Host: We have some questions coming in. We have Patrick asking: from a paid search perspective if you have any tips to understand and beat competitors.
Mike: Your page traffic is really going to be more about your conversion optimization on that page. So as you go to your landing pages if you come to, actually let’s not even go there. You should have linked your ad words to your campaign, sorry, to your analytics here. So what you want to go through is your ad words traffic and this one isn’t linked up. I don’t think they’re actually running any. I believe this one is. Let me pull one up that I know has traffic that is being driven to it.
Just one moment while it’s loading. Okay, so still waiting. Google Analytics is running slow today. Okay, so they actually don’t have any of their analytics hooked up right now. I don’t think they’re actually running any ad words for these groups. But what you want to do is go into your Ad Words and identify your campaigns right here. Make sure you have goal tracking set up. You can do it really easily through Google Tag Manager. It’s probably the easiest way. Start identifying the search queries that are converting. Because what happens in Ad Words is you will say, again, let’s use Foxtail Marketing for an example.
SEO agency, very, very expensive keyword, extremely expensive. In fact, you go one step further SEO just by itself is one of the most expensive keywords. So if I’m searching for SEO and I go into my search queries but all my traffic is coming from SEO franchised marketing or franchises or SEO for dental practice, then I’m going to look at that and say wow, that’s the one that’s converting for me, that keyword.
Instead of just running SEO campaign, a campaign targeting SEO as a keyword and expecting that query to convert let me go straight to Ad Words and create a campaign just for that query. Because if you can target just on that query you’re now going after, and the volume is going to be very low, that campaign is not going to get much traffic. But again, a lot of that traffic is going to convert so you’ll see your conversion rate go up and what will happen is you can actually create a custom funnel targeted to that query. So now I can create a landing page that talks just to dental practices, that says, “Hey, we are the leaders in SEO for dental practices,” instead of them coming to a page that says, “We do SEO.”
So if you can optimize from a page point of view by using your Google Analytics to go after queries and then customizing each individual funnel through landing page and which pages they go to based on that query, you’re going to a much higher conversion rate. And you can turn off the campaigns that just target these very, very competitive keywords that gets incredibly low conversion rates which end of cost tons and tons of money. They are good to start to identify the queries that are going to give you money but they’re not a good long term investment because they will eventually start just eating up your budget on that.
Host: All right. We have another good question from Cheryl. She is asking if you keep the B to B versus B to C marketing as a blog page or recreate that as a static page on your website.
Mike: We recreated it as a static page. I actually redirected the blog because the blog had really no value. Again, it had gotten a bunch of links, it got us a bunch of keyword value but the content, I wasn’t very proud of. It was written in one of those hasty moments. It was done just happenstance and it randomly took off just like that checklist page for Intouch. They had just thrown it together. It wasn’t really all that optimized. So they went to that page and really replaced it with an entirely new page that had better content and they just replaced the URL to the same URL.
With the blog post I redirected it. So you can keep the blog post if you feel it has a lot of value. For the example on Disruptive Advertising, their blog post is very effective. It’s answering the question that people are searching for. Should they recreate that? No, they should probably just put the calls to action on that blog post.
So really stop and weigh what the journey is that your customer is embarking when they come to that page. The way I do that and the way you identify what a keyword is, if it’s a lookie look or a buying intent, is you have to really exercise a skill set that very few people have. It’s called make believe. We’ve all done it from the age of six years old on. You sit there and you say, “Okay, if I was my client and I had just searched “Store Audit Checklist Downloads,” am I getting what I want from this page? What are my intents here? Would I become a good customer?” And draw out the customer journey.
If you have to go to Narnia to try and make a way to show that they’re going to be a good customer, you’re trying too hard. But if you can very easily say, “Yeah, they’re going to search this, they’re going to download it and then they’re going to see that wow, paper downloads and paper checklists are really annoying. I should use an app,” then that makes sense. That would be a good customer for us, so I like that. But if you have to say, “Well, they’re searching banner ad sizes and they might be doing this down the road,” if it has nothing to do with you, don’t focus on that page or redirected it to a better page or create something that could in some way create a value for your company.
