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Get More Leads from Search with Marketing Automation

Presented on October 18, 2012

Who doesn’t want to get more leads from their search efforts? In our Search and Marketing Automation webinar, Janet Driscoll Miller, President & CEO of Search Mojo, reviews how to improve lead generation with marketing automation.

Watch the webinar video below to discover how to incorporate search, social advertising, and targeted landing pages with marketing automation to segment your audience, engage more leads, and increase your conversion rate.

Presenter: Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO, Search Mojo

Presented on October 18, 2012


Kari:

Thank you for coming. My name is Kari Rippetoe. I’m the Content Marketing Manager at Search Mojo. I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar, which is “Get More Leads From Search with Marketing Automation.”

Just a few reminders regarding the webinar today, we’ll be having a question and answer session at the end of the webinar, so there’s a question and answer box. You can enter your questions there at the right.

Also, this webinar is being recorded, and you’ll receive a follow-up email when the recording is available. That will likely be early next week. It could be tomorrow, it could be Monday, but we’re shooting for early next week.

Finally, if you’d like to Tweet about today’s presentation, any of the helpful tidbits that you learn, we have a special webinar hashtag, #mojowebinar. Any of your webinar tweets, just use #mojowebinar.

I’d like to present to you today, and introduce our presenter, Janet Driscoll-Miller. Janet is the President and CEO of Search Mojo. She has nearly 20 years of marketing experience and, in addition to her work in search engine marketing, Janet has a background in marketing communications.

She holds a degree in public relations and communications from James Madison University, and she’s a frequent speaker at marketing conferences, including the Marketo User Summit, and writes for several blogs and print publications. Without further ado, let’s get started. Janet?

Janet:

Thanks, Kari. Thank you so much. Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming to our webinar today. I’m going to go ahead and get started and, first of all, a little bit of background about Search Mojo, to give you an understanding of our background and our understanding of search and marketing automation.

I founded the firm in 2005, and we specialize specifically in search engine optimization and paid search advertising, as well, but we also do social media advertising, online reputation management, and content marketing creation.

Really, search is our foundation, but we do branch off into some other things as well, to help enable our search and make it better as well. We’re headquartered in lovely Charlottesville, Virginia, and we have an office in Charleston, South Carolina, as well, that we recently opened.

We were recently named the INC 5000, as one of America’s fastest-growing companies, and as Kari mentioned, we’ve been featured in lots of publications, and we do speak at a lot of industry conferences, including marketing automation conferences, such as the Marketo User Summit, which we spoke at earlier this year.

We work with several different marketing automation tools, including Marketo, Eloqua, Silverpop, HubSpot, and many more. I’m going to be interested in talking to a little bit more, and finding out a little bit more about how much you all are using marketing automation today, and explaining how you might be able to use it better, to get more leads from your search endeavors.

Some of our clients include everyone from B2B companies to B2C companies, and many of these companies that I’ve mentioned here actually use some form of marketing automation, one of the marketing automation tools that I’ve mentioned. Before we get started today, I know that Kari has a poll for us. Kari, do you want to launch that poll?

Kari:

Yes. We have got a poll, just to see who’s using marketing automation, so let me launch that quickly. Okay, if you can go ahead and vote, are you currently using marketing automation software? We’ll just give you a few seconds to vote.

Okay, looks like many of you are – I’ll close the poll out now, and it looks like the majority of you are not currently using marketing automation software, so Janet should have some really helpful information for you today.

Janet:

Great. Thank you so much, Kari. That gives me some good information to go from, on how I should address everyone today. If you want to go ahead and close that poll, I’ll get back to the meat of our presentation.

For those of you who have a question here about what is marketing automation, I’m going to go through a little bit about that as well, here. Hopefully this will explain the benefits of what marketing automation is.

Today, what we’re going to focus our time on, we’re going to start off talking about searching the funnel. How does search, and marketing automation, for that matter, affect the sales funnel and sales cycle?

