Ask any sales director what he wants and the answer is always “more leads!”.
If you accept your website meets your prospects before you do, that is to say that your prospects are more than 50% of the way through their sales journey before they want to talk to anyone, then your website plays a significant part in convincing your prospects that they should talk to you.
As soon as you clearly appreciate this, you will realise that your website must be set up to engage with your prospects, enable them to quickly and clearly understand your business proposition, and to provide the opportunity for lead data capture.
If your website is well-constructed, in the B2B world it should be possible for it to convert between 2% and 5% of its traffic into qualified leads for your business. Anything less and you need to reassess its approach to lead generation and customer acquisition.
In any case, website lead generation should be your main priority. At every opportunity, your website needs to include the necessary functions that make it easy for website visitors to engage with your business – and for you to turn them into leads.
Of course, there are a number of things you can do if your website is failing to generate leads of sufficient quantity and quality. Here are three key tips for those of you who are not getting the results you need:
1. Use high-quality content and prominent calls-to-action (CTAs)
The vast majority of websites have one principal call-to-action: ‘Contact Us’ – but in today’s B2B purchase environment, no one wants to speak to a salesperson right away.
It’s important to appreciate the simple fact that most first-time website visitors will not be ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase. In many instances, these website visitors will be conducting research and comparing the products and services your business provides against others in the space.
With this considered, your website must serve as a hub of quality information that provides your potential prospects with the information they need to rectify their business problem(s). The point at which you establish yourself as a source of high-quality information, is the point at which your website visitors keep coming back to your website and engaging with your business.
So, instead of relying on the ‘contact us’ CTA, you instead include other CTAs within your content and on your web pages. You then use these CTAs to direct website visitors to other relevant pieces of content (eBooks, case studies, blogs, articles, whitepapers) they can acquire in exchange for their details.
For example, if a website visitor arrives on your website and reads a blog on Marketing Automation, you could then direct them to another relevant content asset on your website, such as an eBook called ‘What are the best Marketing Automation platforms?’. You include the asset’s featured image as a thumbnail along with the text: ‘What are the best Marketing Automation platforms?’ and a call-to-action encouraging the reader to find out more.
The reader clicks on the call-to-action and it takes them to a landing page. The landing page has a very short summary on the content asset and what the reader can expect if they download it, along with a form field to the right of the page they need to fill in to download it. The reader provides their details in exchange for the content asset (usually their name, business name, email and job title) and they receive a copy of the asset via email.
Suddenly, from including a simple CTA in your blog post, you have generated a potential lead for the business. Over time, you nurture that lead – sending them more relevant, high-quality content to remind them of your business and help them with their problems.
2. Be clear with your website’s messaging
Whenever I speak to managing directors and chief executives looking for PR and marketing support for their business – the first thing I ask them to do is to articulate what their business does in 25 to 30 words. They are all able to describe to me the nuances of their business, their products and services, and why they do what they do, but few of them are able to condense that information down into a few words.
It is not an easy task – and for many of the business leaders I speak to, it is the first time that they have considered such an activity. However, arriving at a point where everyone is able to deliver the same explanation of the business is vital. I have referred to this moment in the past – it is what I like to call the “Ronseal moment”. This moment is incredibly important because once everyone is able to recite a simple explanation of the business – it sticks. Then, when people in the business talk to prospects and use that same messaging, prospects take it on board too and it gets embedded in memory. Over time, that message spreads and suddenly, everyone understands what it is you do.
And the same needs to be done for your website. Too often I see B2B technology websites which have not considered the clarity or focus of their website’s messaging. These businesses have not taken the time to condense and tailor their messaging for their target audience – and as a result, it is hard for them to attract any attention. As a result of this, traffic to their website and website lead generation suffers.
In order to capture the interest of website visitors and help them to understand what it is your business does, your messaging needs to be simple, it needs to be clear, it needs to include your value proposition, and it needs to focus on the user. The key is condensing all of this information into a single line. Once you can do that, everyone arriving on your website can quickly understand what your business does and how it can help them.
3. Use landing pages and forms
In order to improve your website’s lead generation activity, you need to include landing pages to quality content assets/offers and forms.
Unlike your other website pages, landing pages are designed with the sole purpose of generating leads for your business. You use them to advertise specific offers of interest to your website visitors – an eBook or whitepaper, for example – in exchange for their contact details.
In order to acquire the content asset, the website visitor must enter their contact details into the form and submit them. The amount of questions on the form will depend on the value of the content asset. Once this is complete, the website visitor will then receive an email containing the content asset and then be directed to a thank you page.
Having this kind of set up is tremendously beneficial for your business’ website lead generation activity. Leads generated via landing pages have voluntarily given up their details – meaning you can be assured they are actively interested in your business, content or services. Without landing pages, encouraging website visitors to take specific actions on your website and move through the sales cycle is considerably more difficult. With everything set up correctly, you should be able to use your landing pages to offer website visitors content assets that move them through the sales funnel.
Now you are able to sort out your website based upon these three tips and, as we said at the outset, you are well-placed to convert 2-5% of your website’s traffic. So, the very next question should be – how do I increase my website traffic? We’ll tell you more about that next week.
Tip #53: You are focused on lead generation, customer acquisition and client engagement – so you need to make sure that your website is focused on the same things. Use high-quality content, prominent calls-to-action, clear messaging, and well-constructed landing pages and forms as the backbone of your website’s lead generation focus.
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