2 Vital Website Metrics Your Fire & Security Business Needs To Master
by Jo Shaer, on November 14, 2017
To achieve your new financial numbers, one of your Goals for the next financial year is to make your website work harder and generate double this year’s tally of COMMERCIAL customers. Because, whilst domestic burglar alarms are your bread and butter, commercial intruder or fire alarm installations with ongoing maintenance contracts are where the real money is!
12 new business customers is a big ask
Like most executives, you think that to make that happen you need to double the amount of traffic that currently visits your website.
And you’ve been down this road before… so you are anticipating the pain in your bank account as it's attacked by rapacious web designers, PPC and SEO salesmen who will promise you the earth if you purchase their help.
But what if I told you that you could reach your goal of doubling the number of business customers that you get from your website without having to increase your website traffic at all?
I can hear you laughing disbelievingly, but it is actually possible - so long as you have everything in place to:
- attract your ideal commercial customers;
- give them the best experience on your website once they land there; and
- guide them towards their purchase.
Benchmarks and Baselines
When we first speak to managing directors of fire and security companies about the vital website metrics for acquiring more customers, the conversation normally goes something like:
Business - We need to double the number of customers that come from the website each month
Lollipop - OK , Can you tell me how many visitors, leads and customers you get currently?
Business - Well I'm not totally sure but I think we get about 3,000 hits each month. However, only about 3 of them fill out our contact form asking for a callback, quote or survey. We don't really keep records of how many of those become customers. Maybe 1 every other month? Is that any good?
Lollipop - Well, obviously it depends on the industry, but your visitors are becoming leads at a rate of just 0.1%! And you are only closing 1 in 6 of your site surveys equating to a close rate of about 17%. That's low, because these are very warm leads, not just casual enquiries - so there are definitely some areas that could be improved.
Business - So that means I need to increase the amount of traffic to the website , right? If I am currently getting 6 customers per year through the website contact form and I want 12, the numbers say I need to double my traffic.
Why increasing website traffic might not get more customers
Lollipop - Well, yes, in theory. 6,000 visitors with a lead conversion rate of 0.1% = 6 leads (with a genuine interest) and a customer close rate of 17% = 1 customer every month equalling your 12 per year goal.
But a 100% increase in visitors is a big ask in anybody’s book. It's possible, but it will take a lot of work over a long time and will be costly, especially if you have to use PPC for faster results.
And just increasing the traffic may not result in more leads or an improved visitor to lead conversion rate. If people are not getting the answers they need when they arrive on the site, you’ve just got more people arriving and then leaving again.
Could more and better quality enquiries be the answer?
Lollipop - So rather than fixate on traffic, have you considered the option of getting better quality enquiries… and more of them! We're talking about increasing your website traffic conversion rate
3000 visitors with a 1% conversion rate yields 30 leads. At the same close rate of 17%, that's 5 new customers every month. Or 60 across the year!!!
Business - Wow! That would smash our goal! But I’m not sure how that will work. How do we make the visitors we currently get do something useful?
Lollipop - So why do you think so many of them are just leaving?
Business - Maybe they don’t like what they’re seeing when they arrive on the site?
Lollipop - So how could you give them a better experience. Many businesses tell us:
"if we can just get the prospect in front of our sales person, we can close the deal".
Does your website act like an online sales person? Does it give visitors the answers to their most frequently asked questions in the same way that your sales person would on the phone?
Business - You mean find out the questions that they want the answers to and provide that information?
Lollipop - Exactly! There are a couple of things that you need to address quickly:
1. Making sure that your website brings the right type of traffic to your website by ranking for more of the key words and phrases that your ideal customer is typing into Google.
2. Producing tailored downloadable content that answers their questions at the different stages of the Buyer's Journey gives you the best chance of increasing your website conversion rate to 1% because the visitors coming to your website are going to want to get it in exchange for their email. It’s a fair swap!
For example, if you want to work with Schools or Commercial Businesses, an ebook that helps them to comply with their Fire Risk Assessment is a great way to show you are a good company for them to work with.
Business - I see what you are saying, but I’m not sure. Our prospects don’t really come to us looking for things to download.
Lollipop - Research shows that the more offers you have on your site, the more leads you’ll generate. Given your goals, I’d suggest you create a new ebook at least every 60 days. This will start to drive leads, provide market feedback, and help you to create even better content over time. Does that make sense?
Business - It does. I like the idea of sharing good information with prospects and getting their contact information in return. I see how we could start taking advantage of that. Especially if it will help more of our visitors to become leads.
Lollipop - There is a caveat here though. Downloading an ebook in return for an email address is not the same as booking a site survey. Your 30 new leads will not all be hot to trot over to your sales team for closing! Many will still be researching and require nurturing with further written content so could reduce your existing close rate.
Could improving your close rate do the trick?
Lollipop - You could also think about those leads that you have just acquired. How are you pushing them down your sales funnel?
Many of the businesses that we work with, including the Fire & Security installers, have a logjam in their pipeline! They go to all the effort of booking and performing a site survey. Then they send out a quotation for the best possible security solution for that business at a fantastic price.
And that's it.
If they don't hear from the potential customer, they might send an email reminding them about the quote but, in most cases, they don't follow it up at all.
We had one customer who had over £30,000 of business sitting in the Quotes Sent column of his CRM. And much of it had been sitting there for more than 8 weeks! These hot prospects had suddenly stalled. And it was no one's job to find out what had happened.
- Did they have more questions?
- Was it a price issue?
- Did they need to get Board approval before making the decision and the next meeting was a few weeks away?
If you just made those sales a no-brainer because there were no obstacles in the way, wouldn’t that improve your conversion to close rate? For our customer, the close rate increased to over 30% across the year.
What would doubling your close rate from 17% to 33% mean for your business?
3000 visitors are currently yielding 3 warm leads (site surveys), but with a 33% close rate that’s 1 new customer each month AND the 12 you need to reach your goal for the year!
Business - Actually, thinking about it, my sales team do have a pdf to help prospects at schools and businesses to understand the dangers of choosing cheap alternatives. That's definitely something we could send out more often to help leads we have quoted make the decision to choose us over the competition.
Lollipop - Excellent, that sounds like it would really help.
Lollipop - Hold on a minute though, because we’re missing the magic piece of the puzzle here! As promised, we've shown how improving your conversion or close rates individually can achieve better results without having to increase the amount of traffic that you're getting - but that’s truly only half the story!
The Secret Sauce of Traffic, Leads and Customers...
Improve both your conversion rate AND your close rate and you get exponentially better results.
So with both the improvements from above taken in conjunction you get:
3000 visitors converting at 1% yields 30 leads as above. But with a 33% close rate, that’s 10 new customers each month! Or 120 over a year without having to pay for any additional traffic.
N.B. Remember our caveat from earlier. Not all your 30 leads will be warm, i.e. site surveys, so this may impact your monthly close rate.
Now think about what you get when you improve all three values together - that’s when your business growth can become stratospheric.
Realistically, doubling traffic just like that is very hard without a major investment in Google Pay Per Click or social media ads. However, by continually improving the content on your site, steady organic growth to a 30% increase is more likely.
So if we can increase your Traffic by a much more modest 30%, your lead conversion rate to 1% AND double your close rate, suddenly you have
3900 visitors converting at 1% yields 39 leads. But with your improved 33% close rate, that’s 13 new customers each month - or 156 over a year!
And you only asked for 12 new customers a year...
By working on improving each element - Traffic, Leads & Customers - you can smash your goal.
Use our fabulous Inbound Revenue Calculator to add in the lifetime value of those new customers. Click the link below and watch the REAL financial effect on your bottom line.