How to build a website that generates leads in 2020
How well a website generates leads determines its success. These tips will help you generate more leads and prioritize the best ones.
February 27 · 8 min read
Success often rests on how well your website generates leads. Even though you may have a great product, an excellent service, and know your industry inside and out, if no one knows about it, then it won’t go far. Your website is your advertisement to the world, and if it’s not effective, you won’t compete.
Back in the pre-digital days, businesses primarily drummed up business by running ads on TV, radio, producing print ads, making cold calls — even going door to door to sell their wares. It worked to some degree, but let’s face it, how many people really enjoyed being interrupted by a sales ad blaring at them? Or how many people chatted with the cold-calling salesperson? We tolerated it, but we didn’t prefer that method of advertising.
People usually follow a particular pattern when they need or want a product, and the digital world has capitalized on that with inbound marketing. The process went something like this before digital marketing was so huge: People recognized they had a need, a problem, or a desire.
- People would talk to their family, friends, or neighbors about their problem or need.
- People would get advice about the problem. Maybe a friend had a similar problem and would share her story.
- The person facing the issue may start checking around for prices or companies that sell the item they need.
- They may still ask friends for advice.
- Finally, they buy the item.
Once the internet came along, businesses simply adapted the customer’s natural process for buying something to the digital world, resulting in inbound marketing. The internet in combination with inbound marketing allows the customer to go at their own pace, research solutions to their problem, find businesses that solve their problem, purchase their product, tell friends and neighbors, and repeat.
This non-invasive method of inbound marketing is better for consumers and for businesses. Businesses are not in the customer’s face, but at the same time, it puts a whole new responsibility on businesses. They must be savvy enough to dangle their product out there for the consumer to see, desire, and eventually buy or else they won’t have the sales.
How well a website generates leads will determine its success. Because, even if a business is still dabbling in some traditional advertising (which is a good thing), the bulk of leads will come through the web.
Here are some tips to make sure your business website generates leads and prioritizes the best ones.
Assess where you’re at
Before you overhaul everything, it’s best to assess where you’re at. What kind of traffic are you getting right now? Where’s the traffic coming from? Make sure to use analytic tools to see how potential consumers are clicking on your website. Potential customers may find their way to your website through:
- Social media posts
- Email marketing
- Chat help
During the assessment process, it’s important that you also find out which pages of your website customers are most likely to click on. Are you getting a lot of clicks on a timely, long-form post or are customers clicking a link from an Instagram post? Once you know where most of the leads are coming from and where they’re going, you have a great place to start in updating the content on those pages. Or, in the case of social media posts, you can make sure the content is fresh and current.
You want to beef up where you’re good and cut out where you’re not getting any action. Or possibly rethink your strategy in those areas where you’re not seeing any action. Why aren’t people interacting with you on Facebook? Are you posting the right type of material at the right time? Do you have enough visibility?
Increase leads using forms
It won’t hurt your website if you have forms on every landing page. If not on every page, at least make sure you put forms on those pages that are getting the most traffic. Forms help you convert visitors into leads and leads into customers. To make sure the conversion form is effective, follow these tips:
- Place the form above the fold: This is helpful in case the person doesn’t read the entire page. The first paragraph and the content of the form may be enough to motivate them.
- Make the form brief and simple: You don’t want the form to be too long or invasive. Don’t ask for phone numbers or addresses. Just get the basics, like the person’s name and email address.
- Make sure to attach an attractive offer with each form: This may seem obvious, but it can take a bit of creative thinking. The offer has to be something they really want.
Attract attention with photos
You’ve probably heard the old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and a thousand words can certainly tell your story better than a few words can. The fact is, people are drawn to images.
Images captivate the eye and can keep someone on your website longer, which might lead to a new customer. However, there are some rules for images. You don’t want to just splatter pictures all over every page just for the sake of having images. You want to use photos sparingly and with purpose. Make sure the picture does one of two things — conveys the message you are trying to get across on that page or conveys something about your brand or business.
