By: Garin Kilpatrick
The success of your online marketing funnel has to do with continually creating and making improvements that lead to better results.
The mantra that the software company 37 signals uses to paraphrase their ongoing innovation is:
Release early, revise often.
Most importantly you need to take action and get started building out your marketing funnel, and then find ways to do it better.
If you make an effort to get in front of other people with your content then the feedback you get will encourage you to improve and make progress as you produce.
Although social media is an exceptionally powerful medium it should not detract from the fact that the best results can be achieved by building a following of what you publish.
I am a huge advocate of social media marketing, it has helped me share my content with millions and connect with thousands of awesome people.
But two points that I don’t want to overlook with all of my social media tips are these – most of my success has been gained by:
- Publishing high quality content on my self-hosted WordPress blogs.
- Building an email marketing list and continually delivering value to my subscribers.
Doing these two activities well have enabled me to achieve enough online success to earn more than the vast majority of online entrepreneurs and build an audience of over 85,000 people.
So here are ten ways that you can optimize your web presence and achieve more success online.
1. Focus on Creation
By taking focused action you can get predictable results.
Be more active and less contemplative.
“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” —Khalil Gibran
— Garin Kilpatrick (@Garin) October 11, 2012
Many false steps have been made by standing still. Movement makes more happen than meditation, so start making moves if you want to improve!
Focus more on creating value and many ways to monetize that value will come into view.
2. Start with a Solid Platform
All of my sites are built on self-hosted WordPress blogs.
WordPress makes it simple to optimize your content for plenty of free Google traffic, and are highly customizable so you can take full advantage of the business building benefits that traffic can bring.
There are presently over 21,000 WordPress plugins, many of them are very powerful, and most of them are free.
Getting a great design with WordPress is simple, just activate an awesome WordPress theme and you’re good to go!
3. Over Deliver with Your Content
From analysing my Google analytics I have discovered that the lions share of my traffic comes from articles I’ve written that go above and beyond.
By making a similar effort to deliver truly awesome quality content then this will help you get the social media shares and back links that are necessary for your content to gain visibility in the search engines.
4. Install Social Media and SEO Plugins
Social media can be a massive source of free traffic to your site, so make sure any shareable content you post is equipped with social sharing plugins!
The social sharing plugins in this blog include:
- Slick Social Sharing Buttons – For the ajax floating buttons to the left of this post)
- Shareaholic – Sexy Bookmarks – For the animated sharing icons at the bottom of every post
- WP FB Like – For the Facebook Like buttons at the top and bottom of every post
- WP Tweet Button – For the Tweet button in the top right
5. Analyze and Optimize
Closely examine the traffic sources within your Google analytics to get an idea of where the greatest sources of your traffic are coming from.
Also analyse and track your search engine ranking positions!
To get results you need your content to rank within the top 10 in Google for the keywords you are targeting.
Create a spreadsheet and track the progress of your keywords into the Google top 10.
When you can get your content to the #1 spot you will get considerably more traffic than anyone else in the top 10 for those keywords!
Check out my article about 101 tips for more traffic and subscribers.
Convert Traffic to Leads
6. Create Lead Magnets (AKA “Money Magnets”)
A lead magnet is an awesome piece of content that you give to new subscribers in return for their email address and name.
eBooks and eCourses are two common Lead Magnets used for list building.
My most popular lead magnet is my Social Media Strategy Guide.
I bought The Social Media Strategy Guide it’s own domain so I can easily share the link to it.
The traffic I send to this page converts at over 50% into leads: http://www.thesocialmediastrategyguide.com/
7. Insert Great Looking Web Forms
Having great looking sign up forms is one way to help convince visitors that it is a good idea to sign up.
Aweber has a powerful and easy to use form building tool that I use to build all of my web forms.
8. Use 3d Graphics in Your Form
I make sure that all of my signup forms have compelling images representing the lead magnets and expressing the benefits of getting a user to sign up.
Not only does this tool make it easy to build great looking forms, it also comes with a A/B split testing function. With the split testing feature engaged you can show one form 50% of the time and a different form the other 50% of the time so you can determine which form gets the best conversion rate!
