Marketers are like vegetarians. We love us some Tofu.
We love the top of the funnel (TOFU) because that's where it's easiest to show big growth.
It's a heck of a lot easier to look good when you can grow traffic exponentially at the top of the funnel than it is to affect numbers lower down incrementally.
But is that the best place to start when you're trying to get more customers out of your inbound marketing funnel?
We'll show you why treating the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) as an afterthought is a colossal mistake and one simple way you can boost BOFU conversions today.
Why, Where, and How to Nail Bottom-Funnel Marketing
Bottom funnel marketing is content that is used to persuade prospects to buy from your company at the end of the buyer's journey. When a prospect reaches the bottom of the funnel, they see that they have a solvable problem (TOFU), they understand the types of solutions available (MOFU), and they're currently trying to decide which company will be the best partner to help them solve their problem (BOFU).
When prospects are in the BOFU stage, they're doing things like:
- Comparing features and pricing among a shortlist of solutions
- Digging into your About page to get to know your company
- Testing your product or solution through trials and demos
- Reading case studies
- Checking third-party reviews
Unfortunately, a lot of marketers just assume that they'll win prospects in this stage because they know how good their company's solution is. "All we have to do is get people to hear about us. We're the best, and they'll know it."
But that kind of thinking is a mistake.
Why? A Bigger Bang for Your Buck at the Bottom
If you get bigger growth numbers at the top of the funnel, why wouldn't you just focus almost all of your efforts there?
Let's do a little math with the following hypothetical assumptions.
You get 1,250,000 visitors a month to your website. You convert 2% of that TOFU traffic into leads which comes out to 25,000 leads per month. You convert 2% of those contacts into qualified leads through lead nurturing content which leaves you with 500 qualified leads. You convert 2% of those qualified leads into customers, which is 10 customers per month.
Let's assume that with an hour of work, you could change conversion rates by 1% at any section of the funnel.
If you increase your TOFU traffic by 1%, you end up with 1,262,500 visits, 25,250 leads, 505 qualified leads, and 10.1 customers per month. (This assumes that the additional TOFU traffic will convert at the same rate through the funnel, which is not always the case.)
Now let's consider how changing your conversion rate at the BOFU stage, rather than TOFU, would affect the same original hypothetical scenario.
You start with 1,250,000 visitors, 25,000 leads, 500 qualified leads, and an increase to 3% BOFU conversion rate yields 15 customers per month.
Keep in mind, you spent an hour and generated 12,500 more visits to the website, which sounds incredible! But you only brought in about one new customer PER YEAR. However, an hour working on the bottom of the funnel brought the company five new customers PER MONTH.
So, that's a single customer for an hour of TOFU work vs. 60 customers for an hour of BOFU work.
RELATED READING: 10 B2B Lead Nurturing Best Practices for 2019
Where? Reviews Queries
As we mentioned earlier, there are several considerations prospects are making at the bottom of the funnel. They're looking at pricing, case studies, demos, and reviews.
So, where do you start?
One of the easiest and most overlooked optimizations to make to increase conversions at the bottom of the funnel is in branded reviews. This could be the most important query in the whole customer journey.
For most companies, 3rd party review sites like Yelp, Google, etc. are at the top of the rankings for their "brand + reviews" queries. Don't let this happen without a fight.
When a prospect has gotten to the final buyer's journey stage, you don't want someone else like Angie's List controlling the conversation. You need to set the hook and reel them in. You need to keep people on your site and nowhere else.
So, how do you get your site to the top of the rankings for branded reviews? With one super-simple change that'll only take a few minutes.
How? Change the Name of Your Testimonials Page to Reviews
The vast majority of company websites already have the content on them to rank for "[brand] reviews," they just don't call them reviews. They call them testimonials. Testimonials ARE reviews, after all.
All you have to do is optimize your testimonials page for "[Your Brand] Reviews," and you have a very good shot at moving to the top of SERPs.
Why does this work so well? Google favors URLs with the keyword in the domain name, and almost all companies use their name in their website address. So, acmepestcontrol.com/reviews has a great chance of ranking #1 for the "acme pest control reviews" query because three of the four words are in the root domain, which Google likes to see.
It's simple and easy.
Just change the testimonials page URL from acmepestcontrol.com/testimonials to acmepestcontrol.com/reviews and change the title of the page from "Testimonials" to "Acme Pest Control Reviews."
How to Measure Results
How do you measure results for optimizations like these in bottom funnel marketing?
First, get a baseline for organic search traffic to the Testimonials page and set up conversion tracking on it for organic traffic.
Then make your optimizations for "Reviews."
After the changes are complete, keep an eye on those traffic and conversion numbers to see how many more people searched for your brand and converted into customers.
This simple trick is just one of the many, many optimizations you can make that can have a huge impact. There are a lot more opportunities available to "work smarter, not harder" to grow your company to new heights.
The key is to adopt a continuous optimization mindset. Most companies build a new website every few years and don't touch it again until they're embarrassed because it looks so out of date.
In our opinion, that's the "not smart" way to do it. The smart way of continual optimization is what we and other savvy digital marketers call "Growth Driven Design (GDD)." It's a complete paradigm shift from the old model, and it's changing the growth trajectory of the companies who are doing it well.
Check out the video below to learn more about Growth Driven Design and see this page to learn the five keys to GDD.
If you'd like to explore the reasons that Growth Driven Design is the best way to go, we have a free downloadable resource for you. Our eBook 6 Reasons to Adopt Growth Driven Design will make you wonder why you haven't made the shift already.