Second, we’re going to talk about forms, and what you can do with forms. There’s actually a whole lot you can do with forms, and of course, forms, we’re using on things like landing pages on our website.

When we drive leads to our site or prospects to our site, via search, we want to make sure we convert them well. There’s lots of great ideas with marketing automation, lots of great tools you can use, to try and convert people better, with better forms.

We’re also going to talk briefly about A/B testing in these marketing automation tools, and then we’re going to finally close up with marketing gates. That’s a real interesting topic for me. I’m really excited to talk more about that, too.

Let’s start off with search in the funnel, or the sales cycle. I think most of us out there know that search drives leads, and it’s a major part of marketing programs, for both B2B and B2C marketers. This is one stat here, from iMedia Connection. It shows that 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process.

Search is obviously clearly a very important function to driving in leads and driving awareness, and this chart here shows – this is a recent study from August, that I pulled from marketing charts, that shows that B2B and B2C marketers, you can see the dark green part of the pie, as well as the blue, is search.

Look at what percentage search makes up, of lead generation, from both B2B and B2C perspective. It’s very, very high. Clearly, search is known by marketers to be very effective at lead generation, but the question is, how can we make it more effective than it might be today? Once we get people to the site, what can we do with them?

Now, let’s talk a little bit about how marketing automation improves sales, because we’re going to talk about how marketing automation happens after, a lot of times, the lead is driven to your site, or the prospect.

Marketing automation is basically – and I’ll show you in a moment, on a diagram, how it fits into the cycle, but basically, it’s a piece of software that allows you to better process the prospects that come to your site, in just a nutshell.

One of the things, and I use marketing automation at Search Mojo. I use Marketo myself, and I really like it. I was just running some stats today, before our webinar, to understand better how using marketing automation over the past year has really helped us.

These are not our stats. These are some studies that the Aberdeen group did, showing that use of marketing automation to improve sales, you’ve got a 107% better lead conversion rate. Holy cow, that’s huge, a huge change in conversion rate, just by using marketing automation tools.

It’s a 40% average greater deal size. Wow. Can you imagine? Can you imagine putting that in place, and getting that kind of result, from a revenue perspective? There’s lots of real improvements that can be made by using marketing automation, and we’re just going to touch on just a few that relate to search today.

How does search fit into the sales cycle? Well, Google and Bing and any type of search engine that you might have, through both a paid search and an organic search perspective, help put leads into the funnel. They help fill up your funnel at the top.

What marketing automation does, and you see that little orange box there, is it helps nurture the lead, so they can become opportunities, so they can become buyers and continue to be buyers.

That’s the role that these two pieces play. However, I feel like there’s a handshake. I don’t want to say handoff, per say, but it’s more of a handshake. Search brings in the visitors. Market automation then helps the search efforts convert the visitors to leads, and then marketing automation then takes the lead to convert visitors to opportunities via nurturing.

What we’re going to focus on today is really this middle bullet point here, and that’s marketing automation, helping search efforts convert visitors to lead, because that’s what marketing automation can do for search.

Now let’s talk a little bit about forms, and there’s a lot of things we can do with forms, with marketing automation. One of the most important things that marketing automation does, and there’s other tools out there, other than marketing automation, that can do this for you, too, but if you use, as an example, SalesForce.com, as your CRM tool on the back-end, and you take your leads in from your website or landing page, and you put them into SalesForce.com, when you don’t have marketing automation in place, what happens is, for every form signup – oops, I’ve switched those.

I’m sorry, the graphics switched. The first one on the left should say,
“With Marketing Automation,” sorry. I had a typo there. When you have marketing automation in place, what happens is every time, on the left, somebody fills out one of those forms, it updates the existing lead field in sales force.

If you don’t have marketing automation in place, or some other tool to help fix this, what will happen is, if you don’t have Marketo or any kind of marketing automation, every time someone fills out a form on your website or a landing page or what have you, if they’ve been to your site before, not only do you have the original lead profile in your SalesForce.com, but it just creates a new one.

