Your website should obviously be more than an online brochure. It should be the hub of your online lead gathering strategy, the central point that brings potential customers to you. But if you want it to work right, you’re going to need to put some work in to making it happen.
The Value Of A Website Is Always In Question
When I sit with a client, most of the time they want to know what value a website has for them, especially if they have an existing one that hasn’t done much for them. They question exactly why they should spend money updating it, maintaining it, or even hosting it if it’s not going to get them any sales.
Despite the normalcy in that concern, it’s alarming, mostly because the designer or developer that put the existing site together didn’t explain what needs done to get the most out of it. They didn’t explain that simply having a website in existence wasn’t enough. They didn’t explain that a website was a tool, nor did they explain how to use it.
Your Website Gets Value From The Leads It Generates
And that’s the answer I give to my clients. Lead generation is your website’s number one job, and the better it does its job, the more it’s worth. But there’s a caveat; websites don’t passively do anything. They’re tools, and they need used.
Websites need active participation from a digital marketing team. Depending on your organization, that could be one person (whether it’s you or someone you hire), or an entire team (either in-house of outsourced).
Website Lead Generation Gets Better The More You Understand The Nuances
Let’s get down to the bread and butter, shall we? Those nuances are the difference between a site that gains a few leads, and a site that changes your business. So let’s talk about a few.
Google Search Is Based On Fresh, Relevant Content
To generate leads, your website must draw in traffic first. That means you’ll be relying on Google Search to bring visitors, unless you want to pay for traffic (which works if you know how). That takes content, which Google will serve up to the right market if you plan it carefully.
Spend time, effort, and resources creating captivating content that will interest and inform your target market. Answer the questions they ask at the beginning of the buy cycle. Inform them about how to decide amongst the different products and services you offer. Guide them to why they should choose you over your competition. Most of all, earn their trust.
Your Leads Need The Next Step
People aren’t stupid. They know exactly what they want, and they’ll make the decision to get it if they know how. However, when a website isn’t optimized for leads, that can be a problem. They arrive at the site, get the information they want, then leave because they had no idea what the next step was. They move on to your competitor.
A properly optimized website gives visitors clear instructions on what to do next. Calls to action, pop-ups, slide ins, and contact methods are all clearly laid out on every page, leading your visitors straight through your lead funnel and in to your mailing and messaging list. They know exactly how to get what they want, giving you exactly what you want.
Gather As Much Information As Possible
Visitors offer you valuable data. The more you can learn about them, the more you’ll learn about your target market. And, while a complex contact or signup form combined with a Google search might yield some great data, there are better ways.
Services from FullContact to Google to Facebook offer ways to get great data about your site visitors using only their name and email address, allowing you to gather huge amounts of public demographic data with a minimal contact form. The more you know, the better you can market to them.
Entice Your Visitors To Stay Connected
Most of your site visitors aren’t going to volunteer to be marketed to without a good reason. They won’t sign up for any emails, text messages, or any other forms of marketing communication unless they’re going to get value from it.
Offer your visitors tools, ebooks, raffles, or any other attractive trades specific to your target market. The more information you want from them, the more valuable the lead magnet should be. For basics, like name and email, a great digital download should suffice.
The Best Lead Generation Comes From The Right Kind Of Work
Understanding that a website is a lead generation tool is only the beginning. Its efficiency improves with the overall level of understanding you or your team has about the extra skills we went over. Get great at the nuances of online lead generation and see the value of your website skyrocket.