Episode Overview: One of the best ways of converting local SEO visibility into leads comes from a surprising source – chatbots. Join host Ben as he continues his discussion with Ana Raynes, CEO of Simplified Impact, on how to best convert your local SEO visibility into leads using chatbots.
- A leading source for local lead generation is consumers using chatbots to answer their questions and make ecommerce purchases.
- A great way to create content from chatbots is to observe the most common questions entered by users and create webpages that answer them.
- Conversion traffic from paid and organic search with chatbots breaks even with few differences between them.
GUESTS & RESOURCES
- Ana Raynes: Website // LinkedIn
- The Voices of Search Podcast: Email // LinkedIn // Twitter
- Benjamin Shapiro: Website // LinkedIn // Twitter
Ben: Welcome back to the Voices of Search podcast. I’m your host, Benjamin Shapiro. Today, we’re going to continue our discussion about the resources you need to optimize for Local SEO.
Ben: Joining us again today is Ana Raynes, who is the founder and CEO of Simplified Impact, which is a digital marketing agency for small businesses that empowers them to feel confident in executing digital strategies and locally focused marketing campaigns.
Ben: Yesterday, Ana and I talked about how to optimize your SEO content for local impact. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about converting your SEO visibility into leads. Okay, on with the show. Here’s my conversation with Ana Raynes, founder and CEO of Simplified Impact. Ana, welcome back to the Voices of Search podcast.
Ana: Hi. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Ben: Wonderful to have you back on the show. Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the basic blocking and tackling of having a local presence, and a lot of it has to do with mastering your Google My Business account to actually put a pin on the map somewhere, and making sure that you’re providing the right information for people who are looking for your businesses, but also the use of content to try to drive visibility when you don’t have a physical location in an area that you want to be present.
Ben: I think the next step, once you’ve figured out how to get visibility and a presence, you have your content and your Google My Business account set up, is figuring out how to actually drive visibility and convert it into leads. This is core to what your business does. Talk to me a little bit about how you’re specifically taking people coming in through the SEO channel and turning them into customers.
Ana: Oh my gosh. The best way, and I mean, I can’t imagine that everybody already doesn’t, but if you don’t, is chatbots. Chatbots work for any local business, I’m telling you, from jewelry, to lawyers, to 55+, you know, to real estate communities, that is going to be your best converter, because people are coming in, they expect to talk to someone, they have questions, and people are more open. I have to say that that is our number one converter, lead gen is a chatbot from people coming in from Google. Absolutely, hands down.
Ben: I have to say I’m shocked. I assumed it was, get someone into the store, make sure that you have your presence, and focus the content on getting them to show up to wherever your location is. Second being have them call you on the phone. And third being web conversions. And you’re leading with chatbots, which wasn’t even on my radar. Talk me through how the heck you’re getting chatbots to work so well.
Ana: Listen to this. I have a client, I can’t disclose how much, but let’s say in the multiple millions, that they’re doing jewelry. Right? And they’re in a very high trafficked area. They will sell engagement rings and sell jewelry from a chatbot. People will call and be like, “Oh, I saw this and that. What can you tell me about it?” Because they already know a lot of it is brands, right, so they’re looking at the brand, they know their fiancé or future fiancé’s already sold, and they will literally walk them through a sale in a chatbot.
Ana: Because the thing is, when you’re buying something like that of that high value, you’re not going to just go in and place an commerce order. They have some questions. They want to understand what’s the financing. They want to understand how long does it take, what’s the sizing, all these different questions to get them through to the sale. And most of the time, no they don’t, I mean, a lot of times they do start the sale there and then they’ll finish in person or, yeah, but it is very much the sale does start and a lot of times it does finish inside of the chat bot.
Ana: And then let’s say for the real estate, 55+ communities, same thing. They’re like, “What are the prices? What are the HOA fees? When can I come in to see it? What does this look like?” And we just added 360 videos. So that also is like, “Okay, so they’re looking through and they’re asking questions. Okay, so can I change this to granite, marble? What do I do here?”
Ana: So a lot of the selling is happening through chat because it’s happening in real time, and I don’t know, there’s just this thing about calling that you just feel so much more pressure. Like with the chatbot, you still haven’t made that direct 100 percent human connection that when that person feels like their questions have been answered, they can log off, and then that conversation is finished. There are certain chatbots like Tawk.co, I think it is, T-A-W-K, just look it up, I forgot if it’s .co, .com, dot whatever. That one does track pretty well somebody who’s been interacting with your chatbot, it’s free to use. We use different ones. That’s one of the ones that we use. We use a lot of HubSpot and stuff.
Ana: But anyways, for anyone listening it’s really great because you can take that content, you can take those emails to them and remarket the people that you’ve been chatting with or you can create look alike audiences and stuff. But getting back to SEO, I mean that really is what we prefer, and what we see really converts the most is the chatbot.
Ben: So when you say chatbot, the thing that goes into my head is writing scripts to answer people’s questions and not actually conducting the chat by yourself. You mentioned talk Tawk, T-A-W-K, and it’s actually .to, T-A-W-K.T-O.
Ana: Yeah, sorry.
