The Anatomy Of A Website That Gets Leads

If you can’t watch the video, we broke down the information below.

Websites are pretty important when it comes to turning your target market into customers.

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about ways to get people to come to your website.

Honestly, it’s been pretty good stuff.

However, what do you plan to do with those visitors once they’re on your website?

If you don’t have a process to turn them into leads, you won’t be able to turn them into customers.

You won’t be able to grow.

That means your website design and layout needs to focus on lead generation.

Today, I want to introduce what a great lead-generating website has built into it.

The Path You Want Your Leads To Follow On Your Website Has To Be Clear

What’s your website look like right now?

That’s something you probably don’t stop to think about too often.

However, it’s something that affects every person that visits your site and influences their actions on it.

So stop to think about it.

  • Do your pages take your visitors to their next action?
  • Are you capturing the data visitors give you when they fill out a form?
  • Do each of your campaigns lead somewhere specific, tailored to that campaign?
  • Are there calls-to-action on every blog post?
  • Do you have a blog?

By now, you may have noticed a few holes in your website that are affecting how often you convert leads.

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Website Lead Generation Optimization Has A Few Critical Parts

Effective lead capture systems are well-oiled machines.

They require certain pieces operating in the right way at the right time if you want them to work.

Any website developer who is worth a damn will make sure you know what they are when she builds your site.

In fact, the only reason she wouldn’t build them in is that you declined the extra cost.

Today, whether those tools are built into your site or not, I’m going to go over them with you.

If you’re a brand-new company looking to build a great lead list, this is going to make your life easier. Click To Tweet

If you’ve been in business for a while and you just want to make sure your website is doing everything it’s supposed to, this is the right place for you too.

Here’s everything you need to know about the components of a website that’s optimized for lead generation.

Lead Capture Forms

Ok, for starters, you have to have a form to capture your leads.

I mean, how else are you supposed to get contact information from your site visitors?

You know, when you’ve done a good enough job with your content that they want to give you their information.

That opt-in is critical, too.

When people volunteer to give you their information, they’re interested in what you do. Click To Tweet

That means they’re more likely to become customers later.

By adding lead forms directly into your website, you make it easy for your site visitors to become your leads.

Everything from newsletter signups to contact forms to demo requests can be added.

If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you should be able to add these forms with ease.

While it’s most common to add these forms to a landing page, you can really put them anywhere on your site.

  • Put a newsletter form in the footer
  • Embed a demo request form on the side of your site
  • Add a contact form on your homepage
  • Throw a sign-up form in your site’s header

The possibilities go on.

Just make sure you’re not being overly intrusive. The minute your content feels like sales, you’ll lose the opportunity.

Think carefully about what you’re asking for on the forms, too.

If you ask for a small amount of information, you’ll likely get more leads.

You’ll also have to do more work with them.

If you ask for a lot of information, you’ll get a better-quality lead.

However, that’s usually at the expense of a larger quantity of leads.

People don’t like filling out long forms.

However, if you have other ways for them to opt-in that don’t require as much information, you may still be OK.

A Customer Relationship Management Tool

Cool, now you have forms, so leads can come in.

How are you going to track those leads and the conversations you have with them?

I hope you’re not planning on doing it through Excel.

Because there is an easier way.

There is software available that will automatically take your form submissions and add them to leads in a database.

It’s known as a Contact Manager, Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM.

You can build them right into your website.

I’m a big fan of centralizing as much of your business as possible around your website. Click To Tweet

It makes running your business much easier.

In this case, that centralized database of leads is going to make communication easier.

You should be able to use your CRM to:

  • Monitor lead follow-up
  • Send lead nurturing emails
  • Track future behavior on your site
  • Manage lead details (like lists, tags, or contact information)

The effectiveness of a good database can’t be underappreciated.

After all, if follow-up is easier and better tracked, it’s not likely you’ll miss anything.

Attractive Calls-To-Action

Every time a visitor comes to your website, there’s something they’re searching for.

Maybe they already know what it is, like a special gift for a spouse.

Maybe they have no clue and need a little help figuring it out.

It’s your job to help guide them through their process either way.

That needs calls-to-action or CTAs.

Think about it. Your website exists to make people aware of your brand and move them towards a purchase.

CTAs are the road signs that give them direction.

They help keep visitors from getting overwhelmed or lost.

That’s how you turn your homepage – and the rest of your site – into a lead farm.

You’re going to need more than one CTA, though.

There are all kinds of visitors who will be in different phases of the buying process, and you need to speak to all of them. Click To Tweet

Just make sure you have a primary CTA.

