How to Use Advertising to Create a Successful Online Sales Funnel

How do you make money on your website?

You think bigger than your website. You need a proper web presence to set up a proper online sales funnel.

Incredibly, in 2018, a lot of small businesses still take a Field of Dreams, “If You Build it They Will Come” approach. They invest the minimum amount of effort and get the minimum payout.

It’s not a matter of money. You can get your online sales funnel set up and running nicely for a relatively low amount of money. All it takes is a little bit of savvy and effort.

Here’s how a company with any size budget should manage their whole web presence.

Do This For Free, Do it Right Now

If you want to immediately set yourself apart from literally half of the businesses on the internet, make sure Google My Business has your most recent information.

This is simple, takes 5 minutes to do, and costs nothing. And yet, half of the businesses out there admit that their information is probably inaccurate or incomplete.

Your local search engine optimization (SEO) will make or break your online sales funnel. So this is something you need to do and do it as soon as you’re done reading this blog.

Make sure Google My Business has your most recent:

  • Business name
  • Physical address or addresses if you have multiple locations
  • Business hours and change them to reflect seasonal hours
  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • Offerings, products, and services
  • Pictures of your business, inside and out

Make sure someone on your team owns this. You should probably audit this once a month or at least once a quarter.

Create a Keyword Strategy

Creating a successful online sales funnel also means locking in on the right keywords for your business, and using them the right way. You don’t have to use them like it’s still 2008.

For years, marketers and business owners had to cripple their writing with bad keyword usage. You don’t have to do that anymore.

First of all, Google isn’t looking for exact match keywords anymore. This means you don’t have to try to wedge the grammatically atrocious “best pizza Chicago” into a sentence anymore.

Google knows to look for variations of the keywords with proper syntax. So you can go ahead and write “best pizza in Chicago.”

Second of all, you don’t have to worry about keyword density anymore. Again, this used to ruin a lot of blogs and web copy as writers would be desperate to hit metrics like 2.5% keyword density and stuff the words in where they could.

Now, Google is focusing on the quality of your keyword usage, not the quantity.

Longtail Keywords

Your online sales funnel will also rely heavily on people asking Siri, Google, and Alexa questions about your industry Your business needs to show up as the answer they find.

People are asking complete questions and they expect a complete answer. These queries are called longtail keywords and they’re now one of the most important parts of digital marketing.

Depending on your type of business, your longtail keywords could be anything from:

  • Where can I get an oil change?
  • I need a new bike seat
  • How much should I pay for a massage?
  • I want some chicken pad thai

You need to know the question and problems that your target is looking up online and position yourself as the solution. You need to optimize your site and your blog (more on that later) with those longtail questions in mind.

How do you figure out what these questions are? There are a number of ways:

  1. Look at the words people are using on social media talking about your industry
  2. Ask your customer service/sales team the exact words that both your happy and unhappy customers are using
  3. Pay special attention to the verbiage used in both your good and bad online reviews
  4. Now do the same for your competition
  5. Look at the questions and answers on sites like Reddit and Quora

Your customers are offering you a ton of free keyword research. You just have to know where to find it and be willing to listen.

Set Up Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns to Win

We should be very clear on what the role of pay-per-click (PPC) ads are in your online sales funnel. Things like Google Adwords is a great way to bring in new traffic and add leads to your sales funnel.

However, it is not a way to boost your organic ranking for keywords. SEO and PPC are not the same things, and success in one will not bleed over into the other.

SEO is organic traffic you earn by optimizing keywords. PPC is paid traffic that you get through bidding on keywords. Try to keep that distinction clear at all times.

It can be confusing because you may have the same list of keywords for both campaigns. Also, many people just assume that buying these ads through Google means it will help their Google ranking. But this is not the case.

Here’s how to get the most from these PPC campaigns.

Be Mindful of the Journey from Ad to Landing Page

If you skip this step, you’re going to have a very “leaky” online sales funnel. More specifically, you will be losing a lot of leads between the click and the landing page.

Why does this happen? The first big mistake people make in their PPC marketing is using an existing service/product page as the landing page. This is wrong for two reasons.

  1. This makes measurement impossible. How are you supposed to tell which traffic is coming from the PPC ad, and what’s just day-to-day?
  2. The messaging your ads needs to match what people see when they arrive at your landing page. If this is a generic page, that won’t be the case.

That second point is massively important. Whatever offer/pain point is seen in the ads needs to be front and center on your landing page’s copy and images.

