How much should B2B companies invest in digital marketing?

What should your marketing budget look like if you’re a business-to-business company? Columnist Dale Hursh answers this age-old question based on recent trends and data.

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Post-Conversion Engagement for the Digital Marketer

As a full-service B2B digital marketing agency we have seen that just working to capture a lead is not enough to fully realize the potential value of that lead. As prospects move thru the marketing and sales process lead data can be automatically imported into a marketing automation tool or CRM platform. These tools, and the processes required to utilize them, are numerous, complex and powerful. Here is a basic overview of the process. Read more


Improve Lead Generation Results — Think Beyond the Conversion

Many marketer’s working to generate leads via digital channels get very focused on one single action; the website conversion. In my opinion, this viewpoint is too narrowly focused given the amount of activity that must occur both before and after the website conversion. This post explores how by giving pre- and post-conversion activities more attention you can see an increase in the number of leads, an improvement in the quality of leads, and drive additional bottom line revenue. Read more


Optimizing Conversions Isn’t Everything! Don’t Neglect What Happens Before & After

Are you maximizing your conversion potential? Columnist Dale Hursh discusses the activities and efforts that occur both before and after the conversion point, noting that focusing efforts here can increase conversions and ROI. Read the full text on:


Turning Web Visits Into Sales – 10 Essential Tips, Part 2

By Dale Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing

In business-to-business (B2B) web marketing, the #1 key to your success is converting web visitors into leads and sales.

Perhaps you’ve got plenty of web traffic. Great. But how’s your conversion rate? What percentage of your visitors is turning into leads – and customers? Unless it’s 100%, you can and must improve.

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts

Web marketing strategies that work with consumers often don’t work with B2B. That’s because B2B typically involves high-value, complex sales cycles. So your job is to convert visitors into leads – so your sales team can follow up and close deals.

In my most recent post, you discovered 5 strategies for turning web visitors into sales – sound, proven techniques to boost your leads and profit. In part 2 below, you’ll find 5 more.

6.            Create a Sense of Urgency

Website visitors have short attention spans. So you need to present compelling information and clear offers that create a sense of urgency. Use offers with limited time or availability to motivate visitors to take action now. In a case study, a time-sensitive call-to-action increased response rate by 46% compared with a call-to-action that wasn’t time sensitive.

7.            Continuously Test Calls-to-Action

Constantly try out different calls-to-action. In analytics, look at the navigation report for your top 10 pages and determine hot topics for calls-to-action.  And test different information formats – if a white paper isn’t working, try offering a short video or hosting a webinar on the topic. By seeking to engage your visitors in various ways, you’ll identify the calls-to-action that work best.

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts

 8.            Offer Choices to Boost Response Rate

Your visitors vary widely – and acknowledging that will help convert them into leads. Test various offers and assets, and empower visitors by giving them choices. In one test, providing two offers increased leads by 63% over a single call-to-action.

And your visitors’ needs will change over time. Prospects early in the buying process often prefer general market information. Those further along in their research appreciate comparison charts and independent reviews. Prospects who are ready to buy want information on options and pricing, and to make contact with a sales rep.

9.            Ensure Promises Are Accurate

Ensure promises are accurate and consistent. For example, a link sending visitors to a registration form should not read “download now”.  A more honest statement is “register for instant access. “Also make sure your website engagement process is straightforward and simple: make it easy for visitors to give and receive information.

10.          Regularly Review Analytics Data

Your analytics data – if set up properly – can be enlightening and profitable. It’s essential that you review your analytics data at least quarterly, preferably monthly, to ensure the code is intact and that you’re tracking the right information.  If your analytics data isn’t set up properly, your data will be inaccurate and you’ll be making decisions based on false information.

Conclusion: the key to your search marketing success is to test, test, test… and discover what landing pages and offers work best for your target audience. Focus on simplicity, compelling information, buyer benefits, and urgency to increase your qualified leads.

