Funnel Of Doom! part 1

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Have you ever noticed how when it comes to local search, some people, despite having seemingly successful marketing campaigns have received no revenue or leads from them. In this blog we look at local and ‘long tail’ SEO and how you can avoid some of the common pitfalls surrounding this.

I’ve been really looking forward to this blog, not only because it involves numbers, and I think that numbers are really sexy (sad. I know), but also because this is probably one of the biggest lightbulb moments that my customers have when we first go into assess their SEO. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Picture the scene, you own lets say, a cleaning business and you want to get more sales for your business.

You have done some basic keyword research or spoken to your local friendly neighborhood SEO guy who set you up with a really cheap campaign, let’s say say £200 a month.

Together you agreed that the way forward is to focus on ‘long tail keywords’ within the local area. Now, for those who may be less familiar with SEO a longtail keyword is basically more of a niche term, or example. If you want to rank for ‘cleaning company’ Nationwide, that’s going to take a whole lot of work, in a whole lot of time. However if you wanted something like ‘office cleaning company’ or ‘out of hours cleaning company’ or ‘cleaning company in Chester’ for example, these are all examples of a long tail keyword.

Your keyword research shows that ‘Chester cleaning company’ is getting 10 searches a month. Now, although that is lower than you’d like, you figure that that’s better than nothing and if two of those calls you. Then actually one of those will normally turn into a new customer, so, actually a new cluster month that sounds pretty sweet.

However, here’s the problem…

See, I’m a big believer that when it comes to marketing, if the numbers work, it’s good marketing and if the numbers don’t then it’s not good marketing. What media you use is pretty irrelevant.

So let’s look at the maths (like I said, I like numbers and numbers of sexy).

Even when we get the keyword ‘cleaning company Chester’ to the Top of page 1, statistically speaking only 30 ish % will click on my link. Some will click on paid some will choose a quick answer, and some will use Google my business. Quite frankly, some people just prefer what the other company has to say.
So already my 10 visits is down to 3 clicks… That’s three clicks to my website each month. (You kind of see where I’m going with this).

Next we have to look at website conversions, this is the amount of people who come onto your website then go on to contact you, phone you or fill in a form. Basically whatever the important thing is that you want them to do on your side.

The average conversion rate for most service industries is well below 3%, but just to keep the math simple I’m going to keep 5%.

They can now only expect one inquiry every five months. You can then see that the further down the funnel we see that the numbers cut down massively. The scary thing is that we’re still not done.

We now have to consider our internal conversion rate. This is for every, say, 10 people who contact you via your website or call you. How many of those become customers?

This is interesting because normally when I ask the question to some businesses, their answer is very very enthusiastic, and they say things like “Yeah, sure you know, put someone in front of us and we sell every time”. Or “our conversion rate is 85-90% hands down, no problem there at all“.
But when we actually measure. The honest figure is… a little less exciting.

It typically is around 20-30%, because some people you will forget to call, other people would have found somebody else already. Other people will just be wasting your time…So on, and so forth. As business owners quite often. We filter this statistic down during our day to day business before it ever ends up on a spreadsheet or crm system.

I challenge you to do this in your business. If you write down every single lead, every single phone conversation, or email that comes through as a lead, and see how many of those actually turned into business. Most people without measuring and without implementing changes will be typically no higher than 30%. OK. But let’s be kind. Let’s say that he has an internal conversion rate of 50%. So every 10 people that call him 5 of those become customers ….happy days!

That now means that he’s down to 2 sales a year. TWO Sales A Frickin Year !!!!!!!

OK, so 2 sales a year OK. That’s still not you know, mad!. That’s two sales that they didn’t have before. Well, that’s what those numbers by. ‘Cause remember the beginning, we said that actually this company was paying £2400 a year for SEO 12 x £200 a month.

Now, the cleaning company charges around £60 for a weekly clean, which equates to around £720, and then your hard cost on top of that. So, your hard costs are £10 pound per clean for cleaning materials fuel to get there etc.
They are spending 4 times more marketing than the profit that is regenerated. This is something that I come across time and time again as I’m working with businesses. I’m not going to bring it down. This is not about hitting people with a stick. Definitely not about saying SEO doesn’t work because it clearly does.
The biggest takeaway, I want you to have today Is… Think big and by that I mean think like a big business. There is a huge disconnect in the way that corporate businesses and large businesses conduct a marketing campaign, and the way smaller SEM businesses tend to run a marketing campaign.