Sometime small form changes can lead to dramatic improvements!
9. Send Traffic to a Squeeze Page
Sending traffic to a squeeze page is the most effective method of getting traffic to submit their contact information.
On a squeeze page the main call to action is for the visitor to enter their contact info in exchange for something of value.
I like to include social media sharing buttons on my squeeze page in order to gain free traffic to my lead magnet.
10. Insert a Lightbox Form
There is no shortage of heated debate about light boxes. Some people hate them
What really matters for you as a Publisher is this: Lightbox Forms Work.
If you want more subscribers having a Lightbox form will help you get them.
My Lightboxes convert between 3-5% of all visitors to my site into subscribers (leads).
Lightboxes will cause a higher bounce rate and a shorter average time spent on your site, but in my opinion the loss of some visitors is worth the gain of many new subscribers since your subscribers often visit your site several times and convert into customers!
Convert Leads to Sales
11. Follow up with Leads via Email
Email marketing can be an awesome channel for you to use to expand your business.
According to exact target 91% percent of consumers use email at least daily.
Here’s a quick excerpt from their post:
email is not only alive—it’s the number one direct channel in terms of daily use and consumer preference for both personal and marketing communications.
If you are not using email marketing to build your business yet I highly recommend you start.
With regular email communication you can gain the trust needed to get results when you recommend products and services.
12. Optimize Your Sales Copy
Creating professional sales copy can make a big difference in your business.
Sales letters work for you around the clock, 365 days a year, and are essential in helping provide the cash flow that helps drive a business forward.
I use the WordPress theme OptimizePress to make sure my sales copy looks as awesome as possible.
For example, check out the sales copy I wrote with OptimizePress for the Social Media Power Mastermind.
OptimizePress also makes it easy to build blogs, membership sites, and to use ninja copy tactics like content or order buttons that appear after a time delay.
Although OptimizePress costs $99 this price is well worth it since this WordPress theme can help you make many more sales than if you were without it!
13. Offer Awesome Premium “Members Only” Content
A few months ago I launched a social media power membership site where I now share all of my best social media tips & tricks.
Offering membership to a site like this is an awesome way to stay encouraged to provide awesome ongoing value for your most important community, your customers.
To setup my membership site I use the Wishlist Member WordPress plugin to enable users to register unique usernames and passwords, and I use OptimizePress to organize my content into modules and structure my site.
14. Use the Recurring Revenue Model
The recurring revenue model helps solve the problem that many online entrepreneurs are faced with: questionable cash flow.
Having recurring revenue coming into your business helps give you a better idea of the cash you can expect to receive moving forward so you can make better informed investments in your business to fuel your growth.
A great tool for illustrating the power of the recurring revenue model is this recurring revenue calculator my friend Scott published on his site.
By adjusting the dials on this calculator you can determine how many sales you’ll need to make in order to hit your income goals!
15. Offer High Value Products & Services
When you offer high value products and services you can focus on providing excellent services for an exclusive group of customers.
When the value you offer is astounding it is natural to have higher prices than the norm and this means that you will need far fewer customers in order to meet your income goals.
Think about what you can offer that can give your customers the greatest possible value since this is probably the same thing for which you can charge the highest price.
Until you have a large audience it is probably easiest to offer a high priced service, rather than a high priced product, since this way you do not have to invest a ton of time up front to produce an exceptional product.
Many people are willing to pay extra for the best so when you have a top quality offer with immense value it is only a matter of time and continual marketing funnel optimization before the right customers start taking you up on your offer.
Check out my blog post about money making WordPress plugins.
Are you still without a WordPress CMS?
From my experience WordPress CMS blogs are the most powerful platforms for building a business online and excelling all aspects of a digital marketing funnel.
Fully optimized and professionally designed WordPress sites typically sell for $1,500 – $2,000, depending on the firm you work with.
My business partner Luke and myself are offering fully customized and optimized WordPress CMS websites starting at just $99, with hosting included!
If you are interested make sure to contact me for more information. Cheers.
How do you optimize your marketing funnel? Let us know in the comments below!