How to turn your website into a lead generating machine
So you’ve spent hours building your own business website or paid thousands to a web designer to get you started. Looks good, gives a good impression but it just isn’t generating you the business you expected! Problem 101!
We’ve heard this many times before and it has to be one of the main reasons we see business websites neglected. If it’s not generating any business why put any more money or time into it? This also sits alongside the common myth web designers will say... 'design it and thu will come’ ...
Just imagine though if your website was generating you £20k, £50k or even £100k+ a year…. would you pay more attention to it then? Would you incorporate it fully into your business rather than treat it like that leaflet on the reception table?
A successful website is a well-defined blend of exceptional design, meticulous user experience (crafted for different user experiences on both desktop and mobile devices), focused digital marketing targeting the right audience and delivering huge VALUE to its visitors. This obviously takes time, skill and a clear plan but we wanted to let you know a few of our secrets that generate our clients hundreds of thousands in sales per year through their websites.
Contact Forms Don’t Create Miracles
Every website should have contact or lead form, but they are not the miracle cure to lead generation. Why? because if your website is not building value and trust why the hell will someone take the time to fill it in?
Truth is, contact forms only convert on average globally at 1%. Yes only 1% …. believe it…
But yet we have clients who’s lead generation forms can average at 5-8% over the year. Now, by lead generation here we are not talking about collecting email addresses as your lead generation (if you are doing this, they should be generating at 20-30% with the right value proposition), we’re talking about lead forms that generate super hot, ready-to-buy leads that are a simple conversion to your business within the right sales pipeline.
Ultimately though, any form on your website is the end destination of your users experience online. Whether it's a call back request (boring) or some interactive funnel that gets you intrigued, make sure it is well placed and stands out with a clear value attached to it - but don’t solely rely on it. Instead rely on your content, the value and trust you build on your website in the journey before you ask for them to commit their life away in a short (or long) form. If you get this journey right your contact or lead forms will do the rest naturally.
Note: Make sure you have subscribed to our growth blog as we’ll be talking more about contact forms in the future.
Engage The 99% Who Will Leave Your Website
It’s no hidden fact that up to 99% of visitors to your website will leave without completing an action or contacting you.
The reason for this?
Only around 1-3% of people visiting your site are in a consideration frame of mind, meaning they have a genuine need for your product or services at that time or in the immediate future. Another 7% are in an awareness mindset with an open outlook to working with you (if you can persuade them now or in the future). The other 90% can be attributed to people simple exploring the marketplace or are just discovering you even exist for the first time.
The only fact we can determine about users visiting your website initially is there is some INTEREST. Now, this interest may vary between users and is difficult to isolate on an individual basis. However, your website data will tell you just how interested your visitors are generally by analysis the following metrics;
- Average time on site per user
- Bounce rate (how many leave without viewing another page)
- Average page views per user
Work towards engaging as many people visiting your website in some way. Don’t rely on one technique either, blend a number of ways to create engagement that builds value for visitors with different levels of interest, intent and awareness of you.
1. Offering some FREE content that is relevant to their interests and potential needs (e-books, cheatsheets, helpful lists, infographs, value pages etc) in exchange for an email address so you engage them overtime away from your website.
2. Set-up retargeting adverts that keeps reminding your visitors you are there at a later date (like those Amazon adverts reminding you of that product you need but haven’t bought yet).
3. Create a clear value proposition that focuses on your customer - £50 OFF your next order over £200 for example (delivered by email of course). Ask yourself, what's in it for me?
This idea here is simple, to find a way to engage those that would normally leave your website. Be creative and see what you can come up with. GO GO GO!
Exposure, Exposure, Exposure
Many businesses seem to have an aversion to digital marketing, refusing to allocate appropriate (if any) marketing budgets or just don’t have a clue how they should be really marketing their business online. This is even more apparent when we talk to clients about Pay Per Click advertising (like it’s a dirty word).
Did you know – 53% of users online don’t know if they have clicked on a paid advert or natural listings on Google search
Exposing your website to the right audience is critical in creating your lead generation machine. Consider this, if you spend 2 years writing a book then pay to print 20k copies, would you find some bookstores to get those copies in front of potential customers or would you put them in a box under your desk? (ok yes it would be a pretty big desk, but you get the idea).
So you have to face the fact that you have to make sure you are driving traffic to your website to create exposure for your business. Here are some ways to expose your website;
- Social media posts (promoting or boosting)
- Email lists (if you have one)
- Retargeting adverts
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Pay-Per-Click (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
The challenge here usually comes down to a perspective of your digital investment. You may have paid £1-5k for a great website and think that means the business will start coming in, so why should I invest anymore? You then become 'marketing aversive' without realising that main ROI will come from the second part - MARKETING.