If you’re offering free Bluetooth speakers to new sign-ups, those speakers need to be front and center on your PPC landing page. Otherwise, your customers may think they’re in the wrong place and leave. Or, they may think you’ve pulled a bait-and-switch.

In either case, your online sales funnel has a leak and you may lose that customer forever if they’ve had a frustrating experience.

One Goal: One Place to Click

Remember, your PPC landing page should only have one goal, and everything on that page needs to serve that single goal.

That goal could be:

  • Buy Something
  • Reserve My Seat
  • Book an Appointment
  • Download our free Guide
  • Start My Free trial

The success of this page needs to be measured by its ability to get people to do that one thing. There are no secondary goals.

This means you only give them one place to click. More than that and you’re offering them too many options. Your ratio for every PPC landing page needs to be One Goal to One Call-to-Action.

If your goal is to make sales, your “Buy” buttons should get 100% of the attention it deserves. But if you add a “Download Our Free Guide” button, your “Buy” is now getting 50% of that attention. If you add a third button, you’re down to 33%.

You Don’t Need the #1 Spot to Win

Another misconception is that your online sales funnel only fills if you have the 1# spot in the AdWords ranking. This is not true at all.

Maybe your competition is out-spending you. Or maybe they have been doing this much longer. Their perceived stranglehold on that top spot means nothing.

People would rather click on the #3 if that ad is more compelling. That means you can generate more leads from the #3 spot, if your ad copy does a better job at hitting their pain points, or you simply have a better offer than the #1 spot.

Write Blogs That People Want to Read

Your blog remains the best way to earn SEO respect, while you fill your online sales funnel.

Learn how to create blogs that people will actually want to read. Here are a few pointers.

Longtail Keywords Make Great Headlines

First of all, focus on the longtail keywords we discussed earlier. These queries need to be your blog titles, and you can fill a 12-month plan pretty quickly with these.

Earn their attention, don’t ask for it. Once you’ve grabbed their attention with a title that hits their pain points (from your longtail keywords), you need to keep it with a strong lead sentence.

Keep chasing that emotion or pain point. And don’t merely identify it, attack it.

  • Identifying: “Divorce can be stressful as you worry about child support.”
  • Attack: “Has your ex threatened to take away your kids forever?”

See how the second one has more emotional impact? It will garner far more attention from your reader.

Never Bury the Lead

The second thing you need to do is actually deliver on the promise your headline makes. if you’re answering a question, you need to legitimately answer it on your blog. And you need to do it right away.

A lot of businesses will stick the answer at the bottom of their blog, either because they’re trying to fool you into reading the whole thing, or they simply don’t know any better. This is called “burying the lead.”

Never do this. People won’t hunt or scroll down for the answer they’re looking for. If they don’t see it right away, they will assume this blog is useless to them and will immediately leave.

This causes another leak in your online sales funnel.

What Comes Next?

Maybe your blog has good traffic, but it’s not converting any leads or any engagement. That’s probably because you’re not giving the reader a “next step” and gently guiding them into your online sales funnel.

If a reader has read your blog from start to finish, they now like you. So get them to do something else. Have them comment, share, or read more blogs.

Any of these things will get them in your online sales funnel, so you can hit them with remarketing or drip campaigns.

Don’t waste good content. You need to give them the next step, or their next step will probably be to just leave without any engagement.

Know How to Leverage Social Media

If you thought you knew how you were going to use social media to fill your online sales funnel, it’s time to throw out that strategy. Facebook Zero means we all need to throw out our social playbooks and start over.

Not too long ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that over the next year, Facebook’s focus will be helping it’s users see more from their family and friends and less from business pages.

What does this mean for you? It means that it was already hard enough to get organic content in front of your Facebook fans. Now it will be even harder. Facebook is now a 100% pay-to-play tool.

If you’re on a limited budget, you might want to focus less on Facebook ads and more on sharing your content through Instagram and possibly LinkedIn.

Instagram offers great engagement opportunity for businesses. And the addition of Instagram stories is pretty much eating Snapchat alive right now. So if you were thinking about investing much in Snapchat, move that time and money to IG.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn has grown to over 530 million users. They’re no longer just a networking site. They are now one of the world’s top publishers, with great tools to share your blogs and videos.

Let us Help You Fill Your Online Sales Funnel

In 2007, Dustin Briley sold his contracting company and purchased an online business. He jumped right in and took over as CEO. With a focus on lead generation and network marketing, this business lead to the launch of Yoobly.

How can Yoobly help you? Click here to request a consultation.

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