What can get forgotten in the content marketing world, when examining your website and improving its design, is that the whole purpose of your website is to maintain and/or increase sales. Your website is the main, and often first, point of contact for your customers, and how successful your business is can depend on how well your website is set up for lead generation.
Lead generation needs to be a focus of any good marketing strategy, however optimizing your website to convert visitors into leads – or actual customers – is not as easy as simply throwing up a sign-up form and hoping for the best.
In this article we’ll explore some of the best ways to optimize your website for lead generation.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the act of capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing your sales pipeline.
Why is this important? Because approximately 96 per cent of website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase.
Lead generation allows visitors to submit their contact information and allows you to update them with products/services, brand content and more. It’s also the first step in creating a lasting relationship with your customers. So how do you go about capturing leads?
Add Forms to High Traffic pages
Before you can really know how effective any campaign or change to your website is, you need to establish benchmarks for the state of your current lead generation efforts. By doing this you can also identify pages that may be great at lead generation that you didn’t even realize.
Now you can start an audit of where most of your lead generation comes from. Examples of areas where you may be most successful are e-mail marketing – if you send out a monthly newsletter or update customers regularly with new product info, your email marketing campaigns may be one of the most successful lead generation areas for getting customers to click to your website.
Social media can be a great lead generator whether its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or somewhere else. Blog posts are another potentially great place for generating leads, especially your highest performing posts. Finally, if you have a live-chat function on your website, this could be a potential lead generator.
Once you analyze your data and identify where most of your traffic is coming from, you will want to make sure you are maximizing your returns on those pages.
For example, if you find that social media is driving a lot of your leads, then you will want to update the pages that are attracting the most visitors with content that is sure to keep them on the page and convert them into a lead. Gateway content like a long-form or Evergreen post, that is offered as a giveaway in exchange for a user’s contact information, is one way of doing this. Another way is offering a series of emails or “classes” in specific information that would be valuable to your niche market.
It's also important to remember that not every form needs to be the same thing. For instance the call-to-action on your contact page could be about getting people to contact you for more information. The call-to-action on a blog post, meanwhile, could be aimed at getting users to sign up for your newsletter. While these are directing leads to different parts of your sales funnel, they are both quality leads for your business.
Measure for Performance
The next step to optimizing your website for lead generation is measuring the performance of different landing pages.
Another simple way of measuring your performance is to do a deep dive into the analytics of your site. Do an A/B test with two of your pages and see which method is converting the most users. For instance if Page A is converting 1 in 100, meanwhile Page B is converting 5 in 100, then examine what it is on Page B that is working so well and see if you can duplicate that across your site.
Also be sure to see which pages are getting the most shares, likes, comments, visits and CTA clicks and devise ways to duplicate that effort.
Optimize Each Step Along the Way
Getting ahead in the content marketing world is all about optimizing where you can. To do this take a look at your lead generation process through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time.
Go step-by-step through the process and see what they would see. If you’re offering amazing tips on how to build a website, then your links shouldn’t direct potential leads to tips on taking great photos.
A/B testing is a great way to understand what works and what doesn’t. For some websites it can be as simple as turning a link into a button or changing the wording of your CTA.
Focusing on these key areas will really optimize your site.
Make your CTAs stand out by making them a contrasting colour to the rest of your site. Additionally, make sure you keep them simple. Don’t give potential customers a laundry list of things to like, visit and sign-up for as that is a sure-fire way to lose them.
According to this Hubspot survey, companies with more than 30 landing pages generated seven times more leads than companies with only 1 to 5 landing pages.
That’s a huge difference.
If you’re not sure how to best utilize landing pages, or need some inspiration check out these 25 Best Landing Pages.
Thank You Pages
The page where a customer is lead to after they sign-up – known as the thank you page is an often-overlooked opportunity to connect with your customers.
Be sure to include the link to the content you promised to give them, but also include social buttons and ask them to connect with you there. You can also double up on the offers by including a second sign-up sheet for a completely different offer. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for customers to share your offer with fellow co-workers, friends or clients. If you’re offering something worth having, then they’ll want to share it.
Depending on how you set-up your opt-in, or where your business is located you may need to send a confirmation email. However, even if you don’t HAVE to, you still should.
These thank you emails are a great opportunity to start your relationship with your new lead on the right foot. Thank them for signing up, include links to relevant content and end with a question. This allows them the opportunity to give you feedback and allows you the opportunity to continue the conversation.
Ultimately, your business is dependent on cultivating leads and turning them into customers. How you treat your customers and how you optimize your website for lead generation will determine how successful your lead generation efforts are. Utilizing the tips above will allow you to take advantage of every opportunity you have to create a lead for your business.