This can cause a lot of problems, because what happens is, let’s say I have salespeople in my organization, and they’re assigned a lead when it comes in from the website. Well, if every time the lead comes back, someone comes back that’s already in our database, and maybe they sign up for another asset or something, what happens then is, technically, that lead could be assigned to multiple people, and multiple people might be trying to follow up with that lead.

That’s a real problem. In fact, I really feel like it’s a problem with SalesForce, innately, to SalesForce, that they should fix. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. Marketing automation really helps fix this problem, and that’s really ideal, when you’re looking at how do you make sure you do your lead assignment and stuff more on the back-end, but also, when you’re thinking about your forms, you want to make sure able to pull as much information about someone as possible, and not have to recreate the wheel every time.

You want to make sure you don’t have a bunch of duplicates in there. That’s really a benefit of your forms, going through marketing automation, is they help clean this stuff up.

The next step is why you want to reduce form fields. Marketing experiments, Neck Labs, did a study, and they reduced a form on one of their landing pages, by nine form fields to only three. They reduced it by 66%, and what they found was that the shorter form converted 300 % better than the long form.

What that tells us is that we have to keep our form short, if we can, as best we can, and we only need to take form fields we absolutely need, because every form field has an effect. I saw a stat from someone – I was reading something on the internet that said, I think Marketo put out this stat, somewhere in a press release on time that said every form field costs you a $1.00.

It’s costing you a dollar in revenue, or a dollar in conversion. You’ve got to think about it from a value perspective. Is it really, absolutely necessary to put all these form fields on here? Think about what you really need, but as we all know, salespeople want every bit of information they can get, and that’s important.

They want to be able to know information, so they can sell properly, when they reach out and contact that person. One option to reduce the size of form fields, but also continue to gain information over time is something called progressive profiling.

This is available in most of your marketing automation tools today. What progressive profiling does is it takes a form, and the initial set of form fields might be, as we see here, in this example, first name, last name, email, phone number, company name, country.

Now, country wasn’t required. The person didn’t fill it out, but if that person then comes back, if David Schlossberg comes back, he has to have first name, last name, email, and notice how country there, because he didn’t fill it out before, now he’s added city, as another optional form.

What happens is, if you build your forms in a marketing automation tool, like Marketo or Eloqua or so forth, you can use a progressive profiling feature, and every time that person comes back, the cookies on that person will recognize that person as a previous user or a previous visitor, and will serve them now different information that we don’t have in the database.

We’re able to then actually prioritize how we want the fields filled out. What is absolutely necessary for us? The great part about this, again, is you can prioritize what you want to capture and what order you want to capture it in. This is a fantastic feature.

There’s two ways you can really use it with marketing automation, too. You can use it inside of the tool. A lot of people create their landing pages inside of the tool, and use a progressive profiling form feature, or you can use it outside of the tool, and use an API that goes into Eloqua, Marketo, or any of these different types of tools, because in some cases, you may not be able to put the form in your marketing automation tool and create it there.

Like a page on your website, you may not keep that. You can use it for website pages, marketing library logins, and so forth, if you do it outside the tool as well. There are multiple ways you can do that, and I’m going to also show you some examples here.

One other way we do it is through a conversion path, and what is a conversion path? It’s basically more than a landing page. Some people might call it a microsite, of sorts. Basically what this does is it basically puts you on the visitor initial landing page, and then they choose Options and go down a path to get to the most personalized result they possibly can.

This is just a diagram of how that might look, down a path. Here’s an example we did with a client. We’ll recreate a conversion path from them, and oftentimes, in search, this is really, really helpful, because of the fact that this particular client, as an example, sold defragmentation software.

They sold to home users, so B2C market and the B2B market. They offered a free download, but the problem was, when someone searches on a term like
“defragmentation software,” while we know that’s the product they want, we don’t know who they are and which version they should get.

We had to ask them some information, so we could get them to the right version. The other benefit of this, though, is that we can then mark this person through hidden form fields.