Host: All right. We have another question from David. He’s asking if there is any free tool to do the rank checking with instead of the Ahrefs tool.
Mike: Well, Ahrefs will allow you to run some free reports on there. It doesn’t give you the full number. You would just want to search for some keyword tracking tools. Most of them will give you a couple of free reports or give you several free results. So they might show you the top 50 that you’re ranking for. SEM Rush does it. Ahrefs will do a trial. MAS will do a trial. You can use some of those tools to identify these keywords.
Host: All right. We’ve another question from Sean. He’s asking if there’s anything specific to apply for B to B.
Mike: Absolutely. The B to B space is where you’re going when you’re going to go into this behavior and landing page section. You’re really going to, oh, that’s why we had it, because I was still on organic traffic. So that’s why we weren’t seeing any Ad Words. I apologize. But the B to B side you’re going to identify the value props that people are searching for. Because you’re going to find these pages that you are ranking for and it is going to…
Let’s grab a B to B client here, real quick. This client is about as boring as you can get. They are an awesome client. Have been with us for two to three years. They do asset tracking. So they work with defense companies, manufacturers, stuff like that and they do it through our FID tracking.
So if I go to that same search for them, so site content, making sure we’re going to be on organic traffic, remove that, put in organic. Here’s your B to B aha moments. Is there blocks moving WAWF IRAPT means DOD commerce world. Okay, so right there, I have no idea what that means but I know that this client IRAPT, I-R-A-P-T, is a major audit that their customers go through and because of that it is a massive pay point.
IUID compliance is another audit they go through. Automatic Identification for trial tech lasers, trout lasers. So these are some of the things they’re identifying. They found out that IRAPT and IUID is one of the strongest pain points. That’s where a lot of the organic traffic. And if you look it actually converts really well, 9%, 5% of organic traffic will convert for them. And if you actually go to their all goals they convert even much higher for them.
So with that they found out we should be really focusing on IRAPT and IUID. So we created IUID compliance handbooks, IRAPT compliance handbooks. Those things get downloaded like mad for these guys because it’s such a scary thing for their customers. They were then able to identify that. Now they said, “Mike, we never would have thought of that because we looked at it and said well, we’re RFID tracking and we help with so many different compliance and audits. And if they’re talking about their manufacturers they go through audits that the defense contractors don’t. The defense contractors go through a lot of them that the other ones don’t.”
So this is where they started identifying through which blog posts and product pages are really telling them what their pain points and value props are that people value. They could go into these pages and see which keywords they rank and that is again going to bring up value propositions and pain points. Your pain points are the search terms that people are searching. If you’re in B to B they’re going to be searching stuff similar to how do I get more B to B leads for a SaaS company? How do I protect myself from IUID compliance audits? That type of stuff.
Host: All right. We have Peter here. He’s happy with this. He is saying it’s some awesome info. He’s asking if you develop additional pages for the keywords that show up on Ahrefs or just optimize the page for conversions.
Mike: Great question, and absolutely. So Google is giving you context for those keywords because they are seeing that you are offering value, user value. That’s what SEO is all about nowadays. I wrote a recent article on Entrepreneur.com that said SEO should now be coined search experience optimization, because Google ranks you based on bounce rates, pages per session, the amount of time on sites. They rank you for mobile optimization, site speed, all these things that don’t mean anything for keywords but are actually all about the user’s experience.
So if you can increase your contextual value to Google for that keyword, then start writing more articles on SaaS marketing. Start writing more articles on IRAPT and IUID. Create additional business pages that talked about, that go really deep. Interlink them link them between your best link-to pages. Link them from the homepage. Put as much information as you can on there because you want to build out that value.
