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From the Trenches- When Less is Better


Do you want less visitors to your website? Do you want fewer leads? Do you want less “Likes” on your Facebook fan page? Probably not, but here’s why you might.

1. You have high volume and high bounce rate on your website.
2. You’re attracting the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
3. You’re getting time-wasting leads that don’t and won’t convert to sales.
4. You’re not prepared to deal with a high volume of leads.
5. Facebook fans like a game on your site but don’t like you.

How many times have you been approached by SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing) companies telling you they can put you on the front page of Google and bring in “tons of traffic” to your website? Oftentimes, these companies are only interested in the “tons of traffic” and indifferent to how many cars you sell. They will show you metrics that are terrific, and say it’s your fault if you are not converting them to leads and sales.

Could be true… but unlikely. It is more likely that they are bringing in low quality traffic.

When you optimize for low-quality phrases (”low-quality” obviously means different things, depending on a company’s goals) you receive low-quality organic search traffic in return. When low-quality traffic submits a form lead from a website, it stands to reason that the lead itself will also likely be low-quality.” (Too Much Traffic? Too Many Leads? Try Search Engine Optimization By Scott Buresh, SiteProNews)

Now consider the true cost of those low-quality leads. First, you’re paying the SEO/SEM company for the traffic. Next you’re paying in-house employees to process, answer, and follow-up poor quality leads. This not only costs you money. It costs you morale. It lowers your employees’ closing ratio, wastes their time, and lessens their “success rate” in their minds. This volume of bad leads is not a neutral cost. You are not just playing a “numbers game”.

Hmmm, wouldn’t you love to be so successful, that you can’t handle it all? Sounds good but it can be a fantastic waste of effort. You MUST be prepared for the business you receive. If not, you spin your wheels, demoralize your “soldiers” and ignore follow-up or customers.

In 2001, my Assistant Manager and I were the Internet Department in our store. We worked in the traditional manner, answering leads, following up, getting appointments, selling the car and delivering it.

Shortly after 911, GM came out with 0% financing and we received 850 leads in one month split between the two of us. We spent all day, everyday answering leads. Follow-up became non-existent. Sales plummeted for the Internet Department.

If you play the “numbers game” and want lots and lots of leads, then you must plan for them and have adequate staff.

Finally, we all want to see thousands of LIKES on our Facebook page. Don’t we? Of course we do! But what is the value of a “Like”? The truth is that not all “Likes” are equal. I understand this is contentious at this time, but I truly believe “quality Likes” will win the day in the end when it comes to “Best Practices”.

I recently did some researches on some of my competitor’s Facebook pages. One had over 60,000 “Likes”. WOW! I needed to analyze this! Very quickly I discovered that this dealer offered a VERY successful game on his site. He had thousands of rabid fans… of his game. Did they care about his dealership? Hard to say, isn’t it?

At a recent seminar on SEM, one member of the audience was an “expert”. After repeatedly interrupting the speaker to “explain” to the other members of the audience his “expert opinion”, he talked about his Facebook page. He was particularly proud that he had held a couple sweepstakes and got 20,000 new “Likes” in a short time. What was their value, according to him? He said, “I got 20,000 emails I can market to.” When the speaker showed a Facebook page with just a few thousand “real fans”, the “audience expert” mocked it.

People do NOT “Like” your page in order to become “spam-buddies” with you. Don’t’ believe me? Try this. Put a link on your Facebook page asking who wants to receive your email marketing. See how many people sign up. I’m sure you will get a few, and that is not a bad thing. But when you start sending email marketing to those who simply “Liked” your page, you are spamming. Don’t be surprised to see them opt-out and “Unlike” your page.

I submit that 3-4 thousand fans who are mostly people who know you, live in your area, and love your dealership, are more important than 100,000 strangers who like your game or want to win a prize. This does not mean you shouldn’t entertain them, offer them coupons, and occasionally hold a modest sweepstakes to reward their friendship, but it does question the “volume premise”.

What do you think?

Views: 231

Tags: Facebook, Media, SEM, SEO, Social, conversion, leads, marketing, traffic, website


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Comment by Joshua Michael Friedman on October 17, 2011 at 7:19pm
Comment by Tom Gorham on October 17, 2011 at 12:53pm
Thanks Criss,  I've been seeing the same thing with behavioral targeting.  It's very annoying (IMHO) for the customer which makes it counter-productive.  As far as being prepared, I learned a tough lesson 10 years ago!
Comment by David Johnson on October 17, 2011 at 9:09am
Very well said, I agree wholeheartedly!
Comment by Tom Gorham on October 17, 2011 at 9:05am
Thank you David.  I consider it more of an ego boost when our real customers love our company.
Comment by David Johnson on October 17, 2011 at 7:58am
I agree, quality far out weights quantity. I remember seeing a dealers fan page about 2 months ago that had just over 35k likes but when I took a close look I saw that a majority of them were from out side the US, most in India. There are services that you can buy likes from and I've found out that dealers like to use their number of likes as an ego boost, when in fact there are other metrics that you should be looking at. Great post Tom!

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