Local Search Lead Gen Widgets: Agency Revenue Drivers

Andrew McDermottAgency, Local Marketing, Reputation Management, Review MarketingLeave a Comment

agency lead gen widgets

Lead gen widgets, when they're used in conjunction with strategy, produce leverage. They help agencies generate the quantity and quality of leads they need.

You want to attract and convert a steady supply of clients. Is there a way to grow/scale your agency consistently with less effort? Absolutely.

Use widgets. They’re a solution to your agency’s struggle to increase website traffic, and more importantly, conversions.

The best lead gen widgets produce revenue

These lead gen widgets fall somewhere on the funnel continuum.

  • Attraction: Some widgets attract attention with a variety of content types (e.g. problems, fear, fascination, and emotion)
  • Conversion: Some widgets push clients off the fence. They encourage clients to make a commitment, to make a yes or no decision
  • Consumption: When clients grow to rely on you, they use your products and services more. A widget that increases consumption can be identified with the right metrics (e.g. time-on-site, bounce rate, top content, etc.)

Using this simple continuum, we can identify how to use the local search widgets in our list.

This is important.

Some widgets will provide value directly, others indirectly. Some will provide quantitative value while others will produce qualitative results. These metrics give you clarity, enabling you to gauge whether a particular widget will be useful to your agency (or not).

Let's take a look.

Lead Gen Widget #1: Locator

Locator Widget Example

If your agency focuses heavily on clients with retail, service warehouse or multi-location businesses, a locator widget is a must. These widgets aren't for you as much as they are for your clients.

They're far more likely to produce revenue for your clients as they signal purchaser intent. But they're also revenue generators, for your agency, if you show clients how to use this widget properly.

There's a sweet spot here.

Established clients with multiple locations are far more likely to have this widget already. Small businesses, on the other hand, especially small businesses positioned to grow, will not.

Locator Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Qualitative + Quantitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Consumption (post acquisition)

  • Revenue potential:

    High (when combined with other tactics)

Maximizing this widget's value

This tool is a beneficial sales-aid for agencies. It's not for your agency, it's a widget you can use to sell your agency's services to prospective clients. Here's how you use locator tools to produce revenue for your clients (especially in hyper-local situations).

  • Tag every customer that uses the store locator page. You’ll want to tag customers in one of three ways. (1.) Geo-targeting: Create a geographic fence around a specific area or locale. (2.) Retargeting: send relevant follow up ads to those who are outside of your target area. (3.) Contextual ads: these ads are hyper-local or specific to a zip code or neighborhood.
  • Present a compelling offer: Chat with your client’s customers. If possible, get permission to record the video and audio (so you can use it in your presentation). Identify the delight, pain or sticking points of your prospect’s customers. Create strong offers that are irresistible to them. Then gauge, measure and record the data.
  • Run an introductory PPC campaign with a list of location-based queries (e.g. Bankruptcy Law Firm San Diego). Create a sample landing page with your location widget. You’ll want to add your analytics tracking codes to this page so you’re able to track conversions. You’ll also want to set goals or events for this particular page. If you’re looking for phone calls, set up a call tracking number. If your conversion event is a form request, set things up appropriately.
  • Analyze your analytics data. Look for keywords that lead to actual conversions and more importantly, to revenue. You’re not looking for your competitor’s keywords here. You’re looking for performance data from specific location-based queries.
  • Optimize location pages using the specific location-based queries from our previous step. These are the keywords you’re willing to build links to and fight for. Why? You have hard data showing that these keywords lead to money.

Free/paid locator widgets:

Lead Gen Widget #2: Click-to-Call

grasshopper click to call widget

The click-to-call widget is self-explanatory. While most agencies are familiar with click-to-call, many are not familiar with using click to call to generate leads for their agency and their clients. As far as this feature is concerned it's a huge missed opportunity.

Click-to-call Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Attraction + conversion + consumption

  • Revenue potential:

    High (dependent on outside factors, e.g. promises, presentation, sales ability, etc)

Maximizing this widget's value

The click-to-call widget, like other widgets in this article, work best when they're integrated or synced with other tools, strategies and tactics. If you're looking to generate leads from existing tools, you'll need a novel approach. Here are some ways to maximize this widget's value (revenue).

