Regardless of if a company’s online presence is just an early concept getting ready for launch or already well established, every business has asked the question: How can we make a lead generation website?
Too many startups throw together a static site and leave it, hoping the customers will just magically pour in. But converting visitors into leads takes work, and a pretty site with nothing of value on it isn’t good enough to secure meaningful attention from potential clients.
Further, while advertising and social media marketing might attract clicks, that won’t do much if your site isn’t following through with a well-crafted sales funnel. If you want your business site to really pull in customers, you need to rethink what makes a lead generation website effective.
For many businesses looking to create a website that generates leads, their primary focus will be on its appearance.
Website design is certainly a major part of catching visitors’ attention. A poorly designed site — one that’s ugly, hard to navigate, or both — will turn people away quick. It’s a large part of user experience. Your website should be aesthetically appealing and have good UI design. However…
The problem comes when you do just this — focus too much on meticulously arranging UI elements or carefully picking out the perfect header image, and less on making a website that provides value.
Content marketing drives the modern web. The days of creating a pretty website, slapping a phone number on it, and leaving it are long over. Pure advertising is no longer effective for online consumers.
Instead, marketing strategies focus on providing something for free in exchange for a chance to potentially generate a lead, and taking advantage of SEO strategies to generate organic traffic from search engines.
What does this mean for you? You need to be putting out content: running a blog, releasing videos, hosting a podcast, or writing an ebook. Make and market valuable content, then use your website to promote it.
Focus Less On Yourself
Promoting and advertising yourself is always an important part of generating leads. You should be finding ways to mention your company and the work you do in much of what you put out.
But the point of content marketing isn’t just to gain something for yourself. The goal is to attract consumers with high-quality content — something that provides value to your website visitors — then you’ll have a chance to pitch yourself, or potentially capture their interest with a well-placed call to action.
It’s better to create educational content than pure promotional advertising. Sales pitches just aren’t appealing to most online users. You need to get their attention first with something that genuinely intrigues them.
The “80/20” rule for social media marketing is a good baseline to start with. Make 80% of your content helpful, interesting, or educational, while the other 20% is promotional.Make 80% of your content helpful, interesting, or educational, while the other 20% is promotional. Click To Tweet
Of course, you can still mention your brand if relevant in a blog post, or leave a link to your services in the conclusion. However, the primary point of your content is to educate or entertain, and then to pull users into a sales funnel.
Give people a reason to care about your brand, then hit them with a well-timed call to action and turn them into leads.
Create Strong Branding and Design
With content taking the lead in priority, you can now focus on design. As mentioned, appearances are still important. First impressions are 94% design-related. Crafting an effective lead generation funnel is crucial, but if users instantly click off due to uninspiring or overwhelming design, it won’t matter.
Build a strong brand with a distinct visual identity, and make sure it translates well to your website. You might have to do some rebranding, but it’s well worth it if it can better capture visitors’ attention.
That being said, branding isn’t just about appearance — it’s also about how you present yourself, your tone, and your marketing strategies. Good brands have a distinct, gripping tone, and an interesting story to tell.
Avoid generic-looking themes if you’re using a platform like WordPress. Boring design is better than bad design, but it can cause visitors to quickly lose interest.
Not sure if you can pull it off? No idea how to create a unique brand? Get some help from a web designer or marketing agency who can help you develop an identity that suits your company.
Figure Out Your Goal
Good content and appealing design are both important aspects of a lead generation website, but these only help in attracting visitors. You need to follow through by setting up a lead generation strategy that guides visitors toward an eventual goal.
What that means depends on you. Is your goal to get a user’s contact information, have them subscribe to your email list, purchase a product, or share a page on social media?
You might have multiple goals or a different one for each step of the funnel. For instance, you may want to start by focusing on getting someone to subscribe to your newsletter, then use it as a tool for the eventual goal of spending money.
It can help to map out the customer’s journey. Start with a likely source: a popular blog post found through organic search, a link from your social media campaign, or even your homepage.
Click through links and see where they’re likely to end up. Are there any dead ends that stop them from progressing down the funnel? Does it take too long to get to a form or landing page? Every page and link on your site should lead towards your main goal.
Attract the Right Traffic
You might think more clicks are always better, but if you’re not attracting high-quality traffic that’s actually likely to be interested in your offer, you’re essentially just wasting bandwidth. The goal is to bring in quality leads.
That’s why it’s important to figure out who your ideal audience is. Who is likely to want your services? What are their other interests? How can you best appeal to them? Design your marketing strategy around what suits your target audience, not what attracts the most clicks from random demographics.
Yes, marketing and advertising is an important part of website traffic growth, but you need to do it right.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
You’ve seen it before on marketing sites. “Call Now”, “Download”, “Get a Free Trial”. It’s the crux of a lead generation website: the call to action (CTA).
