How to Build a Funnel That Gets You More Leads

Chances are, if you’ve done any research on marketing your business, you’ve seen the F-word over and over again.

No, not that F-word. This one: funnels.

Every marketing course and website will tell you that you need to build a sales funnel to get more leads and bring more customers into your business. But did you know that your business, in many ways, is a sales funnel? You draw in prospects and (hopefully) turn them into paying customers. The only question is whether you do this effectively or not.

Before you start to create your campaign, you need to figure out what your funnel looks like, and then you can determine how best to improve your funnel to get the results you want.

The framework pictured in this section is the same funnel we use when building out our own content and funnels for our clients.

When it comes to your funnel, the goal is to deliver content your visitor can consume at different levels that helps them move on to the next stage or goal until they have reached the final stage of your sales process.

How the funnel works

At the Top of Funnel (TOF) is where we focus on acquiring new visitors to our website where we can pixel and segment them based on their interests. This is commonly know as the Awareness stage, where we are making new traffic or cold traffic aware of who you are and what services you offer.

No matter how great your funnel is, it’s useless if you don’t get people into it. There are a ton of ways to attract prospective customers, such as signing up for your newsletter, liking or following your social media pages and subscribing to your blog. Regardless of how you do it, once you’ve attracted and connected to these people, they’re in your funnel. From there, you have to decide how best to continue to connect with them and keep moving them down the funnel.

In the Consideration stage, also known as the Middle of Funnel (MOF), is where we are getting people in the Awareness stage of our funnel to move on to the next step. After making them aware of the services or products offered, we want to drive visitors back to our website. Our goal here is to try to convert a visitor into a lead by collecting their contact information, having them join a private group or directing them to consume more content that focuses on helping them solve their problem or answer their question. Point prospects to lead magnets, blog posts and downloadable content to help educate them and answer their questions before they even think to ask them. They’ll appreciate the information and look to you as a trustworthy source of educational content.

The Conversion stage is at the Bottom of Funnel (BOF), which is where we concentrate on converting leads into customers. A good example would be offering a Flash Sale or special offer to a limited number of people for a limited time. The goal of the special offer is to move people from the Consideration stage to the Conversion stage where they become your customer. This stage is one of the most difficult stages of the funnel. You are moving people from free or just browsing to paid customers. The relationship changes as people are moving from getting to know you, to liking you and then trusting you. Look at these as customer or client relationship goals for your business.

In the last step of the funnel, we want to reward our customers with special offers and incentives. Here we are working on getting positive reviews (not testimonials – learn why we don’t like using the word testimonials) and referrals. The goal is to build a long-term relationship with our customers, which is why we refer to this stage as Monetization, Retention & Love.

Once you’ve made the sale, be sure to follow through and make sure your new customers are absolutely delighted with your services. You want them to be so happy, they tell all their friends and family about you. Think about little extra touches you can add to pleasantly surprise them, whether that’s delivering their products early or throwing in a free bonus.

Finding your funnel

Determining the shape of your funnel involves looking at the visitors you currently have to your website, the leads you get, opportunities for potential sales, and the customers you have. Are you providing them with content that they can consume? What about the medium they are using to consume the content (video, blog, social post, podcast, etc.)?

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Access to Google Analytics account website data
  • Access to Google Search Console website data

Inside of your Google Analytics account, you will want to build a list of your top performing pages. You can access that information by going to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

On the “All Pages” section in Google Analytics, you will want to filter your results to list the Pageviews column in descending order (largest to smallest number). These pages listed at the top are the pages that are getting the views from your visitors. The way we can interpret the data is that these pages are the popular pages on your website and are what your visitors are most interested in. These pages are generally located at the Top of Funnel, building awareness about our services.

These pages at the top of the funnel should be providing your visitors with as much information as you can concerning your services. In the screenshot above, we can see that “newborn photography” is the most visited page besides the homepage. This page should be where you have everything you know about newborn photography and information about your services.

