4 Steps To Optimize Your Websites’ Lead Generation Potential

lead_form.fwAre you satisfied with your company’s lead generation?

If the answer is no, your website may be the problem. Business leaders need to make sure that their websites are doing as much as they can to generate new leads.

Call to action
Writing for Business 2 Community, industry expert Douglas Burdett recently argued that calls to action are among the most important aspects of a website’s lead generation capabilities. A call to action is a direct request for the website visitor to take an actual┬ástep. This action can take many forms, such as signing up for an email newsletter, following your business on social media, downloading a whitepaper and more. Whatever the exact nature of your call to action, this represents a great opportunity to collect new leads. It is easy to require visitors to provide a degree of contact information when taking these steps, and that information right there is your latest lead.

So, conceptually, calls to action are really simple. But of course, that’s not the end of the matter. To really take advantage of your website’s lead generation potential, you need to use calls to action in a smart, appealing way.

For starters, the calls to action themselves must be clear and not clever, according to Burdett. If the request uses language that is at all unclear or excessively playful, website visitors will be far less likely to actually follow through and provide their contact information. Burdett also emphasized the importance of powerful, active language, as this is more engaging and therefore more likely to persuade a visitor to take the next step.

Contact forms matter
As mentioned above, your call to action should lead your visitors to a form where they can provide their contact information. That sounds simple enough, but there are a few things to keep in mind when designing these forms.

Burdett emphasized the need to keep contact information forms streamlined and short. He noted that the more fields that a person has to fill out, the more likely he or she is to abandon the process. Fewer fields on these forms will lead to higher conversions and more leads.

“When it comes to forms on landing pages, remember you’re just trying to start the relationship, not sell immediately,” Burdett wrote. “Think of the landing page form more as an introductory handshake on a first date than a marriage ceremony.”

By trying to get too much information, you won’t increase your chances of landing a sale. On the contrary, you’ll lose valuable leads that could have potentially evolved into sales.

website2Web design
Another key consideration when it comes to maximizing your website’s lead generation capabilities is its design. If your visitors have any trouble navigating the website, they will quickly lose interest and move on, without leaving their contact information. On the reverse side, a well-designed website will encourage visitors to keep browsing, exploring and, ultimately, encourage them to leave provide the desired contact information.

Analytics tools are invaluable in this capacity. These tools allow you to see not just how many people visit your company’s website, but how they behave once they’re there. Do many people tend to leave the site after spending a few minutes on one particular page? If so, maybe that page is acting essentially like a dead-end. That means you’ll need to reconsider both the content that’s on the page and how it’s presented.

Similarly, if your analytics reveals that most people don’t explore your website very thoroughly, abandoning the site after seeing just a few pages, you probably need to reconsider the overall layout. Try to make sure that every page leads the visitor to another in a logical, compelling fashion. You have to give visitors a tangible reason to keep going – they won’t necessarily take this step independently.

Analytics tools can also reveal whether your website is drawing in enough traffic. After all, it doesn’t matter how well-designed the website is if no one is reaching it in the first place. This should lead to a new discussion about your organization’s marketing efforts – perhaps new strategies are in order. Only by embracing analytics can you determine whether the problem is a lack of site visitors or a suboptimal website.

handoffThe back end
Once your website is as well-designed and attractive as it can possibly be, you may run into another problem: handling all of the new leads. Obviously, this is a good problem to have, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. On the contrary, you need to establish policies and put in place tools to take advantage of these new opportunities. ‘

The back end needs to be ready for when the front end starts to perform above and beyond expectations.

Burdett emphasized the value of marketing automation software for this purpose. These programs, he explained, can be used to set up robust, comprehensive workflows, helping you to manage new leads as they arrive. Critically, these tools can send out invitations or offers at the ideal time, moving your leads through the buying cycle.

So while the back end does not produce more leads, it is essential for making the most of the leads that you do generate.

What strategies do you use to increase your websites’ lead generation potential?

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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.