The Power of Sales Funnels for Local Businesses
Most local small businesses rely on word-of-mouth and local review (directory) listings to attract new customers. Some businesses may take the local advertising route with coupons, local magazines, and even radio spots. However, maximizing sales funnels is usually uncharted territory for most new small businesses.
Google My Business (GMB) Listing
We know that claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing correctly will help to move you up into the constantly evolving 3-pack. And if you are a business that offers an emergency service such as HVAC repair or plumbing services, customers who find your phone number in the GMB 3-pack (top 3 local results without that glaring Ad designation) may not even visit your website. This is why reviews are so important. Customers may call you directly from your listing, simply based on your reviews.
But, what about other types of local business? While an urgent haircut may be in order, customers looking for services like this may be shopping around. Potential customers are checking out your GMB listing and reviews if you are ranking in the 3-pack, then clicking onto your website. At this point, your website becomes your sales person. So, my next question is: How well trained is your sales person?
Typical Local Business Website Layout
So, let’s first take a look at the layout of a typical local business website. Not every local site will look like this, but many will have a similar form or structure.
This is a basic layout used by many local businesses. It has the company logo and phone number at the top, a standard navigation bar with a dropdown for services and blog posts, About Us and a Contact page.
The main body of the site, above the fold, usually talks about the products or services that the local business provides and why a potential customer should choose their company over a competitor.
A map of the business location, and possibly driving directions, is usually found at the bottom of the page.
On the right side of the website, you will sometimes find a sidebar. A sidebar is basically a designated area where you could place widgets displaying different items that you would like your web visitors to view. An example would be a coupon for a product or service that the business is offering, or possibly some sort of discount or deal. There may also be a list of the most recent blog posts and/or the local company address.
Back To Your Sales Person (Your Website)
After looking at a basic local website layout, what are the pros and cons of this structure?
- Phone number is highly visible and allows customers to call immediately
- Logo shows an attempt at branding and authority
- Contact page provides company transparency
- The Main body “About your business” gives company a chance to sell themselves
- No CTA (Call to Action) Potential clients must be told what to do
- No clear direction. Web visitors could easily wonder to a blog post and exit
- Too many distractions. Web visitors could lose interest and go to the competition
- No opt-in form or offer enticing potential customers to enter email before leaving site
OK, Let’s Not Jump Ahead, Let’s Remember the Purpose of the Website
Your website allows you to establish your brand and it also allows you to fill it with pages of relevant local niche content that will help the website as well as your GMB listing to rank organically. It is an important part of your online presence.
However, let’s talk about the cons for a moment. “No CTA (Call to Action)”. Without a clear CTA or clear direction, web visitors can easily wonder to a blog post and exit. With a lot of options or distractions, web visitors might simply leave and go to a competitor. Even if they see something that looks like a possible purchase option, most will not buy on the first visit. So, if you don’t have something in place to grab their email address to contact them later, they are more than likely lost for good.
How Can A Local Sales Funnel Help?
While a website may not have a clear direction and might contain distractions, a sales funnel is a targeted path taking the visitor on a one way journey with a CTA to make a sale or at least capture the visitors email.
To accomplish this, the sales funnel eliminates distractions, highlights the companies irresistible offer and prompts the customer to make a purchase. Your funnel can be used as your local landing page that takes the visitor on a one way journey with a call to action to present your irresistible offer to get a lead and or a sale.
So How Do You Make A Sales Funnel?
Building a successful sales funnel takes time, thought, and planning. I have an informative article about sales funnel creation giving an example funnel we used for a dental client. You can check out the article here. Before you begin to create your sales funnel, you should have three concepts defined.
- Identify your target audience – create your customer avatar or persona
- Locate where your target audience can be found online
- Create an irresistible offer to attract your customer to your funnel
What Else Do You Need For Your Funnel
Once you have your successful strategy in place, you will need to effectively communicate your message to your customers. Copywriting is an essential skill for online marketing for this very reason.
Choosing The Right Sales Funnel Builder
Most local business websites are built on WordPress. This is because they are fairly easy to setup, user friendly and there are many themes and plugins that allow you to accomplish just about anything. I use WordPress for many of my websites, but, when it comes to building funnels, I personally do not recommend using WordPress. There are much better options for software to build sales funnels.
Should I Use A Website Or A Sales Funnel?
The answer is that both are beneficial! Your website will benefit your branding, overall visibility and organic traffic. Your sales funnel will maximize your conversions and sales by presenting your irresistible offer to your targeted audience. Also make sure to collect their email address so that you can contact them later for future offers. I highly recommend Active Campaign for all of your email marketing and automation.
Also don’t forget to pick up a copy of our Free 2021 Local SEO Guide.