You've invested in paid ads, SEO and a website redesign – it's cost you a lot of money and the results have been underwhelming. Getting a lead's attention is challenging and converting them requires another level of mastery. Understanding the conversion funnel and customer journey will position your school to generate qualified leads in time for the busy back-to-school season.
Join PerfectMind Marketing Manager, Jason Kamara, and Digital Marketing Consultant, Walter Katzberg as they take you through:
- Common reasons schools are not generating online leads
- Understanding the journey from stranger to student
- Mapping content to stages of the customer journey
- Supercharging conversion rates with low-hanging fruit
PerfectMind Inc | 4333 Still Creek Drive 2nd Floor Burnaby, BC V5C 6S6 | www.perfectmind.com
About the Speakers
Jason Kamara is the Marketing Manager for PerfectMind. He develops and implements inbound marketing strategy for PerfectMind and ChampionsWay including content marketing, SEO, PPC and social media.
Walter Katzberg is the lead Digital Marketing Consultant for PerfectMind. In his 10+ years with the company, he has coached hundreds of school owners on lead generation, SEO and website conversion rate optimization.
Pei En: Good morning, everyone, or good afternoon or evening depending on where you're joining us from. Welcome to today's webinar! I'm Pei En and I'm the Marketing and Events Coordinator at ChampionsWay PerfectMind. So welcome, everyone, on today's webinar on "Why Your Dojo Is Not Generating Leads" with Jason Kamara and Walter Katzberg. Before we get started, let's do a quick sound check. If you can hear me, please type "yes" into the questions box now. Great, lots of yes's coming in. Okay so we're all set.
Before we jump right in, I'd like to give a quick rundown of who we are for those of you who are joining us for the first time and not familiar with ChampionsWay or PerfectMind. All-in-one martial arts management software, is used by thousands of schools worldwide, and enable school owners to manage memberships, billing, belt ranks, and promotions, and more from a single platform. We also provide web development and online marketing services. If you'd like to learn more about us or want to see some of the free content that we have to offer like today's webinar, visit championsway.com
Now enough about us, let me introduce today's guest presenters Jason Kamara and Walter Katzberg. Some of you may already be familiar with both our presenters today. Jason is the Marketing Manager for PerfectMind and he's done many webinars on search rankings and websites. He's an expert on inbound strategy, SEO, PPC and content marketing. Today's really a good chance to pick his brain with any burning questions that you might have. You may also know Walter personally. He's the Digital Marketing Consultant for PerfectMind. He's been with the company for over 10 years so he's wealth of experience and has helped hundreds of school owners with SEO, website conversion rate optimization, and lead generation. So you’re really all in for a treat today. I've done enough talking so I'll let the presenters get right into the good stuff. Take it away, Jason and Walter!
Jason: Alright thank you, Pei and everyone, it's great joining you today. I’d just like to make sure before we get started that you can hear me as well. So if you can, please type "yes" in the chat box and make sure that you can hear me. Good, seeing some yes's, alright awesome!
It’s great to be here. As Pei mentioned, I have done webinars in the past. It's actually been, I think almost a year, since I've done my last one, so it’s good to be back. This time my friend and colleague Walter is joining as well, we’re looking forward to taking you guys through hopefully some information that can help you out and answering some of your questions at the end as well. We're going to be looking at some of the reasons why your school may not be generating the leads that you’re expecting and how we can remedy that.
The webinar is divided roughly into 5 parts. I’ll be taking you through some of the common reasons schools aren’t generating online leads, how to understand what the customer journey looks like from stranger to student, and how to create content for the different stages of the journey. Walter's going to take you through the nuts and bolts of how to supercharge your lead generation with tactics that don’t cost a lot or require a lot of time or expertise to implement. Throughout the webinar feel free to type any of your questions in the chat box as usual and we’ll tackle them in the Q&A section. So let’s get started.
