The One Thing (Probably) Holding Your Marketing Funnels Back

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

So. You want more leads.

You’ve spent a few months writing blog posts to boost your organic traffic and have spent money on advertising with Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

You worked hard to create a smashing opt in — an assessment that’s tailored carefully to your dream audience.

But… something isn’t working. People are coming to your site organically; some are even clicking on your ads. But they’re not converting.

If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance the problem is a common one: failing to customize your users’ experiences to match their expectations.

The truth is where someone is coming from and how they find you is critically important. It gives you valuable information about the headspace your visitors are in when they “meet” you for the first time.

And the content they find should reflect that.

Cold traffic and organic traffic act differently. What works for one kind of person shouldn’t be expected to work for the other. So you need to create funnels strategically tailored to each.

However — it’s not as much extra work as you might think.

But what is cold traffic? What is organic traffic? And (more importantly) what does that mean for you?

Cold Traffic vs. Organic Traffic: Two Different Funnels

Let’s start with cold traffic first.

Cold traffic is traffic that comes to your site because you’ve paid to get them there. Examples include Google Adwords search ads, and ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

These visitors have no idea who you are or why they should trust you when they land on your website.

But, because you’re paying for that traffic, you get to decide every detail of your funnel, which will usually  include designing the ad itself, a landing page, an opt-in or piece of content, and the nurture sequence they receive after opting in.

Organic traffic, by contrast, is traffic that comes to your site from search — which means they may have a similar mindset to someone who clicks on a search ad. But unlike someone who clicks on an ad, they’re not going to land on your landing page.

Instead, they’re going to land on a piece of content.

For example, they may land on a blog post. That content begins to build trust, and turn even a first time visitor into a slightly warmer lead. But you need to know what step you want that visitor to take from there.

Rather than ad copy, now your funnel will be your blog post (or other piece of content), with a call to action at the end.

No ads, no landing pages…

And you can often reuse the same opt ins you’re using for other traffic sources.

However, keep in mind that you’ll want your opt-ins to be as closely aligned to the blog post content as possible. So if your post is on the top 3 hiring trends for startups this year, then your download could be a full report, research data, or a checklist on hiring for startups — something that gives the reader more information on a topic they’ve already shown they’re interested in.

Search: What are they looking for?

It’s not just your funnels, however, that should be different. A user coming to your site from Facebook is not the same as one coming from organic search… nor are they the same as someone coming from a search Ad.

Psychologically, they’re each in a very different place.

When someone goes to a search engine it’s… well… because they’re searching for something.

They’re actively in questioning mode and they’re searching for a solution. They have a problem that they need solved. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “3AM Search Term,” that’s what we’re talking about here. The thing (whatever it may be) that has your audience up at 3AM, after they’ve stumbled out of bed because they can’t sleep.

These problems are immediate.

They are terms like, “Why does my leg hurt?” or “Is my spouse cheating?” And they want a quick answer. They’re going to click around until they find that answer.

This is where organic traffic has an advantage over paid, cold traffic.

Blog posts and other content pieces, by their nature, often provide visitors with potential solutions to the problem they’re facing. However, ranking well in search engines can be hard.

By contract, ads appear at the top of the search engine results page.

But if they click on your ad and your landing page doesn’t give them an immediate answer — if you’re not giving them something tangential — they’re going to bounce. This is not the time to point them to a webinar you’re going to offer next week.

They have a burning need right now. That means checklists, quizzes… things that they can look at right away. Then, if after you give them some great information you want to get them to opt in and pitch them on a webinar, that might work — but first you have to answer their question.

Facebook Advertising: Make them curious.

By comparison, people don’t go to Facebook looking for answers… they’re not in an analytic or business frame of mind while on Twitter or Facebook.

Usually, they’re on the john. They’re eating dinner. They’re reading first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

It’s a downtime activity. And they’re looking to be entertained.

That means question-based ads and question-based landing pages will be much more successful than the solution-focused headlines we need for visitors from search.

We want to pique their curiosity.

So while the search ad and associated landing page may ultimately lead your visitor to the same opt in magnet, getting them there via an ad on Social Media requires doing it in a more entertaining way.

For example, instead of “The top cause of leg pain,” which might do really well for someone coming from a Google search, a social media ad might tease — “Could your microbiome be causing you pain?” or “Microbiomes vs. Macrobiomes: What’s in your gut?”

Double the Work… Except not really.

Yes, that means creating two different ads and two different landing pages — one for each source of traffic. But it’s worth it, because when you have content on the page that is tailored for what a specific user is looking for in that moment it is infinitely more successful.

And really, ads and landing pages are fairly easy to put together. The hard bits are usually the opt in magnets and longer form pieces of content… which, with a little bit of planning, you can reuse.

For example, let’s say we’re trying to sell a digital thermometer.

We may have a blog post about cooking the perfect steak, with a call to action at the bottom; a search ad that starts out, “How to cook the perfect steak,” and then takes them to a landing page; and a social media ad teasing “How good of a cook are you really?” that takes them to a second landing page.

Each of those traffic sources can then funnel the visitor to a quiz on the user’s cooking habits, asking them about how often they cook and what tools they use — and of course, asks them to opt in to our weekly recipes (all of that information will be invaluable when we want to market to them later).

Immediately upon completing the quiz, then they get one of three results, with a brief “profile” of what their results mean.

  • You’re an amateur. Time to go back to cooking school.
  • You Cook like Grandma!
  • Wow! You’re practically a celebrity chef.

With the right quiz maker solution, your quizzes will work exceptionally well because people are naturally curious about themselves, but a good checklist or other strategically chosen piece of content can also be effectively reused.

Now that you know the differences between organic, paid search, and social traffic how can you rework your funnels to make them more effective? Let us know in the comments!

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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