When they do get to this conversion form on the final landing, and they do actually perform the download, we can take this information and then append their profile. Again, because we could append someone’s profile instead of replacing it or creating new profiles on SalesForce.com, this gives us a more complete picture of someone, and it’s all in one profile, instead of split up in SalesForce.

In this particular example we have, I’m looking for a home solution or I’m looking for a business solution. What we did here was we ‘cookied’ the people, as they clicked on these buttons, to keep track of the answers they gave us, so we could then, on the final page, put some information in that we now knew about these people, because of the choices they made.

The next step was, if you chose the business side, what type of defrag solution do you need? I need PC server or virtualized server, and then finally, we get them to the download form, and then we would download all this information from cookies we had put on them, and then keep this in the form and we can put it in the back-end system, so we could understand that lead better, especially from the B2B perspective.

That led to a 23% increase in downloads or conversions, just by doing that particular path. Instead of asking them 50 questions on the initial form, we were able to do it over steps, and that worked a lot better.

Here’s how that was laid out. We had the initial page, home users, business users, and then several types of business users. As you all registered for this webinar, you probably also experienced progressive profiling with conversion paths.

Here’s an example of a landing page that we’ve done for a similar webinar to this one in the past, and what you’ll see here is that we asked for just four form fields on this initial form.

Now, one thing to note about marketing automation, and when we talked about reducing the form fields as much as possible, I do want to note that, if you are using SalesForce.com on the back-end, that SalesForce has a requirement.

That requirement is you have to have these four fields to sync information between marketing automation and SalesForce.com. Because of that, what you need to realize is you need first name, last name, company, and email, if you want to sync all of those leads up.

At minimum, I would ask for these four form fields, and so we keep ours, typically, to this minimum. We don’t usually go beyond this, but for your organization, you may have more minimums. For instance, if you sell in territories, geographic territories, you may need to ask what state are you in, that type of thing.

Consider that, again, what is the basic, basic need I have, to get this lead going down the path? For us, it’s these four form fields. Now, once you’ve filled out this form to register for the webinar, you get to the thank you page, and the thank you page has an optional form on it.

As you can see here, it has only one required field, and what’s amazing about this is now, we know from the marketing experiments example, that 300% more people were converting by reducing the size of the form field, by keeping it really small, to only a few fields.

Now, what we also know is that people who fill out this page also convert very well. In addition to getting more leads in the initial pie, we were also able to get more information about them, through using this progressive profiling method, and 42.3% respondents, on average, fill out this second page.

That’s just our stats from all the different webinars we’ve done this year. I’ve combined all the data. On average, we’re seeing at least 42% of people filling out this additional information, that isn’t really required.

They don’t have to fill it out, but they’re willing to fill it out, because of the assets we give them, and we ask them just a few more questions. Surprisingly, we get a great deal of form fields for this.

In other words, what I’m trying to say here is, you’re putting lots of people into the funnel to begin with, because you reduce the form fields, then you ask them this optional information. A lot of them are going to give you that information, anyway, but if I had put all these form fields on the first page, I probably would have less conversion rate, according to the test we’ve done.

This is a really great option to take into account, if you’re doing especially paid search, or even organic search with things like marketing gates. I also want to talk a little bit about social, because there are some options within marketing automation tools now that integrate social information.

That’s really helpful in trying to convert more people. If you’re a B2B company, you might want to look at the LinkedIn site. If you’re B2C, you probably want to focus on Facebook, just because of the basic information that each of these types of networks gives us.

Within Facebook, the reason I say B2C is really more idea for Facebook, is think about all of the things you can get. You can get gender, the things they like, the status updates, the geographic region, the school they went to, the age of the person, all sorts of information.

As a matter of fact, I just gave a presentation yesterday, and I used Kari as an example, because Kari loves basset hounds. She has two adorable basset hounds. She, of course, indicates on her Facebook page, that she likes basset hounds, and she likes different organizations around basset hounds.

I can find that out about her, and that helps me as a salesperson to maybe sell to her better, because I know a little bit more about her. There’s a lot of great information on Facebook.

