Whether you are a B2B player or a B2C player, whether your focus is mainly on physical business or it remains confined to the digital space, a website is a crucial part of your branding, marketing and sales efforts. It is like a prime piece of property. It depends on your design, optimization, branding, usability testing and related efforts that determine the kind of purchase you can make from your website. It can give you visibility if it is SEO optimised and help you get connected with your visitors.
But there is an important catch. Not all your visitors may turn into leads. Lead generation is immensely important because the lower you can pull them down into your sales funnel, the greater will be the chance of sales conversion. Sales conversion remains the number one priority for most businesses. For some other non-profit organizations, it could be donations, selling tickets for a fund-raiser event or providing a platform that connects two parties. But, how do you generate leads? The three most important pivots of success with your website are trust, usability, and purpose.
You will have to earn the trust of the visitors so that they can share personal details that you can feed into your CRM and turn the visitor into a permanent “account”. You will have to make the website user-friendly so that the user can easily navigate through the pages and information and get exactly what he wants and whenever he wants. The third most important aspect is to have a definite purpose. The messages should be crafted in a way that explains why this website exists, how it can help the user and what it expects the user to do.
In short, your website would capture leads and turn them into long-term accounts unless you can sell to them the benefits of subscribing to your websites. You would need patience, you will have to provide a lot of free, well directed and useful information and you will need a powerful yet simple form that can be used to encapsulate useful personal information.
Some simple rules to follow
- Your website should be supported by a powerful content management system which allows you to make changes, updates and edits easily. It should have a powerful, updated and informative blog.
- A brilliant navigation that eases the user journey and also helps crawlers crawl the site easily. Some may think sitemaps are useless but they play a vital role. The internal linking structure and the outbound links will also play a vital role. Websites today use a tree structure that has proven wrong the belief that linear flow of information is the best. Numerous surveys and research reports suggest that website readers love to read related information as soon as possible and don’t mind clicking a link and going to a separate page.
- Try to use multiple landing pages and integrate social media share and follow buttons in your website. Don’t use your digital marketing channels in silo. That would act as a barrier to the easy flow of information and act as a deterrence to use of benefits of one channel on another.
- You will also have to use a powerful analytical tool that can measure the effectiveness of the content, the landing page CTAs, the conversion rates and the number of subscriptions.
- You shouldn’t have confusing navigation and cluttered copies. Use proper headlines and punctuation marks. The copies should be relevant and use impactful call to actions (CTAs).
- The content in the blog and on other pages should be keyword-focused. Try to use long-tailed keywords and natural language. Use proper Meta tags, descriptions, alt tags, title tags and captions and use an acceptable keyword ratio. The inward links on your web pages and blog still play an important role. That is why the generation of high-quality content is so important. If you can establish your authority, you will get high-quality links. This will help your website get crawled quicker and will get indexed quickly. This will give you a higher rank and also better domain authority.
- You need to have an informative service page where details of your services and offerings are provided. Include a crisp about us page. It shouldn’t be mundane or clichéd. Try to build trust by talking about the persona and mission, sharing photos and quotes of key members of your team, informing the readers about the recognitions and awards that you have got and also talk about your corporate social responsibility activities. This article would talk about contact forms and landing pages separately. You should have a sincere thank you page which will be displayed as soon as the lead has subscribed, downloaded or purchased something. This should be displayed after every conversion. Have a provision which allows the visitor to link back to a landing page and also have the provision that allows them to unsubscribe.
- Don’t just sell. Offer ideas and solutions to problems. You will have to carry out a proper market research to understand the ideal buyer persona. Based on that, you can provide answers and solutions to their questions that help them to make up their minds and turn into leads.
- Don’t use front-end spam fields like CAPTCHA because although they have the power to reduce junk submissions, they reduce the number of authentic and quality submissions.
- Use graphics wherever possible. Thumbnails won’t slow down the load time of your website and it won’t cause too much trouble for turning it into a responsive website that loads with equal ease on mobiles also. Most A/B tests have shown that pages with graphics have a better conversion and engagement rate than those with only texts.
- Add incentives for lead conversion. There are times when a visitor knows what he is looking for on your website. But there are those who may be simply browsing and looking for relevant information or a reason to convert. Apart from telling them about the direct benefits of the recommended action, you should also prod them by offering incentives and free goodies. But, make sure that the freebies are relevant and do a few test marketing sessions to understand the mood.
Importance of contact forms
Forms are the most important tools for generating leads. It allows you to collect relevant information about a prospect and nurture it to get the sale and then repeat sales. A form will not only have to be pleasing to the eye but should be easy to use. It should be easy to navigate and directional cues and prompts should be used to help the user fill it up without too much difficulty.
Use containers because they are easy to track and discern, especially when the background is of a color different to the text and the graphics at the front.
You will have to embed the lead generation forms directly on your website because this would allow your visitors to convert into leads. You can have a separate contact page, place it on your service page or place it on a landing page which can act as a sales funnel. You may also include your forms on all the web pages, especially if you are asking for basic information and the size of the form is limited. But in general, try to keep the number of fields down.
However, some businesses may require longer forms. Also, whether you place the form above the fold or below the fold will depend on your marketing strategy, kind of business and will be suggested by your buyer persona. Most believe that placing them above the fold is logical because you can grab more attention. However, the other school of thought suggests that you should place it below the fold, especially if it is a long form. It should be preceded by a lot of details that help the user make their minds up and tell them why filling up the form will be useful. These paragraphs should also be used to preempt possible questions and provide answers to. You can now use a scraping tool that will automatically transfer the form submission details into your centralized contact database. Tracking the submissions and nurturing the leads become easier.
Sometimes using pop-up forms is a good idea. However, these work best when triggered by particular actions because this reduces the perception that they are interrupting the content flow.
Meaningful and cogent CTAs
Your CTAs should be crisp and to the point. Use them above the fold as well as below the fold. Use them in buttons which contrast with the rest of the copy. CTAs play a big role when visitors are confused or can’t make up their mind about taking an action. It helps them to find out more about the website and your business. Also, have a clear goal in mind. Define your lead clearly. Also, define the process of lead conversion. You will have to identify the specific piece of action that a visitor will have to complete in order to qualify as a lead. CTAs can be used to persuade them.
Trust seals and testimonials
Trust seals help you to win over the trust of your visitors and turn them into leads. Add badges, seals and endorsements that you have received from industry bodies, well-known consumer groups or other organizations. It helps your likely leads overcome a psychological humph.
Customer testimonials written by brand advocates also increase the credibility factor of your product, website and your business in general. Ask your customers to share critiques which are believable. Ask them to write the exact benefits that they got. Use their photos, designations or names of organizations they are connected to. Also share case studies, certificates from clients and also other social proofs.
Having the right anatomy for your business website is very important because it is the main source of lead generation. Other marketing efforts will work in conjunction with your website. The actions of your efforts can also be tracked by analyzing the conversion rate on your website. Start implementing these ideas and see a spike in leads.