Launch an online presence that makes it simple to attract, win, and serve clients
B12 uses AI and experts to quickly set up your website, scheduling, payments, email marketing, and more.Get started for free
How to build a website that generates leads in 2023
Success often rests on how well your website generates leads. Even if your firm offers excellent services and you have industry expertise, you won't be successful if no one knows it. Your website is your advertisement to the world, and if it’s not effective, you can't compete.
In the pre-digital days, businesses primarily drummed up business by running ads on TV and radio, producing print ads, making cold calls, and even going door to door. It worked to some degree, but let’s face it, how many people enjoyed being interrupted by a sales ad yelling 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 service, and the digital world has capitalized on that with inbound marketing. The process went something like this before digital marketing became so huge:
- People recognized they had a need, a problem, or a desire.
- People would talk to their family, friends, or neighbors about this 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 client's natural process for buying something to the digital world, resulting in inbound marketing. In combination with inbound marketing, the internet allows the client to go at their own pace, research solutions to a problem, find businesses offering that solution, purchase their services, tell friends, and repeat.
This non-invasive method of inbound marketing is better for consumers and businesses. Businesses are not in the client's face, but at the same time, it puts a whole new responsibility on companies. They must be savvy enough to dangle their services 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. 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 clients may find their way to your website through:
- Social media posts
- Email marketing
- Chat help
Determine where the bulk of your traffic comes from and focus on them
During the assessment process, it’s vital that you also find out which pages of your website visitors are most likely to click. Are you getting a lot of clicks on a timely, long-form post, or are clients 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 updating the content on those pages. Or, in the case of social media posts, you can make sure the material is fresh and current.
You want to beef up where you’re good and cut out where you’re not getting any action. If you do not see any action, consider rethinking your strategy. 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?
Build clear conversion paths
Have you heard of the three-click rule? It's a theory that suggests website visitors get really frustrated if they can't find what they're looking for in three clicks or less. Of course, there is some nuance to this "rule" and not all information, purchases, and goals can be available within only three clicks. However, this is a helpful standard to keep in mind when you’re trying to streamline your website's user journey and reduce the number of clicks or steps in a process to improve your conversion metrics.
Simplifying the steps it takes to convert (e.g., schedule a call, submit a form, or make a purchase) not only enhances the user experience of your site, but also helps you generate leads, gain clients, and make sales.
To make your firm's conversion path clear, you first need to confirm that the path is visible to your audience. Have you placed the most important information, like your contact details, above the fold? Are call-to-action buttons prominently placed and designed to be eye-catching? For leads to convert, the path has to be obvious and easy for them to follow.
You also need your website's client journey to be accurate and updated. Each link, form, and CTA should deliver what it promises, be concise, and omit any unnecessary steps.
Each step of the conversion path must offer clear value to keep visitors moving through the flow. If they don't understand the benefit they'll get once they visit a page, submit a form, or schedule a consultation, they'll fall off and won't finish. This is why it's important to test the copy, design, and placement of your CTAs and website content.
Other conversion tools worth adding to your website include pop-ups, announcement banners, and live chat, which can all increase the time someone spends on your site, provide them with an offer, and capture information that adds them to your pipeline.
Exit-intent pop-ups in particular are a fantastic way to get more out of the 15 seconds that the average visitor spends on your site. Exit-intent pop-ups track a visitor’s activity on your site and determine when they’re about to exit without taking action. As they move toward X-ing out of your site, a pop-up is triggered that entices them to sign up for your email list, receive a first-time discount, or encourage them to register for your upcoming webinar. This little nudge is a great way to capture their information and start working toward making them a client.
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 clients. 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 want.
Embrace content marketing
Most people are familiar with content marketing, even if they aren’t completely sure what it is. That’s because it’s become the dominant form of marketing over the last decade or two, and for a good reason. According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as outbound marketing at a third of the price. That’s nine times the value of traditional outbound marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a lead generation strategy that involves creating original content that engages with your target audience. In business, content marketing most often takes the shape of a blog. Blogs are a tried and true content marketing method, though they’re far from the only way. You can also create videos, podcasts, eBooks, tutorials, webinars, entertainment — anything that might entice your target audience. And if it brings in revenue on its own (through advertising or affiliates), even better.
Attract attention with photos
You’ve probably heard the 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 client. 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. B12's team page is one example. Get photos 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 harm your website.
