Lead generation is essential for small business service providers. After all, the first step to winning a new customer is to attract leads! If you have a website for your business, and the leads are barely trickling in, one or more aspects of your website could need an overhaul. In this article, you’ll learn to improve the effectiveness of your website as a marketing tool with the latest website lead generation tips.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first step to attracting leads from your website is to create an SEO-friendly site. When prospective customers search for services in your area of expertise, you want them to find you! In fact, it’s best if they find multiple listings all pointing to your business website. We’ll cover ways to increase your web traffic in this article. However, first, it’s important that your website is ready to wow your visitors and capture their interest when they arrive.
Audience Call-Out and Benefits Statements
The first thing you want people to know when they see your website is if they’re in the right place. Make it clear who your business is for and the outcomes and benefits they can expect from engaging with your services or products. If you’re not clear about who your audience is and what solutions/benefits they’ll be most attracted to, read my article “How to Create an Ideal Customer Avatar”. It comes with a worksheet and instructions to help improve your overall marketing strategy and communications.
Benefits Statement & Hero
A benefits statement is often presented in headline text, above the fold, on your home page and on internal sales pages. “Above the fold” is the area of your website that visitors can see before they scroll down the page. In web design and marketing lingo, this is also called a “hero” banner. This banner can include a photo that represents your customer avatar experiencing the benefits of your service. A hero banner with a benefits statement and a photo to represent your customers will let them know they’re in the right place.
You can see an example of a benefits statement and hero banner in the image above. This is an older version of a Vox Pop Marketing sales page. The benefits statement tells small business owners that our services will help them to get more leads from their website. The “hero” of the image is a small business owner who is happy to be getting those new leads after hiring our online marketing services.
See another example, below. This was the hero banner on our Web Design Services page. In this image, our hero/customer avatar is experiencing the joys of having an easy to use, updated website for his small business.
Copywriting & Web Page Formatting
Once you’ve captured interest with your website’s hero section, you’ll need to draw visitors down the page and entice them to keep reading with masterful copywriting and web design. But here’s the catch … People don’t read websites. They scan.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average person has an attention span of just 8 seconds. This is a sharp decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000. What this tells us is that if a visitor can’t understand your business and its offerings within seconds, they’re less likely to stay on the page. With that, it’s important that your marketing messages are clear and that the web design makes it easy to scan — especially in cases where there is a lot of text.
Web Page Design & Formatting for Readability
In the image above, the web design uses columns, and distinct rows to break up the text so it appears easier to read. Visual icons and headline fonts further draw the eye and make the words on the page easier to scan and quickly comprehend. Scannable text and design should highlight your brand’s benefits and solutions.
Here are a few ways your web pages can be designed for scanning:
- Offset unique content with horizontal, color blocked backgrounds. (ie: services can be offset from “about us” copy, etc.)
- Columns with an icon/image stacked above a title and text (use to highlight multiple services or features/benefits)
- Accordion boxes (streamline your FAQ or other multi-faceted content)
Ways to format text for scanning include …
- Headline text
- Bold phrases
- Bullet point/icon lists
In addition, use headlines and sub headlines to grab attention and draw the eye to important information. Having a well defined customer avatar will help you to write headlines and body copy for your audience. Also, avoid industry jargon when possible and always assume your reader doesn’t know what you know. Explain your solutions with the wording your customers would use and include details they’ll need to fully understand what you have to offer.
Lead Magnets & Lead Forms
Website lead generation requires that you capture your visitors’ contact information. The most direct way to do this is by collecting email addresses at your website in exchange for something of value to your potential customers. That something of value is your “lead magnet”. The best lead magnets make a specific promise related to your core services.
You can promote your lead magnet on your most high traffic website pages, such as your blog or even your About page. To access the resource, visitors should fill out a form that is tied to your email marketing software. (See the example image above.) This is how you will build your list of qualified leads and send them emails.
4 Types of Lead Magnets
Try one of these four lead magnet types to attract more leads and customers at your website:
- Cheat sheet, Swipe file or Checklist: Give them a shortcut to their desired outcome.
- Report or Guide: Zero in on a topic to answer a specific question.
- Discount code: Offer a discount for a popular service or product you offer.
- Case study: Show an example of what can be achieved with your solutions.
- Video training series: Teach them how to do something that you help your clients do.
Another website lead generation staple is the lead query form. Its purpose is to let visitors ask questions and get answers about your services in relation to their specific needs. (See the above example image.) You can also use this form to schedule a complimentary call or to provide an estimate. All you have to do is tailor the form fields based on the goal of the form. Fields can include anything from name and phone number to custom dates, times, checkboxes, file uploads and more.