It’s the same thing with LinkedIn, though, but LinkedIn tends to be more B2B focused, and it gives you a lot information like the job, the title, the company size that they work at, seniority level, that sort of thing.

Both of these are really great networks. Now, you say, “Great, Janet. That’s fantastic. I know all of this stuff already about LinkedIn and Facebook, but how does that really apply to marketing automation?”

Well, the great thing about marketing automation is they’ve been implementing tools, like social login on forms, to make it available for you to be able to allow people to click a button and say, “Sign in with LinkedIn,” versus actually having to fill out a form.

There’s a couple ways you can do social login, so you can have people avoid the form altogether, because you can get a lot of this information directly from LinkedIn. The three main ways I see of doing it is marketing automation tool, you can do it with Marketo, as an example – you can sign up with Marketo and get social login activated, and then you’re able to use it on your forms.

You can use a third-party tool, like Gigya. This is example here is actually powered by Gigya. You can use a third-party tool as well, or you can just program it yourself with the APIs that the different platforms provide. I have here two links, there at the bottom.

One is more information in the sign in with LinkedIn button, that’s the first one, and the second one is all the different profile fields, as an example, you can get with LinkedIn. You can look at the different types of platforms and say, “Well, which one is going to improve my information bats? What do I need to know about this person? What’s going to help salespeople sell?”

You can submit all of that information directly into that person’s profile. Now, that being said, again, the marketing automation one will allow you to build them right into the form, and then the question becomes, “Will people just click the button to sign in, like you see here, just sign in, it’s very quick, just hit a button, or will they prefer to fill out the form?”

This is something that I’m in the process of testing here, at Search Mojo, right now, and seeing how many people are willing to give us the information. My theory is that less people will be willing to give Facebook information than they are LinkedIn. LinkedIn is so public. There’s no privacy to it, really, for the most part.

It’s really like your resume, and most people don’t want to necessarily make that information private, versus Facebook, which has more privacy issues for a lot of people. It’d be interesting to see how people respond to these different opportunities, but again, if you could reduce the form fields again, if you could make it really easy, make that barrier to entry really easy, remove all those barriers, then it’s going to make it easier for someone to convert for you.

I like to tell people, don’t make it hard for me to spend money with you. I hate that. I hate when people give me this barrier and I can’t do something with them, because they just put up all these barriers all the time and make it difficult. Try and make it as easy as possible, and this is just one of the ways you can do that.

Let’s talk, just for a minute, about A/B testing. I’m a big fan of A/B testing, and before I go through this slide, Kari, didn’t we have a poll here, too?

Kari:

Yes, indeed we do. Let’s find out, from our attendees, whether or not you currently conduct A/B testing on your landing pages, and I’ll just leave that open for you to vote very quickly.

Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and close that out now, and share those results with you. It looks like some of you are currently doing some A/B testing, but a lot of you aren’t, or you’re not sure what it is, or you don’t really know. Janet has some good information to share with you about that.

Janet:

Okay, so for those of you who maybe don’t know what A/B testing is, there’s a nice little graphic here, to some degree, right there in that gray box. It says “A/B.” Really, what A/B testing is it’s taking version “A” of a particular page, a design, a layout, a message, whatever, there’s version “A” of a page, and there’s version “B”, which differs in some way from version “A”.

You want to test something – like maybe you want to test the image on the page, or you want to test the words on a button, or if you want to test if this video is better than that video at converting.

What A/B testing does, and it doesn’t have to be just two versions, it could be A/B/C, it could be A/B/C/D, it can be multiple versions, but A/B is really the fastest way for most people to do it.

You can set up those two pages and then test them in real time against each other, to see which one converts better and gives you better results. A lot of the different marketing automation platforms also have A/B testing built in.

Now, a lot of times, we don’t always use this particular version of testing, because we like to use some other tools as well, but if you’re a novice at A/B testing and you don’t know Google Analytics, which is one of my preferred tools, this is a really quick and easy way to get some information.