Use videos to show your services in action
With YouTube being the second most popular website in the world (second only to Google), it’s clear that video is one of the most effective ways to engage with consumers. And that makes sense, considering that TV commercials were the king of the advertising world before the internet.
Despite a gradual decline in TV’s (and subsequently commercials) viewership, video marketing has not become any less useful or essential. According to Forbes, 80% of customers use videos to help them make a purchasing decision, and 64% say that video content will push them to purchase a product or service.
And this makes sense. Text descriptions of a service leave a lot up to a person’s imagination, and photos only reflect your offering in 2D. It’s easy to hide issues with a product, hide its size, or be vague about how a product works, even unintentionally, when you only use photos. This can not only dissuade clients from purchasing a product or service, but it can also leave them dissatisfied after their purchase.
Video content can help you avoid these issues altogether while also increasing the trust between new clients and your brand. You can use videos to give a three-dimensional breakdown of your service, show how it works in greater depth, add personality to your service, demonstrate use cases, and more.
Incorporate videos into your landing pages
It’s not just about creating videos for your products and services. It’s about how and where you incorporate them. Specifically, adding a video to each of your landing pages can boost your conversions by up to 86%.
Eyeview found that having video autoplay on a landing page encouraged much more engagement with those visiting the site. Again, this can be brought back to the points made above, and that’s that video is much easier to digest than text, grabs attention much faster than images, and is a great way to add credibility, voice, and perspective to your services.
But this study also shows that where you place these videos matters as well. You don’t want to have your videos buried in different areas on your site where they are never seen, or taking up so much space on your homepage/contact page that they begin to turn prospective leads away. Placing them in areas like landing pages, pages that people visit to be sold on a product or service, can play a significant role in pushing a potential lead in a complete conversion.
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 its 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.
Practice your headlines
Often, headlines can feel like an afterthought when writing an article - the cherry on top. However, this is about as far from the truth as can be. According to research by Wired, a business that knows a thing or two about headlines, strong headlines can boost engagement with a piece by up to 500%. That’s an insane number for something that has very little to do with the actual content of an article, but it shows just how compelling a great headline can be.
For some, great headlines come naturally. You’re able to predict the sorts of titles that will draw audiences in and craft them accordingly. For most people, however, titling can be the least enjoyable part of an article, especially for those who aren’t familiar with marketing. Fortunately, you can work through this challenge by studying a bit of marketing! There are lots of resources on the internet and books that you can read to sharpen your headlining skills. Considering how big of an impact it can have on your content and lead generation, it’s worth a shot.
People start the buyer’s journey by realizing they have a problem or need and researching what solutions exist. After concluding 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. Clients may wonder if the business is trustworthy, whether they’re legitimate, and so on.
This is where testimonials and reviews come in handy. 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 years.
Testimonials won’t just fall from the sky, so make it easy for clients to provide them. Share 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 client doesn’t have to do any extra steps and won’t forget about it either.
Be prepared for the long haul
In an ideal world, you would be able to turn leads into conversions in a matter of hours, every interested prospect quickly becoming a purchasing client. Unfortunately, this is not how things work in the real world. 48% of businesses reported that lead conversions require a long cycle of nurturing interest across several different influences, according to a survey by Ascend2.
Clients want to be educated on your service and familiar with your brand before deciding whether to purchase. This process can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months, but it’s often required to win clients over. This means that you should expect to be enticing your leads for long periods rather than relying on impulsive purchases.
Fortunately, you can engage in long-term conversion with your clients by using the strategies we’ve mentioned throughout this article. Adding to a blog, working on your email chain, creating video content, and starting a podcast can lengthen the customer journey long enough to bring your leads to the point of conversion. Just be patient and remember that it takes consumers a long time to make up their minds.
Blog with purpose
Blogging is a critical part of staying visible. Not only do your clients 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 essential to include. It adds a degree of reality to your business — if you have a phone number, then you 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. Clients 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 check how your plan 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 search page just became more comfortable with these tips. Get in touch with B12 to find out how we can help your business.
Get a lead generating website built for you
B12 experts build a custom website to help you look professional and reach your business goals. Start for free.
Spend less time on your website and more time growing your business
Let B12 set up your professional online presence with everything you need to attract, win, and serve clients.