Time To Sober Up When It Comes To Paid Traffic!
All The So Called “Experts” Are ^%#&@% WRONG!!
I just laugh when I hear “experts” talk about how the form must be above the fold, and that the landing page should be only 1 page without any links. This is the biggest load of crap ever! And I will tell you why they think they are right and why they they are simply flat out wrong!
Here Is Why They Think They Are Doing it Right
This is how these “experts” do their testing: They create a landing page, and design it in such a way they think is the right way (only one page, no links bla bla bla). Then they drive traffic manually to the page though paid advertising. And then they measure conversion, lead count, Click through rate and all these BS KPI’s that don’t mean a damn thing.
What they should be measuring is not conversion (form fill outs) but “contract signed with offers below market value“. This is what you REALLY and ULTIMATELY want right? That determines whether or not a campaign is successful or not. And that is the main reason all their conclusions are flat out wrong and meaningless. They measure the wrong thing.
Who cares how many “motivated” sellers you get to fill in the form if only 1% of them sign a contract that will make you money? See paid traffic is NOT motivated traffic. With paid traffic you do not always get people that were in such pain they went out of their way to look for you. People that click on ads by default are not as motivated to sell as people that only choose companies that rank organically. The number of people that click on paid ads is significantly smaller because most people still believe ads are spammy, not credible. They paid to be there. They don’t “deserve” to rank #1. And this is simply a fact.
Paid advertising is similar to direct mail marketing, that you will get both motivated and not very motivated leads. You get both the very motivated and the “hey I just want to see how much you will offer for my awesome house“. In fact, what a landing page does is it filters out motivated traffic. It actually kicks off motivated traffic! Do you honestly think that Ms Betty, single mom of two will fill out her actual physical address on some strange isolated landing page with no link to see who she is dealing with? Yeah OK! Do you think Betty will fill in the form without a way to verify legitimacy? No, so she bounces. Congratulations, your landing page just kicked out an other motivated seller to your competition! Anyone that would fill in the form without a background check, by definition doesn’t really care weather the site is legit or not. And thus they don’t really care if they will actually buy their house and thus the lead was not very motivated.
But don’t just take my word for it. Lets look at the numbers:
Lets take a look at where my traffic clicks on my motivated seller website. As you can see there are plenty of clicks going on. Now lets think for a moment. Would anyone still click and browse my website AFTER they filled in the form? No. This is not some entertainment website. We try to solve their problems. Once they fill in the form they are done. There is no reason or need to keep clicking and browsing the site. So then we can conclude that every single click you see are from people that did not YET fill in the form. This is very interesting and I will tell you why. This then is a visual representation of a credibility blueprint. In other words you can see what people NEED to see/find on your site in order for them to be won over to fill in the form.
So lets interpret this. I can see that people love to click on the “How It Works” page. So this means before someone is going to fill in the form they need to see how it works. Well, duh, that makes perfect sense. What else? Well… I see the reviews page is not that popular. At first I thought that was odd. But then after a bit of thinking it makes perfect sense. If they feel deep own subconsciously that you are trust worthy, they wouldn’t feel the need to visit the reviews page, because it doesn’t provide value to them. They feel a need to know how it works, so they check out the page. They feel the need to check out our company and our about us page so as you can see they click on it. So again this means that people NEED to know more about us, who we are in order to fill in the form.
This goes COMPLETELY against the whole “Ohh we need to have the form on the top of the page and remove all the links so they can not click on anything but the form“. Honestly that is the most RETARDED thing I have ever heard! SO you walk down a street in your fishnet stockings high heels, hair in a pony rail , with your moustache and beard all combed neatly. (you weirdo) and you see down the road a group of thugs causing ruckus. So you are poop out of luck right? it is a one way road so that means you have to go walk through that mess. Ohh noo, I can’t just turn around and go back. no no that is unheard off. REALLY?! Are you so called SEO experts really going to throw that card at me? If they do not want to fill in the form they will not! They will bounce! Not because you removed all navigation does it mean they will fill in the form just because there is nowhere else to click.
And to top it off, I interview my leads and contracts signed. 100%, 10 out of 10 (I could have said 1 out of 1, but that sounded just weird), of the people that accepted my offer flat out said that they filled in the form because I provided a ton of clear well written and open information. So people that are serious about signing contracts need to be able to browse your site! PERIOD!
And Here Is Why They Are Flat Out Wrong
Mistake #1: They Don’t Understand Data Analysis
They have data. They are only worried about how correct and accurate the numbers are. But it seems no one double-checks what that data ACTUALLY represents!
How and where you get the data from is as important as what the data means. Everyone seems to be so occupied with what the data means and pull conclusions out of their buttholes, and completely underestimate how and why the data was collected and from what kind of audience.
So why do they not see that the data is misleading? Honestly? I have no clue. They don’t come from a math background? They are not engineers (or at least not good ones?), none of them took a single course on data analysis and interpretation? They took it upon themselves labeled themselves as experts? Against which standards, I have Not A Clue! Well I DO have a math background, I do have a degree in Applied Mathematics, I AM a scientist. I AM an engineer, and if NASA thought I was good enough to work for them, I think I am good enough to tackle this problem!