What you can see here is, by creating these two different landing pages, and then you’ve got the results there, that are showing for these particular landing pages, you can see how many views and what the conversion rate and how many conversions were for each page.

Then you know pretty quickly which one is performing better. The great part about this is, unlike maybe Google Analytics and some other tools out there, you really don’t have to add any more code to your website.

This is very simple for marketers to launch, and to try tests on their own, and you really don’t even have to involve, in many cases, the IT department. It’s really standalone and it helps marketers a lot.

If you’re not A/B testing today, I highly recommend it, so you can see how you can improve conversion on an ongoing basis on your pages.

Finally, I want to talk about marketing gates, and what are marketing gates? Well, especially in B2B marketing, but in many different types of industries and organizations, we might want to gate our content.

In other words, put up a bit of a wall or form that hides our content until someone signs up, because, in certain cases – I’ll give you an example. This webinar today will be archived, and people can watch it ongoing, in the future, but the challenge is, you all had to register to watch this webinar.

I feel people, in the future, should have to register to watch it, as well. I feel like it’s a valuable form of content, and I want to share that with people, but I would like some information back to share it. That’s not uncommon.

You see that a lot in different B2B-type companies, and so there’s definitely a benefit to putting up a marketing gate in front of some of your content, and that is that you can gain more leads from the content resources that you’re already investing in.

If you’re already creating things like webinars and white papers and all that good stuff, you may want to go ahead and put up a marketing gate, so that you can get more information in exchange for this valuable content that you’re providing. You can also get more information on existing leads, like we talked about.

You can use progressive profiling and learn more about leads, when they come to your site, so lots of benefits. However, there are challenges. Like with anything in marketing, there are always challenges.

Remember, we talked about the more form fields you have, the lower conversion rate. You’ve got to really think long and hard about how many form fields you really want to include on a marketing gate, and how much you want to, again, be a barrier to people, because you want them to consume your content.

How much do you really want to ask them, in exchange to get that content?
When I do landing page talks, a lot of times I talk about people’s personal information as currency, and if your personal information is currency, what is the value of this thing that you’re going to give me, for the currency I have?

You’ve got to really think about that from the user perspective, because that’s going to affect your conversion. It can also be a bit of a barrier to content sharing, because someone tries to share something and then, oops, there’s a wall. That can be a little bit of a challenge, too.

Let’s talk about some ways to get around those challenges. Here is an example of our current marketing gate, and you can see, again, there are the four form fields. They probably should look familiar by now, because that’s our basic marketing gate.

For certain types of content, like when we archive this webinar, you all would not get the gate, because everyone who’s on this webinar today registered for this previously, but if someone new comes in, and they have never registered with us, they will be presented with this wall, in order to watch the content.

Of course, as I mentioned, there are challenges, because you’re asking for those four form fields, people just want to get to the content, they just want to consume it, so one of the options you have is the social login, like we talked about for landing pages.

Again, it’s built into several marketing automation tools, and you may need the API again, to activate it, because on your website, you may not have those pages existing inside of the marketing automation tool.

There’s two ways you can create things with marketing automation. You can typically create it inside of their tool, or you can actually do it on your own website and communicate with that tool, and communicate with the platform via their API.

You may need the API to activate that, and you can program it separately if you need to. That’s what we have done, as an example with our form. We do all of our forms outside of Marketo.

That’s just a choice that we’ve chosen to do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t communicate with Marketo and use it really effectively do some super creative stuff with it. It’s just that I feel like, for me, it opens an opportunity for me.

Now, if you’re not a really experienced programmer and you don’t have one on site, inside of the tool works just fine. There are lots of benefits to using social login, both on the landing page, as I mentioned, or on a marketing gate.

Some of those include, as I mentioned, fast signup. Just hit a button and you are done. As the user, you’re able to come in, hit a button, and keep going, and get to that content a lot faster.

It likely, of course, leads to higher conversion, because hey, they can hit one button, as opposed to filling out some form fields. That’s fantastic. You can also learn additional information about them, demographic information.

