We caught up with Alex Curtis from The Lead Engine to have a look at what it takes to build lead gen brands as a method of generating high quality leads for the brands he works with. Specifically, we try and answer the following questions for you.
- What are some of the ways you optimise sites to increase performance?
- How do you turn dead sites into lead generating machines?
- How do you drive traffic to these sites?
- Do you work on a performance basis or a retainer?
- What are some of the ways you ensure your leads are high quality? Does this involves extra qualification?
Below is an abridged version of the conversation that looks at some key ideas, but be sure to check out the entire podcast if you want to get the full value from this (Note: We kind of didn’t stick to a proper Q and A format and sort of just casually wandered all around the lead gen world, so it’s worth listening to the pod).
The headline on The Lead Engine site reads: “We turn tumbleweed websites into lead generating machines.” Could you explain what that means and exactly how you do that?
Alex Curtis: The majority of our clients are mortgage brokers and mortgage advice firms, and pretty much all of their sites are like tumbleweed. Nothing happens on them. The thing is, with the mortgage industries there are so many different specific situations and specific problems that people have, but all their sites have only got a First Time Buyer page or a Remortgage page or a Buy-To-Let page and a Protection page… and that’s it.
So those pages are competing with Banks and they are never going to rank for “First Time Buyer Mortgage” you know? So they just don’t get any traffic.
And then traditionally - they’ve loosened it a little bit - but traditionally, they don’t do much on social media. So they had these websites and no one was going to them. It was tumbleweed.
So we kind of say there are three things which we put into every website (as part of the transformation):
- Everyone loves a specialist
- People buy from people
- Educate rather than sell and you’ll get enquiries.
This took me about 15 years to realise. I used to think “If we’re position 1 on Google we’ll get traffic and leads.”
But I guess it’s about matching psychology and technology. We’ve taken our clients from having zero traffic to getting hundreds of enquiries a month, and not having to pay for that traffic.
When you’re changing those pages for your clients do you combine them all into one or do you keep separation between each granular search term?
Pages rank on Google, not websites. So, my favourite niche is Japanese Knotweed Mortgage, which is essentially where someone has had a survey on a property and they’ve found the property has Japanese Knotweed and they’ve most likely been declined (for a mortgage), so it’s the best page on Google from a trusted source that is going to rank, not the home page.
So you could be Joe Bloggs Mortgages and have a really in-depth explanation of that problem - the Japanese Knotweed problem - and that can rank really highly, not the website.
So yeah, we create a lot of content around very specific problems and specific solutions and they all have a specific page.
What are some of the ways you optimise sites to increase performance?
We’ve tested the layout of those - we call them secondary pages, the product content pages - we’ve tested so many things like Chatbots, like Typeforms, like big old application forms. So we’ve tested everything and it’s always the simplest things that work.
We don’t put a title on the top of the form. So on those pages you’ll just have your hero section, you know underneath your menu, an image a big headline. Then we’ll put a form on the right hand side that is literally just NAME, EMAIL, PHONE, MESSAGE, SUBMIT.
We don’t have anything like “Request a call back.” We’ve leave it open ended, so people will unpack their problem in the message box. Adding too much stuff in the form could put people off because people just can’t be bothered so, least resistance as possible.
Also, some people don’t want a call back. They just want to send their problem and it’s dealt with and it’s out of their mind, they’ve sent it to an expert. But then they will accept a call back if that kind of makes sense? It’s kind of the way our brains work.
And yeah, there are so many little quirks with just the layout and the form and the way you’re capturing data. And then just little things like your TrustPilot of your Google Reviews.