Four Steps to a Lead-Generating Website

| March 12, 2018

Most businesses consider their website as an “online brochure” — nothing more than a modern day yellow pages.  Instead, a business website should be, or at least it can be, an exciting place for clients and customers to learn new things. It should be an inspiration to take action toward goals and the first stop on a prospective client’s buyer’s journey. Done right, a business website can be the engine that drives a business’ growth.

Here is how to change your on-line brochure into a lead generating machine.

1. Clearly Define Your Audience. The first step is understanding who you want to attract to your business’ website. The unequivocally wrong answer to this question is “everyone.”

The right answer derives from a careful analysis of where your business currently comes from, and where you want more business to come from. Don’t confuse the two. Consider not only the clients or customers that provide your current revenue, but also those who, if you could attract more like them, could have a transformational impact on your business.

Conduct an 80/20 analysis and determine what types of work, from what types of customers, is most profitable. Your company has limited resources, so deploy those resources toward the highest return-on-investment activities.  Craft your website to attract clients that will drive growth.

Once you define your audience, the next question is: What does my ideal client need to know, understand or believe before they will do business with me?

This question takes into account the buyer’s journey that prospective clients must travel before they are trusting enough to move forward. Your website should tell a compelling story that reflects that journey and demonstrate understanding (and empathy) for the problems your clients’ face. Talk about their challenges more than your own accolades. Market the problems you solve, rather than the awards you have earned. Consider that clients aren’t just buying goods and services – they are buying solutions outcomes.

2. Call Clients and Customers to Action

So, all of this begs the question: When someone visits your website, what do they do next?  It may seem obvious to you, but to someone looking in from the outside it may be less obvious.

Too many business websites, both large and small, lack prominent calls to action and, as a result, miss out on opportunities. Create call-to-action buttons that get top billing throughout your site. If you don’t, you’re making your potential clients work too hard to take the next step.

3. Offer a “Transitional Call to Action”

Most website visitors click away and are never heard from again. They’re not ready to act — at least not ready to pick up the telephone or send you an email — so you need to offer an opportunity to stay engaged with your company, but on their terms. This is accomplished by creating a “transitional call to action.”

A transitional call to action offers something valuable – a lead generator.  Website visitors can access the lead generator via your website in return for giving you their email address. The email address goes directly into an email service provider (such as ConvertKit or MailChimp) so that you can continue the engagement by sending them valuable information via email. Then, when they’re ready to take action, you’ll be top of mind.

A lead generator is a resource, such as a checklist, downloadable document or a series of instructional videos. Keep in mind that this tactic does not often lead to immediate new business. That’s why it’s called a transitional call to action. Rather, it’s something that invites a potential client to engage in a conversation with you over time. It’s a cup of coffee, not an engagement ring.

4. Leverage “Social Proof” on Your Homepage

When potential clients visit your website, there are two questions they are probably asking themselves: “Does this business understand me?” and “Can it help me solve my problem?”

The first question is answered through client-focused storytelling. But you also need to establish authority and expertise. A potential client wants to know you have what it takes to guide them where they want to go.

Use the internal pages of your website (not your home page) to go deeper into expertise.  Rather, your home page should quickly demonstrate authority in a way that connects with the customer’s needs.

Social proof is a term from psychology that refers to someone or something’s level of perceived credibility. They can include testimonials, short quotes from past clients, or logos of businesses you have worked with. All of these provide instant credibility.

Your business website may need a complete overall – but most require some smaller changes.  With attention, your website can become your most important marketing asset and a lead-generating machine.

Category: Marketing