Here are some ideas of what you can put on that page:

  • Your Process – tell them what it’s like working with you from the first phone call all the way to them getting their artwork.
  • Newborn Session Styles – connect with your audience on what type of shoots they can have.
  • Reviews- show visitors how good your services are by providing reviews about the specific service on the page.
  • Artwork as Products – don’t just show an image gallery, put the example images in wall art or frames and example albums (set the tone for what tangibles they are purchasing, not the digital files they are thinking of buying).
  • Call-to-Action – give visitors actionable steps where they can schedule a consultation, visit the studio to see sample artwork or join your VIP group.
  • Tips & Resources – provide visitors with content they can consume that shows them that you are the expert in your area.
  • Studio Information – make it easy for clients to reach you, whether that is a phone number, directions to your location or an interactive Google Map.
  • About You – give your visitors a chance to connect with you. Be personable and engaging; don’t be shy or afraid to tell people “WHY” you do what you do.

If you are looking to build highly converting niche pages, then we suggest you take a look at our Page Templates for a detailed outline on how to set up your pages.

Once you have your page properly configured, you can now work on building interest-based content. What we mean by interest-based content is by building content that helps solve your target audience’s problems or questions. Interest-based content is content that helps your audience move from the Top of Funnel to Middle of Funnel. The content they are consuming is warming up those visitors by providing them a deeper level of understanding of the subject and prepares them to make a purchasing decision.

Sticking with our newborn photography example, here are a couple different ways we can find interest-based content that you should be building for your target audience:

  • Google Search Console – look inside of your website property and go to the Performance tab in the left-sidebar. Next click on Queries. This is where you are going to get the queries from the search results where your website appeared. You can filter the results to display queries that only contain the exact page URL or contain the word “newborn” in the URL.
  • Keyword Research – do a search for popular keywords and build a canonical list relevant to that service. Once you have your list of keywords, then you can group them into similar content and rank them based on search volume and difficulty to rank. To make it easier on you, we’ve already done the research for every photography niche. Our downloadable files have the canonical list and similarly grouped keywords in an easy-to-use Google Sheet where you can highlight the terms that relate to your services.
  • Common Questions – build a list of common questions you’ve been asked during sales calls and consultations. Make that information available to your visitors to help them make their decision quicker without having to go somewhere else, especially to another competitor’s website where they answer the question, which results in them converting the prospect you were warming up into their client.

Once you have your keyword list built out, it’s time to start mapping the interest-based keywords to content on your website. If you don’t have the content on your site, then you will need to create it. Generally these articles will be blog posts that you can tie in to past client sessions or as galleries of your best work.

Again, we suggest taking a look at the resources already available to you on this site. Our content library consists of blog templates for each niche that focuses on some of the most common questions and popular search terms and has already been keyword-optimized to help your website rank better for SEO.

Searcher intent funnel mapping

The goal of a sales funnel is to have people enter the top of the funnel as prospective customers and then exit the funnel when they purchase a product or service from you. You don’t want any prospects slipping out of the funnel partway through, so it’s critical to make sure your funnel is effective and meets your prospects’ needs.

It’s important to understand the sales journey each of your potential customers goes through. This way, you will know what they’re looking for at each stage of the journey and be ready to provide it for them. You also have to understand that not every single person will be ready to buy, but you can still provide them with information and nurture those leads so that they become sales in the future.

👉 Download the Searcher Intent Funnel Mapping Worksheet for FREE!

Important questions to consider

This process can seem daunting at first, but in the scheme of things, you should have been building a content marketing system like this a long time ago. If you’ve already started this process or have something like it on your website, then here are some things you should consider asking yourself about optimizing your site for conversions.

Look back at the past month of business and answer these questions:

  • How many people visited your website?
  • How many leads did you get? How many sales opportunities?
  • How many sales did you close? How many did you not close?
  • If you have an established database of contacts, are they active contacts? That is, do they visit your site or engage with your social media content?

Determining the answers to these questions will help you see what your funnel looks like and figure out where you need to work to adjust it.

  • Are you maximizing every opportunity you have to make a sale? Or are you letting some pass you by, maybe without even realizing it?
  • Maybe you have plenty of leads, but you’re not taking the time to properly engage them and get them interested enough in your services to make a purchase.
  • Maybe you have a lot of visitors to your website each month, but they don’t fill out any contact information or transform into viable leads.
  • Maybe you don’t have enough visitors or leads, and you need to attract more people to visit your website and interact with your brand.

All of these problems are solvable. That’s what marketing and sales funnels are all about!

After you’re done mapping out your funnel, you’ll want to create and optimize content for each stage of your funnel. Here are some more free resource to help you build your marketing content:

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