Looking for new ways to turn your leads into sales? Chris Cubbage, digital strategy director for Window World, the Remodeling 550’s top seller, uses a web tracking process called heat mapping to know exactly what consumers are doing when looking at the Window World site, which gives them more data around leads. Heat mapping creates a map of web pages that show where sites are hottest similar to a weather map. The more users click or spend time, the hotter the area. Heat mapping is just one of the ways companies can leverage the web to increase their sales.

Remodeling contributor Gary Thill presents five online strategies that utilize the latest web technology to make sales:

1. Online design centers. One of the most popular areas of windowworld.com is the design centers. The latest technology allows customers to upload photos of their home and actually try out different looks and products. Ideally, these systems gather leads that are put into nurturing campaigns that turn into future sales. But just giving customers the ability to see what products look like can lead to a sale on its own.

2. Facebook advertising. Dave Wilslef has tried a lot of ads in his 26 years as Marketing Director for Home Town Restyling. But few have been more effective — or inexpensive — as Facebook advertising. Using Facebook’s ad interface, Wilslef, can specify exactly what demographic to target. This year he generated $120,000 in sales and spent just $300 for a 3-week campaign. All that meant his lead costs were below 5 percent.

3. Analytics. The great thing about the web is that everything can be tracked, says Michelle Shook, C&L Ward’s marketing and communication vice president. But taking advantage of that fact means knowing your analytics. That requires staying on top of Google Analytics, Google Ad Words and any other analytics available to track how customers convert to sales.

4. SEO and SEM. These two tools are respectively back- and front-end web tech every site needs in place. Search engine optimization uses backend key words and other techniques to make sure your site shows up high on an organic search. Search engine marketing, also called pay per click, meanwhile, is a paid frontend approach to make sure that happens. “Organic searches are great, but pay per click is now drowning them out,” Wilslef says.

5. Geo-location. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, it’s now possible to accurately geo-locate customers down to zip code. That means online campaigns can use mapping software to direct customers to the nearest showroom. For companies with multiple stores, it also means customers can be routed directly to a local franchisee’s web site. Window World only recently started using the technology and it has already resulted in huge sales increases, Cubbage says.

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