I meet with Walter pretty regularly to discuss strategies and tactics for our client-side local SEO. We go over changes in Google search ranking algorithms, new trends, and challenges our clients are facing. One thing that comes up pretty frequently is an issue that comes with SEO, search rankings, and lead generation, and a little bit of confusion between the three and how they relate to each other. Frequent expectation that paying for SEO or implementing SEO automatically equates to lead generation. On the surface that seems like a reasonable expectation. But in fact, SEO is only one potential lead generation channel, and it requires a lot more than just having strong SEO to generate those continuous leads to your website.
That got us thinking and then we decided to host a webinar, really based on that idea. And then along with that long what are some of the common reasons why schools aren't generating leads and what should really get us going, and get you to where you want to be.
Your school may be investing in SEO, Google Adwords, social media. You have a nice responsive website, but you're still not generating that many leads. You're asking yourself why is this happening. One of the biggest reasons is that all these investments are not coordinated, and they're not geared at solving the needs of your prospects, and differentiating your school from the competition.
So here, you can see at the top - Your Conversion Funnel. Don't let it scare you because I'm going to take you through it kind of slowly. So if we set, you're using SEO, which is a great start. You may also be using Pay Per Click, social media, email marketing. These are all different acquisition channels – they’re different methods to drive visitors to your website and landing pages so they can of course become leads. Each of these channels has different characteristics and they should be used in different ways and at different times. You really want to set yourself up for success by utilizing more than one online acquisition channel. You can think of it as diversifying.
Looking at the conversion funnel. What you want to understand is how many website visitors it takes to generate one lead. This helps you identify your customer acquisition cost or your student acquisition cost. You want to know how much you are spending to generate one lead so you know how to allocate your time and money. I’ve used different colors to separate the marketing activities in blue and the sales activities in orange. We're really just going to be looking at the marketing activities in this webinar.
Let's start from the top here. Let’s say I’m currently spending $500/month
on SEO and I’m getting 1,000 visitors a month to my website. This is not
the total number of website visitors, it's just the ones that have come
from Google and other search engines.
Of those 1,000 visitors, 50 fill out a web form. You can see there's %5 conversion rate. If 1,000 visitors, in other words the prospects, converting at 5%, 50 of them submit a web form and they become leads.
Of those 50 leads, 50% of them schedule a trial class, so that gives you a 50% booking rate. Maybe other ones who aren't unavailable, who knows you couldn't contact them, and they didn't schedule a trial class.
Of those 25 that schedule a trial class, 50% of them actually attended the trial class. I took 50% show rates, that means you have 13, well 12.5 we round it up 13. So 13 who actually attended the trial class. What it says here that you have a great sales, your staff is well trained and they're great at sales, so they're able to close 70% which gets you 9. So 9 of those trial class students actually became active paying students at the end.
What that tells you here is that since you're paying $500 for SEO and you're generating 50 web leads, your cost per lead is $10. And then your cost per student is $55, because you pay $500 and then you have 9 new students. That's actually pretty good. Let's say you have an average monthly tuition of $150. And let's say your average contract, that your average student stays with you for two years. That would get you an average LTV, average Life Time Value of your students of $3,600. That means you paid $55 to generate $3,600 in revenue.
What you can actually do here when you know this cost is if you want to grow your school by 50 students, let's say, you can work backwards, and you can identify how many leads you need, and then how many additional website visitors you need. This is also useful exercise for understanding how much you should be spending on marketing and where you should be spending it.
Now we’ve started to put some numbers together and we've established that we need X online leads to meet our targets but we still don’t really know where to start here, and that’s because we haven’t identified our target audience or established their needs. We need to do this in order to develop the right content at the right time, in the right place. You may have heard that content is king, well now we’re learning that context is queen. It’s not about you or your school, it’s about your prospects so we need to understand them better.
Let’s look at your target audience. I'm going to take you through a couple customer personas - they are also sometimes referred to as avatars. They are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Rather than looking at anonymous demographical information, we want to give a name and face to your target customers and dig deep to understand who they are, how they think and what they are interested in so that we can develop content that really appeals to them. I just have a question here. Are there any school owners or directors that have defined personas for their schools? Maybe you haven't done it in this way, but is there anyone here that's actually has personas that identify people that you are actively targeting? Can you type "yes" in the chat box? I just want to see. I know this maybe a little bit abstract but... Pei, do you see any yes's?