Normally, you might be asking for those four form fields, like I showed you on our marketing gate, but in reality, if you have a LinkedIn button, I’m not asking, for instance, on that four field form, I’m not asking for your title, your company size. Let’s see, what else is in there?

Your gender, all sorts of great information that is there, that I’m not asking for on my form, but I can readily and easily get behind the scenes, using the LinkedIn button. It’s really, really good stuff, and you have think about that. A lot of those things can really help your sales team sell better, by having inside information like that.

The last, and this is really, honestly, one of my favorites, how many times have you had a form on your website or on a landing page, and you get a bunch of junk? How many times has a sales team come to you and go, “These are junk leads. I hate them,” and it’s so frustrating?

Well, one of the benefits of using social logins is that you know you’re going to get email addresses that work properly, because the social networks have actually already verified them.

In verifying them, you don’t have to take that step. Isn’t that wonderful?
Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get Gmail addresses and Yahoo addresses and AOL addresses and stuff like that, but it does mean that you don’t have to worry about it maybe being a fake address.

It’s probably an address where somebody checks their stuff, because especially like Facebook, people get notifications from Facebook and LinkedIn, and they want to check them.

Now, one of the things you have to worry about with marketing automation is you have to worry about the indexing box for search engine optimization. If you want your content behind a marketing gate to be indexed, you have to keep this information in mind.

Search engines cannot fill out forms. That’s a huge problem, and so, knowing that, it’s very important for you to have a workaround. This is the same problem we see with store locaters and other types of forms.

For example, if you have a website that has a store locater on it, and then you ask people to fill out their zip code. The problem, of course, is that Google doesn’t have a zip code. When the bot comes to the site, how can it fill out the zip code?

But you still want the information, behind the scenes, actually indexed and ranking in Google, and so if that’s the case, you need to have a workaround. Now, one workaround you can have is that you can use what’s called a bot detect script.

It says, if you’re a Google Bot, you can’t fill out a form, and I realize that, so instead of you going through the form, I’m going to give you this direct link, because I know you’re Google Bot, and you’re not able to do this stuff.

That’s okay. You’ve got to be careful with bot detect scripts, though. You don’t want to use them in a way that Google would think you’re trying to be spammy or do something that’s trying to trick the search engine.

What you need to keep in mind is search engines want to see what users see, but in some cases, the search engines aren’t as savvy and aren’t human beings, and they just cannot do all of this stuff, like filling out forms. That’s one way you can get around it.

You can also try things like links in a site map, at the bottom of the page, where it’s hidden from users. People don’t really see it, because it’s out of the way and it’s not in the main navigation, that type of thing.

There’s ways to do it, but you want to ensure that you allow bots a way around the form, and that allows for the content to still be indexed by Google and search engines, and be ranked, but it still means the visitors would still receive the wall.

Again, we have another client who has a video game, and the video game is a little on the violent side. They want to make sure that kids who are maybe eight years old don’t come across this particular content and watch it, because it can be a little bit more violent.

We want to make sure everything’s indexed, but when people get to the site, when they click through on a link in Google, for something that’s been indexed and ranked, they’re immediately presented with a birthday wall, how old are you?

Again, people can lie on this stuff, or fill out fake forms, but at the same time, we want to make sure that our information’s getting indexed in Google, and there’s a way for people to get to it, but at the same time, gathering leads as we have people visit the site

A couple marketing automation tools, if you’re getting started and you’re curious about it, there’s quite a few. We’ve worked with quite a bit of these folks. Marketo’s the one we use. I really like it. I’ve worked with Eloqua, HubSpot, InfusionSoft is one.

Hubspot and InfusionSoft, in particular, focus on small businesses, and they tend to be more affordable than some of the other offerings. SilverPop is another one, Pardot and there’s many, many, many more.

If you go out there and just search for “marketing automation,” just look at all the ads you’ll see. There are tons and tons of companies that do this, but these are just some that I think are the more popular, and some that we have worked with, and that we tend to like as well.