  • Click-to-call variety: You can use this widget to (a.) generate leads from interested prospects (b.) persuade/convert existing leads and (c.) retain clients with on-demand support and scheduled calls. Click-to-call variety demystifies and defangs any client reservations against this widget.
  • Combine with promos: Agencies aren’t known for using promos, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used well. Agencies can combine lead magnets and irresistible offers (promos) with click-to-call (e.g. Want [Gary Vee]’s help to build your business? Call to reserve your digital seat today!)
  • Strengthen with urgency triggers: Use time-sensitive offers to drive response (e.g. Have a WordPress site? Get 136 revenue-boosting ideas from the founder of WordPress himself, Matt Mullenweg, only 25 seats available.)
  • Promise a favorable outcome: Clients dislike: (1.) being sold by aggressive salesmen (2.) waiting on hold indefinitely for someone to answer their call (3.) getting a poor/no response. A promise boosts response rates from local listings, especially if other reviewers are willing to validate your claim. Create a promise (e.g. no pushy selling, our team answers within 6 rings, etc.) and your click-to-call rates will increase.

Free/paid click-to-call widgets:

Lead Gen Widget #3: Book Online

Your clients are busy. They may have followed your thought leadership for some time. At this point, they're ready to reach out to your local search agency for more information. They're ready to schedule a meeting or consultation with you.

Maybe they don't want to call you though. Maybe they want to see you. In-person.

What do you?

How do you win this prospective client over? With a book online widget.

Book Online Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Attraction + Conversion

  • Revenue potential:

    High (if combined with an irresistible offer, scarcity triggers or strong value proposition)

Maximizing this widget's value

When service providers use this widget they don't often get a significant amount of value from it. There's a reason for that. More often than not, the messaging in their widget is off. Agencies don't usually approach clients with a strong frame precisely because there are plenty of competitors to choose from. Here are some simple ways to boost response rates.

  • Lead with a strong value proposition: A strong value proposition improves your conversion rates (and subsequent revenue) with this widget. If clients have a persuasive or compelling reason to contact you, they will.
  • Outline scarcity: Avoid false scarcity as this creates distrust. Instead, use scarcity that outlines the genuine limitations you face. You have limited space, time, energy, ability to serve, etc. This scarcity shouldn’t be arbitrary. It should be a necessity to protect your business. This increases the value of your overall offering because it communicates two things:
  • (1.) You’re in demand. If you have time to chat with only 10 prospects a month and you reject work with eight or nine of them, it shows you’re an in-demand agency with high standards. It also changes the agency/client dynamic. It shows clients there’s an interview taking place on both sides.
  • (2.) A sense of genuine scarcity/urgency. Interested prospects will need to move quickly to secure your attention/offer. This scarcity automatically separates the wheat from the chaff. The unspoken sub-components of this widget are value and respect. This widget will fail to produce revenue if clients are able to request an appointment wherever and whenever they want. This is unacceptable. Your time is valuable.
  • Do not offer an incentive! Avoid using the word free. Many agencies and firms offer clients an incentive to book a consultation or meeting online with them. This positions your agency inappropriately and it attracts the wrong clients. Click-to-call and promos are excellent opportunities to add items to sweeten the deal. A book online widget motivates prospects by taking incentives away. This is a must to protect your agency and the integrity of your firm.

Free/paid Book Online widgets:

Calendly offers a free appointment setting/book online widget you can embed on your site. There's a free, $8 and $12 dollar plan depending on the feature-set you're looking for.

Setmore's free appointment setting/book online widget enables you to add an appointment setting button to your website. Perfect for clients who are interested in requesting consults.

Setmore also offers a paid option: Appointment setting/book online functionality for $89 per mo. They answer calls and book appointments for you on your behalf. This ensures your agency is available when it needs to be.

Simplybook offers a Wordpress plugin for sites. It's also a free/paid service that enables your agency (and clients) to extract value before spending a dime.

Wordpress.org offers a bevy of appointment setting and book online widgets/plugins agencies can use.

Square, the online payment processor, provides users with a book online widget agencies can use to attract, close and retain clients.

