Ever heard of “Pistol” Pete Maravich, the legendary basketball star lauded by the basketball Hall of Fame as “perhaps the greatest offensive talent in in history”?
Though his basketball career ended in 1980, he is still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with an average of 44.2 points per game.
Pete dazzled crowds with fancy shots and head fakes. Left jaws hanging with impossible, behind-the-back and between-the-legs passes. Amazed fans with his sizzling dribbling acrobatics.
Now get this: In 10 years as a professional basketball player, he never won a championship. In fact, in five seasons with the New Orleans Jazz his team never had a winning record.
It takes more than flash to win, and to win consistently.
Contrast Pistol Pete to Coach Norman Dale’s team in the movie “Hoosiers.”
Coach Dale, given a small squad of scrubs, is obsessive about the fundamentals of the game.
He’s unimpressed with offensive flash and drills his team on defense instead. He knows their best chance is to play as a team. He institutes a rule that they must pass at least five times on every offensive possession before taking a shot.
His unorthodox, slow, and fundamental style clashes with the team members and townspeople, who want him to “just let the boys play.”
But after submitting to his discipline and nailing the fundamentals, the team turns around. And when they’re joined by star player Jimmy Chitwood, they start “firing on all pistons” and eventually win the championship as underdogs.
Yes, Jimmy gave them much-needed scoring power. But their core strength was in the fundamentals.
Business owners and marketers wanting consistent website lead generation can learn a lot from their example.
Focus on the Fundamentals
It’s fun and exciting to get caught up in “cutting-edge” marketing tools and tactics: Flash websites, mobile marketing, advanced social media strategies, “creative” ads and videos, etc.
Any of these can play a role in your marketing strategy, but they can never take the place of fundamentals.
Your core website lead generation fundamentals must be executed religiously before you spend money, time, and effort on anything else.
Too many businesses chase “flavor-of-the-week” marketing and advertising ideas, while neglecting their fundamentals.
While specific details may change depending on your business, industry, and model, here are the fundamentals of Hub Mentality, which should be at the core of all your website lead generation and marketing efforts:
1. Consistent Offense (Build and Cultivate Your Database)
Who’s more likely to buy: the person who’s never heard of you, or the person who gives you permission to market to them on an intimate and regular basis?
Your first priority is to take care of the people who have chosen to hear from you. It takes so much time, money, and energy to get people to pay attention to you in the first place that you can’t afford to neglect your database.
- Do you have a database-building strategy (free download, special deals, exclusive content, etc.)?
- Are you inviting every customer to join your mailing list with every purchase they make, and highlighting the benefits of doing so?
- Do you have webforms integrated into your website, with a clear and compelling offer?
- Are you only adding people who have requesting to be added and give you explicit permission to email them, or are you spamming?
- Do you email your database on a regular basis? Do you have the right frequency?
- Is your content relevant, valuable, educational, authentic, and compelling?
- Are you educating first, and selling second?
2. Strong Defense (Inbound Marketing)
While it can be effective and appropriate, outbound advertising is very expensive.
With a few simple tools and strategies, you can make your marketing budget more efficient and increase your website lead generation by making it easy for prospects to find you, rather than you hunting far and wide to find them.
- Is your website optimized to get found by search engines (page structure, headlines, site map, keyword-rich content, keyword-optimized urls, backlinks, etc.)?
- Do you have a blog, and are you adding relevant content consistently?
- Do you have an RSS feed?
- Are you publishing books, e-books, white papers, and online videos?
- Is your content valuable enough to spread organically and virally?
- Are you known in your industry as a thought leader and educator?
- Are you consistently building and cultivating authentic social media relationships?
3. Teamwork: Strategies, Systems, Coordination
- Do you have clear strategic and marketing plans, or are you just throwing stuff up against the wall to see what will stick?
- Are your tactics aligned with your strategic plan?
- Are your messages focused?
- Are you building a brand around core, simple concepts?
- Are your offline and online efforts connected and coordinated?
- Do your back-stage systems fulfill your front-stage promises?
Do you want to be a flash in the pan or a consistent champion? Are you a flashy hare that fizzles out, or a dependable tortoise that wins the race?
Hub Mentality is your Coach Dale. Can you hear him yelling from the sidelines? “Five passes! Five passes before you shoot! Stick with the fundamentals! Tough defense! Run the offense!”
Execute Hub Mentality consistently in your website lead generation efforts and it’s inevitable: You’ll be lifting trophies under flashing lights.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a handy tool for building a respectable ranking for your website. But 75% of that ranking depends upon your off-page SEO.
Your off-page SEO is based on the authority of your website; particularly what other websites communicate about yours. Another way to say it is: websites with higher authority will rank better than websites with lower authority.
Inbound links are the main influencer on website authority. When another site links to your website or even a page on your site, that constitutes an inbound link.
More inbound links, especially from websites with high authority, will create the kind of link love that lends authority to your site.
For instance, an inbound link from the New York Times website will give your site much greater online authority than a link from a low-traffic blog with a tiny readership.
The greatest tool for attracting solid inbound links is the creation of valuable, remarkable content that prompts other sites to link to it. You can also increase your site’s inbound links by sharing your content in social media and, of course, optimizing it so search engines can easily find it.