In summary, if you do nothing else today, what should you do? Well, consider employing a marketing automation, first of all, because, in addition to what we’ve talked about today, it can do so much more for you, on the back-end with sales and really processing and nurturing your leads.

You can reduce your form fields today. Start doing that, figuring out ways to use things like progressive profiling, to make sure that you’re getting the most information you can, but because you’re also getting the most conversions you can, by reducing the form field size.

Try using social logins. I think that that’s going to be a really handy way to get a lot of information about people, and even some extra information, if you’d like, and then test to figure out what your best options are. Do the A/B testing. Figure out what’s going to work best for you.

If anybody’s interested on the webinar in talking to us more, we can help you with some of these solutions as well, helping you get better conversion, especially with your marketing automation tool and your search.

This is my phone number, which I’ll also put up here, at the end, and you can give me a call. We’d love to chat with you about how we can help you out, and with that, I just want to mention our upcoming webinar. I’ll hand it off to Kari, who will tell you a little bit more about that.

Kari:

Thanks, Janet. Our next webinar will be on November 1. It will be “Nine Search and Social Media Marketing Tactics You Cannot Overlook in 2013,” so this webinar’s going to help you to plan out some of your online marketing efforts for the New Year.

That will be presented by Sarah Lokitis who is our social media marketing manager, and Lindsay Keller, who is an account manager here, at Search Mojo. Hopefully they’ll be able to help you out with some of your planning, and registration is now available.

There’s the URL, Search-Mojo.com/2013. We do have some time, lots of time, for Q&A, so Janet, we did have a question about whether or not there’s a certain number of fields on a form that are ideal, and if there’s any best practices for that?

Janet:

You know, the number of form fields really varies. Again, the least you can use, the better, but in a lot of cases, what will happen is that you’re going to need to have a certain number of form fields, just because of the information you need to even process a lead, just like I was mentioning that your sales team maybe geographically assigned to territories.

If that’s the case, you may have to have a state on there, to assign the lead properly. Some things you just can’t avoid, but again, the shorter you can make the form, the better. That’s really an ideal thing.

In our case, we like to use those basic four form fields, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck to those. We could do three. We could just do first name, last name, email, if we wanted to. The challenge with that is, if somebody was really a hot lead and did some great stuff, we couldn’t sync them to SalesForce, so for us, that wouldn’t be ideal.

We tend to stick with the four to start, and that works really well for us, but it’s something you just have to test. You have to try different forms, and see what works best for you and your organization.

Kari:

Great, and let’s do one more question. What fields are required, to sync with SalesForce.com?

Janet:

As I mentioned, you need to have first name, last name, company, and email address, to sync properly with SalesForce.com. Those are at least four you’re going to need, so keep that in mind, if you’re using SalesForce on the back-end you’re going to need to at least have a four field form.

Kari:

Okay, great. Actually, let’s go ahead and do one more. What is the cost? This is a really great question, actually. What is the cost of implementing a marketing automation software solution?

Janet:

That’s a great question. There’s more than just the cost of the product itself. You have to think about that for total cost of ownership. I will tell you that a lot of these folks have pricing on their site. Marketo and Eloqua run about, at minimum, I think, $2,000 a month. InfusionSoft, I believe, runs at about $200.00 a month.

If you’re a small business, clearly there’s a cost difference there that you have to consider, but there’s also the time to actually implement the code, because what happens is, when you buy marketing automation software, it actually works as analytics software, as well.

You’ll need to install code on every single page of your website. That takes time. I can tell you that I set up our marketing automation, and I am a programmer, so I’m able to do that kind of thing on my own and not hire someone to do it.

It probably took me a good month to get all of the kinks worked out pretty well. Depending on how big your site is, it could take a while. You may have to invest in a developer or in some help from a vendor or consultant, to help you get all that set up.

Kari:

Great. Thanks, Janet, and thank you all very much for coming, and hopefully you can attend our next webinar on November 1, only two weeks away. The time is going by very, very fast, but you can now register for that today. Thank you all for coming, and we hope to see you again soon.