A great website is something every security dealer needs. Some feel like they have been quite successful simply by knocking on doors and do not need one; or, in many cases, the website is not taken seriously and acts as an online brochure just to give the dealer a presence.
Are you serious? What you’re telling us is you’re doing so well that you aren’t the slightest bit interested in generating more sales and RMR from potential customers searching online for security or connected home services today? We didn’t think so.
So here are some insider secrets that we use with our security customers, which help generate in-bound leads from their website. These techniques and technologies can help you generate more revenue from your website.
Place an HTML phone number in the upper right hand corner. Seems simple, right? By placing your phone number in the upper right-hand corner throughout the website your Web user will not have to look around when trying to call. Putting it in HTML format means any mobile user can simply tap/click and it will automatically dial.
Insider tip: Our security customer’s Google analytics reporting has started to show an increase in the percentage of Web visits from mobile phones as opposed to desktops and tablets. Be sure to have a strategy for mobile visitors, whether it means your website is mobile-friendly, built with responsive design, or designed as a separate mobile version.
Call-to-action forms: include them on every page. With more than 15 years of experience designing websites, we have found this simple yet constantly overlooked suggestion has proven to generate results. By simply putting a call-to-action inquiry form on every page of your website, you will generate more leads. Do not make your website visitors have to click on your “contact us” page in order to inquire about your products/services. If you do, many of them may just hit the back button and find someone else who does.
Use existing images and videos from manufacturers. This is really surprising to us. Most industry manufacturers have product images and great videos you can use for free on your website. How does this help? It is a proven fact that a Web user does not have the attention span of someone reading a newspaper article or a book. Web users are lazy — they want to be shown an illustration or watch a video about why your products/services meet their needs, as opposed to reading a long Web page. By incorporating the manufacturers’ images and videos it helps the Web user understand what you do and how you can help. Reports show that as soon as a video is placed onto a Web page the amount of time spent on that page goes up, which helps to embed your brand into your potential customer’s mind.
An easy way to embed a video onto your website is to download it, upload it to YouTube and use the embed code on your website. This can be done in a matter of minutes. Be sure to properly optimize each video you upload to YouTube to help with your search engine rankings.
Here are four simple things almost everyone in our industry forgets to include:
- Properly label the title of your video with the keywords that describe it, as well as what your potential customers would be searching for.
- Further explain the video and how it benefits your customers in the description field.
- Place a link to your website in the description.
- Tag your video in the right categories and include other keyword phrases that describe it.
Use lifestyle selling points, not scare tactics. Over the last few years we’ve incorporated outside-the-box Web design ideas, including integrating crime data and maps that would allow the dealer’s Web users to see the amount of crime in their area. Just under a year ago, we developed a website in a completely different direction by making the main focal point lifestyle rather than security. To our surprise, this website that pushed a connection to an alarm system with lifestyle generated more results. A large manufacturer reiterated this by sharing the shift in sales when their dealers changed their tactics from crime to lifestyle. So, if appropriate for your business, paint a picture with your website’s content and images of a busy lifestyle, and how an alarm system makes a customer’s life easier through things such as auto-notifications, location-based automation, geo-services and more.
Use shorter content. As mentioned previously, Web users do not have long attention spans; if they have to read more than a few paragraphs about one of the services you offer, then they may leave and go to another site. A rule of thumb we like to use is no more than two paragraphs, highlight the main points, and follow up with bullet points. If there is no getting around lengthy content, then break it up. If you have five paragraphs try designing your page to be five quick reads alongside five graphics. Let the reader scan down and pick up the highlights of your hardware or services. We promise: by doing so you will see the amount of time spent per page go up, which is always a good thing; it means users are actually reading your content.
Use Google analytics. This is a given, we know. But we still come across a lot of security companies that have no idea how much traffic they are getting each month or where it is coming from. If your website isn’t generating any leads (which is one of its prime purposes), then analytics is a great tool to understand why. Analytics give you a world of data including which cities/states your traffic is coming from, how visitors found you, how long they are staying on your site and much more. An advanced level of reporting allows you to set up goals knowing how many leads came from your website, including their source.
Use geo-landing pages. This is a whole discussion in and of itself. However, if you would like to be found in search engines when potential customers are searching for you within your service area, then you should be creating a dedicated page per keyword. For example, let’s say you’d like to be found for the searches “Los Angeles home alarm company” and “Los Angeles security companies.” Technically, you should create two separate pages with these phrases in the H1s, title and meta description tags. SEO, or search engine optimization, is much more involved than this, but for some searches you will be able to see almost immediate results. For a more detailed description about this, you can visit: http://goo.gl/5JRFDz.
Set up live chat. Imagine your website being like a retail storefront, being alerted every time someone walks in the door. As they walk in you would be able to greet them and see which aisles they visited and what they are specifically interested in to help you get the sale. Online chat programs allow you to know all of this information — they and are a must. We use them on our own website, and here is the reason why. The minute a Web visitor lands on our site we get notified instantly. We know where they are located, what they searched for to find us, and we can see the trail of each Web page they’ve visited on our site. In real time you will be able to see if the Web visitor is on your commercial, residential or fire page, and initiate a conversation on the fly. You can help answer any questions they may have to generate the sale — cha-ching!
Use heat maps. Heat map programs show a different layer of analytics and go beyond Google Analytics. They are a great tool to use to see if Web visitors are actually taking the time to scroll down on any particular page, to track mouse movements, and to know what visitors are clicking on. This helps you determine whether or not having a heavy top content area is enticing the Web visitor to scroll down to see more. If it is not, it should be changed immediately until you find the right content layout strategy. If you had a hunch that your call-to-action form was too long and you were able to see recordings of users starting to type into it and then stop during the process, this would make a strong case to shorten your form.
These are only some of the techniques and technologies you should have on your website, but we feel they are the most vital. They will help fine-tune your website to actually generate leads. If you get 1,000 unique visitors but only three leads, what does that tell you? The suggestions here will help you pinpoint the problematic areas.
We encourage you to rip out this article and take it to your next marketing meeting with your agency or internal staff. If each one of these items isn’t checked off, go ahead and try them out. You might be surprised with the results you get.
David Morgan and Alex Chavez are co-founders of Security Dealer Marketing, a full-service marketing agency for the security industry, servicing dealers, integrators, manufacturers and other industry professionals. Visit Security Dealer Marketing at www.sdmktg.com.