Lead generation is essential to many businesses in the digital age. In order to generate leads from your own website, it needs to be optimized so that visitors’ interest can be captured and you can eventually convert them into customers.
You want visitors to your website to learn more about your products or services and leave their details so you can nurture these leads into paying customers. Lead generation strategies are based on the marketing funnel, and you need to steer your prospects deeper into that funnel.
Typically only 2% of website visitors leave their contact details, and while that is an alarming statistic, there is a lot that can be done to increase your conversion rate; the number of people who visit your website and fill in your lead generation form.
First and foremost, you need to invest your time and resources to attract qualified traffic through social media, organic search, or email marketing, and then convert that traffic to qualified leads.
You then need a strategic approach to optimize your website for lead generation. Your aim should be to generate new clients, and you need a web design that ensures maximum lead generation to help secure long-term success for your brand. Here are eight tips that can help you generate leads from your website:
1. Content creation
Your website should be centered around your content. Your content strategy needs to incorporate your copywriting and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Good content will be able to keep a visitor hooked and also drive organic traffic from search engines, depending on your keyword research.
Organic visitors to your website are intent on finding solutions to their problems. Providing educational content that answers their problems will increase conversions and increase the likelihood of them filling in the lead generation form.
Having a poor content strategy and not focusing on content creation, would mean higher bounce rates because customers would leave immediately if they come across a page that does not talk to them about the product or service you intend to sell. There should be a clear value path for the prospect to navigate your website that pushes them deeper into the purchase funnel.
You need to have interactive content to boost leads and content needs to be posted regularly, especially in the form of blogs. These improve credibility and also work well for search engine rankings.
As a rule, 80% of your content should be helpful to your audience and 20% should be promotional. Have a look at this page for a communications software provider that is providing information on “Inbound Routing: How to Configure Inbound Call Rules”. Most of the content in this guide is strictly informational and targeted at people who have an inbound call center.
The intent is to inform the customer on how inbound calls are routed and then pitch in their contact center solution. It is seamless, not over promotional, and a perfect example of strategic content creation.
2. Brilliant landing page design
The landing page could be your home page or any page that links from an external source such as a paid ad or your social media posts. Your landing page needs to be able to hook people. It can be a critical factor in your ‘bounce rate’, i.e. the number of people who leave your website because they haven’t been enticed enough to follow through.
To prevent clients from bouncing, design attractive landing pages that nurture a visitor’s interest. Use analytics to find out which of your landing pages receive the most traffic and then optimize those to generate leads. You could do the following to ensure your landing page makes an impact:
- Good use of white space to give your webpage some breathing room.
- Avoid clutter
- Noticeable CTA (Call to action)
- Use a welcome video
3. Post forms on as many pages as you can
You do not want to miss any opportunity to get a visitor’s information. Generally speaking, there are opportunities to have some sort of form on just about every page of your site. Give the visitor easy access to these forms to increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Make your forms short, so prospective customers do not find it a hassle to fill them in and sneak them in all your pages. Visual cues such as arrows help make your forms more noticeable. Form placement, ease of access, and the number of fields in the form are all crucial to your lead generation strategy. You can use dynamic heatmaps to determine the best location on a page for a form.
Email address search or searching for contact details of potential customers is one of the hardest things to do, despite the internet. Lead generation forms are perhaps the simplest way to receive customer contact information. Information you can use to build your database, nurture prospects into customers, and initiate them into the customer journey by frequently engaging.
Receiving a customer’s personal details also helps you personalize the customer experience: from your sales pitch to personalizing customer service solutions.
4. Customer testimonials as social proof
Your landing pages need to have customer testimonials to convince visitors that your product or service is worth their time and money. A prospective customer should read it and be persuaded to at least share their email address.
Customer reviews can be lead magnets, as social validation is a human need. Product lifecycle management software makes customer reviews an important part of the product lifecycle and makes them easier to be integrated with your website.
Customer testimonials provide credibility to your brand and are a force to reckon with because they can drive your conversions as well as work for your SEO. Positive reviews are naturally a business booster, but negative reviews also lend some authenticity to your business. Nothing can convince someone to buy a product or service better than a neutral person who already has. Consider placing your customer testimonials near lead generation forms.