TimeTrade offers embeddable widgets agencies can use for themselves and their clients as well.

Drupal provides several appointment setting widgets for their users as well.

Lead Gen Widget #4: Review Scan

grade.us review scan widget

The Grade.us Review Scan Widget gives agency clients an easy way to check their review portfolio. Here's the interesting part about this widget. This widget is incredibly beneficial because it provides clients with a real-time look at their review management portfolio.

Meaning what?

The review scan widget ties a prospective client's revenue (or lack thereof) to customer reviews. This is valuable for three simple reasons.

  • Bad can be good
  • Good can be better
  • Better can be ideal

This report works hand-in-hand with your in-person selling. This report provides clients with the visual cues they need to make significant (positive) changes in their business. Improve their reviews, boost their conversion rate. Boost their conversion rate, and they 2x, 4x and even 10x their business.

Review Scan Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative + Qualitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Attraction

  • Revenue potential:

    High (reviews dictate funnel effectiveness)

Maximizing this widget's value

Don't expect prospective clients to make sense of this report on their own. You'll need to maximize the value of this report. If their review management portfolio is poor/mediocre, they may be feeling bad. You'll need to show them the incredible silver lining you can provide.

  • Show them how to calculate the ROI of review management

Better yet, calculate the ROI of review management for them directly. Check and recheck your work in front of them. Show them the incredible upside that's available to them if they choose to work with your agency.

  • Provide them with a structured plan.

Show prospective clients the concrete steps you'll take to gather the avalanche of five stars they're going to need. Use the briefcase technique to provide clients with a 30, 60, 90 and 180-day plan. Outline how you'll boost their conversion rates and revenue while minimizing or reducing their expenses.

  • Share the kind truth.

Your prospects - do they know what their customers are saying about them in their reviews? Share the kind truth whether it's a request, objection, complaint, frustration or desire. Don't spell the painful details out for clients. Provide them with a copy of your curated set of reviews, then let the reviews do the talking.

  • Use this report to pitch an irresistible offer.

The more the risk reduction you assume, the more likely clients are going to take advantage of the offer you provide. Provide clients with a report of their review portfolio and a trial of your services, offer a money back guarantee (if able), set performance benchmarks - anything you can to give them peace of mind and reduce buyer's remorse.

  • Create a strong value proposition.

Back your irresistible offer up with a compelling value proposition. This is crucial. Without a strong value proposition, you won't have the tools you need to defend your agency against competitors and poachers who are willing to promise more but deliver less.

Lead Gen Widget #5: Review Prospect Reports

example of a review portfolio prospect report

It's another review tool that's specifically created for agencies. It demonstrates your client's need for online review/reputation management. It gives clients a quick snapshot of your total reviews plus additional metrics such as likes, check-ins and recommends.

This tool is a doorway.

Review management is a much easier sell than advanced services like design, development or marketing work.

Why?

Because it's visual.

Clients can see their online reviews. They're listed on third-party sites, so they can't be faked (by you). It's an easier sale to make and it's easier to build trust.

Review Prospect Reports Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Conversion

  • Revenue potential:

    High (if combined with irresistible offer and value proposition)

Maximizing this widget's value

This report is incredibly valuable on its own. Your clients get an incredible amount of value in a single, bite-sized report. Is there a way to maximize the value you're already delivering to prospects via this report?

Absolutely.