Take action on the tips above, and watch your leads – and profit – grow. Be sure to enjoy part 1 of this article, with 5 more valuable tips on How to Convert Your Web Visitors Into Leads

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts


How to Convert More Web Visitors Into Profitable Leads – 10 Essential Tips, Part 1

by Dale Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing

In B2B digital marketing, your success depends on converting web visitors into qualified leads. Perhaps you have plenty of web traffic. Great. But how’s your conversion rate? What percentage of your visitors is turning into leads – and customers?
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Web Marketing – 5 Need-to-Know Trends for 2012

The only thing that’s certain is change. And the only change that’s certain in web marketing is that every year will bring more and faster changes.

To compete in web marketing in 2012, it’s essential you have either a well-trained in-house team of experts – if you have the required resources – or hire a cost-effective, ROI-focused search marketing agency (the more cost effective option). That’s because search marketing is becoming more complex and diversified than ever before, as evidenced by these 5 key trends for 2012.

Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

Here are 5 important trends to watch in 2012:

  1. Increased Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic
  2. Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources
  3. The Rise of the Mobile Search Market
  4. Leveraging Google +1
  5. Google Sitelinks Opportunities

1.       Growing Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic

With the ongoing troubled economy, companies are watching the bottom line more than ever. One area coming under increasing scrutiny is web marketing. Traffic and rankings are a good story, but ultimately your job is conversion: turning visits into leads, customers and sales.  Your search engine marketing program must demonstrate measurable ROI.

Visibility and traffic are valid secondary metrics, but the ultimate success metric in search marketing is sales from search engine visitors.  Executives want ROI in terms of search-generated leads, customers and sales.

To ensure ROI-driven results, your search efforts and budget must include focus on post-click conversion and usability efforts.  Examples include

Robust landing page testing and improvement programs

Virtual website usability tests

A prioritized website improvement plan based on analytics data

2.       Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources

Is your company one of the many that puts too many eggs in too few baskets? Testing different traffic sources is essential, and can be one of the most profitable action items in web marketing. You’ve probably optimized your website, and are doing pay per click. But what about social media optimization, or testing paid advertising via alternate sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and more?

Ultimately the goal of any website is to find customers and grow sales, and one key to increasing sales is to test – and adjust – your traffic sources. Then increase focus and spending  on traffic that’s converting. For sources that aren’t, test changes such as different landing pages or calls-to-action. Sources that remain unprofitable should be scaled back or dropped.

 Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

3.       Rise of the Mobile Search Market

Increasingly business is no longer conducted solely during work hours at a desk.  According to a recent study by emarketer.com, 59% of business- to-business decision makers have used a smartphone to gather purchase information.

That means key decision makers are now researching on the go. They’re cutting deals while traveling, over lunch, or on the golf course.  So you need to

  • Update your SEO program to ensure you’re optimizing for smartphones and mobile devices
  • Test mobile PPC ads

This will help you stay in front of decision makers throughout the decision making cycle.

4.       Leveraging Google +1

Last year Google introduced +1 to enable people to recommend websites. It’s a democratization and socialization of the search process, with recommendations from real people like you.

Will Google +1 help search rankings or increase traffic? Only time will tell. But it’s likely to drive more traffic to your site since the more people recommend it, the more likely others will visit it. You can track Google +1 interactions via Google Analytics.

We recommend adding +1 to your web marketing immediately – you can always remove it later if the +1 button effort fails.

 5.       Google Sitelinks – Growing Opportunity

 The recent enhancement of Google Sitelinks provides a lot of opportunity for search marketers. Sitelinks now shows 12 interior pages in google results – up from 8. Also each interior page now includes a 1-line snippet which can help increase clicks.

Google is focusing on Sitelinks to help searchers directly access the most important pages on websites. This is a great opportunity for your business. Once set up, you get 13 opportunities (home page + 12 interior pages) rather than just 1. And while a site owner can’t decide which interior pages are displayed, with the right tools one can influence which pages are featured.

It’s a new year – and a great time to take a fresh perspective on the internet, the most powerful marketing tool in history. You’ll be better prepared and more successful when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan, custom-prepared for you and your market by our team of experts.