one, and then hanging up. That means them giving up on your company. It's just absolutely brutal. And we've recorded these and played them at speaking events as examples of how not to do it. And it's just so cringey and such a good lesson. But, if you need to, you can secret shopper your company and see what your experience is. Or you can go ahead and implement one of these call recording platforms and hear what customers are doing. And often they will verbalize how they're feeling on these calls, because they're just so eager and ready to talk to somebody.
Michael Utley: Yeah.
Chris Raines: Great. Number three. Michael why don't you to talk about this one. Using a form above the fold and on all pages.
Michael Utley: Yeah. So, something that's easy for us to fall into. A lot of us think of the form as being on the contact page. And we're generally taking whatever someone's doing on a website and we're thinking about pushing them to a contact page where they can complete a form. That's not really adding a step for them, that's adding a click. And in the world of e-commerce, with companies like Amazon and other e-commerce companies that have gotten really good at doing online marketing and having a high conversion rate, what we found is that anytime you can reduce the number of steps the customer has to take, you're going to increase the conversion rate. It's really like a law of physics.
Chris Raines: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:07:58] The more people have to look, the less likely they are to click the action.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah. It's just a rule. So, we've been doing something lately and this is pretty common, this is a pretty common tactic for advertising landing pages, but we've been building websites where the homepage and the services pages are essentially landing pages. So, a big value proposition in the hero area, above the fold main content and a form right there. And we're even testing out doing that with all services pages. So, if somebody is looking for hardwood floor repair, Nashville, and they end up on a landing page for a service rather than getting kicked into a homepage first, [crosstalk 00:08:40] they're you're right there with the value proposition for exactly that service, exactly that market and a form right there in their view.
Chris Raines: Yeah. I was going to say that the other thing about that is you can contextualize that call to action to that page. So, rather than go to a contact page, contact us, they can say, "get a hardwood flooring quote."
Michael Utley: "Get your Nashville hardwood flooring quote now."
Chris Raines: Right. So, that's a much powerful, more specific call to action [crosstalk 00:09:02] than contact us.
Michael Utley: Yep. That's right. That's good. Chris why don't you talk about the next one. So, what's threat level? Threat level: Midnight. How do you lower the threat level of your CTA?
Chris Raines: Yeah. Lower the threat level of your CTA. So, what this means is there's various calls to action that you could implement. So, one would be talk to a sales rep. That's a high threat level.
Michael Utley: Even get a free quote can be a pretty high [crosstalk 00:09:26]. It's like, "Whoa, we're not ready to commit yet." [crosstalk 00:09:28].
Chris Raines: Because they think they're going to talk to a salesperson.
Michael Utley: Yeah.
Chris Raines: And then, there are others that are maybe mid to low-level. The lowest level is, "Enter your email address to get this free download." [crosstalk 00:09:39]. Or something. And then, maybe mid-level some kind of quiz or some kind of assessment, some kind of other thing where you're actually asking them for information, but you're not being forward with sales. So, anytime you can, introduce a lower threat call to actions.
Chris Raines: So, I'll give you an example. So, if you are a weight loss center, your primary call to action might be something like, "Schedule an appointment." So, you're a medical practice, you want people to come in and schedule an appointment to see if they're a good fit for your weight loss, medical weight loss services. But, a secondary one might be something like, "Check insurance eligibility." So, this will get people that are interested enough to say, "All right, now I'm ready to know how much this stuff costs." Or that's kind of an insurance, [crosstalk 00:10:27] it's a secondary way of saying how much does this cost?
Chris Raines: So, if you put that in there, you're going to get a lot more people to sign up. Now they're not going to be as high quality leads and you have to nurture them after the fact, but it's going to increase your conversion rate significantly because you're not saying like, "Come in and schedule an appointment, talk to one of our reps that's going to try to get you to sign up for our monthly program." It's just, "Check your insurance." [crosstalk 00:10:50]. Really simple, they put in their insurance and then you get back to them and you check.
Chris Raines: So, that's a lower threat level. So, anytime you can introduce a secondary call to action, that's maybe less prominent, that asks a little bit less of them, you can get them to take action. And then, after the fact, you warm them up through email, through follow-ups, phone calls and things like that.
Michael Utley: And our cliche for talking about this around the office is, asking for marriage on the first date. It's a lot of times, if somebody comes in from a search ad, they may be trying to get a little information or just learn a little bit more about pricing or find out who the players are in the space. And you don't have to offer the free quote and talk to your sales professional now, you can find these intermediate steps that people can take, so it's not like asking [crosstalk 00:11:33] for marriage on the first date. Yeah.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Next one, Michael.
