“No Conversions:” Informed Web Content Reviews a Consulting Company’s Web Presence

 Hello Readers,

This is an actual letter I sent to a company that reached out to me. You can easily find it the internet. With continuing poor conversions, they’ve concluded their website copy and content isn’t convincing enough to convert visitors. While yes the copy needs a lot of work, the website and overall web presence lacks not only consistency and CLARITY, but the bait pieces that capture email addresses and set up a lead nurturing buyer funnel.

People don’t convert on the first “date” or website visit these days. They need cajoling and canoodling in the form of regular helpful, interesting content that solves their needs and pain points. The free information warms them up for an EVENTUAL offer they can’t refuse.  

Dear J_________________,
I love the Peer 2 Peer aspect of College Mentoring.co. I suspect it is unique, offered by no other competitor? 
Lots of problems with your inbound marketing, tho, but all can be fixed. 
When people land on a website they need to know in under a second whether: 
 – they are in the right place (whether their intent matched the results)
 – what they can get immediately

In “Make the right college choice; talk to students at colleges” what you’re offering immediately is the connection to the college student. It’s cool, but it’s more of a side benefit of your services. When someone lands on your home page, they don’t think they’ll get what they need. They don’t primarily want to talk to a student, they want to get the best college experience and don’t think they can pull that off on their own. They probably can’t. 
What you’re actually selling (college consulting) and this unique BENEFIT of your services are switched in importance. Parents and students are not searching for peer-to-peer connections or communications. They don’t even know it exists. They need “college counseling” or “college consulting,” or “college decision help,” specific SEO terms. “College mentoring” may even be a good SEO search term; I’d have to research it. You must indicate that you offer the college admissions help they need. If, as a content and copywriter, I said, “Get your Sweet Tagline here,” most would click off because they need a white paper or ebook or any number of things.  
Your SEO terms must appear in key places on the page as well as in the coding on the “back end.” These concrete labels can be different from your messaging–the official copywriting– and a whole different ballgame. 
To be more original, CLEAR and CONSISTENT, I would suggest messaging along the lines of  “Affordable College Admissions Support.” Your prices are pretty affordable, btw. Then, have a tag line emphasizing your big benefit like . . . “Fueled by Scholar 2 Scholar Connect, [trademark it so you can have the TM. cost maybe $ 250?], the ONLY prospective to current student consultation service in the U.S.”  Peer2Peer is hot right now and you’re at the beginning of the wave (think Uber; AirBnb, even solar p2p markets).
Messages currently on your site like: “Make the Right College Choice” and “College is the biggest investment you’ll ever make”  are bland and detract from CM’s unique selling propositions: affordable college counseling in easy-to-understand packages. (Geez: can you offer similar FAFSA services? I have one in college and one heading out and FAFSA always gives us some trouble.)  Your copy is not hitting on student and parent pain points. 
Messages like “This Critical of a Decision Deserves a Little Support.”  or “We’ve Parted the Collegiate Clouds for Thousands of Relieved Parents and Students” or “Your carefully selected mentor guides you through the college best suited to unlock your potential” hits on the emotions and feelings readers desperate need relived.  This college stuff is STRESSFUL. Hint at the eventual emotional, financial and success benefits of using CM!
You can really take your messages forward by having free downloads entitled: “Cornell: Students Clarify Admissions’ Claims.”  or “University of Virginia: A Student Reviews Safety Measures.” These free downloads capture email addresses and then you send them offers:   20% off first month of SAT tutoring . . . along with even more useful information, but more on this below. 
Your bigger issue: doesn’t look like blogs, email newsletter and social are integrated in a consistent way that creates a “buyer funnel.” Shoring up ONE element of inbound marketing–like social marketing or content or copy alone–WILL NOT boost conversion. 

For Conversions, It’s Still Attention-Interest-Desire-Action, Just in the Ether

Business today gets leads and clients through the careful creation of a buyer funnel.

Each business must first get the Attention (or awareness as the graphic below calls it) of a big audience through events, Facebook ads, Instagram ads (you MUST be on Instagram with your young audience) and more.
From that huge audience, some will indicate Interest in staying current with your business. They will express their Interest by agreeing to your enticement to sign up for your email newsletter. A low-pressure way to make your case for the value of your company is to send regular, helpful information solving reader needs and pain points as they pertain to your products and services.
The email newsletter nurtures your leads and incites Desire (decision on this stock photo). As your email is impressing readers and viewers (video and photo content is content, too), with one more inbound tool, it also has the potential to document who has been on your site, when, and how many times. This last inbound tools is called marketing automation and can start bringing you leads for $ 25/month. 
Your final step is to push the warm lead to take Action by emailing or calling with a personalized offer they cannot refuse. 
As a small business, if you don’t have a SEO specialist or marketing automation, you really need a service that incorporates them like www.thrivehive.com (which I use at $ 150 per month) or www.hubspot.com (without marketing automation $ 200 per month; with marketing automation and a ton of tools $ 800 per month).  
I can facilitate both.
The smaller one www.thrivehive.com provides some marketing automation, email newsletter and social capability. They even give you an entire marketing plan to work (and I can actually work it for you) to boost your visibility on the search engines. Every day, Thrive Hive gives me a list of people who came to my website and filled out a form. If someone comes back many times, they send me extra notification saying it’s a hot lead and I should get off the ball and call or send a personalized email.  You can do something of the same using LeadPages and Constant Contact. Read more about Marketing Automation in this helpful piece by LeadPages. 
In my opinion, you need to start with LeadPages and Constant Contact doing the consistent machinery behind the scenes and me fixing up your content to get a solid buyer funnel into place. My copywriting will also overcome potential buyer objections, focus on your unique selling propositions and include calls to action. 
Putting this all into place will take a few months at about $ 1500 per month to start. If you are interested, I can send a more detailed proposal. The good news is that I can get you started on this for about 3 months and then your staff can follow my lead from there and take over certain elements or all of it eventually.  You don’t have to be paying me and my assistant the big bucks in perpetuity. At the beginning, it’s a beast, however. I have tamed such beast, but not without turning my brains into spaghetti and straightening them all back out again, no kidding. 
What I’m saying is that to get any results, you need an agency and I’m about as small and affordable of an agency as you can get. 
Regards and I hope I didn’t overwhelm you!

Informed Web Content

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