This last weekend I attended WordCamp in Sacramento. If you haven’t been to a WordCamp I would suggest you go when there’s one in the area.
In the past I’ve been to most all of the events in San Francisco, which besides being local to me, they were also the WordCamp/World – as in people flew in from all over the globe to attend. (WordPress HQ is in San Francisco)
One of the sessions I looked forward to was Chris Lema’s “Evaluating 30 Membership Plugins”.
Chris is one of the more entertaining speakers you’ll likely see. He’s pretty smart too. Here’s his slides, but like most good speakers you’ll need the audio portion before they start making sense.
On one of his slides (slide 8) he was talking about his personal sales funnel. He discussed where he labels people on his site initially as a ‘passerby’. Some of those become ‘participants’ – in that they start commenting. Some of those then become ‘patrons’ and buy something, and so on. Each step has a little more trust built into than the previous one.
That all made sense but what I wanted to point out is that there’s another funnel that should be discussed. It comes just before ‘passerby’. You could label it as “source’ and I think understanding it is critical. It’s of the most important funnels you have.
HOW DID THEY GET TO YOUR PAGE?
For most client sites that I build I ask them this exact question. For most, the answer is either one of two options. Yours might be one of the same.
Option #1: Google sent them.
When you see this, think SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They want their site to organically rank in Google for particular keywords and phrases.
The Pros: The cost is nothing. Google will send them to whatever page or post of yours it thinks is the best match for their search. Which one is that? Nobody can say so you’ll want to make sure you have a call to action on each of you pages. SEO is relatively easy if you have a properly built site and write the quality content your viewer is looking for.
The Cons: Depending on the keywords and phrases, it might be tough. Competition is everything here. It’s very hard to rank for high demand keywords with a static site. You need a lot of help from quality outside sites linking back to you. You need a lot of quality content on your site as well. You’ll also need to keep up the flow of new content. SEO is a marathon, it isn’t a switch a developer can click.
Increasingly, this is a very valid and quite common plan of attack. With Facebook, gone are the days when you could post on your page and hope it was seen and shared by your fans. Today it’s “pay to play” in Facebook. You’ll have to boost your posts or better yet start running ‘dark posts’ as a campaign strategy. Want to use Facebook Pages for traffic? The only way that’s going to work is if you pay.
“Mike, is that really true?”
Here’s my post last week, on my page with just over 4,000 fans – and how many saw it ‘organically’? Just 47! Yes, pages are dead unless you Pay to Play.
As for Google, with a few bucks you can be the top of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) with a Google Adwords campaign as well.
The Pros: Advertising can deliver instant traffic. If it’s done right it can deliver the right kind of traffic (the right demographic, ready to take action). Traffic is fine, conversion is better. For an effective campaign you’ll need to match the advertising to a specific landing page. Before running your first ad, make sure you have that setup first.
The Cons: Budget. Just as the ad campaign can deliver traffic, when it stops, so too will that flow of new traffic. It takes money to make money.
THERE’S A FEW OTHER FUNNELS
Here’s a few other funnels that rarely get mentioned but are very valid.
Option #3: Social Media sent them.
If you have a great customer base of raving fans your site can benefit from social sharing.
The Pros: The exponential power of the reach of social sharing is incredible. Social allows you to reach friends of friends and beyond. Oh yeah, it’s also FREE!
The Cons: True social sharing (in volume) is rare. It’s the holy grail of marketing. Building a loyal fan base is incredibly hard work.
Option #4: My Newsletter sent them.
Technically this shouldn’t be it’s own option. Technically it’s an add on to one or all of the above. I’ll explain why.
When someone lands on your site, from any funnel, what are the chances they are ready to take action, (as in buy your product, list my home), right then? Pretty slim right. It’s because they are most likely in the research phase of the sales process. They are gathering information and starting to formulate an opinion on what they want or who they trust – that’s all.
So, what are the chances that they’ll come back when they are ready?
If you are relying on Google SEO – very rare. They might do the same exact search and see your post again, but still it’s a slim chance.
If you are relying on Advertising – they might see the same ad and click again. You could also have been running a tracking pixel and run a retargeting ad campaign to them. That’ll increase your odds dramatically.
If you are relying on Social – you better have incredible branding going on. You’ll also need that incredible army of fanatics consistently pumping your stuff out to their friends.
But, if you had a call to action… A small, innocent call to action. One that allowed them to continue to receive the information they where looking for with no obligation, they might sign up for that, right?
By subscribing to the newsletter they are requesting that you keep them informed on a regular basis. If you do it right and provide the content they are looking for with each newsletter you send out you’ll be building trust. Seth Godin wrote a whole book about this idea. On top of that, you’ll be staying top of mind, so that when they are ready, guess who just earned their business? That’s right! You did!
Obviously I love the newsletter funnel but it’s really a bonus to the others. No matter how you land on my site I want you to sign up for my Newsletter but I digress. The important part is knowing where the bulk of your traffic is coming from.
The 5 W’s and an H
I actually have a form for potential clients that I would love them to think about and then fill out. It asks simply the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” of their website. Want to see it?
Just go to HERE.
Where do you hope your traffic comes from?