Methods to Improve Your Lead Forms
If you already have lead query forms and they’re not getting hits, you might try one or more of these solutions …
- Place lead forms on your most high traffic web pages.
- Test various headlines and calls to action.
- Limit the number of questions on the form to just the essentials.
- Make the form stand out with a colored background or a semi-opaque hero image.
- Change the button color to stand out from the rest of the page.
- Test the button text and make it action oriented (ie: Get my quote)
- Determine if you’re getting enough traffic at your website to collect leads.
Your website design, copywriting and forms might not be the only possible roadblocks to online lead attraction. Like sales, the lottery and dating, lead generation is a numbers game. The more numbers you have to work with, the greater your odds of winning.
How much web traffic you need depends on these factors …
- Sales goals
- Lead Conversion Rate – How many unique website visits equal a lead
- Sales Conversion Rate – How many leads equal a sale
Lead Conversion Rate
This is the percentage of total website visitors that fill out a lead form or give you a call. A high lead conversion rate lets you know your offers, copywriting and web design are effective.
Sales Conversion Rate
This is the percentage of total leads that result in sales. A high sales conversion rate indicates your sales strategies are effective.
If you don’t already, start to track and analyze traffic to your website with Google Analytics. Then, calculate the average number of unique website visitors it takes for you to get a lead. From there, determine how many leads it takes to get a sale.
How to Calculate Your Conversion Rates
- Lead Conversion Rate = Number of Leads / Total Unique Visits on Site X 100
- Sales Conversion Rate = Number of Sales / Number of Leads X 100
With specific conversion rates in mind, you can work toward generating the web traffic you need each month to reach your lead attraction goals.
You can use any mix of the following methods to increase web traffic. By no means do you have to do them all. If you’re a solo business owner or have a small team, start with the areas where you feel you can make the greatest impact, or hire outside help to get you started.
- Paid advertising
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimizing your website
- Improve page speed loading time
- Mobile friendly website design
- Publish regular blog content and free reports
- Promote your content and free reports on social media
- Write guest blog articles for high traffic websites
- Invite others to guest blog on your site
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get more website visitors. Don’t let a lack of traffic be a barrier to getting more online leads and customers. Choose up to three or more of the above options and work them into your marketing strategy.
If you’re a micro business owner with a shortage of time and capital, start small and work your way up as you go. Your efforts will add up over time. If you do have resources, but you and/or your team are spread thin, consider hiring professional marketing services. This will help you to gain momentum and scale your online marketing efforts.
Test What Works
You might be surprised to learn that landing page best practices don’t always work to attract leads. For example, having an email opt-in form above the fold is known a best practice. Yet, Hubspot found they got 304% more lead conversions when they added a form below the fold. This emphasizes the importance of testing what works.
The ideal website lead gen strategy is to begin with copywriting and web design best practices. Then, measure the results with tracking software like Google Analytics (GA), and fine tune your pages from there. GA and other tracking software will show you the impact of your pages and forms. Review the data to learn where your website is working, and where it’s failing to keep and convert visitors into leads. As you test pages, remember to make one change at a time. This will help you to pinpoint what generates the best results.
How to Improve Your Web Pages for Leads
- Choose one element to adjust. (ie: headline, image, call-to-action, button color, etc.)
- Compare the results from the month before you made the change to the month after you made the change.
- Keep the winning element and discard the other.
- Repeat this process until you’ve reached your desired outcome.
If you’re running ads, and getting substantial traffic, you can accelerate the pace of your testing by driving traffic to two landing pages. These pages will be nearly identical, with the exception of the element you’re testing. Changes to the headlines, calls to action and body copy will most likely have the most impact on your results.
Summary of Ways to Improve Your Website for Lead Generation
Website lead generation requires that you have several well executed elements for your website, as well as enough web traffic. Make sure you thoroughly understand your customer avatar to laser target your copywriting and lead magnets. And ensure your web page designs are streamlined for easy viewing and reading.
Also, remember that not all lead page best practices will work for your audience. Test and review the metrics for alternative headlines and body copy, plus lead form placement and page design elements. It can be helpful to have an unbiased, outside party to review your website. Ask … is your messaging clear? Are your pages easy to scan and read? Is it obvious what to do next or how to contact you? Overall, the success of your website lead generation hinges on your ability, and willingness, to change things that aren’t working and testing new ways of presenting your offers.