Something that we’ve done at Foxtail to do this is we have the Foxtail University. This is where we show our current clients exactly how the sausage is made. We go through everything; search engine, onsite national, onsite content, link building, anything you can think of, it’s in here. Twitter ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads and we tell you how to do it. Because the real value in a service is showing how hard it is to do. And we offer a service with a product it’s showing them the value of that product. So build a ton of pages that target those specific keywords and build more and more and more.
Some of the best pages that have the most traffic are massive, massive websites. So if your website only has five or six pages and you’re having trouble ranking and getting traffic it’s because you only have five or seven pages. A lot of B to B companies have that because they can’t talk too much about themselves. E-commerce pages usually have thousands of pages and so they rank for all these really obscure long tail keywords. There’s no reason B to B companies cannot do the same thing. It does take time but if you work on it as a concerted effort and say every day I’m going to build out a new page, I’m going to write content, and if you’re in WordPress it’s as easy as just cloning a page and then changing out the content and the navigation and all that and putting in there. It can be done rather easily.
Host: All right. We have a question from Jennifer. She says this has been a great session and she may have missed it earlier, but what are your recommendations for how to find the optimum keywords to clone your page for higher ranking/more visits. Is it using a tool or site like Atrust, Stockholm?
Mike: Yeah. As we were showing there, I’m just going to run it again, you pull up the pages that you’ve identified through looking at organic landing pages on your site, you grab the URL right up here and then you just go into a keyword tracking tool right here and you in put it export and it will tell you how many keywords it’s ranking for. And then once you click on it, it will tell you the ones that are bringing you the most traffic.
So Prefab Cabins is bringing them the most traffic, small prefab. This is telling them the keywords they should be optimizing for. This is telling them the keywords they should build more content for. This is telling them that they should build more links and better commercial optimize that page for them as well. So that’s how you do it. You do it with a keyword tool. Google will show you the page but you do have to go one step further and bring in another tool to actually identify the keywords.
Again, sometimes you can make some pretty good guesses on what it’s ranking for. As I showed with the Disruptive Advertising page, the blog post is titled “The Ten Most Commonly Used Banner Ad Sizes” so clearly that’s ranking for banner ad sizes, what are the banner ads. You can make a pretty educated guess on that.
Host: All right. Cheryl is asking why did you choose SaaS as a keyword phrase?
Mike: Oh, why did I choose SaaS as a keyword phrase? Is that what the question was?
Mike: Okay, so when we started our agency the first 20 to 30 clients we had were SaaS companies. It’s where we became very strong. We found a traction channel and we grew that. So once we were growing that we wrote a lot about it. Obviously we could’ve said software marketing but I think software is being supplanted by SaaS because everybody just assumes that software is now a cloud delivered tool as opposed to software. And software marketing is much more competitive too. So again, in looking for a higher conversion keyword and with higher buying intent if I can talk SaaS then the people that find us, they sit there and say oh, they’re not calling it software so they must get SaaS and we totally get SaaS. It’s been our clients and we’ve driven traffic for them.
We just have a stronger message in the same way that we’ve also become very strong in healthcare, finance, e-commerce and dental. We’ve built out these channels over time by getting very, very good creating customer base there and then optimizing, optimizing, optimizing. There are a lot of industries we don’t work with. We don’t work with payday loans or MLMs or locksmiths or certain supplement companies. There is a lot of stuff we don’t do there because [inaudible 00:47:03] just really does not work that well for them. And there’s a lot of fraud and scammers and stuff like that in those industries so it makes it very difficult.
So you identify, and that’s why I tell a lot of people in marketing, don’t try to boil the ocean. Even with that group that I told about where we had 10 product managers in there and they’re all arguing their points, that’s a billion dollar company. We work with groups that are startups on up to billion dollar companies. We don’t have any premium features or anything that other groups don’t get because a lot of what we deploy works for everybody.
