Whether your business is big or small, it’s important that you use your digital presence to market to potential customers and create leads. While elements like social media, internal blogs, and email marketing are all important parts of the inbound marketing process, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing website should be the number one priority, as it is essential to lead generation. Lead generation is essentially interesting or attracting potential customers to the products or services your business produces. By having a responsive website that is efficient and has beautiful interactive design, your website will become lead generating, giving you the contacts and connections you need to grow your business.
But how do you design a website with the goal of lead generation? In some instances it depends on your specific company or business, but there are some general guidelines that all websites should follow to be lead generating. Here are eight different tips on how to design a lead generating website for your business. (That is, unless you want to hire responsive web designers to do it all for you!)
1. Avoid having an obvious template on your website
Of course, at DC Dev Shop we aren’t against using templates and themes to help design your website. In fact, we recommend starting from a template as it gives you a nice jumping off point. But avoid leaving your website the same as when you first downloaded the template.
This will result in your website looking “cookie-cutter”, which does not speak to your company’s professionalism or creativity. Instead, pick a highly rated template or theme that is easily adaptable for many different individuals and businesses. That way you get professional designs, but are able use UI design tools and design systems to add your own spin and style into the look and feels of your site.
At DCDS, our favorite WordPress theme is Divi, which is highly adaptable and has 86 different themes and 6 plug-ins. Plus, Divi has a visual builder element, perfect for easy website editing. If you’re interested in the Divi theme, check it out here.
2. Keep a consistent design throughout the website
Just as you don’t want to have a cookie-cutter template or theme for your website, you also don’t want each page completely personalized with different designs. Not having a cohesive look to your website confuses viewers and takes away a sense of professionally from your website and company. Instead make sure that every page flows together, following similar layouts and color schemes. This will add a level of branding to your company, broadcasting the company colors and logo, as well as giving potential customers an idea of your company’s goals, mission, and personality.
A great example of this is the Web Development Group’s website, which can be seen here.
3. Include contact numbers on multiple pages
It might seem a little redundant to include contact numbers on multiple pages of your website, especially if you are trying to get potential leads to purchase something online through your website. But having an actual phone number that people can call is a comforting idea for most customers, even if they never call it. In fact, 64% of visitors want to see the company’s contact information on the homepage of their website. If you’re a small business this is especially important, so DCDS recommends to put the number on as many pages as possible.
A good way to do this without seeming obtrusive is to either 1) add the number in a small bar above the main navigation of your website, or 2) add the number in the footer on every page. This way, the number is always present but isn’t in a viewer’s face when looking at the webpage. A good example is this on below from CHIEF.
4. Add forms on high-traffic pages
While some people prefer talking to a real person, either on the phone or in person, an increasing number of people prefer to initiate relationships with businesses online. One of the best ways to gain contacts and leads from your online presence is to create forms for multiple pages of your website. The less information you ask for on your forms, the more likely people will reach out to you with their names and emails, giving you a great opening to a beginning relationship.
However, make sure you don’t ask for too little information, as this will result in more leads overall, but fewer quality ones that actually lead to a conversion. But in general, adding forms to high traffic pages is a great way to increase your overall website lead generation. This is the mentality to have when developing landing pages that convert leads into prospects for your business.
There are many different platforms with which you can add forms to your website. Our favorite is HubSpot, which was use to manage our contacts, sales, and marketing efforts. Check out this great article from their blog about the best web form examples you’ll want to copy immediately.
5. Add photos and videos whenever possible
Photos and videos are a great visual asset that automatically attract website visitors and engage them more than just text and background colors. In an increasingly visual world, you can’t afford for your website not to have photos and videos, so add them in a clean way, wherever possible. One of the biggest trends at the moment is to have a silent video in the header of a home page, which adds another level of visual interest and appears high-tech while really being very easy (you can read about other 2018 website trends in our other blog post).
When adding photos and videos to your website, just remember to add descriptions and alt text to all visual elements. This will help with your website’s SEO and make your site accessible to those with disabilities. One company with great visuals on their site is Taoti Creative, whose website you can see here.
6. Add case studies and testimonials
Nowadays, traditional marketing isn’t enough to convince a potential customer that the product or service you’re selling is worth the time and money. With the increased use of Google and YouTube, people love hearing real testimonials and experience from people before buying anything new. To help attract leads, incorporate case studies and testimonials to your site wherever applicable. This way, potential leads can get a sense of what services you provide and in what style you provide them, and also get to hear real, positive testimony from previous clients. For an added bonus, also include photos along with these case studies and testimonials. People are more likely to trust a statement if they can see the person and face behind it.
A great example of a testimonial page comes from Codecademy. Check out their website here.
7. Add call-to-action links and buttons
Call-to-actions (CTAs) are an important part of digital marketing and website conversion. These phrases and buttons give viewer the encouragement to take an action on your website, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for an email newsletter, or just to contact a representative for more information. No matter what, they are extremely important for lead generation and should be expressed on every page of your website in a variety of ways, including in-text links or separate buttons.
A great CTA can be seen on Netflix’s home page. With an offer as enticing as that, how can we refuse?
8. Utilize whitespace on your site
With all of these element we’re told to include on our websites, we often forget about one of the most important web design elements, which is whitespace. Whitespace, or negative space, is the void of background around all of your text and images. Whitespace is one of the most important design elements for lead generation because it ensures that when a potential lead who visits your site is not overwhelmed by too many elements or general clutter on your page. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. The best way to fight against this is to have a clean, simple website with a good balance of visual elements, text, and whitespace. This can be hard to master yourself, so having a creative friend help you out or hiring a professional web designer is a great decision if you’re having trouble.
A great example of using whitespace is A Creative DC. On their homepage there is a good balance between the prominent photos, text, and white background space.
When designing a website, there are a lot of principles and best practices to keep in mind. It can be hard to keep up, but building your website to be lead generating is the best way to gain clients and customers in a manner that requires little to no direct effort from you. Web design can seem overwhelming, but with the right resources, your website can truly represent your company and brand and help you bring in the customers and relationships that will help your business flourish.
In addition to web design, SEO best practices are also important to make your website lead generating. Check out this blog post to learn about SEO fundamental and how to make your website accessible to humans and search engines. And for help with your next web design project, be sure to reach out to DC Dev Shop’s website design services.