Michael Utley: Yeah. I really like faces and pictures of real people. A lot of times when you're trying to generate sales leads, there's a lot of mystery involved. And what you want the website to do is cut through that mystery and make it more of a personal connection. And we have found that a lot of owners and founders, a lot of CEOs, actually have a lot of humility and they say things like, "Well, you don't want my ugly face on the homepage." And it's like, "No, dude. I kind of want your ugly face on the home page." Because we want to show people this is a real person. You're not part of some national network and this isn't just a lead scraping website. You're actually here, your family has been in this city for three generations. [crosstalk 00:00:12:22]. You've got a team. You're a likable group of people. You're friendly, warm, diverse, whatever is the vibe of what you want people to know about you during a first sales phone call, or when you send somebody out to provide a quote or an onsite meeting, go ahead and start doing that with the creative on the website.
Michael Utley: The more you can reach through the screen with a handshake or a fist bump, or just a wave, during COVID times, the better. So, faces and people are really good to do that. So, humanize your creative.
Chris Raines: Perfect. Next, elevate social proof. So, this would be user testimony... I'm a big fan of promoting user testimonials to the very top, especially, this works well for things like home services, anybody where someone needs to know that there are other people, really, anything. People need to know there are other people that are like them that experienced a good result from whatever service you're providing.
Chris Raines: So, as many of those you can gather, and it's also great sometimes to actually take, with the person's permission, take a screenshot of the actual review from Google, that looks more authentic. You can format it, put a background on it or whatever, but elevating social proof is a really good.... It's from, if you want a good book on just everything we're talking about, in terms of influence, Robert Cialdini has a good book called, I think it's called, Persuasion.
Michael Utley: Okay. We'll put it in the show notes.
Chris Raines: Yeah. I might have the title wrong. Influence is what's called, it's called Influence. But, it's got all the, social proof is one of those, that people want to know that other people that are like them have experienced a good result.
Michael Utley: And social proof can have some different formats. So, you just mentioned a couple of, you said testimonials and badges
Chris Raines: Badges. And I would maybe call that more authority. Because these are things like member of a medical organization or Better Business Bureau approved or [crosstalk 00:14:20].
Michael Utley: I would put training certifications in that category.
Chris Raines: Training certifications. So, it's other people that are in authority giving you their seal of approval, saying these people have passed the test and they are, they're a good provider.
Michael Utley: And I think you kind of touched on this, but awards. Local awards, magazine awards, there's a local magazine that does the best five whatever of Nashville or [crosstalk 00:14:43] Dallas, or Houston.
Chris Raines: They'll give you a little seal for that. Those are actually really powerful for people to check off the box, like, "Well, these people know what they're doing. Other people have confirmed that and now I can believe it."
Michael Utley: Right.
Chris Raines: Yeah. That's social proof.
Michael Utley: And then why don't you take this last one? Multi-step forms. A lot of what we're thinking about when we're thinking about a conversion rate is the sales team really wants about 20 pieces of information to qualify and provide pricing, but [crosstalk 00:15:13] on the website, marketing want, email address, thank you. Goodbye. Get it to the sales team. So, what's the, how do we do, what are multi forms?
Chris Raines: Yeah. So, this is a, the same as a form, but you advance through different stages. So, rather than having eight forms on one, eight fields on one form, [crosstalk 00:15:36] you might have two stages, stage one and stage two. So, the first one has four fields and then you hit go and it advances you to the next stage and you do four more. And what this does is it gets people to take the first micro action and then once they [crosstalk 00:15:53].
Michael Utley: And you get enough identifying information in that first step.
Chris Raines: Right? Well, sometimes the identifier [crosstalk 00:15:58].
Michael Utley: See, that could be name, phone, email.
Chris Raines: Sometimes the identifier is at the end.
Michael Utley: Okay.
Chris Raines: So, do the lowest-threat-level piece of information at the front end.
Michael Utley: Oh, interesting. Okay.
Chris Raines: So, a lot of times, some things like insurance quotes are like this, you do need a lot of information. So, the way you do that is break it up into bite size chunks, take them to two, three, four stages of a multi-stage form. And then the more, once they get that momentum going, they're going to be more likely to invest the next stage and finish what they started. Right?
Michael Utley: So, that's a snowball approach. Another approach would be what I would call a journalistic approach, most important stuff first. And that's, if you're just trying to get as many leads in as you can. [crosstalk 00:16:35].
Chris Raines: And then you can follow up with them if they didn't [crosstalk 00:16:35].
Michael Utley: And then have a secondary form, and then you can just treat that as an incomplete lead, but still process it.
Chris Raines: Right. Both of those are valid. I could see both of those working.
Michael Utley: Yeah, but two different situations.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Yeah.
Michael Utley: Cool.
Chris Raines: So, multi-step, anytime you have to gather a lot of pieces of information that you just can't do what you need to do without, consider if you've got more than four [crosstalk 00:16:55] fields, consider starting to break those up into two and you'll see your conversion rate increase.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Take us out of here.
Chris Raines: That's it. That's it.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Thanks.
Chris Raines: I don't have a pre-canned out-tro. [crosstalk 00:17:07] Podcast over.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Thanks for being on episode, listening to episode nine, improving your website conversion rate to generate leads, and we'll see you on the next one.