It should be easy to see, stand apart, and takes people to the number one action you want them to perform on your site.

Think of it as the “Buy Now” button.

I know. You don’t always want them to “buy” something.

However, you do want them to buy into whatever action you want them to take.

  • Sign up
  • Make an account
  • Get a product demo

You know what a “lead” is for your company.

Tying a CTA to that definition will help you figure out what you’re doing that’s working, and what’s not.

Check out Hubspot’s list of 30 CTA examples to help you determine exactly what yours should look like.

Whatever you do, make sure your CTAs are enticing and clear.

Gated Content And Offers

Ok, you’ve told your site visitors what to do with your CTAs.

You’ve given them a means with your forms.

But why are they going to become a lead if they aren’t ready to buy yet?

It’s time to up the value you’re offering. Click To Tweet

Exchange quality information (that goes beyond what’s on your blog) for their contact information.

As it turns out, 77% of B2B buyers are willing to exchange contact details for white papers or ebooks.

It’s time for you to create an irresistible gated offer or lead magnet.

If you offer more of the valuable information that researchers came to your site for, they’re going to give you their name and email address.

They might even give you a phone number.

Upping your odds of converting a lead is something you definitely want to look at, right?

So, here’s how it works.

  1. Write a compelling and interesting blog article.
  2. Somewhere in that article (I’ve seen them in the middle, at the bottom, and to the side) place a call-to-action that advertises your lead magnet.
    1. This can be a button that takes them to a landing page.
    2. It can be an embedded form directly on the content.
  3. Include a form they must fill out to get the lead magnet. Don’t ask for more information than what makes sense.
    1. First Name
    2. Last Name
    3. Email Address
    4. Other appropriate information
  4. Their input should trigger an email with a link to the gated content. This ensures they give you a correct email and that they’re looking for your response.

Remember, your gated content can be anything of value.

  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • Discounts
  • Memberships
  • Product demos
  • Free trials

As long as it’s related to both the content that brought them in and the product you offer, you’ll gather quality leads from it.

Pop-Up Forms

You know what I’m talking about.

You’re visiting a website when suddenly (possibly based on an action) the screen is overtaken by a form offering a signup.

Sometimes it’s irritating, sometimes the offer is something you want.

Now, you might have a negative gut reaction to the phrase “pop-up”.

After all, they’ve been a source of frustration for many a website visitor in the past.

However, if you use them in a user-friendly way, they can be really effective.

Here’s what you need to make sure every pop-up does:

  • Offer value to your visitor.
  • Appears in a natural way. Either time it well or cause it to be triggered by an action.
  • Make sure their appearance isn’t jarring. That includes the animations that reveal them.
  • Use human language.
  • Make it actionable.
  • Don’t screw up a mobile experience.

Choose your pages and posts carefully, too.

You may not want the same pop-up on every page.

You also may not want the same kind of pop-up on every page.

Yes, there are different kinds.

  • Modal Pop-Ups
    When most people think of a pop-up, this is what comes to mind. Typically, the screen is overlaid with the pop-up information and form. It takes all attention off the content and puts it on the call-to-action the pop-up contains. They usually appear after a set time, a set scroll distance, or on an exit action (known as an exit intent).
  • Welcome Mats
    These pop-ups are usually found at the top of a page and “slide-in” instead of “pop-up”. They overtake the screen in the same way a modal does, often as a full-screen image with call-to-action. They usually appear within a second or two of arriving on the page.
  • Top Banners
    Like welcome mats, you’ll usually see these immediately when visiting a page. They slide in from the top in the same way a welcome mat does, but they usually only take up a small portion of the top of your browser. There is also a variation that appears at the bottom of the page (a bottom banner) that may appear after a certain scroll distance.
  • Slide-Ins
    Slide-ins are usually a smaller size than the rest of the page. Normally triggered by a scroll distance, a slide in will appear from one side of the page and occupy a corner of the window. These primarily work due to the animation that accompanies them. They’re a great place for a call-to-action that includes a video.

Remember that pop-ups should be well thought out before deploying them.

Test them as much as possible to make sure they’re not overly intrusive yet attract the attention of your site visitors.

Try to include calls-to-action that were designed specifically for the pop-up rather than trying to stuff a mid-page or end-page CTA into it.

An Intuitive Layout

If your site visitors can’t figure out how to make your website work, they’re gone.

Can’t say I blame them.

Your goal of making visitors into leads is much easier when they can navigate your site.