But we went to this company and even at a billion dollar level they were just trying to boil the ocean and say, “We do everything for everybody.” When if they were really focused in on what they were phenomenal at, that market that they’re great at is so massive that it would create so much organic traffic and sales opportunities. They’ve seen their traffic spike like crazy to where they’ve actually had to hire new ADRs that are specifically trained on those keywords because they had so much value and being a billion dollar company the needle moves really fast sometimes. But that’s where even as a billion dollar company they shouldn’t try and boil the ocean. They should look at it and say, “We do incredibly well here.”
We go back to A to B, that boring company. Even though they can work with any type of manufacturer they go and say, “We work with defense contractors, people that work with aerospace, people that work with shipping, because we have such a strong message there and a lot of their content is specifically created for that.” Because if someone searches IUID compliance you have a good chance of closing them but if they search IUID compliance for aerospace manufacturing you have an even higher chance of closing them because they know you talk directly to them and you have the solution tailor-made for them.
So that’s why we made that choice. That’s what I suggest a lot of people do at a very basic level with their marketing. It doesn’t mean you can’t still service a lot of industries. We service a lot of industries that we don’t have content for. But we target those specific industries that we’re very, very strong in because that’s our rock.
Host: Okay. We have another question from Christine. She’s asking a if you have any tips for clients that are mostly doctors in private practice.
Mike: Oh, absolutely. Doctors in private practice, we work with a lot of doctors. In fact the two largest healthcare groups in Utah, we work with. The fun thing about doctors nowadays is that things have changed. Previously it was very much ivory tower. They were up and they just looked down, I’m not trying to simplify it but my dad’s a doctor so I can talk about that, I guess. But anyways, they did have to market themselves. You were assigned to a doctor or whoever was in your network.
Now with the advent of Google people are looking to be educated before they go to doctors. Doctors have, while they may have lost some of that ivory tower feel, it’s actually helped in a lot of ways because they’re having more in depth conversations with their patients, if you will. So because of that what we suggest for doctors and what we’ve been doing a lot with doctors is create content that you know your customers are searching for and your patients are searching for.
With the two healthcare groups that we work with in Utah, we work with all their practices, we’re constantly creating allergy handbooks, travel handbooks. We just created one for what you need to know about the Zika virus if you’re going to be traveling. It’s not so much, “Hey, we need to get people to our practice and become a customer,” but really it’s, “We love referrals, we love returning patients, we love building that leadership with them and having them trust us.”
So by creating these materials, and I think content marketing works incredibly well for dental and medical practice, they create these materials and they gate them behind a page that just asked for an e-mail. And then they get it in their newsletter and then they can share with them any updates, doctor spotlights, staff spotlights, anything like that. It works very, very well from that point of view. You take that content that you create and you put it on the website and when people are searching for Zika virus, what should I do if I’m traveling to Mexico? What do I need to know?
If they’re searching about a sprained ankle or something like that, your site comes up on a local level, not a national level, but on a local level because we’re going to get that local context that Google will give us well and they may find their way to your practice because of that.
Host: All right. We have a few more questions here, we’ll try to get through them before the hour runs up. Mark is asking what assets or stocks will provide for video based digital marketing.
Mike: We do a quite a bit of video creation. It’s all 3D animated or animated videos such as whiteboard videos and those types of things. And then we leverage them very, very heavily on Facebook and YouTube. Facebook, YouTube and email are incredible distribution channels for B to B, B to C, anybody that wants to leverage video correctly. The live action videos.
Because we are centralized here in Utah, our whole team is located in Utah and we fulfill everything internally, it’s very hard for us to go on site and film so we don’t do any of that. That’s why we just stick with animated. But if you are looking at doing video content I cannot endorse Facebook and YouTube enough. Facebook is amazing from a social engagement and YouTube pays huge dividends from SEO point of view. People find YouTube videos in their search results all the time for obscure keywords on the B to B.
So again, going to A to B, they have again, a boring company B to B. They have videos on IRAPT and IUID and they show up in the search results when people are searching that, different strokes for different folks. Some people want to read a blog. Some people want to download a handbook. Some people want to watch a video and get a quick download of it. That video has been one of the best converting assets you’ve had because it’s built specifically around a pain point that they identified through this type of audit.