Often displayed as a large, colorful button — though sometimes taking the form of a simple link embedded in a page or an article — the CTA is key to your lead generation strategy. It draws attention, lets users know what you want from them, and tells them exactly what they get when they click.
A good CTA is noticeable. You should instantly be able to pick it out from the rest of the page. It also uses strong, clear, action-oriented wording that makes users want to click. “Click Here” isn’t very exciting; “Get a Free Marketing Ebook” will invite more interest.
You might place a CTA in your homepage header, on a landing page, in your sidebar, or in the footer. You may even have multiple CTAs in one page — just don’t confuse visitors by asking them to do multiple different things at once. Focus on one goal per page.
Download Our Inbound Marketing Checklist
Many sites also use a popup opt-in that triggers when visitors scroll down far enough or go to close the tab, giving them a last-minute offer.
Keep in mind: There’s more than one type of call to action. There are CTAs for generating and nurturing leads, submitting forms, purchasing products, and more. Know how to use them throughout the funnel.
Get in Contact
A lead funnel is nothing without a way to contact you. Include as many methods of contact as possible: phone, email/forms, and live chat. The more you have, the more convenient for visitors, and the more likely you’ll generate a lead.
Live chat, in particular, can gain the trust of users you may have lost. Visitors are likely to use live chat to ask small questions they didn’t want to give out their email for. From there you have a chance to capture this potential lead and push them towards a sale or a signup.
When you’re using forms, make sure to optimize them: Don’t ask for tons of unnecessary information, and include as few fields as possible. Just get the basics or you risk scaring people away. Use a CTA submit button to encourage people to fill out the form.
Create Landing Pages
As the core of many effective marketing campaigns, landing pages should be a big part of your web design plan.
Many companies do a good job of pitching their brand with the perfect email heading or social media post, then simply link to their homepage. That’s a missed opportunity.
A landing page guides users exactly where you want them to go, instead of just dropping them onto a random page and hoping they find their way into your funnel.
Here are a few quick tips for building effective landing pages.
- Keep them consistent with your marketing. If users click a link promising a free discount code, make that immediately clear. Include similar wording you used in your ad and mention the proposition that convinced them to click.
- Also keep the landing page consistent with your web design and branding. Develop a clean, distraction-free design that highlights the CTA.
- Use several CTA buttons for multiple steps and make them prominent.
- Include social proof (testimonials, reviews, etc.)
- Add images and video content to grab attention and educate.
- Offer a lead magnet to incentivize people to click: a free ebook, course, or any other small gift.
Remember to continue nurturing leads you’ve captured. Create “Thank You” pages, keep the emails flowing (but don’t overdo it), and have a re-engagement strategy to win back leads who go idle.
Implement Marketing Software
If you’re not using any marketing software yet, you definitely should. Manually handling all these processes yourself just isn’t feasible once your website gets any notable growth. Why try to keep track of all these leads when software can do it for you? Why manually code a landing page with HTML and CSS when a builder can make the process much easier?
For all-in-one lead generation and marketing software, HubSpot, Keap, Autopilot, and Salesforce are some very popular solutions.
Several email automation services exist, but MailChimp is the go-to for many startups.
To optimize social media marketing, try Sprout Social, Buffer, or Mention. Contently or ClearVoice could help you create better content, while Unbounce or Instapage would make a great candidate for your landing page builder.
Seal the deal with a popup opt-in generator like OptinMonster and your website is prepped to start generating leads.
You may have crafted the perfect lead generation website, are consistently putting out stellar content, and have a marketing plan that’s on point.
But for most companies, your first try won’t be perfect. And the only way to know you’re doing something wrong is by testing, testing, and testing some more.
Is your content high-quality, SEO-optimized, and catering to the right audience? Is your marketing off-site bringing in enough users from your target audience? And is your lead funnel efficient enough, or are too many users dropping out in the middle?
With all these potential problems, you need to test your website. Double-check everything before launch and continue doing so after. Implement A/B testing and use analytics you’ve gathered over time to optimize areas that are lacking.
It’s also a good idea to do user testing to see how your site really looks to the public. Gather your own testing groups, or use sites like User Testing to get real feedback.
Creating Valuable Leads
Optimizing your lead generation website is the first step to succeeding in the competitive online world. With thousands of other companies vying for consumers’ limited attention, it’s time to make yourself stand out.
Strong branding will help you hold users’ attention for longer, but they also need a reason to stay; good content both attracts and retains visitors. If your lead generation process is efficient and you’re using prominent calls to action or well-designed landing pages, earning clicks is just a matter of time. Nurture the leads you capture and you’ll have a loyal base of customers who return again and again.
Whatever lead generation strategy you develop and whichever tools you decide to use, just remember to test everything twice. Testing and analyzing analytics is the only way to improve and optimize your leads, a process known as conversion rate optimization.
If all of this is a little overwhelming, we always offer inbound marketing services to help you develop your brand, optimize your marketing, and turn your website into a lead generation machine.