The Small Business Online Marketing Funnel: Reach, Engage and Convert

In this short video, Aaron covers the basic online marketing funnel: Reach, Engage, Convert!- explaining the core terms, tactics and metrics associated with small business online marketing, SEO and conversion. If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to understand internet marketing for your business, watch this video now!

Transcript: The Basic Online Marketing Funnel: Reach, Engage and Convert

Hey guys.  This is Aaron Fletcher once again at Geek-Free Marketing.  In this video, we’re going to focus on the online marketing funnel.  These are the basic numbers that every small business owners should be familiar with and we’re going to present it in a way demystifying a lot of the confusion out there and kind of analysis paralysis or fear of all the metrics you hear floating around out there in the web.  We’re going to do a very simple overview of the three levels of a marketing funnel, learning how to and measure how you reach, engage, and convert more of your visitors online and ultimately get more business online.

I’m going to jump right in here and show you how the basic funnel works and then describe some of the terms associated with it, the tactics we used to address each level of the funnel and most importantly, the metrics that we used to measure our performance and make changes to our programs.  This is really going to set us up for the next video which we’re going to show you how to use a simple Excel spreadsheet to track your marketing and to look at all these numbers associate with your marketing and kind of make sure that you’re spending money where you should be, where you’re getting the best return on investment, and chopping off the marketing activities that aren’t producing ROI.

The basic marketing funnel in its most simple form possible looks something like this.  The first phase is obviously you want to reach more your target audience online.  The second phase is to engage; and finally to convert into leads.  When I draw this—that’s a funnel—you can obviously see the logic that and obviously the tip of the funnel is going to be customers that we get.  But we’re going to talk about that later.

The most basic online marketing funnel involves these three phases to reach, engage, and convert online.  Obviously, not to oversimplify this, but it’s funnel-shaped because you’re going to have a whole bunch of people that you reach, everywhere in the web that come and visit your website, you’re going to engage them with content and kind of the layout and the format of your website, and finally, you’re going to convert them hopefully, as many as possible anyway, into customers.  This is the most basic form of the online marketing funnel we can draw here.

Just some of the terms associated with these levels.  When we describe your online reach, you might hear terms like the impressions that you’re getting.  Another term to describe your online reach that you’re very familiar with is visitors and visits.  For engagement, you might hear terms thrown out there like page views, anything that describes how long whether people last more than those first three seconds before they bounce.  You might measure that by video plays.  Another way to look at engagement and maybe even if you an e-book or something on your site maybe downloads.  We’re not talking about phone calls and forms, that the next thing.  Finally, for the smaller percentage of people, they’re engaged, you want to convert as many as possible into leads.  We’d measure that really simple, as leads, and maybe phone calls.  So we’re going to obviously have to measure those things.

If I really look at these different levels here that are important and I look at this online funnel, I can see that these are some of the common terms associated with the funnel.  The next thing we should point out is kind of the methods.  So I’m going to use a different color here to illustrate, it’s easier to see on screen.  The methods are the tactics that we used to address each level of the funnel are as follows.  How do we increase our reach?  Really, it’s about, as far as the online world, we might use SEO.  We might use pay-per-click campaigns or PPC, Google AdWords, or even Facebook or any form of paid advertising.  We might do offline stuff to reach people.  This could be a direct mail.

You could have a local restaurant and send out specials or birthday announcements to people within 20 miles of your restaurant.  If you’re a bankruptcy lawyer, you might send out letters of engagement to those who recently were foreclosed or had judgements against them or what have you.  There’s really nothing else you can do as far as reach except for existing clients and nurturing but we’re not talking about that here.  This is for a new business.

The second level, how do we engage people?  The methods we used there, that’s defined as kind of our web design, having good design and navigation and making it so I really want to be clear, I’m defining engagement as getting somebody to be engaged, again, not to oversimplify it, to stay on your website more than the average which is about four to seven seconds.  If they see an appealing design and credibility and some of the factors we’re going to talk about on upcoming videos on how to make your website look like an authoritative place where somebody should go looking for the services you provide.

For now, we can say just the design, the content, which might be articles, blogs would increase engagement, and video is a big reason obviously we do videos for engagement.  Pretty soon, every small business will have a video on their site.  At, that’s all we do.  That’s one of our sister sites where we just go out and come to your business and film videos because we believe that instead of reading boring text, nothing is going to engage us more than a video.  It’s almost like you get to meet each person directly while you’re sleeping at night.  They get to come to your website, find out about who you are, hear your expertise, and how you can address their needs.  That’s just something that you can’t do with boring texts.  But we’ll talk about that later in our upcoming lessons on video and how to optimize and use video.  That’s another tactic.

How do we convert?  Well, we use things like web forms.  We have trackable phone numbers.  We might even use things like online chat.  There’s a whole bunch of ways you can get.