Host: All right. Now we have a good question from Peter. He is asking how you can find the keywords that you may be missing from your page. For example, frequently searched terms you’re not thinking of.
Mike: Frequently searched terms that you’re not thinking of, the way that you can find those is you go into your keywords right here and you grab all of these, the ones that you’re able to find through one of these tools and then go into a keyword suggestion tool. Ad Words has one. There are a bunch of keyword suggestion tools.
You upload all the keywords that you’re currently ranking for and then it’s going to give you a massive amount of keywords that you can consider. Most of them are going to be garbage. Most of them are going to be just slight variations. But as you go through them you’re going to say oh, that would actually be a great converting keyword. It shows high buying intent.
So if this one said, “Cheap, small prefab cottages, Canada,” that’s probably someone in Canada that wants something to buy because they’re looking with a price modifier on it and a geographical modifier, which means they probably want to shift to them right there. If that’s the case, why not create a page specifically about prefab cottages in Canada and why you’re the leader in Canada and then link that Prefab Cottage page that’s already ranking so well to that Canadian one and start ranking for that Canadian keyword?
That’s how you can identify additional long tail keywords that you may not be thinking of. You just use a keyword suggestion tool and go through it with a machete. And I mean a machete, not with a scalpel. You want to go through it and just say, “That’s garbage, that’s garbage, that’s garbage. This makes no sense. That one makes sense. That’s great.” And then you take the ones that are great and you reintroduce them into the keywords suggestion tool and build off of those great keywords as well.
Host: Okay. Another question here. They’re currently subscribed to SEM Rush and they’re asking if Ahrefs provides enough additional value to add it as a tool.
Mike: We’ve actually supplanted SEM Rush with Ahrefs. I do like SEM Rush, I’ve written for them. I’ve done some podcasts and webinars with them. I love them. There is something that’s going on with their index as of late. Their index is about one-third the size of Ahrefs so Ahrefs is much better in my opinion for long tail keywords and for doing this type of practice. It is also cheaper.
Again I don’t know what’s happened and I don’t want to bad-mouth anybody because I really, really do like them but it’s something from a technical perspective that has happened over there. So I would even say that this would be a better solution now. If you use SEM Rush for its paid research, they are doing paid search on Ahrefs now. Their index for paid is not as good but I just supplement that with a cheaper tool like SpyFu. So that’s my opinion on those tools.
Host: All right. We have a question from Dave. He’s asking if you have any suggestions for B to C industries such as real estate where the search terms are so general like “Seattle Homes” or “Seattle Condos” and there are so many players out there. They don’t see long search terms so how can they differentiate?
Mike: I love that you’re asking that question because one of my favorite clients of all times is a real estate client. So let’s go to Abode Park City. These clients came to us one time and they said, “Mike, we have done PPC, SEO, social media, it just doesn’t seem to be resonating.” We looked at their website and again, this is where you can sometimes look at and say SEO doesn’t really work sometimes.
These guys are luxury rentals but they also are real estate agents. They’re luxury though. They’re high-end homes. So when people were searching for them they were getting, Ad Words were so expensive because they’re going up against Travelocity, Expedia, Remax, all these groups. Now, are they competitors then? Technically yes, but really, no. The high-end buyer isn’t necessarily going to Google and searching these things. They wanted to create relationships. Real estate is very relationship-based because you get a lot of referrals to you. Because what differentiates you from the real estate agent down the street? Do you have better billboards? Do you have better postcards? You all charge 3%. It’s hard to differentiate yourself.
It’s the same way with Foxtail. It’s hard to differentiate us from any other SEO agency. All SEO agencies say they do all the same things so how do you differentiate? It’s relationships and referrals. And we’ve lived heavily off of those. So to keep in touch with them we went to them and said, “I don’t even know if we spend any money on your Ad Words. Let’s optimize for SEO but let’s go long tail after these luxury keywords instead.” So find a niche that you do incredibly well with.