The problem starts with the audience group. What kind of people click on paid ads. There is where one should start. IF actual motivated sellers do NOT click on ads, then EVERYTHING they base their businesses on is completely utterly wrong. Done! Did anyone ever think about this? So if ONLY a small group of motivated sellers click on ads, then the entire notion of finding “motivated sellers” through paid advertising falls apart. thus inherently paid ads is then absolutely not he right way to find motivated sellers, because motivated sellers simply don’t click on ads!! So the obvious thing to do next is find out whether or not motivated sellers click on ads or not.
The answer is no. Motivated sellers usually do not click on paid ads. Some do, but most motivated sellers that click on paid ads are those that didn’t know the difference between an ad and an organic result! This thought is scary isn’t it. Your entire paid ads marketing campaign is based on someone winging it and luck!
Mistake #2: They Don’t Understand Or Define “Motivation” Correctly
Everyone is after leads. And then they call a lead that “really” wants to sell their house, a “motivated seller lead”. Dude, someone that lists their house through an agent IS a motivated seller as well. A motivated seller is someone that has enough motivation to sell their house that they are willing to accept a significantly lower offer for it than suggested by market standards.
Someone that is about to lose their house due to foreclosure and is relentlessly begging you to buy their house from them, and is not willing to accept anything over ARV, is NOT motivated no matter if they are losing their house and no matter how desperately they want or need to sell! This is what ALL you marketers got wrong. You look at the desperation, there lingo in the correspondence, what they say how they say it to evaluate motivation. A motivated seller simply is willing to accepts an offer below market value. THAT is a motivated lead.
There needs to be a filter that separates someone that wants to sell (fast), from someone that is actually MOTIVATED to sell at a discount. What they need to do is get a sample of leads, maybe 100? and see how many of these leads sign contracts for at most 50% ARV and at least 50-70% CMV (Current Market Value). THOSE are truly motivated leads. Why do this? Well if you don’t this will happen. You get 100 leads, and if you put your audience targeting settings half way right, of course you will get leads that want to sell their house. But they may not at all be motivated. So if you stop the analysis only at the number of leads you get, or cost per lead, you are completely missing the bigger picture here. It is not about how many leads one gets but how much each motivated signed contract actually costs you! So it is important you target the right audience!
Mistake #3: Targeting The Wrong Audience & Wrong KPI’s
So now you get a bunch of leads, seemingly serious about selling their house (well duh, that was the target of the campaign), but you are supposed to target motivated sellers. Serious about selling their house is not the same as motivated enough to sell below market value. Jon Doe here is serious about selling his house too. But he wants top value for his house! So although he is serious about selling (fast), he is not a good lead!
The only way to determine if the lead is/was indeed a quality lead is if they are are willing to accept an offer much lower than market value. So a valid KPI is, how many leads come in before a contract gets accepted. So not cost per lead, but cost per signed contract should be THE KPI.
To find this out you need to look into what keywords you are targeting. You get a very different audience when you target “We Buy Houses In” v. “Sell My House Fast”. What most marketers do is look at search volume. That is so wrong! You need to look at MOTIVATION FIRST!! Who cares how many people type a certain keyword if that keyword only accounts for non motivated people? I rather catch 4 people all 4 highly motivated than 300 people none of them motivated!
Three guesses who will type “Sell My House FAST” into a search!
- Anyone that wants to sell their house that doesn’t want to wait long. Do you know anyone that actually wants to sell their house slowly?
- Anyone that wants to sell their house on their own. Do you know anyone that wants to sell their house slowly on their own?
- Anyone that wants to sell their house through the MLS. Do you know anyone that wants their house sitting on the MLS for years?
- Anyone that wants to sell their house through a cash offer
For Pete’s sake, selling a house is not fun. No one wants to drag this out. “I want to sell my house fast” is something ANYONE would type in. Not just motivated sellers.
You want to rank for terms like:
“We Buy Houses In”
“Cash For My House In”
“Home Buyers In”
“Investors That Buy Houses In”
Any of these terms means one thing. They know of “We Buy Houses Companies” and thus they know they are getting a cash offer, and thus they know the offer will be below market value. Look I do not care what your data says. You know why?
Because if you do not know how to read your damn data, that data is USELESS! And there is one simple proof that I am flat out stone cold right.
If what all these “experts” are saying was correct, WHY is it that some people have success with paid ads and others don’t? If what all these SEO companies are claiming to be true, EVERYONE should have the same (or at least similar) results. But no, it seems completely random, or systematized luck, the way it works.
Credibility is what will convert traffic into leads, and this is the most important part of online lead generation (free AND Paid), NOT (just) SEO. This is why we go to great lengths researching conversion strategies, methods and applications to dial in credibility and conversion.
But you know what? Beside ALL of this here is a simple fact. I get more leads both in quality AND quantity for FREE than you get paying a fortune for them. If you are anything like adwords nerds, you re paying 16K for mediocre leads, if you get any leads at all!