Pei En: I'm not seeing any yes's come in, no. Oh I see one.
Jason: Yeah! Okay. Got a couple here, a kind of. That's great. This is a little bit, this is fairly marketing heavy, and they are not to this degree, definitely not. As long as you have a basic idea. There are some companies, of course we do this at PerfectMind. Ours are a little bit more detailed than this but I've seen personas that are just incredible. It's basically like a novel about each person, it's really amazing. But just for the average local business owner, just having an idea who you're dealing to can have a dramatic impact.
I'm going to take you through a couple target personas here. Imagine that I'm running a Taekwondo school, it's serving a middle class community. I have a few target customer personas. This is the first one here - Professional Pam. She's a 35-40 year old Human Resources Manager. She’s a single mother of two grade-school children and works a hectic job until 5pm, sometimes she has to work from home on evenings and weekends. She relaxes and keeps in shape by attending her weekly Jin yoga class Thursday evenings. When the kids go to bed, she relaxes with her daily glass of red wine. Pam is our target persona but not as a future student. She has two school-aged children, she has a boy and a girl, they're playing soccer and studying music, and they would certainly benefit from our kids classes.
Second persona here is Get-in-Shape Gary. Gary is a 25-35 year old web designer, he's recently married with no kids. He’s not out of shape but wants to get in better shape. He used to play in a basketball league and he’s looking for an activity to improve his fitness since he spends most of his day in front of a computer. Working out at the gym is not an option for him since he knows he’ll ditch out half the time without having a coach or trainer to push him. Game of Thrones comes on, or whatever, he's not going, so that's not an option for him.
Those are two target personas. We're now ready to understand their intent and needs at different stages of the customer journey. What you see here are three stages of the customer journey. There are different models but this is one that I really like. It was developed by a marketing automation company called Hubspot. They're based in Boston, I believe. They have a nice kind of straightforward model here with three stages. We start with awareness, consideration and decision. You can either use this model to target one persona as they move through these three stages or you can simply create content targeting prospects at different stages.
In the awareness stage here, your prospect has a problem but it's not clearly defined and they are trying to understand what the problem is. Education is key here. I’m going to provide examples on subsequent slides. On this one here I'm just really trying to define what the stages are. Once your prospect has identified the problem or opportunity, he/she is committed to understanding all the available options. So that's a consideration stage. In the decision stage, your prospect has decided on a solution, a type of solution to the problem, and is putting together a list of alternatives to make a final decision. In the basic example you can think of maybe the person is evaluating exercise options. In the decision stage, at this point they're comparing their top three schools.
Let's take a look at a more detailed customer journey. In the awareness stage, mother, Sara, notices Johnny seems sad after school, he doesn't want to play with his friends, he is reluctant to talk about school. This is very much out of character for him, he's usually active, talkative, so something is going on here. She thinks something is not right at school and starts to investigate. She messages her friends on Facebook, she visits parenting forums, she searches google and she calls Johnny’s teacher to see what’s going on. After all that, she discovers that Johnny is being bullied by a classmate.
Sara is now in the consideration stage: She has given a name to her problem and is identifying all possible options for Johnny. She considers talking to the parents of the bully and requesting that Johnny switch classes, so there's a couple of options. She also comes across parenting blogs with information on bully awareness and self-defence. She decides that she will talk to the parents of the bully and the teacher but she also wants to enrol her son in a martial arts class. Upon further reading, she decides that she wants to enrol Johnny in a dojo that focuses on life skills, on building confidence and that has instructors with strong credentials in these areas. I'm going to be using the bully prevention example in here and keep in mind that bullying awareness month is October, and so this is a great time to use this topic to generate leads, improve retention and things like that.