We also have another group that we work with that we focus specifically on cabins. That’s their niche. Now, again he is a real estate agent. He can sell anything he wants but he finds that he does so well in that space so he actually bypasses all those super competitive keywords like ‘Seattle Real Estate’ or ‘Homes for Sale in Seattle’ and he goes after ‘Cabins Blue Ridge Mountains Georgia.’ He goes after keywords that are more long tail that he does really well with because, “Don’t try and boil the oceans.”
The other thing we did for them is we created a newsletter that really, really emphasizes who they are and what they do. The reason being is their audience is, we did a customer journey and a buyer persona for them, we found that really rich people, let’s say it, rich people, they like to look at other people’s stuff. Usually, if you’re rich, you’re buying really nice stuff, why? Because the Joneses have something as nice. I’m making a generalization there but again, my dad’s a doctor, he’s a rich guy so I can talk bad about rich people.
But what we did was we found out that their people love to look at stuff. So we made a newsletter that affectionately internally with them we call it property porn, but basically all it is, is we go and we grabbed some of the best images of their homes and we do a blog post that highlights these high-end images, talks about the features on there and not just talks high level but talks about some of the finishing touches on it, the types of marble, the flooring, those types of things. And then we take that and we send it out in a weekly newsletter saying here is your mountain retreat for the week or your showcase mountain retreat. And it gets so much traffic. It’s hardly any unsubscribed because people love it. It engages with them and it builds that relationship.
We then took that newsletter and we promote it out on Facebook and we say, “Hey, do you love beautiful homes? Sign up for our newsletter and you get to see these every week. See the top of the line homes in your market.” We do this with a couple of other groups, one in Malibu and they’ve become the high-end home resource in Malibu. People start signing up for pennies to their newsletter in their target audience in that space.
What’s also become a result of this is local newspapers and even national newspapers have called them and said, “Hey, can we feature your properties in our lifestyle section? We really like to talk about high-end properties and you guys do a really good job. Can we just syndicate this content?” so they syndicate this content leading to great links to their blog posts, which boosts their SEO value to where their traffic year-over-year from their one year to the other has been astronomical.
Not only has a traffic gone up but their conversion rate has going up because they’ve created these relationships with these buyers and their customers that continue to bring them back over and over and over again and give them referrals, give them opportunities to engage with people. It’s been huge. So they’re at ski season one and I’m just going to show you real quick. Let’s look at their Google Analytics. The year we worked with them over their previous year the numbers are crazy. They had five or six times the amount of traffic that they previously had. That was a huge boom for them because they were also able to cut back on their Ad Word spend, their SEO stress and they created relationships.
So for real estate agents I suggest picking a niche that you’re phenomenal at, creating relationships through newsletters, social media engagement, blog posts, create really engaging content. That’s how you differentiate yourself from the rest.
Host: All right. We have Natalia. She says that she loves your resist boiling the ocean analogy. She’s asking, they don’t have any specific industry, that they are a B to B event agency serves their targets and wonders if they’re doing it wrong.
Mike: I would say yes. If you don’t have a specific industry that you talk to and you say, “We can do anything for anyone,” anything for anyone is great. Your website can talk to anything for anyone but you should have a funnel within your website that is built towards the industries that you’ve identified. If you go back to your clienteles and say, which clients have been the best? Who has the highest order value with us? Who has the highest lifetime value? Who keeps coming back? You’re going to see similar patterns forming.
Now, that might not be industry specific. It might be company size. You’ll say, “Wow, all small businesses they continue to come back to us,” or “Our enterprise level companies continuously come back to us over and over again.” So you don’t have to necessarily say, “I’m just this industry,” but rather you can say just like these people, they don’t say, “We focus only on doctors or lawyers,” they’re saying, “We work with high net worth individuals.”
