If you’re a company in the 21st century, odds are you have a website and are hoping to have potential customers find you through that website. Unfortunately, in the age of Google rules all, there’s a lot of factors that go into a prospect finding your site, liking what they see, and ultimately filling out a form submission, buying a product, or giving you a call. If your site isn’t following a multitude of best practices then the odds of that potential customer turning into an actual customer can be pretty slim.
So how do you ensure that your website is generating leads? Here’s a list of some of the most important factors to consider:
Your Website Looks Outdated or Cheap
This one may seem like a no-brainer but it’s certainly worth mentioning. If your website is outdated and/or poor quality then that can turn prospects away without hesitation. People view your website as an extension of your business, think of it as a restaurant. If you drive by a restaurant that looks old, dingy, or unclean, you’re not likely to think the food is worth even trying. You could have a Michelin star chef in the kitchen turning out the best food someone has ever eaten but if you can’t get that person in the door, it doesn’t matter how good your food is. A good website is the same way, if a prospect can see that your company is savvy online, you have a nice site that is easy to use, and gives them the information they’re looking for then they’re much more likely to give your services a shot. Consumers and businesses are also constantly bombarded with scams, they’re much more likely to trust a company with a high-quality website than one that looks like a shady individual threw up in a couple of days.
You Don’t Have a Clear and Well Constructed Sitemap
A clear sitemap is essential for two reasons. A good sitemap positively impacts your SEO, you can’t land new customers if they never find your site. Secondly, a good sitemap helps users find the information they’re looking for. Your menu should be set up in a common-sense fashion that makes it easy for prospects to find the relevant information they need to come to a decision to a: reach out to you or b: move on to another company that is better suited to their needs. In the age of digital information where there’s no shortage of competitors or information, a frustrated and confused user will leave without a second thought.
There Aren’t Enough Relevant and Compelling Call to Actions
Now that someone has found your site and realizes you offer what they’re looking for, how do you ensure they actually take the plunge and reach out to you? Having a variety of relevant and compelling call to actions is essential for generating leads through your site. This should start with the first page and continue throughout the site. Make sure there’s a call to action on every relevant page. For the first page, you should try to catch a user as soon as they jump on the site. The call to action doesn’t need to be “buy this product” or “call us today”, though it certainly can be if you feel that’s not overbearing, but it can also simply draw the user further into the site. Let your prospects know what you do right on the home page and above the fold (where the screen would end on a typical desktop or mobile phone) and have a request for them to act, no use in sending people further into the site if they want to buy right away. For those that need more coercing, make it obvious what the next steps are.
The content of your call to action is also important. You should use power words like “have”, “get”, “feel” rather than softer words like “imagine having”, or “wouldn’t it be nice”. Switching up the wording on your CTA’s is also essential. No one wants to see the words “buy now” or “contact us” a hundred times, make the CTA relevant to what they’re looking to do “sign up for your free trial” is much more compelling than “contact us”.
You Need More Landing Pages
On top of relevant and well-placed call to actions, your site should be jam-packed with landing pages. Send users to a relevant landing page any chance you get. According to one HubSpot survey, companies with 30+ landing pages on their website generated 7 times more leads than companies with 1 to 5 landing pages (HubSpot). However, the landing pages should be well designed and informative, throwing a user to another page that doesn’t guide them along and complete their buyer’s journey but instead confuses them or makes them want to leave a site will only hurt your chances of converting them to a lead.
Your Site Isn’t Optimized for SEO
This factor is of the utmost importance. If no one is finding your site in the first place, you’re not going to be getting many leads. There are so many things to consider when you’re building or optimizing your site for SEO but I’ll name a few of the most important and easiest to apply.
In order to keep Google consistently crawling your site, prioritizing your site over others, and to continue to show up for an increasing number of relevant keywords, it’s absolutely essential that you regularly add new content to your site. Adding any new content will grab Google’s attention and cause it to crawl your site but adding keyword-rich content is what will cause you to rank above other companies offering similar services. Make sure that you’re not just keyword stuffing the same small group of keywords into each piece of content but rather being strategic by adding main pages with important topics and then adding relevant pages with content that pertains to the topic but focuses on one particular aspect of that topic in a “topic cluster” format. Read more about topic clusters here: Search Engine Journal.
Along with topic clusters, adding a blog is the easiest way to consistently add content without changing up the overall format or appearance of your site. Added blog pages will be crawled just like the rest of the pages on your site but you can often think more outside the box for topics. They can also be read without adding too many rabbit holes a potential customer could fall through.
On top of consistently adding keyword-rich content, it’s essential that the content you’re site is originally built with and any additional content is formatted in the best possible way for SEO. There are a few things to take into consideration when building out blogs and web pages:
- Headers and Subheads — These content elements should be informative, intriguing, and incorporate keywords. A copywriter that’s worth having will often spend as much time on the headers and subheads as they would on the actual body of a piece of content.
- Bulleted and Numbered Lists — When was the last time you read through a whole article rather than just scanning the main points? Are you even reading this whole article? Bulleted and numbered lists will make it more likely that you get your point across to people who are not putting in the effort to thoroughly read your content.
- Bold and Italics — Force your readers to pay attention to the important parts.
- Short Paragraphs — Don’t overwhelm people, no one likes to read a textbook online when they’re looking for a quick answer to a question or an overview of what your company does.
You’re Not Keeping Track of ALL Lead Sources
All the knowledge in the world on how to increase the number of leads coming in won’t matter if you’re oblivious to the fact that those random new customers coming in are actually from your online efforts. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only counting online form submissions as leads from your website but that’s simply not the only place you’ll see the impact of a great lead generating website. If you have a phone number, e-mail, address, or social media link listed on your site, it’s essential you’re keeping track of each of those leads as well. This can be as simple as asking each person who reaches out “how did you find out about us?”. While not a 100% accurate method, it will do an excellent job at catching those people that called, sent an email, showed up at your location, or messaged you on social that originally found you on the web. This is absolutely essential when tracking the success of your website, think of the last time you saw a company’s website and then gave them a call rather than filling out a form submission, just about everyone has done this at least once, most people will have done it much more than that.
There’s almost an infinite number of reasons your site could be lacking leads. So many of those are out of your control but fortunately for your company and many others, there are a lot that are not. Start with what you can change and start seeing some ROI from your company’s site. If there’s any additional information I can offer, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’re in need of some more serious help with your website or ongoing content, I’d be happy to put you in touch with Abstrakt Marketing Group so they can tailor a solution that will get you to where you want to be.
Brynn Diggs | Virtual Marketing Manager
As a Virtual Marketing Manager at Abstrakt, Brynn works with a team of digital marketing professionals to make sure her client-partners are putting their best foot forward online. She takes the time to learn who her clients are and who they’re looking to work with and make sure their message is conveyed to the right audience. She says, “Watching my client’s website traffic and social media engagement continuously grow and ultimately result in revenue for their company is by far the most rewarding part of my job.”