For any business operating today, a website is no-longer just a ‘nice to have’, it’s a must-have. Potential customers will want and expect to see one, and will have high expectations for the user experience they receive when using it.
But far from being just a flashy digital brochure, businesses have a real opportunity here. A well designed and thought through website can become a lead generating asset - working as hard for you as any other member of the team.
A good website should support all the other online and offline marketing activity you are undertaking, sitting at the heart of everything and going on to paying for itself many times over.
So, what does it take to create a highly effective lead generating website?
Start with a clear goal
The whole planning and design process needs to span from the company goals. Consider them and give your website a clearly defined objective that will support you in achieving them. Once defined, this purpose should shape everything about the site, from what it features to how it looks.
If lead generation is your aim, then the whole site needs to be geared towards that. One 'Contact Us' form is not going to do it. Think how you want people to get in touch, why they might and make it super easy for them to do so.
Make it customer-centric
Your website should not be a glorified online brochure. It needs to be structured around your target customers and what they will want to see. If it’s all ‘me, me, me’ and ‘we do this, we do that’, you’re simply not going to be as effective.
User experience (UX) is a buzzword in web circles - and for good reason. You need to provide the information that visitors will want to see, and to help guide them along on predefined pathways.
Start by mapping out the entire journey that different potential visitors may take. For example, if someone sees a blog post link on Twitter and comes through to the site – what next? What pathway have you laid out for them? How will you convert this visitor into a contact, by getting them to hand over their details, or to contact you?
It all needs to flow, with a strategic direction lying behind it and links and mechanisms in the appropriate places. The easier the whole thing is, the more effective you will be.
Have mechanisms for converting traffic into contacts
The website should include a range of different mechanisms that encourage visitors to make themselves known to you. For example, contact forms, a chatbot function and click to call phone numbers. These all need to be easy to find and use. You want to present opportunities to get in touch at every turn – without being pushy.
A common mistake here is to ask too much, too soon. If you have a data capture mechanism that is based around a piece of gated content, don’t ask a visitor for anything more than their name and email address. The less you ask, the more likely you are that the details will be handed over. People are fiercely protective of their data and you need to build trust overtime. As you do this, you can also build on your profiling, adding to it bit by bit.
Just remember, GDPR has made data protection rules even stricter, so make sure you are always working within the regulation when you’re collecting and using personal data (contact names, business email addresses and IP addresses all count. For more details, visit the ICO website).
Use strong lead generating content
Your website needs to be kept up-to-date and active, with new content added regularly. A content marketing strategy is a great way to drive the right kind of traffic to your site, and then to keep yourself front of mind. It can also help you show off your expertise and communication skills, suggesting in a positive way what it may be like to work with you.
Make sure any content you provide is high quality, targeted and relevant for your target audiences. Adding new content regularly will also have the added benefit of aiding your website rankings and wider SEO efforts too.
Track what’s working and improve
The final piece in the puzzle is to think about how you will measure and monitor success. You need to be able see what’s working and what’s not, so you can continually work on improving and enhancing the site. If you lose a lot of visitors on a particular page, or one piece of content is proving consistently popular, then use those insights to maximise your impact.
For an informal chat about any of the topics covered here, and whether content marketing could benefit your business, please call Amy on 07857 145 257.