So the whole point is like your reach is how many visitors are coming to your site and it’s about increasing your online visibility from free and paid methods.  Engagement is getting people to stay there and it’s kind of like if you look at even back to the days of Ogilvy or Claude Hopkins, the whole purpose of a headline, think about something coming in to your site is not to sell anything, it’s just to get you hang out long enough to read the first paragraph.  I’m talking about of an ad obviously.  Well, guess what, the purpose of the first paragraph is to get you to hang out long enough to read the second paragraph and all the way down to the call to action.  So you convert with offers and obviously, you’re going to have a call to action.  I’m going to say C2A in everything that you do.

Let’s not go any further.  I just want you to learn one thing, one takeaway from this video in terms of the tactics we use.  How many people are you reaching online?  Are you measuring how they’re engaged?  And how many you’re converting into leads?  So we’re going to talk about metrics next, but before I do that, I want you to answer this question honestly and you can do it out loud if you want, it might be a little bit weird because I’m not going to be able to hear you but you can do it via the comments under this video.  But seriously, every small business owner, I can’t underscore this enough, if I ask you how many visitors are coming to your website each month, what percentage of those are converting into leads and kind of what does it cost you to do that?  You should know the answer to that.  You should know, hey, I’m getting a thousand visitors and about 20 or 30 leads.  Actually, that’s not a good example.  Twenty-six leads and we’re going to talk about in the next video how to quantify the return on investments.

But before we go too far, we just need to establish the definitions of this and finally, we’re going to talk about the metrics.  The minimum metrics that you should know for your business and your website and I can stress enough that magical things happen if you don’t even make any changes, all you do is measure this stuff.  It’s kind of like if you just step on a scale once a day, your subconscious and your activities and everything you do might, just by measuring your weight, you might make lifestyle changes that address and improve that just because you measured.  Measurement alone is number one.

How we measure our reach online?  We look at, for the sake of simplicity, just talking about your website.  Let’s talk about our visits.  Now, there’s a level of engagement I know from people seeing you on a search engine to clicking through your site and then pay-per-click, we can measure reach that way and engagement, but to make it very simple, we need to start with the system that we can use immediately and not be scared off by the metrics.  Let’s just say that we’re going to measure reach by visits to our websites.

How are we going to reach engagement?  We might measure our bounce rate and I’m going to cover a video, again, a few videos from now, is just on measuring—I’m using Google analytics in the most simple way possible to measure your traffic, but let’s say we’re going to measure bounce rate.  That’s the percentage of people that come to our site and without clicking through to anywhere else on our site or a link referring a user to another website that you’ve recommended they just leave.  The bounce rate, let’s keep it simple, I like to say the bounce rate equals the back button.  For this it’s showing up on the video here, if not, it says back button.

Engagement might be time on site.  And speaking of time on site and making videos, it helps you relax and hopefully speak a little bit better if you have a little bit of old vines Zinfandel.  If you’re Mormon, I apologize, you can still learn a lot from the videos.  Think of this as grape juice that’s gone bad a little bit.

Now, conversion, how do you measure conversions.  This is again so important to say, out of all these numbers, conversion, how many leads did I get via phone calls or e-leads?  Now, you might be sitting in right now saying, that’s all fine and good, Aaron, but how do I measure all this stuff?  That’s what this course is about.  Each one of our modules whether we’re talking about creating an engaging WordPress website that compels people to contact you or increasing your online visibility and whether or not you should use social media.  It’s like we’re going to do the most simple, step-by-step program possible and put these tools in place.  So Google analytics really easily can tell you all the stuff on here.  You can use simple plug-ins or simple web forms.  I want to give you a whole different bunch of options depending on how far you want to go but it’s easy to measure to do trackable phone calls or e-leads or you can even do it the old fashion way and just measure them whoever handles your intake.  Do that.

Again, reach, engage, convert is the most simple way to look at the online marketing funnel.  If you’re falling out of the building or had to get somebody the elevator, pitch for your business, and you’re trying to sell your business and talk about the value of your website, you need to note these numbers.  How many visits you’re getting on your site and how engaged are they?  How long are they sticking on your site?  How many leads are they yielding?  Maybe I shouldn’t be on my seventh glass of wine during this video, but we’re already too far into it to rerecord it.  How many leads are they yielding to your site?  How many leads are they yielding?  You need to know the answers to these numbers and in the next video, it’s really important to stay tuned.  Right now, we’re sending these out every Tuesday, so you have a week to kind of implement and review the material.

In the next video, we’re going to take this funnel and put it into a simple Excel spreadsheet so you can track your marketing very easily and know exactly what’s going on and then we’re going to take that and scrutinize all the money you’re spending on marketing whether it’s offline, the Yellow Pages, or online via various channels.  We’re going to scrutinize that marketing and see what’s working and what’s not.  Stay tuned, you don’t have to go as far as I didn’t get a tattoo of the online marketing funnel on my arm here, but stay tuned and understand that it’s all about measuring how much reach you have online, your engagement and how many of those you’re converting into leads.  I’ll see you in the next video.