Most businesses think of their website as the face of their brand. It’s a place where people go to find information and get in touch, right? Definitely. But it’s actually a lot more than that, too. Every website is also a lead generation platform, whether you know it or not.
How can your website be a lead generation platform if it doesn’t sell anything? Fair question. Don’t think of your site as the place to make a sale, but rather the place to spark consumer interest. Whether you’re selling a product or a service, or even generating referral traffic, your website is the best place to get people into a sales pipeline. It’s time to start thinking about your site as one big sales funnel.
The lead-gen approach to web design
When people come to your website, how do you want them to act? Most brands will answer that they want people to find the information they’re looking for. And while it’s nice to be helpful and design your site to be informative, you should also be thinking about a call to action.
How do you want people to interact? Join your newsletter? Send you an email? Visit a social site? Buy a product? Whatever the end goal is, your website should be structured to support it. Simply having these avenues available does nothing—someone can just as easily click away from the page. You need to entice them to take action. Your site should be designed to path everyone into a sales funnel—whether it’s a general one or a specific funnel based on their needs.
Design your website with a mind for lead-gen. That means taking specific steps to ensure people visiting your site do what you want them to—connect with you in a meaningful, monetizable way.
Here are five tips for turning your website into a lead generation machine.
1. Optimize landing pages
The very best way to create effective sales funnels is to optimize landing pages for specific customer groups and audiences. Instead of a general call to action, this allows you to create specific, actionable concepts for each unique group.
For example, you might have a landing page for brand-new customers who’ve never done business with you before. It talks about who you are, what you offer and creates a value-driven perception, culminating in a newsletter signup ask. On a different landing page for returning customers, you might advertise a new product or service, using their existing knowledge of your brand to up-sell them—this page ending in a special offer survey they can fill out and submit.
In both cases, the landing page targets a specific audience and serves a specific purpose. And, in both instances, your brand gets vital information it can use to path these customers into conversions. Landing pages are lead capture tools at their finest.
2. Utilize SOS popups
Bounce rate is one of the biggest problems any lead-gen website has to tackle. People click onto the page and after a few seconds, decide it’s not what they want. They go to click the ‘back’ button and they leave the page.
You can stop them and give your site a second chance! SOS popups are popups configured to appear when a person’s cursor drifts back up to the menu bar. They’re usually simply designed and to-the-point, offering some form of last-ditch incentive to stay on the page. Employ these lead-capture tools and you’ll find that your bounce rate goes down while your lead-gen stats rise. Just make sure you offer an appealing-enough proposition for them to stay on-page.
Be warned, though. If your SOS popups trigger too early or become a nuisance, they’ll only drive people away faster. Make these popups a true last-ditch effort, appearing only when someone is definitely going to leave the page.
3. Incentivize visitors
Lead-gen is a give-and-take proposition. You need to give people something if you want them to give you their information. Create a clear and present incentive to make this exchange more transparent.
The best example of this is something like “sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next order.” There’s also the classic example, “fill out our form to get your free ebook now.” People aren’t stupid—they know what lead generation is all about. They’ll guard their data and be more reluctant to give it up unless you’re upfront with them about obtaining it. Giving them an incentive is an easy way to offer them value for their information, whether it’s an email address, deeper identifying information or even just a follow on social media.
4. Create flow using your layout
Visitors to your website should always feel like they have their bearings. If they navigate away from a page or click on a link, they should always know how to get back to where they were, or to where they want to go. Part of building a successful lead-gen website is designing with site flow in mind.
Keep your pages focused and informative, so visitors know what they’re looking at. Keep your opt-level navigation simple and easy-to-understand, and fill out your footer navigation with more robust links. Build pages consistently, using a similar format and structure so people gain familiarity with them quickly. And, above all, keep the lower sections of your website consistent—newsletter signup boxes, footers, carousels, etc.
Not only do these elements help visitors fluidly navigate your website, they’re also important for distinguishing calls to action. Being able to push people from one page, to the next, to the point where they can interact with you is important and needs to be seamless. If each page feels like a new section of the website, people will get lost, confused and frustrated.
5. Make action easy
You want people to act, so make it easy for them to act! Rule number one of any lead-gen website is to eliminate as many steps between a visit to your site and the call to action. The more clicks a person has to make, the less likely you are to get what you want from them. Likewise, the more cumbersome the call to action, the less likely they are to comply. Keep it simple:
· Type in an email address and push submit.
· Short forms that are easy for browsers to autofill
· One-click follow for social media accounts
· One-click voting for polls, rating and feedback
Make the action you want visitors to take clear and concise, and remove every possible barrier between them. The simpler your lead-gen efforts are, the more likely they are to succeed.
Create a lead-gen machine!
Every website is a lead-gen website, even if it doesn’t look like it. When you consider every visitor as an opportunity for action, you’ll start to see the importance of building clear, actionable sales funnels. Make sure you’re following these lead-gen website design tactics to ensure best results: high clicks, low bounce and more time spent on-page.