If you’re thinking about redesigning your website, you’re probably getting prepared to spend your time, effort, and money on your new investment. But how can you guarantee the best chance for success and ensure you’re getting the ROI you’re looking for?
Luckily, it’s actually not all that complicated, and in this article we’re going to look at the vital role your website plays in your overall lead generation strategy. We’ll look at some website must haves and some ideas on how you can boost your conversion rate.
What is lead generation?
At its core, lead generation is a term used to describe a number of strategies to generate high quality leads:
- Outbound leads – via ppc, email marketing campaigns, and cold-calling
- Inbound leads – via content marketing and social media
- Landing page optimization – The process of optimizing your landing page for lead generation
A comprehensive lead generation program is designed to improve brand awareness, build meaningful relationships, and ultimately generate qualified leads for your business.
Traditional means of marketing are getting harder to generate the results we’ve become accustomed to. Email blasts used to be enough, but due to increase in competition and easy access to information, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for small businesses to reach and engage potential customers. A solid lead generation process aims to trigger interest in a product or service, and allows companies to nurture new leads until they’re ready to buy.
What role does a website play in a lead generation and digital marketing strategy?
Your website can’t be the end-all-be-all of your lead generation strategy. It’s only a piece of the puzzle, and expecting it to be the total solution is a sure-fire way to lose that investment, no matter how much you pour into it.
To generate leads, your website MUST be supported by your outbound and inbound digital marketing strategies.
Having said that, your website plays a vital role acting as the last step in your sales funnel, and it’s absolutely worth optimizing for lead gen.
In this context, the purpose of your website is to attract and qualify potential customers.
3 “must haves” for optimal website lead generation
1. Have a clear call to action (CTA).
Ask website visitors to take the next step with a clear call to action. The simplest example of a CTA is “buy now!” (albeit not the most creative). We’ll talk about various mechanisms you can use on your website to generate leads in this article, but ultimately, it’s the cta that will trigger the action for those mechanisms, so it’s worthwhile understanding the psychology behind them.
So what makes a good cta?
- Use a commanding verb to start your cta – “buy”, “shop”, “order”, “start”, “download”, “subscribe” – these are all good command verbs to kick off your action.
- Use enthusiasm and tap into emotion when possible – Emotion is powerful, and triggering an emotional response will improve your cta’s chances of success – “Download our ebook, generate more sales today!”
- Use FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out is real, use it to your advantage – “Shop now – only 2 promo codes left!”
- Have fun, be creative – Remember, you want to stand out from the pack – Spend time crafting your calls to action, don’t be afraid to get creative and test out new ideas to see how effective they are. You might just discover a winning formula.
2. Make sure your phone number is visible.
Different folks like different ways to get in touch. Some folks prefer live-chat, or sending you an email. Others like to talk to a real person over the phone.
A phone number is a quick and easy way to get in touch and have questions answered. It’s worthwhile to always have a clear and present phone number just in case a lead wants to reach out directly. Typically folks who are taking the time to call you are high quality leads, so take advantage.
Stick your phone number and contact information right at the top of your website, have it visible on every page.
If you don’t want to publish your personal number to the world wide web, there are plenty of excellent services that allow you to generate a new phone number and have it forwarded to your cell. One of my favorite tools is Google’s Google Voice service.
3. Use Content Marketing.
Whether it’s blogging, a learning center, a knowledge base, case studies or white-papers, having well produced, high quality, and valuable content is by far the best way to generate new leads via your website. It checks all the boxes:
- Improves on-site SEO with keyword relevance, helping inbound leads find you via search engines like Google
- Tailored content is crafted to your target audience, designed to solve a problem they’re already searching for
- Improves trustworthiness in your product or service by showing off your expertise.
Start by establishing a solid foundation of content. Publish core content on a regular basis – Make sure it’s tuned to your keyword strategy so that you can leverage the SEO benefits.
Once you have a good, solid foundation, you can begin to gate-keep valuable white-paper content behind a call to action – usually requesting an email address for access. This is typically referred to as a “lead magnet” – we talk about this mechanism a little later in the article.
While this content is great for SEO, and you certainly want to optimize where possible for search engines, don’t lose sight of what’s important – Delivering actual value via your content. If you’re providing value, success will follow.
Content marketing is the long-game. It takes dedication and patience to build over time. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t garner results to start, what’s important is perseverance and cadence. Keep at it!
3 ways to boost your website conversion rate
While I consider the above absolute must haves for lead gen, you can use the following mechanisms to give your website a boost to conversion rates.
1. Use a lead magnet for marketing automation.
We talked earlier about gate-keeping content like white-papers behind email access. This is just one type of lead magnet you can use to gather leads. Others might include:
- E-Book download
- Free templates / checklists / worksheets
- Free or trial versions of your software
- Free tools
Treat these as products, your website visitors are purchasing these products from you. The currency is their email address.
Same rules apply here; provide exceptional value and you’ll generate killer leads.
What’s excellent about this mechanism is that it’s evergreen – it works 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, all without attention from you. This is the gateway to more advanced and automated lead generation tactics.
2. Webinars help engage qualified leads.
Much like blog content, webinars showcase your expertise – but in this case – in real-time. There are obvious benefits, the first is the ability to be more interactive. You can answer potential customer’s questions right then and there. On-the-fly answers hold more weight, since you can really show off your know-how!
Not only have folks typically gone through an opt-in process to attend your webinar, but they’ve actively given up their time for you. These potential leads are highly qualified.
Webinars are harder to organize, often you need an established base already, since not only do you need to craft the content, but you also need to market your webinar to your audience.
You could start by offering a recurring session in an “office hours” format each week. Add a simple opt-in on your landing pages and gather leads over time.
Again, the same rules apply! Provide exceptional value, and folks will keep coming back.
3. Add a smart popup to re-engage website visitors.
Popups are obnoxious, they’re in-your-face and loud. But they do the job of grabbing attention.
Typically including commanding language and clear calls to action, a popup can trigger immediate focus on your main offer.
But you want to be careful – Popups can be too annoying. If not placed and triggered strategically, they can pull a customer right out of your sales flow and interrupt their experience.
One tactic that I prefer is showing a popup on exit intent – that is to say, when a potential lead is showing indications that they’ll leave your homepage or landing page. Typically this is triggered when the website visitor’s cursor moves to close or switch the tab, or when they click the back button in their browser.
These exit intent popups can be extremely useful:
- They’ll help you grab the attention of – and possibly convert – website visitors who are on their way out, and may never return.
- They do it in an unobtrusive way that doesn’t interrupt their experience while on the website, since they’re leaving anyway (this is my favorite aspect)
- They’re a gateway into more advanced retargeting tactics like segmentation – You can pull metrics on potential leads who are more hesitant than others, display content tailored to their position in the sales funnel lifecycle and get them back on track before it’s too late.
Wrap it up
The great thing about a new website is the blank slate. You have an excellent opportunity to really kick things off right. To sum it up, here are those must haves:
- Clear and commanding call to action
- Visible phone number and contact information
- Content marketing – blogging, case studies and white-papers
Then, our top lead gen mechanisms you can add to your web page to give your conversion rate a boost:
- Lead magnets for marketing automation
- Webinars to help engage potential leads
- Smart popups to re-engage exiting leads
Remember, your website is an important part of the lead generation process. It compliments your outbound and inbound marketing strategies and it’s often the last step in the sales process, and it’s worth investing in getting right!
Hopefully these have given you ideas on how you can boost the lead generation strategy on your own website.