  • Reach out to your client’s confirmed customer base. Survey them, recording the video or audio (get permission). Request a five min. phone call or a three min. in person visit. Ideally, these are regular, semi-regular or infrequent customers.
  • Ask your client’s customers who they consider to be your client’s biggest competitor. Get the names and addresses of each competitor. If your clients are willing to share advanced details, thoughts and opinions on this competitor, gather that data. Again, record their feedback.
  • Create several reports for each competitor. You’ll want to have these reports ready for each of your prospect’s competitors. This kind of preparation is incredibly uncommon so it will immediately grab their attention.
  • Set a time to discuss with your prospect on the phone or in-person. Don’t skip this step. This step is yet another speed bump to disqualify poor prospects. If they’re not willing to meet with you on the phone or in-person to discuss, they’re not serious. Reach out to the competitors on your list. This step is non-negotiable. No meeting, no sharing.
  • Position and frame the discussion properly. If their competitors have more reviews, show your prospect how you can help them catch and overtake your competitors. If your competitors have fewer reviews, show them how their competitors are working to catch up to them.
  • Use the briefcase technique to present your 30, 60, 90 and 180-day plan to turn their challenges into advantages. You’ll also want to reinforce the client load you have. Let’s say you only take on 10 freelance clients at a time. You’ll want to be direct, honest and upfront with your prospects. Let them know (a.) you’re in final negotiations with [3] prospects. (b.) You only have [2] slots available. (c.) you’ll be moving on once you’ve accepted the prospects you’re looking for (d.) you’re interested in moving forward with them.
  • Respect their decision. You’re a professional. You’ve done a significant amount of upfront work. If they’re ready to move forward, provide them with the agreement. If they’re not interested, find out why. Then, thank them for their time and move on. If they want more information and you’re able to provide it, do so.

Lead Gen Widget #6: Trust Seals

inc5000 trust badge

Trust seals, as you know, are an important form of social proof. They're qualitative markers that provide objective evidence that your agency can be trusted.

Trust Seals Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Qualitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Conversion (attraction incidentally)

  • Revenue potential:

    Medium to high (trust seal effectiveness must be known/valued by the audience to convert)

Maximizing this widget's value

You'll want to combine this widget with several other strategies to maximize its qualitative effectiveness. Here are some new-school strategies your agency can use for this old-school widget.

  • Display trust seals prominently on your site via catfish ads, sidebars, pop-ups, interstitials, etc.
  • Tag customers who meet at least two criteria on-site (e.g. view trust seal landing page, mouse over/clicked trust seal, subscribed to your email list, downloaded a lead magnet, etc.)
  • Add these prospects to your retargeting campaigns. You’ll want to create a retargeting sequence that provides the following (a.) provides clients with a free lead magnet, tool or offer (b.) provides clients with a timed, urgent, irresistible offer (c.) repeats a visual representation of your on-site trust seal. (d.) concludes with a pitch.

You'll want to combine this widget with several other strategies to maximize its qualitative effectiveness. Here are some new-school strategies your agency can use for this old-school widget.

A short list of agency trust seals:

Lead Gen Widget #7: Twitter Timeline

If you have a collection of amazing Tweets (known as a timeline) from happy and satisfied customers, you can embed that timeline on your website.

Twitter Timeline Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Qualitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Attraction + conversion

  • Revenue potential:

    Medium

Maximizing this widget's value

If you've curated a particular collection of tweets you can use them on your site. The question is where and how? How do you maximize this widget's value for your business? Here are a few strategies you can use.

  • Add your twitter collection to specific opt-in pages, you’ll want to ensure that your timeline supports and works with your landing page, never against it.
  • Once clients opt-in to your email list, share a tripwire offer. Ask clients to follow you on Twitter. They’ve just read Tweets from happy clients.
  • Once they’ve followed you, add them to your retargeting list.
  • Next, create a campaign for cold traffic. Send cold prospects your most popular content. Tag the prospects who click on your ads and read your content.
  • Then, send this prospect segment relevant and warm lead magnet offers.
  • Send hot, relevant offers (e.g. review prospect, review scans, ranking and citation reports) to those who have downloaded your lead magnets.
  • Finally, ask hot prospects for the meeting (if they haven’t asked you first).

If they're not hot prospects and they're not pre-qualified, you don't give them a meeting.

Lead Gen Widget #8: Promos

When we hear the word "promo," we often think "retail." And while this can be used to help agency clients, it can also be used to bring in more revenue for agencies themselves.

The offer is the problem.

The vast majority of retail outfits use discounts as a promo mechanism. It's simple, it's easy and it's the reason why many of us believe promo = retail.

It's also lazy.

There's a better way forward for agencies. Instead of copying retailers whose promos are focused on discounts (i.e. losing revenue) we can head in the opposite direction. We can create value that creates revenue.

