We talk to a lot of small to mid-size business owners during any given week, and almost all of them say the same thing to us:
“We need more leads.”
It’s not just these business owners – it’s the same all over. In fact, B2B marketers report a shortage of good leads as their #1 challenge. The phone isn’t ringing, they’re not getting good leads for their sales staff to follow up on, and there aren’t nearly enough people filling out the forms on their websites.
So what’s the problem?
In general, many business owners haven’t yet figured out the keys to harnessing the internet for lead generation. If you could use more leads and you’re disappointed with your online marketing results, then you’ll want to take a look at this quick and dirty guide to generating leads through your website.
So let’s start at the beginning…
How the Lead Generation Process Works
First, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page with some terminology. A “lead” is someone who’s interested in your products or services, and they’ve given you permission to contact them. They may have:
- Called you.
- Joined your mailing list.
- Filled out a form requesting that you call, email or mail them.
- Filled out a form requesting that you send more information.
…Or any sort of similar activity.
Now in order to generate a lead, you need to have two things:
- A website.
- Targeted traffic going to this website. (Note the keyword: “targeted.”)
Of course targeted traffic finding a website aren’t going to fall all over themselves to become leads. You need to do something to get them to take action, which includes demonstrating your business’ value and providing a call to action. These pieces are how you convert visitors into leads (and later you’ll convert these leads into customers and clients).
You goal as a small business owner or marketing director is to improve your conversion rate. This is the percentage of your overall visitors who take some specific action. That’s right, it’s just basic math.
For example, let’s suppose you have 100 visitors come to your site, and three of them fill out a form. If this ratio holds up over time, then you have a 3% conversion rate.
Whether this is a good or bad conversion rate depends on your industry and what all the form entails. For example, it might be a considered a relatively low conversion rate if the person is signing up for a mailing list. On the other hand, if the person is setting up an appointment with you to discuss a high-priced product or service, then that 3% may be considered a good rate.
Since you’re looking to increase your number of leads, there are two things you’ll want to do:
- Increase your traffic. The more targeted visitors entering your site, the more people you’ll have stepping forward to identify themselves as leads.
- Increase your conversion rate. Your goal is to get this percentage as high as possible. Even a small percentage bump – such as a 1% increase – can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.
Simple in theory, right? So let’s look at how to achieve these two goals.
Increase Your Traffic
Do a little research, and you’ll find there are plenty of ways to increase your traffic. However, the key is to focus on targeted traffic – that’s the kind of visitor that is interested in what you’re selling and very likely to convert into a lead.
So here are some of the top ways to start bringing in more targeted traffic:
- SEO (search engine optimization). This is where you optimize content in a way that attracts traffic from Google and other search engines.
- Social media marketing. This is where you create a comprehensive strategy to find targeted prospects on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms.
- Blogging. This includes not only posting content on your own site, but doing guest blogging on other popular sites in your market.
- Pay per click (PPC) marketing. This includes sites like Google AdWords and Facebook’s PPC platform.
- Media buys. This is purchasing paid banners and text ads on sites in your niche market.
- Email marketing. Here you can not only build your own list, but some may even consider purchasing email lists (risky) or ads in established newsletter (solid idea).
- Referral traffic. You can set up a referral program for your customers, as well as set up an affiliate program to reward your business associates who send traffic.
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but it is a good starting point for generating more traffic.
Of course you don’t want all that traffic to go to waste, which is why you need to work on this next step…
Increase Your Conversion Rate
All the targeted traffic in the world is useless if they’re not converting to leads and/or customers and clients. That’s why you need to work diligently to give your conversion rate a boost. It all starts with this first step…
Tracking and Testing
Let me ask you a few quick questions…
Which graphic on your site is currently killing your conversion rate and driving visitors away?
Which of your ad venues consistently produces the biggest conversion rate?
Which call to action on your site gets you the most clicks?
Truth is, most business owners can’t answer these questions, simply because they’ve never scientifically tested every major part of their website and ad campaigns. Problem is, if you’re not testing but you’re making changes on your site, you don’t know which specific changes are creating the results you’re receiving. That means you can’t replicate these results in the future.
So what you need to do is install some sort of analytics program or an A/B tracking script on all your pages and across your ad campaigns. Then you can start testing some of the following:
- Call to action text.
- Button graphics.
- Sales copy.
- Overall web design.
- Ad venues.
- Ad graphics and copy.
- Keywords (for search engine marketing and PPC campaigns).
… And everything else that could significantly impact your conversion rates.
Tracking and testing gives you the following benefits:
- You’ll know exactly which site or ad campaign changes produce good results.
- You’ll be able to invest more money in the ad venues that deliver good results.
- You’ll boost your conversion rate, which means you’re getting even more leads and revenue from the same amount of traffic.
Point is, don’t willy nilly make changes on your site unless you’re tracking and testing those changes, as testing is the only way to be sure those changes are creating positive results. So once you have tracking and testing in place, then you can boost your conversion rates using the following tips…
Use Social Proof
Hate to tell you, but a lot of your visitors don’t believe your claims. That’s why you’ll want to add social proof to your site, such as testimonials, case studies, or even “before” and “after” photos that demonstrate the great results you’ve created for other clients and customers.
Polish Your Copy
If you’ve got your web team or assistant creating the copy on your site, you may want to hire a professional copywriter to create compelling, results-oriented copy. Writing good sales copy is a bit different than writing an article – it’s part art, part science, and those who are good at it have studied and practiced for years. It’s worth finding a trained professional to create copy, as even a tiny bump to your conversion rate can add up to a lot of extra customers and revenue over time.
Make Your Site User Friendly
If your visitors are having a hard time finding what they want, they’re going to back out of your site and go look for solutions elsewhere. What’s more, if they judge your site design to be outdated, then they may assume you’re out-of-step with the times, and unlikely to be able to provide the solutions they need.
To avoid all of this, be sure your site presents a polished and professional image, and that it’s intuitive and user-friendly.
Install Multiple Calls to Action
Your site should have one overall primary goal, such as getting leads to fill out a form so that your sales team can follow up. However, you can improve your overall conversion rate by offering a secondary option, such as encouraging users to join your mailing list and download a white paper or report. This gets targeted visitors into your sales funnel so that you can begin the follow-up process.
Start Generating More Leads Now…
As you can see, your website can be the best sales person on your team, but only if you’ve put in a place a solid strategy for increasing your traffic and your conversion rate. This strategy can take time, but it’s well worth it to get your phone ringing and your inbox filling with leads.
If you don’t have the team, the time and/or the experience to plan and implement this strategy, then you’ll want to get in contact with the marketing team at HireAWiz. We’ve been designing marketing strategies and optimizing conversions for small to mid-size business owners since 2001, so we have the skills, experience and tools to help you grow your business. Find out more by getting in touch today!