Lead generation for your fuel delivery company starts with having a great strategy and by having a website designed to convert traffic into leads. There is an art and a science to making this work for your company.
Understand Your Customer
Some of the basics involve having a solid understanding of the keywords used by homeowners that are searching for heating oil, propane or kerosene delivery. And more importantly, what is the intent behind the keyword search?
- Are they looking for discounted fuel oil delivery or do they want full service?
- Are they searching for online ordering capabilities or do they want to place a phone call and speak with someone?
- What is the demographic of the homeowner?
- Do they interact more on a desktop computer or a mobile device?
- Are they price shopping for the cheapest fuel delivery options or do they want full-service offerings?
Having a solid understanding of these questions will help you to build an effective lead generation strategy. Of course, this is all dependent on your company having a website. Your website is the central aspect of your lead generation strategy. Unfortunately, many companies still treat their website like an electronic version of a business card and they are losing tons of business because of this.
We have seen some companies trying to save money by skipping a website and instead of trying to run their business on Facebook alone. This is a huge mistake for many, many reasons. One of the biggest reasons, in my opinion, is that you don’t actually own your Facebook page.
AllBusiness, wrote an interesting article and they talk about some of these issues as well as some of the best reasons that your website should be included in your marketing plan. Two of the tips that seem particularly useful are:
5 Reasons Why Your Business Website Matters More Than Ever
1. All social roads lead to your website. If you’re a business, every YouTube video, Tweet, Facebook update, and blog post your create should have a single goal: Convince readers or viewers to take some kind of action (buy something, make a call, sign up, etc.) These types of direct actions (aka the outright sales pitch) are going to take place on your website. So you need to think of your website as the last, and most important, step in closing the sale or driving whatever type of action you’re after.
2. Your website is permanent. Social networks and tools come and go. Remember Friendster? MySpace gave way to Facebook. And Google+ has now arrived on the scene. There will always be social media tools, but the popularity of specific tools will change over the years. Your website, however, is here to stay.
To see the full “AllBusiness” article, click here.
Your Website = Your Brand
Your website is what represents your brand. If you don’t have a good website, then you are doing your competitors a favor. Your website is a place that you can truly let your potential clients know what you are about in detail. It is the core hub of your lead generation marketing plan and is the foundation of your online presence.
Are You Communicating the Right Message?
Converting website traffic into leads is the next hurdle. This works when the website messaging matches the intent behind the keyword search. For example, consider this case, a homeowner is searching for “best heating oil delivery prices in Boston, MA”. They click on your website but the page they land on has a heading “Full-Service Propane and Oil Delivery” and the page talks about why full service is better than C.O.D., even though it costs more money. It is easy to understand that the homeowner will leave your site and go to the next search result. Why? Because there was a disconnect between what the homeowner was searching for versus what they landed on.
Having a nicely designed site is also critical because it is the most effective way to convert traffic into leads. In the following article by Crazy Egg, titled “Does Good Web Design Really Matter?“, they discuss some of the reasons that website design matters:
I recently had a conversation with a client that went like this:
Client: Does it really matter what my website looks like?
Me: Yes, it definitely does.
Me: Because people will judge your company based on the quality of your website, whether that’s fair or not.
That ended up being a good enough answer, prompting him to give the go ahead to redesign his site.
Specific design problems that led to rejection or mistrust were:
- Inappropriate name for the website
- Complex, busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design, especially use of color
- Pop up advertisements
- Slow introductions to a site (splash pages, slow-loading flash introductions, etc)
- Small print
- Too much text
- Corporate look and feel
- Poor search facilities/indexes
Not only is having a website important, but the layout and design of the site is equally important. To maximize website traffic into customers, your site needs to be user-friendly.
How Do You Generate Traffic To Your Website?
Let’s assume that your energy company has a website and that it is designed with a good user experience in mind. The next step is to generate traffic to the site. There are many ways to do this ranging from paid ads online, PPC (pay per click), paid Facebook Ads and organic search results achieved through SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is the best long-term strategy because once your website is ranked at the top of Google for the search terms being used, you can stop spending money on paid advertising. Search Engine Land highlights the importance of SEO in an article they published titled, “5 Essential SEO Techniques To Master In 2015“;
Industries across the board benefited from SEO in 2014, and there is no sign of this slowing down in 2015. According to this study by the National Retail Federation, search marketing — including SEO — was the most effective source for acquiring new customers in 2014 for 85 percent of online retailers.
Other data points last year showed that organic search was a key starting point for brands to put their products and services in front of the target customer. According to this data from Kenshoo, a search is the starting point for the majority of people looking to book travel (58 percent of leisure travelers and 64 percent of business travelers).
In a study conducted by BrightEdge (my employer), we discovered organic search was the largest driver of traffic and revenue for almost every industry analyzed. For B2B marketers, organic search drives over 51% of traffic.
The full article can be viewed here.
The following video also highlights the importance of SEO:
Perfectly executed SEO combined with a well-designed website will attract homeowners to your company’s website and convert that traffic into leads and ultimately customers. This is a highly effective method to increase the total number of gallons that your company delivers and will keep your company at the forefront of the energy delivery industry, especially as more and more consumers are switching to online, COD fuel ordering.
L4 Group specializes in helping fuel delivery companies turn their websites into lead generation magnets. L4 Group will use effective online marketing strategies that will increase traffic, sales, and profitability for your business. Call today for a free consultation and web analysis.