Here's a quick story:
I came across a client a few years ago that was paying a web design company £800 per year for 'digital marketing' for their little online store selling musical instrument accessories (side income from instrument sales). So I asked them, how much return do you get?
They went to have a look and came back with an answer ..... ready .....
£4.50! Shock Horror!
Yet, this web design company had convinced them it was essential they pay the £800 per year (for 3 years at this point). Turns out the web designer could not even explain what that spend covered! #appalling.
Anyway back to the point, don’t be afraid to expose your website in different ways on different platforms (but if your paying someone to do this make sure they can explain how and can measure it). Experiment, see what works and use the traffic generated to test out your website, its design, layouts and content to see how it performs. You web design agency should be doing this, if they are not - sack them.
Remember that exposing your website to your audience is only half of the issue here. If your website is doing a poor job at converting traffic into leads or sales opportunities then be responsive and sort your website out. Don’t just turn around and say ‘well that marketing didn’t work’. Use your business intelligence to inform your decisions here so you grow as a business and you can work towards digital marketing that actually generates money for your business.
Are You Providing Any Value?
If amazes me just how many websites scope out there products and services, explain all the features in pretty stereotypical, non-engaging way then feel because it looks good it will generate value.
Take a step back from your website and ask yourself:
If I was looking for my own products and services, what would interest me and engage me?
What would make me and my business stand out?
Step into the shoes of your customer (sounds bloody obvious but most struggle with it because we are naturally subjective people). By doing this you can start to rearrange your website, its content and purpose to focus on the outcome your customers are trying to achieve - putting them in the driving seat and, you guessed it, providing them with huge amounts of VALUE.
You can look at countless websites but the one guaranteed thing we know is the websites that are generating consistent new leads on a weekly basis do one thing; they build value.
So stop thinking about you, your business and its services and take a hard look at the content on your website. Then look for opportunities where you can add value to it.
Easier said than done I hear you say?
Let’s look at some examples.
1. If your selling a service, offer knowledge and advise that focuses on what you customer is trying to achieve (not your product or services) in a way that will educate, create interest or relevance to them. Focus on their outcome and not your services and product. This will help build value. Why, because your trying to help first, not sell first.
2. Use the PAS formula - Problem, Agitate, Solution. Identify a problem your customer faces, agitate it with some hard-hitting facts or statements and then offer some guidance and information that will help them find a solution. DO NOT simply offer your service as the solution straight away - your service or product is only the tool to create or action the solution. REMEMBER THIS!
3. Ask questions and offer a well-informed, digestible answer (that highlights your product or service). Try not to do this in an obvious way though, which can come across desperate and tacky. Use questions and answers to build value to the point they make their OWN decision that your product or service is the tool they need to achieve the SOLUTION.
EXTRA TIPS: Some Essentials On Design
Understanding how design influences interaction and user flow is the difference between an ok website and a great website. The general consensus is content is king when is comes to marketing your website, and to a degree we believe this is true. However, what if the content you are providing is packaged in a way that its difficult to access or digest on the eye. This is where attention to detail steps into the design process, and if done well can be the difference between a website generating a few thousand for your business or tens of thousands….
What would you prefer?
Now as a business owner, I can hear you saying it’s not your area of skill or interest so we thought we put together some essentials on how your website should be visually presented:
White Space Is Really Important
Space between different elements within your website and its layout is absolutly crucial. Make sure each piece of key information is presented with space around it. This makes it simple for the eye to capture the content and process it in the brain. Cluttered designs and too much information in close proximity can create confusion and option paralysis, resulting in a near instant rejection what you are trying to process in your brain. Meaning your visitors will hit the back button, no matter how good your content is.
Design & Eye Tracking
We read from left to right and in rows down, regardless of whether it is visual or text based information. A great web design will guide your eye block by block through a logical journey on the page, starting at the top left and finishing at the bottom right.
Take a look at your website a track where you eyes moves through the page.
Your eyes should move in a block-by-block focused way, picking up key pieces of information in each block along the way. You should finish at the bottom right with a clear value proposition and call-to-action (short form for example).
Low quality or distorted images
This is an issue we come across all the time - poor use of visual images, photography or graphics. Either they are distorted or stretched or don’t create the correct context. GRRR!
Make sure your images are high quality, have great context to your business, product or services (without looking like standard photos copied of Google!) and remember;
What does a poor quality image say about your business?