Now that Sara knows what she's looking for, she begins searching Google, asking for opinions on Facebook and reading Yelp school reviews. She shortlists 3 schools within a 15-minute driving distance. The Smith family also has two daughters that enrolled in ballet classes, tuition is a concern and classes are going to have to fit their busy schedules. She and her husband search online, they check out schools because they want to know the tuition fees, what the schedules are for the classes, and they wanna read reviews left by other parents. After reading through a few pages of the website, Sara's husband, Tony, submits a web form for a free trial at Asian Sun martial arts. I could go on further but you get the idea here. You’ve established what the journey looks like from stranger to lead. Now, how do we create the right content for those stages that we just talked about?
I know we have some savvy marketers here and you were probably already filling in the blanks as I was talking. What content types are most suitable for the stages we just illustrated? For the awareness stage in this example, your staff could publish social media posts about engaging with children and identifying problems at school. You could also draft short blog posts about possible causes of sadness, the symptoms of depression in grade school children. Remember that you're not trying to sell here. You’re only trying to educate. There will be two great benefits here: First you establish yourself as a thought leader and you start developing a relationship with your prospects early on. Second is that you are creating educational content which is more likely to get shared and of course search engines love this stuff. So blogging helps you further build your brand and it’s great for SEO.
As we move to the consideration stage, you could perhaps promote a bullying awareness seminar that your school hosts, you could blog about spotting signs of bullying, building confidence. If you're lucky enough to have some design skills, you could create eBook about bullying awareness and prevention, along with the many other benefits of martial arts for children
In the critical decision stage, you’ll likely focus more on SEO, PPC, and creating those landing pages with focused content. Your landing page would contain an optimized web form, Walter will be talking about that later. It'll showcase the credibility of your instructors, it can include relevant testimonials from parents, you can have a free trial offer, maybe even a time-sensitive discount coupon. Here is to have a strong call to action and maybe create a sense of urgency. You'd also like to solicit a few strong reviews from your happy parents and students and you want to be using sites like Yelp and Facebook to help you boost those conversion rates. Depending on your personas and the resources available, there may be other content offerings you can use – I just wanted to provide you with some more insight and hopefully an additional perspective. I hope that I’ve been able to provide you some food for thought and some tactics that will help you provide as many reasons as possible for your prospects to choose your school. My throat's getting dry here, been talking for a while that means, and I’d like to turn it over to Walter so he can take you through some actionable tips that will help you boost lower conversion rates and really get the most out of your online content. Walter, take it over.
Walter: Thank you, Jason! Hello, everybody! I'm going to take over the next four slides here, so let's go on and begin.
What is missing? Before we look at what to create, we want to see what’s missing. We're talking about here obviously your website landing pages or program pages and whatnot. This is what’s called a gap analysis. You want to see what content you currently have and map it to the 3 stages of the journey. Those would be awareness, consideration, and decision stages Jason was talking about.
When you identify the gaps, you can then consider whether it’s possible to repurpose existing content, whether you can tweak or update it or whether you need to start from scratch, meaning starting the page from scratch and inputting these different three stages into actual page.
As you’ve probably noticed, blogging regularly can go a long way when it comes to SEO and establishing your expertise. You don’t need to be a great writer to blog. You can sit down and write a few posts when you have some time and then you can ask a staff member, a friend, a spouse to actually help you edit that post. You can then schedule your posts to publish once a week or every two weeks depending on your busy time schedule of course, and share them on all your social media channels. The most important part here is you want to be yourself, try to help and educate, rather than worrying about lead generation of course. Just educate and be yourself. It's probably the best advice I can give you on that.
Social media is key here because it will get you lots of exposure as your followers share your posts. Be sure to tag and comment and thank those who have engaged with your posts. We’re not trying to link to any landing pages or generate leads at this point. This is educational part, the awareness, the stage of the funnel here.
In the consideration stage, you can again use social media to extend your reach and get your school in front of more prospects. Here you want to focus more on getting your students, friends, family to share your educational posts with their friends and so forth. And since your prospects have more clearly defined the problem, you can focus on the solution. You would be posting about bullying awareness month for example which is October as Jason defined earlier in the slide, sharing an eBook, posting about a seminar coming up and our related educational blog posts.
