by Todd Bairstow, Keyword Connects
For years I’ve listened to experts talk to home improvement companies about the strategies needed to do successful online lead generation. However, they are carefully vague about how their approaches will result in leads, appointments and sales.
We know better. Not all leads are created equal. Different lead sources have different values, based on how well they convert, eventually into sales.
Here’s a quick look at five pairs of common online metrics. In each case, I explain why one matters and why the other is likely to be misleading at best, and a colossal waste of your time and money at worst.
- Visitors vs. Visitors From Within Your Marketing Territory
You can’t sell home improvement products to people on the other side of the country. Or outside of your territory.
The key is to focus on, and track, visitors to your Web site from within your territory. Those are visitors who could be real prospects, and ultimately drive revenue for you.
- ’Leads’ vs. ‘Issued Leads’
What’s “a lead” anyway?
The truth is, it could be almost any name, address, phone number or combination thereof. And for many lead generation companies, that pathetically broad definition is exactly what they use when promising to “deliver leads.”
But that’s not what you need, and that’s not what you should be tracking.
Instead, you want to measure “issued leads,” defined as leads given to a salesperson to follow up after someone has spoken on the phone to an interested homeowner. Those are the leads that result in sales.
- Clicks vs. Conversions
Just as visitors from outside your marketing territory are worthless, clicks for their own sake don’t matter either.
Which clicks matter? Those that lead to conversions.
Track where your clicks come from and how long they stay. Serious visitors will spend a minute or more on your Web site. They will also visit at least 2-3 pages while there, as they learn more about you and what you sell.
- Phone calls vs. Qualified phone calls
Pay-Per-Call services are growing in popularity. They generate home improvement leads in the form of phone calls to you. You pay based on the number of phone calls you get.
Unfortunately, phone calls lie.
One way that these lead gen companies increase call volume is by deliberately misrepresenting you in online directories, submitting your contact information to auto-dialers, and calling after business hours.
- Social Followers vs. Reviews
Nobody has found a correlation between “Followers,” “Likes,” and “Fans” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and leads for a home improvement business.
Social reviews by customers, on the other hand, are extremely valuable. Reviews are a new type of “online currency.” The more you have (good or bad, actually), the more likely Google, Yahoo and others will rank your Web site near the top of your category.
Before spending your hard-earned dollars to “boost the numbers,” make sure you’re boosting the numbers that actually make a difference.
About the Author: Todd Bairstow is a partner at Keyword Connects, a NARI National Member and lead generation company serving over 500 top home improvement companies. In addition to being a prolific writer and speaker in the area of online marketing for home improvement, he writes a popular lead generation blog for the industry. If you are interested in more information on this subject, you can register for the free Keyword Connects webinar on Sept. 9 at 11:00 am ET.