Video 30: The Online Marketing Funnel and Conversion Rates

March 11, 2011 . 8 minute read | Posted by akassover Insurance Agent WebsitesLead managementTrafficVideos

Want more? Take a look at this series I wrote for Life Insurance Selling on the Online Marketing Funnel.


*Hi, it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods talking about insurance agent websites and I’m back at the flip chart.  I want to talk a bit today about the online marketing funnel, and specifically the search funnel and give you some ideas of some metrics you can use to track how you’re doing and give you just kind of some estimates or benchmarks of what I’ve seen of some metrics out there.  At the top of the funnel, and we’re talking about searches, we have, of course, searches, which are the number of people searching for a given phrase.  And I showed you before how to go and look this up using the Google Keyword tool.  So this is people typing in a search engine looking for something. *

Now, what we want the searchers to do is to click on our site.  Hopefully, we’ve gotten ourselves through search engine optimization, through good content, through backlinks, that we have a target phrase that we’re going after and we’re on this first page of Google and Bing and Yahoo for that search result.  What we’re looking at right now is the click-through rate of people that click from the search engine onto our site and become a visitor.  Now, just simple math, there are 10 spots on the first page for a search phrase.  So just on average, you’re going to get one in 10.  So we’ll say 10% are going to convert – are going to click-through.  Now, you can skew this your way by either being higher up in the rankings.  I’ve seen if you’re either first or second, you can get more like 20 to 30% or maybe even more.  Then also you can adjust your Meta description to really kind of sell your page and get people to click on you instead of others.  So you can be higher than this, but just on average 10% is a good thing to expect.

*Now, what this means is that if we have a search phrase that gets a 1,000 searches per month, that we’re going to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 visitors to our site; so just a 10 to 1 conversion.  Now, we want our visitors to go to our site and, first off, stick around and not just leave, and that’s called the “bounce rate,”  Bounce rate is the percent of people that just see the first page and leave.  That’s a pretty good indicator – high bounce rate will tell you that your site is probably not relevant to what they are looking for.  Maybe they are looking for a job as an insurance agent as opposed to finding an insurance agent, so they got to your site and just bounced.  So you want to be a low bounce rate. *

The second is just converting to get people to become leads.  You want your visitors to your site to look at what you have to offer and look at who you are and say, “Yeah this is the agent I want to do business with.”  So they’re going to fill out a form, fill out a quote request form, go into your quote engine, and do something to give you their contact information to become a lead and this is what we’re kind of aiming for.

Unfortunately, conversion rate just isn’t generally that high.  We know that with direct mail that they look at like a 1% response rate to a direct mail campaign as being a phenomenal success.  I think we could target a little higher than that, but it’s not much.  I’ve seen 2%, 3%, 4%, 6% is pretty good and on the high end, a really well optimized site might get 10%.  What that means is if there are a 100 visitors, somewhere between 2 to 10 are going to actually fill out your form.  So we’ve taken a 1,000 searches, we’ve got a 100 visitors, and 2 to 10 leads.

Now, you know the number of leads you talk to, not all of them become applications and that’s what we’re really aiming for – apps.  So make sure you’re tracking how many leads you talk to, how many you can’t contact, so what’s your contact rate, and also what’s your close rate.  How many leads lead to an app?  In my experience, it really varies by line of business, but you can use 10% as a number until you have your own to figure out.  So if you were getting 10% of the visits converted to 10 leads, this would lead to one app.  If you had 2%, this would lead to .2.  You can see that having a 1,000 searches, being on the first page for a phrase with 1,000 searches narrows down to about one application.

You have to have a lot of volume up here to get some decent volume down here.  That’s the unfortunate news.  Now, there’s some good news which is that relevance plays a big part in this, as well.  The more specific a term is, not only is it easier to rank for because it’s less competitive, you’ll also see that if you’re being focused on a very specific term, you’re going to have good title tags and good Meta descriptions, which is going to improve your conversion rating and click-throughs, so you can get much more than 10%.  The same thing on your site where if you’re very focused, if you’re meeting your visitors needs very specifically, you’re going to hit this 10%; you’re going to go above 2 and so you’re going to see this goes up.

Then of course because they already know who you are, you focus on what they offer, the conversion rate from leads to apps are going to be higher, as well.  Now there’s a trick to make this really skyrocket and that’s to add one more step here, which we talk a lot about in offline selling, but that’s referrals.  If you can get your prospects, your leads to go out and spread the word for you, what’s going to happen is these people are going to hear your name and they are going to go back and they’re going to do a search for your name or your business name.  This is great for a couple of reasons, one of which is that you have a pretty good chance of being the number one spot on your name, but the second is because they’re look for exactly you.  You are basically 100% relevant.  That means they’re going to click-through, they’re going to visit your site, they’re going to see exactly what they want, which is your information, they’re going to fill out the form because they are trying to reach you, and there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to close that sale because they already have trust, they know what they want.  They are looking for what you’re trying to sell them.

I think it’s really important, there’s two parts to this.  One is to make sure that you rank for your name, so important, so important to rank for your name.  The most important phrase you need to optimize for is to make sure that you can be found by people who were referred to you.  The second is to have an ongoing referral campaign online where you’re going out and you’re asking for referrals, you’re actively making this part of your online marketing strategy.  Put it on your website, in your email footers, make sure that you follow up with people, and ask them to spread the word, ask for endorsements, ask for links, ask for referrals from people who trust you because that’s going to close the cycle and you’re going to get a lot better than a 1,000 to 1 with referrals.

*So that’s the marketing funnel – some bad news and some good news.  Hopefully, there are some ideas here; some tips that you can use to maybe measure your funnel, benchmark it against these numbers to see how you’re doing. *

I’d be interested in hearing just from you; I get a lot of data back from people about what they’re seeing, but if you can, just let me know what are you seeing for your visits from lead to conversion rate and your leads from apps to conversion rate.  Are you doing way better than this?  Have you found something that works out?  Are you having some trouble sort of getting the 2% and 10%?  Let’s see if we can improve these together.

That’s what I have for today.  I will have more, of course, tomorrow.  Thank you very much.