Ben: It looks like you can hire agents for a dollar a minute, I’m sorry, a dollar an hour. So when you’re setting up these chatbots that you’re getting someone looking for your local business, they come to your property, and now you have this content that you’re creating. Are you actually having a person respond to the answers or is it all automated?
Ana: Half and half. Most, I can tell you, 90 percent of the questions are going to be the same. So they start there where we say, “Okay, it’s automated,” and we direct them, and we have workflows. And like I said, we also use HubSpot and different ones so we can create the workflow and it really navigates. But there is a point where someone does have to take over. A lot of my clients, because they see the conversion value, they’ll watch the chat start with the bot, and then they’ll decide when to take over. And they get an alert, like a push notification, on their phone, so it’s really easy to manage.
Ben: As you’re creating the content for these chatbots, I feel like there has to be some SEO value that you can glean out of this. Where are you sourcing the questions, and how are you answering them, and can you repurpose some of that content for SEO value?
Ana: Yes. So a lot of the questions are coming from the customers’ clients themselves, you know, they come in and everybody starts with a question. So we do repurpose them, and then we use them optimized with titles, so we’ll create pages. If we see we’re getting a lot of a question, we’ll create a page and optimize that for local storage that answers that question. So yes, that is definitely a really great place for content development, and content just identifying what is missing on the site as far as content.
Ben: So for locally focused businesses, your recommendation is that when people are coming in and they’re consuming your content, they’re finding your business location to provide them a low friction way for them to interact and ask questions, chatbot being one of them. Do you see behavior changing from people that are coming in through organic channels as opposed to paid when it comes to using chatbots?
Ana: No, actually, I think it’s the same. They’re both pretty open I think. And the other thing that I’m not seeing is the difference in the age groups where that would be my hypothesis, not so much the channel that they’re coming in, but the age groups.
Ana: So for the jewelry, the age group there is mostly like 25 to 35, and then for the 55+ community, obviously it’s 55 plus. For the legal, it’s a divorce lawyer, so for that particular client, we’re seeing again, 45 plus, chatbot being one of the biggest drivers. So I would say no, we’re not experiencing where when something comes from paid versus organic that it’s much different.
Ben: So as we talk about ways to convert traffic, whether it be SEO traffic, going through your chatbot or other channels, if there isn’t a big difference in sort of the user behavior when you’re using chatbots, even though that’s the highest converting channel, what are some scenarios where you do see SEO performing differently than your paid or some of your other organic channels?
Ana: Well, I would say that when you’re coming in through SEO, people do spend a lot more time on the site. There are more pages that are visited, there’s more content that is consumed. And I would say the chat is initiated on an inner page rather than the homepage. Usually because our paid channels, you know, someone asks a question and then they get to that page right where we landed them according to what ad they saw, and they consume it, and then they’re done.
Ana: Someone coming in from organic, I think has more curiosity, is really looking to have a lot more answered, they’re in the research phase, they are consuming more of the content, and that’s why content is so important, because people are self navigating, and maybe they get to a point where there’s some content piece that maybe we didn’t fill a hundred percent or is a unique question to that person, so then that’s when they would activate the chatbot. But we do see that in more deeper pages rather than more your top category pages.
Ben: It sounds like you get someone that’s a little bit farther into research phase. Right?
Ana: Exactly. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Ben: They’re one level deep as opposed to coming to the homepage and learning about their brand. They’re already looking for something that’s probably a little bit more down funnel and that allows your chatbot to hopefully guide the conversation and understand where they are in the buying journey.
Ana: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Yep. You’re a few levels deep. Once that person who came through an SEO search, then they’re like, “Okay,” when they activate, so absolutely.
Ben: Okay. Obviously, the landscape of local marketing is always evolving and even more specifically it’s evolving as we deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus, so we’re going to talk a little bit more with Ana about that tomorrow. And that wraps up this episode of the Voices of Search podcast. Thanks for listening to my conversation with Ana Raynes, founder and CEO of Simplified Impact.
Ben: We’d love to continue the conversation with you, so if you’re interested in contacting Ana, you can find the link to her LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can contact her on Twitter. Her handle is StylinAna, S-T-Y-L-I-N-A-N-A, or you could visit her company’s website which is simplifiedimpact.com.
Ben: Just one more link in our show notes that I’d like to tell you about. If you didn’t have a chance to take notes while you were listening to this podcast, head over to voicesofsearch.com, where we have summaries of all of our episodes, contact information for our guests, you can also send us your topic suggestions, SEO questions, you can even apply to be a guest speaker on the Voices of Search podcast.
Ben: Of course, you could always reach out on social media. Our handle is VoicesofSearch on Twitter, and my personal handle is BenJShap, B-E-N-J-S-H-A-P.
Ben: And if you haven’t subscribed yet, and you want a daily stream of SEO and content marketing insights in your podcast feed, in addition to the last part of our conversation with Ana Raynes, founder and CEO of Simplified Impact, we’re going to publish an episode every day during the work week. So hit the subscribe button in your podcast app, and we’ll be back in your feed soon.
Ben: All right. That’s it for today, but until next time, remember, the answers are always in the data.