A recent search marketing benchmark report by Marketing Sherpa found that SEO has been most effective at increasing website traffic. Other objectives included increased brand or product awareness, increased lead generation, improved product reputation, increased online sales revenue, etc.
It’s reassuring to see increased website traffic as the primary objective. If your SEO isn’t increasing the number of visitors to your site, then your SEO needs more attention.
Once you understand the impact of optimizing your website to make it more search engine friendly, both on and off-page, you’ll see why SEO must be a top priority.
Once you realize the impact SEO can have on your revenue, you’ll understand why it’s worth attending to today and not procrastinating.
The Website Architects help you put it all together for the ultimate lead generation website. Contact them today for a free website persuasion analysis.
In 2009 Forbes’ Advertising Effectiveness Study revealed that 92% of senior marketing executives plan to maintain or increase their search engine optimization (SEO) budgets.
That’s not surprising, given that respondents ranked search engine optimization as the most effective tool for generating online conversions, followed by email marketing and pay-per-click.
As we’ve written before, it’s all about relevance, and relevance starts with keyword research.
The more relevant your website content is to a prospect’s search, the more likely they’ll be to engage with you.
Furthermore, a high search engine ranking also builds trust and credibility. If Google trusts your site, so will your prospects.
Email Marketing Critical — Especially for Lower Budgets
Another interesting finding from the study is that respondents with a marketing budget of less than $1 million found email marketing to be a more effective source of conversions than those with a budget of greater than $1 million.
This is one of the essential website elements we detail in our e-book, The 12 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website.
If you can’t convince website visitors to take action and engage with you immediately, at least you can get them to join your mailing list with a compelling offer.
They’ve then given you permission to market to them over time. You’ve captured their attention. You can cultivate a relationship with them over time.
With the right marketing and offer, you should convert a healthy percentage of your database over time.
What do you think? What have you found to be the most effective digital/online marketing tools? Please share by commenting below.
Download the complete Forbes Ad Effectiveness Study here.
Want to increase your website conversion rate? Request your free website analysis now.
In this post we taught that you have to get inside your customers’ heads to meet their needs and solve their problems, rather than talking about what’s important to you.
Keyword Research: Your Key to Relevance
Simple: You perform keyword research to figure out what they search for on search engines to find your product or service.
Keyword research helps you cater your blog articles and website messages to be as relevant as possible to your prospects.
There are a variety of online tools available to perform keyword research, such as Google’s free keyword research tool.
There are also more advanced tools, such as the keyword research tool provided by SEO Moz, that provided more insights into your keyword strategy.
Hub Spot also has an excellent keyword research tool built into their inbound marketing software.
Prepare to Be Surprised
When performing your keyword research, you may be surprised to discover that what your prospects search for isn’t what your website talks about.
For example, The Bavarian Restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina may have their website content optimized for terms such as these:
- bavarian restaurant north carolina
- bavarian restaurant nc
- german restaurant north carolina
- german restaurant asheville
Trouble is, extremely few people search for Bavarian or German restaurants specifically. In other words, those terms are relevant to their prospects.
With a bit of keyword research, they’ll discover that the following terms are much more relevant to their prospects:
- restaurants asheville nc (14,800 local monthly Google searches)
- asheville north carolina restaurants (12,100 local monthly Google searches)
- asheville restaurants (22,200 local monthly Google searches)
- restaurants asheville nc downtown (800 local monthly Google searches)
Knowing that, they can integrate those more relevant keywords into their website content and blog articles.
Not only will this increase their search engine rankings, but visitors will also be more likely to stay when they read content that was relevant to their search.
Integrate Key Search Terms from Your Keyword Research Into Your Website Content
You, too, should do the same on your website.
Perform keyword research to identify not what you think is important, but what your prospects actually search for when looking for your category, industry, business, product, service.
Identify the most relevant keywords, then integrate them strategically into your website pages and blog articles.
Your search engine rankings will rise, and your visitors will stay longer and be much more likely to engaged with you.
Want help getting inside your prospects’ heads? Get your free website analysis now.
There are two separate categories of SEO:
On-page SEO pertains to how friendly your site’s content is to internet search engines. It comprises roughly 25% of how search engines score and rank your site. This is a relatively easy thing to improve.
Off-page SEO is connected to your site’s overall web “authority”. This authority is determined by what other websites say about your site. Improving your authority takes a bit more effort. We’ll cover this in greater detail in a later post.
For now, let’s focus on the basics of getting your on-page SEO squared away.
Hubspot offers a free Website Grader than will analyze your site for SEO effectiveness. The higher your score, the more effective your optimization is. Don’t be upset if your SEO score comes back lower than expected. On-page SEO is relatively easy to improve and requires much less effort to get favorable results.
Other key elements of on-page optimization include:
- Page Title-the text at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page.
- Meta Description-the brief site description in Google search.
- Headings-paragraph titles or text in larger or bold print.
- Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)-the back-end code of your website.
- Images-especially images with keywords in the file name.
- Domain Info-search engines favor sites that are registered for longer time periods.
- MOZ Rank– a general measure of your site’s online authority.
- Google Crawl Date-fresh content invites Google to crawl your site regularly.
- URL Structure-this structure is about how different URLs connect with each other.
Like the old commercial that stated “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”, our goal isn’t to trick search engines. We’re simply creating an easier path for the search engines to find your site so they can direct more prospects to you.