If you work with enterprise level organizations what’s going to happen is an enterprise group is going to look at you and say, “These guys can handle us because their messaging is set specifically to us.” And that’s the big question that a lot of enterprise groups have. At the same time, if your small business clients aren’t really that valuable and your margin is very small on them and they take up 90% of your work but only make up 10% of your profits, then that’s a way for you to distance yourself a little bit and they’ll say, “Wow, they look way above us. Maybe we should go with another group.” Great, that’s the kind of traffic and business you might not necessarily want.
It’s been hard for us. We have minimum engagements with clients and we can’t work with people at $500 a month because I honestly don’t believe marketing can be done at $500 a month. If someone comes to us with a low budget like that we give them materials and guides and handbooks and say, “If that’s all you have, you really should be doing it on your own but here is as many tools as possible. We’ll be hosting a free seminar later this month to try and help you with more tactics. But here’s what we should do.”
I do that because I don’t want them to go throw that money after an agency that’s like, “Yeah, we’ll take that and we can make something happen.” Very few can. So instead of working with them because we really don’t feel we can give the value to them, we are instead going to help them as much possible. So if you don’t want to push away your smaller clientele, create leave behind. Say, “Hey, but here’s a guide on throwing the perfect event,” because we’re not going to make any money on it but we still want you to have the best information out there. We’re really going to target the groups that we can help the most and that’s where we’re going to message our marketing.
Host: All right. We have a good question from David here, he says that he markets to contractors and they don’t have sites and the education process is hard there. So he wants to know what a good group would be to market to in that industry or next higher level prospects to market to.
Mike: Yes. So we have targeted contractors before and I know what you’re talking about David. It’s a legacy industry. If you have a software or service or anything like that, it’s very difficult. Softwares to contractors, your biggest competitor is usually a white board. How do you change something that’s been done the same way for so long? A lot of people do this. They market into legacy industries that are very difficult to penetrate.
Here again, is where you try and avoid boiling the ocean with your tactics. You might try to boil the ocean with your targeting but your tactics can also do that too as well. We’re doing a little bit of social, a little email, a little this, a little that. We’ve actually found that for some of our contractor-targeting clients what works really well is first picking one that says, we do it best for them. Whether that’s multi-truck contractors, electricians, H vacs, plumbers, whatever it is. Take one and say, “We’re the best for this. We’re best for multi-trucks and not small groups because we have a better value proposition,” or, “We have a better proposition for the one man show because we’re an outsourced group that does something for them.”
Pick them. Get a really, really strong message that says when they read your message they’re going to say, “Wow, they get me. That is my problem. They’re not talking to the industry at large, they’re talking to me.” It makes it more poignant and it helps you sell to them. Then find what they engage with.
Our other contractor people they do really well with direct mailers, of all things, because contractors don’t get online that much and they don’t see as many ads as they would like to. It does well for certain trade magazines. So they have found that some of their best results come from mailers combined with webinars or combined with downloadable videos.
Mobile assets are very, very effective for contractors because they’re not usually sitting at a desktop but they’re usually on their phone. So if they send an email they want to give them a video that they can watch on their phone or they want to give them a podcast they can listen to when they’re on the road. They even proposition it that way by saying, “Hey, download this and listen to us on the way to your next job,” and by saying that they’re like, “Oh, they get me. I’m going to totally listen to them.” So that’s ways you can go after. And again, that’s going after your buyer persona and your customer journey, really identifying that.
Host: Okay. We have Christine asking what your opinion is on Raven Tools.
Mike: Again tools are, there are so many of them. What I would suggest is test a lot of them. Take the 30-day trials on them. Raven Tools is a decent solution. I don’t think they differentiate themselves in any way. But look at your tools. Find out what you really need. Find the best price for the best value.