5. Live chat
Live chat is another great way to generate qualified leads. Chatbots are a relatively innovative way to generate leads but you could also have people as part of your customer service solutions who are available in real-time to help visitors to your website.
Chatbots are powered by AI and robotic process automation (RPA) to mimic human interaction. What is RPA? RPA is a technology that helps automate digital tasks.
Live chat software can help win conversions as it humanizes the web experience. It makes for excellent customer service and it is an easier alternative to lead generation forms. The chatbot asks for information and the prospective customer obliges as part of a conversation. Lead generation forms can seem pushy, while live chat helps create a conversation and also helps web visitors with their questions and concerns.
Once people feel like their concerns have been addressed, they’ll be more than happy to part with their contact details. People are looking for immediate answers to their queries, since chatbots are available 24/7, you have the added advantage of always being able to provide information to the customer and if you are lucky, get their information in return.
6. Gate your content
To be more of a lead generation machine, you need people to read some of your enticing long-form content and then make the rest inaccessible unless they sign up. This is content gating, and it works. Deliver the rest of the blog post only when people sign up, and they will do because your content strategy will have made sure that your blog is worth it.
You can also use a content upgrade strategy, where you share some great content and then for access to a wider range of similar content, you ask visitors to first sign up. The value proposition needs to be worth it. Making some content available for only registered users is an effective lead generation strategy.
Make sure your signup process is hassle-free. The form fields must be minimal since a long sign-up form can increase your bounce rate.
7. Create urgency
Boost the sense of urgency on your webpage to ensure the visitor takes your desired action fast. Intensify the customer experience by making them feel like the clock is ticking and they need to take action immediately. It’s easy to spur visitors into action with urgency and even scarcity.
Human beings don’t like to miss out on anything. We’re wired to react if something is about to run out. Use the following tips to take advantage of the human fear of missing out:
- Have a timer at the top of your home page.
- Use messaging that reflects scarcity or urgency, like access to a blog could be limited to a few days or the free coupons available are about to expire.
- Just as people are about to leave your website, pop up a limited offer.
- Use CTAs across your website, such as at the end of a blog post, in sidebars, and as banners.
- Use contrasting colors on your CTAs, so they are more clickable.
8. Offer a free gift or discount
People love free stuff. Incentivize their visit to your website and offer your customers a discount or a free gift. Offering discounts is a popular retail trend because it’s proven to work. The human mind believes it’ll be saving money, and the customer journey is initiated just by offering a discount and grabbing attention.
Discount coupons that save people some money on their first purchase are not only a great way to make a sale, they’re an effective lead generation tool. You can also personalize the coupon to increase its reach.
Your free gifts need to be worthwhile. If you’ve been working on your content strategy and have been able to qualify as an expert in your related industry because of the blogs you write, your eBooks might be incredibly sought after. Offering these as a gift can encourage customers to register and fill out lead generation forms.
A good example here would be free messaging apps. These are offered by most social media platforms. Slowly, they start putting a price on everything, except for instant messaging. This keeps customers engaged, and social media has constant access to our information.
Collecting leads is essential to your marketing process. Only once you have qualified leads can you proceed to start your sales process. Use the eight tips above to convert your website into a lead generation machine. Bolster your efforts by focusing on your content. It’s a common lead generation mistake to just focus on web design and ignore the content.
Use the tactics outlined above and ensure that there is a clear value proposition from the moment the customer lands on your website. The design, the content, and the lead generation form, should all engage the customer and not drive them away.
Approach the customer how you would want to be approached. Focus on the 80/20 rule so that you are actually helpful and not too promotional. Track and test changes made to your web design to ensure they work.
A poorly designed website will not generate leads. Apply a strategic mindset to all components of web design —from SEO to blog content, to calls to action— to build a website that does not let anyone slip away unsatisfied.
Victorio Duran III, RingCentral US
Victorio is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement in web and digital operations with diverse experience as a web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.