Turning Online Ads into Amish Furniture

Are you a business owner, or indirectly responsible for your online advertising conversion funnel?  Have you ever wondered why your business might be getting decent traffic through online channels and programs such as Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing, but it doesn’t make an impact on your bottom line?  Position might be great, clicks coming through steadily each week and month, success events are pouring in but revenues are stagnant.  You might be turning your online ads into Amish Furniture… no finish!

True story follows:

Most people that know me, know I was hit by a car while crossing the street (on foot) not long ago.  Those same people will tell you I’m a bigger than average dude, so I didn’t sustain significant physical injuries like broken bones and such.  However, I thought it best to pursue my legal options in case my long-term health was in any way affected.  Being an online marketer, I appreciate actually using the medium for research, so I started my quest.

I searched for:

  • “personal injury lawyer”, a somewhat longer-tail query that resulted in too many American ads, or out of province ads that didn’t apply, so I didn’t click on any of those
  • “personal injury lawyer canada” narrowed the gap a bit, but still a lot of weird results such as insurance companies, get rich quick schemes and what I deemed low-quality results, so I didn’t click on any of those either
  • “personal injury lawyer toronto” started serving up some relevant ads, but I didn’t like the call to action on most of them, with lofty promises and sleazy ad text, so I avoided clicking those as well
  • “personal injury lawyer auto toronto” was a terribly long-tail query, and although it was broad match, served up a significant mix of high-quality ads that I hadn’t seen listed in my previous searches

Out of the 5 ads I actually clicked, I was able to easily navigate to contact forms on 3 of them.  Obviously, many would have preferred that I called them directly, but I didn’t feel up for explaining the accident over and over at my desk at work.  Translation, 2/5 advertisers made it difficult for an online marketer to fill out a contact form on a relatively cheap click, for shame!  But it gets better!

One of the advertisers that had an easily identified online form, made it extremely difficult not to include excruciatingly detailed information before submitting.  I don’t think my shoe size really had anything to do with the accident, besides, in this day and age where privacy is king, visitors aren’t willing to part with sensitive information.  Long tail placement, cheap click, good call to action, poor conversion funnel.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and filled out the form anyways.

That leaves us with three contact forms filled out.  Out of the three contacted, only one law firm bothered to follow-up on my inquiry.  However, that one law firm waited more than 3 days to do so.  This isn’t high school folks, you don’t have to wait 3 days to call someone that gives you their number.  Call them as soon as possible to lock up the lead!

If you don’t follow up, your business is as good as Amish Furniture.  Sure, it looks good, and it’s built well, but it’s got no finish.

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