Mistake #4: They Make Conclusions And Adjustments Based On The Wrong Audience Sample
How many % of the people click on paid ads?
Granted you will find articles (mostly from PPC companies) that will tell you that a lot more people click on ads, but ask yourself. How often do YOU click on ads when you are serious about buying something that is of tremendous importance? I am not talking about your latest shampoo product here. So I did more research and found more neutral unbiased proof. I also did my own testing and got my own numbers and my numbers correspond to this:
We are talking LESS than 15%. This is not a group of people representative of motivated sellers. This is absolutely friggin ABSURD! They collect data on LESS than 15% of the population and then say that their findings are now based on “motivated sellers”. The data they collect are not only of a small sample, that small sample also is not an accurate representation of the group they are trying to target. These 15%, oh wait, I mean LESS than 15% of these people are NOT motivated. Most motivated sellers do not click on ads. So all their systems and methods are now fine tuned to target specifically (mostly) NON motivated sellers. They are now going out of their way to target people that are similar to these (less than 15%) of the people they got.
Mistake #5: Wrong Audience Assumptions
What everyone fails to research is why and what kind of people click on paid ads. You need to understand that people that click on paid ads often are not motivated. It is different when you are buying a lawnmower, the latest cooking ware set, or a bottle of shampoo. But when you buy a DLSR, a laptop, or heck selling your house, you just don’t buy from a website that is featured in the ads. Would you buy from Sandeep electronics online, Bobs, electronics, or Amazon? No seriously, answer this truthfully. Thought so.
1. Re-targeted Audience
People that clicked on ads are curious, yet not that serious and they have ventured to sites that possibly can give them more information (re-targeting). By definition re-targeted audience are not motivated, or at least not enough to have jumped in the first time. For what ever reason they visited your or a similar site to yours and they didn’t opt in. Facebook now assumes interest in our services and they will blast and blast ads in front of them trying to force renewed interest enough to visit the site and entice them to fill in the form. As you can see, that is not organic motivation. This is forced. This is very different from organic SEO motivation, and the lead quality of forced motivation doesn’t come close to organic motivation.
2. Motivated Audience
The second category is of people that are motivated and did a google search and see the ads and the organic results. As discussed and shown previously only a small % of these motivated people will click on ads.
Mistake #6: They Don’t Understand Landing Pages
They heard that a landing page is the way to go for paid advertising. They heard it before they knew what they were doing. They heard this before they started their business, and they took that as truth starting their business and thus there was never a reason to doubt it or question it, and now their entire business structure is set up based on landing pages. But, sorry (not sorry) to say it is all wrong!
See, the reason OTHER niches have landing pages is because most other niches are not single topic laser focused like our niche. See a landing page is used when
The Theory Behind Landing Pages
If you have an ad out that tries to capture traffic that need to sell their house due to foreclosure and in your ad you mention foreclosure, the idea here is to send this traffic to a (landing) page that talks about buying houses in foreclosure. Sending your traffic to a generic home page that talks about anything and everything selling houses not just foreclosure will delete conversion rates (which is still debatable if the traffic is super motivated). I would definitely agree with that. What I don’t agree with is what a landing page is and how it is set up.
The answer to this is to send people to a topic page, not a (traditional) landing page where there is no navigation). Remember people NEED to be able to find more about you! You can not force motivation, and we would never want to do that. If someone is not motivated they NEED to NOT fill in the form. That is what ALL these marketers got COMPLETELY wrong. It is not about how many leads they can get. It is about how many contracts we get signed BELOW MARKET VALUE! See marketers try to get you a mix between motivated and non motivated sellers to make it seem like they are good. Who cares if you got 4 cold leads when you have 1 super hot lead in the mix right? Consider this. A marketer that gets you 1 hot lead every 2 weeks, vs. a marketer that gets you 30 leads a month with 1 hot lead in there.
The second marketer seems to be better than the first one by intuition. But in fact he is a lot worse! That is why marketers do not care for providing you with the extra effort to get you good leads, or maybe they just are completely ignorant when it comes to lead generation and all they do is what everyone else is doing!
Mistake #7: They Get What They Get, Not What They Want.
The majority of the people do not click on ads. Again this is because ads are perceived inherently as not credible, and rightfully so,
Think about it. How does google rank websites? Google ranks a website high based on credibility of the site, user experience and the ability to help solve the problem the user went to internet for (user satisfaction).
Now all these ads, are there because they paid to be there, not because they are credible, solved any problems or delivered excellent user satisfaction. They are there because they paid for it. You can bot pay for trust. Trust (credibility) is earned.
So now from their paid campaigns they (mostly) get those “special” kind of people that click on ads, NOT the audience that are truly motivated. (We already established that truely motivated traffic does not click on ads). So now these paid traffic marketers do research on how to get more of the clicks they are getting (non motivated ad clickers) and try to amplify their strategies to get more of what they get (thinking that what they get are motivated sellers).
I am NOT saying Paid advertising is wrong. In fact my entire FT&C strategy is based on paid traffic, in the beginning. I am simply saying the “experts” are DOING it wrong! You CAN do it right… and I can show you….
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