Think about the way your site design – colors, layout, whitespace, fonts, and the other elements that support the site – are used to communicate.

Put a strong focus on the design and layout of your most important pages, making sure they’re focused on lead generation. Click To Tweet

That means you need to guide their path through your site.

Here’s something to consider: website visitors tend to view every page in an F-pattern, starting in the upper right.

Here’s the eye-tracking study to prove it.

That’s a great starting point to consider for your layouts.

Place key elements along that F-pattern in the order you want visitors to see them.

  • Logo & company name in the top left.
  • The menu in the top right.
  • Call to action in the mid-row.

While that layout is just a suggestion, following the idea of using the F-pattern will guarantee they see what you want them to.

A Frequently Updated Blog

You know you need a blog and its many benefits.

We talk about it all the time.

Now you can add another benefit: drawing in visitors to convert to leads.

Blogs are great for SEO, which inevitably brings traffic. Click To Tweet

Each one is also another chance to convert a visitor into a lead.

Plus, they tend to compound their results, so you’ll get their benefit for a long time.

One of our most popular posts was written four years ago.

But don’t hit publish on your next blog and expect leads to just roll in.

You need to use one of the awesome calls-to-action we talked about.

There needs to be one on every blog post you produce.

Like I mentioned, you’re going to want to write content that’s related to what you do and to your gated content.

Attach a CTA that’s relevant to the content you wrote.

Even better if the CTA is unique to the content you created, speaking directly to the reason those visitors came to your site.

Just make sure every blog post contains a related CTA, otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.

Proof That You’re Trustworthy

Put yourself in the role of the site visitor for a moment.

You’re being asked to hand over personal contact information.

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Company name

Why would you give that information over if you didn’t feel a little trust in the brand and what it has to offer?

You need to establish credibility for your site visitors. Click To Tweet

You can provide great information and make promises of even better content behind the lead form, sure.

But recommendations from others who have benefitted from your company mean more.

Social proof is a great way to build the credibility of your company.

There are different kinds of social proof you can take advantage of.

  • Customer Testimonials
    These are quotes from real customers that praise your company, product, or service. You can place these anywhere on your site, including your homepage, contact page, or below forms. Make sure you include any information about your client that demonstrates why your site visitors should listen to them.
  • Case studies
    Case studies are a complete analysis of what you did for a client. Imagine expanding on a testimonial to include more details, including the shift in metrics and any positive results. Make sure you mention the strategies you went through, any of your clients’ concerns in the process, and what you did to overcome any unexpected difficulties.
  • Client Showcase
    It’s not always feasible to demonstrate every success story or testimonial from every client. This is a way to demonstrate the who else has put trust in you. Include a section of prominent client logos. These instantly recognizable names are often enough to establish trust for site visitors who respect them.
  • Trust Seals
    These symbols represent security on your site. When a site visitor sees them, they know you will care for their information.

When you can demonstrate your level of trustworthiness, it eases your visitors’ concern about handing over their contact information.

A Live Chat Window

So, here’s something we’ve never talked about before.

Add live chat to your site.

Often, site visitors will get stuck on something.

Maybe they have a specific question that you don’t get very often.

Sure, they could use your standard contact form to ask.

However, a great way to both build trust and impress visitors with your speed of service is to answer their questions immediately.

When they can quickly get your team’s assistance finding the answers they seek they’ll inherently trust you more. Click To Tweet

It’s going to show them you’ll have their back.

Thankfully, there are a number of companies that offer easy-to-add live chat functionality to your site.

Even Facebook’s messenger is a great way to add it.

Chat windows happen to be another great way to capture lead data as well (unless you’re using messenger).

It’s common, and therefore acceptable, to ask for a name and email address when starting a chat.

Most CRMs can track that lead data.

In some cases, you may even move them through the sales journey faster by eliminating wait time for a response.

Websites With All The Right Pieces In Place Generate Leads

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things you can do on your website to get leads.

However, these foundational elements are the perfect place to start.

Just by including them in your site, then actively improving them, you’ll begin to see more leads.

They’ll also be higher quality leads, too.

Remember as you go along that these are general best-practices.

You’ll need to constantly improve upon them based on good data.

That means you ought to be A/B testing everything you put in place.

The more data you can gather on what works, the better a job you can do in the future. Click To Tweet

You’ll be able to cater your content towards your specific audience.

That means they’ll have a unique experience that focuses on the things that matter to them.

Remember, the more you can speak to their unique wants and needs, the more likely they are to become your client when they’re ready to buy.

That’s what we all want, isn’t it?

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.