Propane Websites That Work - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Propane Websites That Work

by Ben Gutkin, VP Marketing Services, Warm Thoughts Communications

There are plenty of nice looking websites that are complete failures. A website that works is one that helps you make money. It delivers leads and sales, and it decreases your overall cost per customer acquisition (CCA). It helps retain customers or encourages them to use propane for more things. If it’s well designed, it can certainly help do all those things. But design alone doesn’t come close to getting the job done.

Cost per customer acquisition (CCA) is the key metric for all of your marketing efforts. A low CCA means your marketing strategy is working and you are inexpensively attracting more leads and closing more business.

So, how do you attract the right prospects? And how do you give them what they want so that it builds your business?

Starting at the Beginning – Why People Go Online

There are four reasons why people go online:

Understanding Search

Once we understand that people go online primarily to get information, we can start to think in terms of questions and answers. Every word or string of words that is entered into the Google search bar is really a question. If a homeowner types in “propane gas” (and by the way, more than 450,000 people did so in the last 30 days) they could really be asking, “Who can I call for a propane delivery” or perhaps, “How much does propane cost?”

Does your website have the answers?

The Devil in the Details – Analytics

The beauty of online marketing is that unlike other media, you can track every visit in real time. Analytics is the tool that will tell you who has been to your website, how long they stayed, and what they did there. As I mentioned previously, the goal of any website and online marketing campaign should be to achieve the lowest CCA. In order to convert people to sales, you need to attract them to your site so they become leads first. And your analytics reports will show you how your search engine optimization campaign is performing because it answers these questions: Is my site working? And if it’s not, what should I do about it?

Here are some key metrics that your analytics will measure for you:

Understanding your analytics is the key to generating traffic to your website, and ultimately converting them. To illustrate why this is so important, let’s look at propane gas. From our keyword research, we know that it generates hundreds of thousands of searches. If your analytics tell you that you are not generating traffic from that phrase, then you need to optimize a page that will. The headline, Your #1 Source for Propane Gas in (your town), might just do it!

Search Engine Marketing

Done right, search engine marketing can be an important part of your online marketing mix. The most common form of SEM is pay-per-click advertising. You can drive traffic to your website by buying ad space on the search engine results pages. The price you pay is determined by the going rate for the keywords you select (it’s like an auction) and how many times the ad is “clicked.” You don’t pay for appearing on the page; you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Pay-per-click advertising can be highly effective, because you get exactly what you pay for and tracking the results is an instantaneous process.

Websites that DON’T Work

Attracting a prospect to your site, getting them to stay and visit your pages, and ultimately converting them to a lead or sale, is a function of several key issues, some of which we’ve already discussed. Once you’ve worked hard to get prospects to your site, you have to make sure you don’t lose them by committing design mistakes that will cause your prospects to leave quickly. Take an objective look at your website and make sure that you aren’t employing any of these common mistakes:

While it can take time to build up a strong and high-performing website, the investment in time and resources will be well worth it.

Ben Gutkin is VP Marketing Services for Warm Thoughts Communications. He has advised dozens of the nation’s leading energy companies and associations on improving their web presence, search capabilities, direct response advertising and return on investment during his 20+ years with Warm Thoughts.

You can reach Ben Gutkin online or call our office at 201-330-9276


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