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Best Practices Guide: Chapter 4

Online Lead Generation Programs


Focus on proven traffic techniques initially, before experimenting with newly discovered techniques.

There are thousands of marketing techniques to drive traffic. It only makes sense to evaluate proven techniques initially.


If you are not tracking the performance of each marketing campaign, you’re wasting your time and your money.

You will have multiple approaches or campaigns running in parallel.  The fact that they deliver a profitable return OVERALL is really not very useful.  Averages are deceiving.  You’ll never know which campaigns are under performing (i.e. high cost per lead).  By removing these laggards, your cost per lead and cost per customer will look a lot better.

Increase Website Revenue

Read these articles for deeper insight to managing marketing programs: Cost Effective Marketing  and Cost Effective Marketing Part 2

Tips to get started:

  • Use Google Analytics to measure where visitors are coming from.   How much traffic is coming from websites where you have a campaign running?
  • Create a customized landing page on your website for each targeted traffic campaign.  Measure how many visitors sign up to be a prospect or purchase to become a customer.


It’s a lot less expensive to convert leads into more customers than it is to purchase additional  leads.

Overall you want your website to convert visitors into customers.  However, that is too broad a measure to effectively impact.  Think in terms of campaigns.

There are several stages within each campaign that you can optimize to improve the overall performance of your campaign.

  • What percentage of your leads came from organic SEO, guest blogging, advertising, etc?
  • What was the percentage of visitors who bounced off your site or landing page?  Your keywords may be attracting the wrong prospect or your website content is not compelling.
  • What percentage of visitors to your website was new versus returning to the site?  More returning visitors give you another opportunity to convert them to a customer or to a repeat customer.
  • What was the percentage of visitors who willingly converted to prospects by giving you their contact information?  What percentage of these prospects did you ultimately convert to be a customer?
  • What was the percentage of visitors who actually followed through with a purchase?


Leverage your expertise and written content

Publish unique and compelling content about your industry, niche, company and products.

  • Blog posts and articles on your website can help drive traffic from Google and Bing organic search.
  • Social sharing buttons associated with your blog posts and articles can drive additional traffic to your website if you encourage readers to share it with their friends via social sharing buttons.
  • Guest post on high ranking, authoritative sites within your niche to create targeted traffic to your website.  Also consider advertising on these sites.
  • Add comments to high ranking, authoritative blog posts within your niche, provided that your profile or comment contains a link back to your website. Also consider advertising on these sites.
  • Publish answers on  Yahoo Answers and Ask.com.
  • Publish in leading article directories.  Although they lost a lot of their SEO ranking in 2011 with Google’s algorithm changes, they remain a fruitful resource for targeted traffic.  Try the top 3 ezines to determine how well this strategy will work for you: EzineArticles, ArticleBase, and GoArticles. Also consider advertising on these sites.


Leverage your video content

Hosting your videos on YouTube and promoting them with SEO will drive additional traffic to your website.


Leverage social review sites.

Select the social review sites that you plan to monitor and be active in: Yelp, Angie’s List, Amazon, etc.

Encourage customers to leave a review there.  If you are providing good service, most will be positive reviews that will drive more traffic to your website.  You will get an occasional negative review, but that will be an opportunity to demonstrate your customer service skills to all readers. Never be defensive.  Always be polite, understanding, and open to satisfying the customer’s concern.  Try to have a private exchange with them, versus a public exchange, if you plan to give any concessions.

Read this article for additional insight: Two Customer Case Studies.


For local business, one of the most cost effective traffic sources is online business listings.

Marketing Outfield Marketplace

Google+ Local (previously called Google Places), is free to list. To rank higher in Google+Local listings (as well as ranking  your website higher) follow these tips:

  • Use keywords in your listing that are consistent with those you are using for SEO.
  • Encourage customers to leave you reviews on Google+Local.
  • List your business in as many free business directories as possible. You can list your business on more than 200 directories.
  • Make sure that all the business contact information is identical on all business directories and your website.

Read this article for additional insight: Online Business Directories


Pay-Per-Click is a popular way to drive targeted traffic to your website.

There are a lot of ways to make money, and lose money, with Google Adwords and Bing Ads.  As more businesses use PPC, the cost increases.  Read this article for additional insight: Is PPC Worth it?

Start off very conservative to determine if PPC will work well for you.  You have two goals: Determine if the cost per lead is low enough to move forward, and in the process, determine the best performing keywords that you can start using in your SEO.

  • Take advantage of online promotions to get up to $100 worth of PPC advertising.
  • Identify keywords that are “buying” keywords for your business, e.g. “Saxony blue suede shoes”.  Only show ads for “exact match” keywords.  You can expand to “broad match” in future.
  • Identify “negative” keywords.  If you only sell women’s shoes, you don’t want to pay for ads for “men’s blue suede shoes”, for example.
  • Limit your advertising to a specific geography, even if your service area is much larger.  You can expand to more geographic areas in future.
  • Limit your campaign to just their search advertising network.  Don’t include their expanded partner network for this test phase.
  • Bid below the “recommended” amount per keyword, or, just bid “25 cents” for every keyword.  Your goal is to get on the first page for most of your keywords, so every couple of days you should increase your maximum bid until you do.
  • To help you create your text ad, do an online Google/Bing search with your selected keywords and review your competitor’s text ads.

Is PPC affordable for you?  If you spent $100, and sent  100 visitors to your website landing page, and only 1 visitor was converted  into a paying customer, did you get a great ROI?  It depends whether your profit per customer was above or below $100.  If it’s relatively close to breakeven, you might be able to optimize your campaign to increase ROI to an acceptable level.

If you are an established business, you should seriously consider outsourcing the set-up and management to a PPC expert.


Diversify your marketing campaigns to effectively manage business risk

Chapter 5 will cover Social Media and Branding. To give you time to act on the above information, the link for Chapter 5 will be emailed to subscribers in a few days.