There are things that Ahrefs doesn’t do that I know that Majestic does or that, what’s the name of that one, I can’t think of them right now but they’re incredibly expensive. I look at it and I go, the value prop just isn’t in there for me. It’s too much for what they’re giving us. So if I can supplement that with Google Analytics, which I actually prefer in a lot of cases from an SEO point of view, then look for the best value to the cost of value. You’re going to find it. Find what works for you. Don’t jump around a lot to different tools. If your tool starts being a non-performer like I mentioned SEM Rush has become for us and then you can make a decision on that. But just find the one that works best for your use case.
Host: All right. We’ve reached the last question here. It’s from Emily and she is asking if you can talk about exit pages and ways to optimize them.
Mike: Absolutely. So exit pages, it’s a great question. A lot of people even wonder if they should have exit pages or if they should, because what a lot of groups unfortunately do is, if you have a form fill out for your conversion is you’ll send your Ad Words traffic and your SEO traffic to this one page that says, “Fill out a form.”
You should always have a thank you page. The reason being is Google counts your bounce rate and the pages viewed in the time on site as a factor for both on Ad Words, your quality score, which means you pay more per bit and on SEO, your rankings. You don’t want people to come to a page, fill out a form and immediately leave so they get a light box and “Thank you for filling out a form,” rather it should take them to a page saying, “Thank you for filling out our form.” What we like to do on our exit pages is if it’s a “Thank You” page, give them a leave behind. Say, “While you’re waiting to hear back from us here’s a download that you can download.”
We have that on a lot of our exit pages. They may fill out a form with us but we want to make sure they really get the value prop. So download some content from us. Ensure that you have free marketing retargeting on there. If you’re an e-commerce page and you’re noticing a lot of drop off at a certain point in the funnel set up dynamic remarketing to tell them, “Come back your cart’s been abandoned,” or “Hey, these are the products that you were currently browsing. We hope you come back.”
Try and look for points where people are falling off. Again, put on your make believe hat, pretend to be your customer and saying, “Why am I not going past this? What am I doing wrong here?” and really be critical of your own process. Bring in other minds and other sets of eyes to look at it and have them look at it too because sometimes you’re in an echo chamber inside your head and you don’t really see what your customers are seeing but a new set of eyes can.
So optimize your exit pages with calls to action such as “Download This” “Sign Up for Our newsletter” “Connect with Us Socially” “We’ll Be in Touch With You Very Shortly.” Optimize exit pages that you see in your funnel as drop offs and they shouldn’t be exit pages to be better conversion optimized whether you can eliminate that page entirely to shorten the funnel or to move people on to the next desired step. That’s what I would recommend there.
Host: All right. Emily just has a little clarification. She was wanting to know a little bit more about pages where you’re losing people, so in analytics where there’s a high bounce rate or it’s not converting. She’d like to know if there’s anything you can do there.
Mike: Yeah. Emily that’s where you’re going to do the customer journey and where you’re actually going to draw a funnel on the whiteboard and say okay, really identify and look a step before the exit page. Why are people coming to the exit page? What was their search query before they made it to the exit page? If they were searching XYZ, diagram that up on the funnel and then say 90% of the people that search this fall off on this page. However 90% of people that search this move on to the next step. So instead of sending those 90% fall off to that page shouldn’t we create a more customized page for their experience, for their customer journey? Because if the customer journey is one size fits all, that’s where you’re going to be losing a segment.
So what you want to do on your exit page is actually go one step ahead of it and find out the pages that are sending traffic and then identify from those pages which ones are actually dropping. Because I guarantee it’s not an equal drop off rate between those pages. You’re probably giving a better experience to certain queries or certain ads or certain customers than you are with others. And what you’ll then do is create a secondary funnel for the ones that are dropping off and start AB testing that. That’s how we do it with the exit pages.
Host: Yeah. I think we’ve wrapped up all the questions here. So thanks for sharing that with us, Mike. That was a fantastic hour. That was great. You’re getting some really good feedback.
Mike: If anybody has any additional questions they were not able to ask or more specific issues you can go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I get back to every email eventually. I try to get back to them as quickly as possible but I’m happy to answer any additional questions offline over there.
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