Promo Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative + Qualitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Conversion

  • Revenue potential:

    High (avoid discounts at all costs)

Maximizing this widget's value

Here are some simple strategies agencies can use to maximize promos via widgets.

  • Vanishing reports: This strategy is easy, simple and straightforward. (1.) Create a lead magnet. This could be an ebook, podcast, audiobook, quiz, application, checklist or download. The format isn’t as important as the compelling value it provides to your prospects. (2.) Choose a date that’s at least two to six months in the future. This is your end date, the day your lead magnet goes away. (3.) Advertise this properly to your warm and hot traffic. Convert this traffic into leads.
  • Bonuses: Create compelling bonuses to go along with your services. Reach out to tangential service, product and SaaS providers. Request a specialized bundle. Let them know you’ll be advertising your services with their products. Ask if they’re able/willing to provide your clients with a trial or lower tiered version of their service. Offer each bonus once, no more than twice per year at different times each year.
  • Timed incentives: Head over to Amazon’s best seller lists. Make a list of the people, books, apps and products that are explicitly or implicitly related to the services you offer (i.e. review management). You’re looking for influencers who can:
  • (1.) Help or serve your audience in some significant way.
  • (2.) Have an audience of their own, or…
  • (3.) A sizeable amount of traffic to or from their platform.

What to do: Ask the influencers on your list if they're available for an interview. Then, once they agree, reach out to high traffic/high profile sites asking if they want the interview. Record the interview using a tool like UberConference. Split the interview into two parts. Each part should be able to stand on its own. End the first interview on a cliffhanger. Provide the second interview on your site behind an opt-in form. Create an email autoresponder sequence with more gifts so new subscribers stay. Offer these interviews as timed incentives.

Let visitors know they'll need to download the second part by a specific date. Turn this incentive into a product or bonus after that date.

Free/paid promo widgets:

Lead Gen Widget #9: Review Stream

grade.us review stream of 5 star reviews

While the Grade.us review stream is similar to the Twitter timeline, there are significant differences. Reviews produce both quantitative and qualitative results. Reviews aren't simply kind words from nice people. They're assessments from clients who have spent their time and money with you.

It's no surprise then, that reviews are more valuable.

Review Stream Widget Breakdown

  • Value:

    Quantitative + Qualitative

  • Funnel focus:

    Conversion

  • Revenue potential:

    High

Your review stream provides social proof. It's a helpful way to attract and convert prospective clients. It enables you to bring your outstanding reviews directly to your prospects. The good news? You can use the same process we used for your Twitter Timeline (with a few modifications).

  • Add your review stream to specific opt-in pages.
  • Once clients opt-in to your email list, share a tripwire offer. Offer clients a gift (e.g. lead magnet, downloads, apps, etc.).
  • Add these subscribers to your retargeting list.
  • Next, create a campaign for cold traffic. Send cold prospects your most popular content. Tag the prospects who click on your ads and read your content.
  • Then, send this prospect segment relevant and warm lead magnet offers.
  • Send hot, relevant offers (e.g. review prospect, review scans, ranking and citation reports) to those who have downloaded your lead magnets.
  • Finally, ask hot prospects for the meeting (if they haven’t asked you first).

Can you see the reason why these widgets don't work the way they're supposed to? These widgets aren't the problem.

The problem is strategy.

Your local search lead gen widgets should produce revenue

The best widgets operate on a continuum.

They attract, convert and retain clients. They produce revenue, encouraging clients to work with your agency, rather than a competitor. Using this simple continuum, we can assess the widgets in our list.

It's about revenue.

Most agencies are able to keep the clients they win. But attraction and conversion, these are the big problems agencies are dealing with. There's an infinite supply of competition online. Widgets give you the growth, the revenue you need to grow your agency in less time and with less effort.

Widgets, when they're used in conjunction with strategy, produce leverage. They empower agencies, producing the quantitative and qualitative results they need. Most agencies have two problems, traffic and conversions. Use widgets + strategy and you'll find you have more revenue than you can handle.

About the Author

Andrew McDermott

Andrew McDermott is the co-founder of HooktoWin and the co-author of Hook: Why Websites Fail to Make Money. He shows entrepreneurs how to attract and win new customers.

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