Another way to make the website have a more personal feel is to use pictures of your actual building, equipment, staff, and so on. Our team page is one example. Get pictures of the people doing their job, volunteering, picking up supplies, or just smiling in the office. This helps the viewer feel more connected with your brand. You want to ensure that the photos are polished looking though. Unprofessional, low-quality pictures will have a negative impact on your website.
Tap into emotions
We’re overwhelmed by the array of online businesses competing for our attention. Not only that, but most people are on email lists and have quite a few different businesses vying for their attention. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t find a way to truly connect with the consumer. How can you ensure you’ll connect with consumers? What methods can you use to ensure that people won’t just click away to someone else and forget you? The answer is found by looking at how what humans crave. We all crave connection.
The great news for businesses is that a Harvard Business Review study found that consumers can — and will — emotionally bond with a brand. Through the study, they discovered that people have hundreds of different emotional motivators. The top ten motivators that inspire people are:
- A desire to stand out from the crowd
- A desire for confidence in the future
- A desire for well-being
- A desire for freedom
- A desire for feeling like they belong to a greater whole
- A desire for individuality
- A desire for security
- A desire for adventure
- A desire to be successful
- A desire to help the environment
If a company can leverage their website to tap into at least some of those motivators, then they’re well on the way to creating an emotional bond with the consumer. For example, since people are motivated by a desire for confidence in the future, you can use images and messages that evoke a sense of trust. Help the consumer feel confident about your company’s ability to assist them again in the future. Tap into the consumer’s desire to help the environment by highlighting any social responsibility initiatives your business is involved with. When you ensure that your website stands out from the crowd, you tap into the consumer’s desire to stand out from the crowd.
People start the buyer’s journey by realizing they have a problem or need and researching what solutions exist. After coming to the conclusion that they need the type of product or service you offer, they begin looking at all the companies that sell them. That’s when choices seem endless. And for many people, dealing with a company online is different than being face to face with someone.
Customers may wonder if the business is trustworthy, whether they’re legitimate, and so on. This is where testimonials and reviews come in hand. In fact, research indicates that people are willing to believe another person about the trustworthiness of a business. When someone can vouch for a business with a stellar testimonial, it boosts credibility. Add testimonials to your website. Have a whole page of them and if possible, keep them fresh and up to date. Here at B12, we have a page dedicated to all the reviews we received from our customers over the course of the year.
Customer testimonials won’t just fall from the sky, so make it easy for customers to provide them to you. Send them the link where they can give their review — or, better yet, send them an email with a link to a review form. That way the customer doesn’t have to do any extra steps and won’t forget about it either.
Blog with purpose
Blogging is a critical part of staying visible. Not only do your customers get a wide variety of resources, but Google likes to see a website with a continual stream of great content. However, that doesn’t mean just writing anything and posting it in hopes that Google will rank your website at the top of the page. You need blogs that reflect high-quality copywriting as well as search engine optimization (SEO). This is no easy task. There is a lot of regular work you need to juggle, too. Outsourcing your copywriting and SEO may be a better strategy in the long run.
Give out your number
Your phone number may seem like such a small thing, but it can make a big difference between someone staying on your page and becoming a lead and someone leaving. There are a few reasons why it’s important to include. It adds a degree of reality to your business — if you have a phone number, then you really exist, right? People may be suspicious if they don’t see a phone number. They want to be able to reach anyone right away if they have an issue or question. Some people prefer to talk to a real person when dealing with a business. Even though we live in a digital world, not everyone prefers to communicate this way every time. Customers like options.
Analyze the results
The only way to know if your website is generating the traffic and leads you want is to analyze the results. You can test a couple of different strategies to see what works best if you’re not getting the results you want. You can test how your strategy is working by running A/B tests.
An A/B test works by taking one piece of content and changing one variable, resulting in two different options to test against each other. The variable can be the place you post it, some part of the content itself, your form, the call to action, the color scheme, images, font size, white space, and more. Testing is a great way to make those tweaks and perfect your website to bring in more leads. Once you have the two versions, you’ll be able to determine which one generates more traffic.
Boosting your website to the top of the page just became easier with these tips. Get in touch with B12 to find out how we can help your business.