Although SEO can be used for all 3 stages, it is particularly important in the consideration stage. You want to ensure that you are implementing basic local SEO for your website, this includes target the keywords that are most relevant that are going to bring you the right visitors. For example, you may want to have a web page dedicated to bully prevention and link to any bully awareness seminars and self-defence classes if you have them. This is what we do in our Mr. Marketer campaigns if you guys have been our clients of the Mr. Marketer package and / bully prevention actually has just gone out, I believe it's already running for our Mr. Marketer clients.
To get back on track here, you might want to dedicate the web page to bully prevention and link it to our seminars. In order to do that you basically have to optimize your URL, your page title, headings, images, copy and whatnot. What we're talking about here is basically having the keyword throughout the actual web page. If we're basically going to be targeting let's say / in Orlando. And Orlando of course it's a big city so we would really want to target. We want to target a neighbourhood in Orlando where your studio resides in. So that's usually a big question that we have is fully composite basically the city they want to target or the whole area normally that's not something that should be done with local SEO, basically we have to target neighbourhoods, but more on that after. If you got questions you can always get in touch with me of course through firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Once your web page has been optimized, you want to make sure that you also have a Google My Business listing that is verified and complete with listings on of the top of our local directories, meaning Facebook, Yelp and whatnot. NAPh, what we call Name, Address and Phone, have to be consistent across all your directories, that's very important for the search engine to be able to give you the equity for each of those directories and link them directly to your studio. So name, address and phone are very important in the local SEO.
Basically a little more SEO here. It's important as well as we target more keywords: martial arts school Orlando, kids karate classes in Austin, etc as I said. Those are major / so you really want to target your neighbourhood. You can also create an FAQ page on your website. That's actually a great idea because these pages are great for SEO and they also are useful sales tool. You can add amenities to differentiate your school and other questions that your staff frequently gets by phone or email: what forms of payment do you accept? Is there parking available? Do you have weights? Is your studio wheelchair accessible? So forth and so on.
Social proof: As your prospect is comparing alternatives you want to differentiate your school while eliminating any barriers to sign up. Social proof can help with this. Add testimonials to your website, if you have a lot of followers and are active on social you can embed your Facebook newsfeed widget. Some of our websites already include that of course, so if you'd like we can definitely do that for you. Another thing is having trust badges to your website like Better Business Bureau or any certifications you have. You also want to have a review strategy in place so that your staff is asking for reviews regularly and they are going on the sites your prospects are visiting – Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Google My Business. So these are actually huge for your local rank in search engines. Google basically looks at that as much as trust factor and they run accordingly based on your reviews whether it's a three-star course or five-star course. Very important to always have some kind of review competition. I have a review competition where the winner or the best will get a prize. I know our sister schools basically that's done quarterly and they actually get like 20 great reviews every quarter when they run that competition. It's something definitely to consider.
Well my favourite that often gets overlooked are web forms. I spend a lot of time creating and testing these and I can tell you that they have a big impact on your conversion rate. Consider what pages you put them on, where they are on the page, how many fields you are using, what the form title is, how the submit button looks and what the surrounding text is.
On of the big is / actually the amount of fields that you have. Normally, the more fields you have, the less people are likely to fill it out just because they don't know about the information or just time consuming. Just get the initial information first, first / on the phone, and then once you have the buy in you can then get more information. You also want to make the form prominent and provide a strong call to action with a limited time offer, free trial or something similar. The call to action here is so important, I know that people just sometimes want to have a free week or anything / but call to action is what really drives people to actually fill that form. So the stronger the call to action, the more lead generation you are going to get.
Don’t be afraid to test and make changes regularly. It only helps when you / basic Google website interview /. Try something out for the first two or three months and then basically change it for the next two or three months. Once you have your statistics on what's work the best, you go over that particular CTA or call to action. It will pay out in the end by basically Jason was indicating, knowing your target audience and what they are going to actually click on and fill out. I could go on for a while about forms and SEO but I know we have some questions that have come in so I would like to hand it back to Pei. So Pei, when you're ready. Thank you so much, everybody!
Pei En: Thanks, Walter and Jason! Really insightful webinar on the conversion funnel and its different stages. As Walter said we'll launch to the Q&A portion.