Dead simple ways to get more leads from your website
This post was originally published here: Dead Simple Ways to Get More Leads from Your Website
Many businesses spend gobs of money on PPC and other lead generation methods, but totally forget about using their website for lead generation — even though it has the potential to be an absolute powerhouse for generating quality leads.
Businesses today have it rough. Anyone who has been either in business for themselves or worked in marketing knows that it is a real challenge to acquire high-quality leads for your business.
The majority of modern businesses turn to things like Google PPC ads, Facebook advertising, or perhaps advertisements in local publications and direct mail campaigns.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with any of these strategies, and they can work well in certain situations, the vast majority of local businesses — both new and established- are neglecting the one marketing tool that has nearly unlimited ROI, that can generate leads on auto-pilot, and that positions you as the authority in your industry.
That tool is your website.
Your company website should serve as the ultimate information hub regarding your business, and it should be the the most reliable place to find reasons why your customers should buy from you.
Unfortunately, most businesses that have an official website are using it completely wrong and are therefore missing out on a lot of opportunities — a lot of sales.
Many existing business websites are outdated, broken, poorly designed, contain ineffective copy and as a whole fail to accomplish the core objective of any business website: to effectively market the business and motivate customers to do business with them.
Worse yet, many businesses do not even have an official website, perhaps relying on Facebook or other social media pages to advertise their business. This puts them in a dangerous position that leaves their brand, their value proposition and their identity as a company almost entirely up to chance.
Social media accounts are great for sharing news and connecting with people in your local market — but it is by no means a standalone marketing strategy.
So how can you better leverage your company website to get more leads?
Now that we have gotten past all of that doom and gloom stuff, here’s the good news: It is remarkably easy to leverage your website as a source of leads.
Most companies will find that they can leverage their website more effectively even without having it redesigned or having to alter its structure too much.
In this article we will cover 7 extremely simple ways to better leverage your company website.
While I do promise that none of these strategies are terribly complex, that does not mean that it will take no effort on your part to implement them effectively. Some of these take more time and planning than others, but you can be sure that if you apply the points listed here you will see a positive return.
1: Don’t give away stuff, give away something of value
Most people are painfully familiar with the ‘freebie’ offers that are commonly seen on blogs and other sites. Those freebie offers are there because they have always worked in the past. Typically these freebies are used as an incentive to sign up for an email list, thereby giving the business the person’s email address (sometimes you can get their name as well).
Depending on what industry you work in, you can certainly use this to your advantage. In fact most businesses do not use this tactic nearly enough.
As a business owner, you have in-depth knowledge of your trade, profession or industry. Knowledge that most other people in your area do not have. Use that knowledge to put together a free e-book, video series, or other free item that will help to educate people who sign up for your list.
The thing to remember here is that you cannot just give away any old guide, top 10 list or whitepaper. People today have enough useless junk taking up their hard drive space as it is, so unless you provide something of real value your website visitors will not bite on your offer.
Make sure that you are providing something with intrinsic value to your visitors. Give them something they can actually use, or something that they can really learn from and apply in their own personal or professional lives.
2: Show how you solve their problem — don’t just talk about yourself
As I mentioned earlier in this post, many businesses with existing websites have poorly written copy throughout the website.
Take a good hard look at your current website and try to see it through the eyes of a potential customer.
Does the page copy adequately explain how you help your customers? Is the value of your product or service really clear from the outset? Does the copy look and sound professional?
Or is the copy primarily made up of self-praise for your organization, dubious claims about being the “#1 provider” in your industry, and dry passages of your mission statement that do not educate or really have any meaning to your customer at this time?
Of course there is nothing wrong with being proud of your company and the things you have accomplished. However your website visitors will have exactly zero interest in your mission statement when they first land on your site. They don’t care. When they land on your website the only thing that matters to them is whether or not you can help them with their problem.
Cater to their own self-interest and draw the most attention to the benefits of your service that directly affect them as a customer.
3: Become the ultimate resource for your target audience
Blogging is an extremely powerful tool for businesses that is typically under used or completely ignored.
Blogging for business has numerous benefits, but one of the most important benefits is that it establishes you as the local (or general) authority when it comes to your industry or profession.
When your business publishes a blog post, you are demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your field. You are sharing information and playing the role of the teacher.
As you publish more and more content, people in your target market will take notice and begin to trust you more as a reliable source of information on that topic. As they begin to trust you more, they become more and more likely to buy from you because you have adequately demonstrated your expertise in your field.
However building up this relationship with your readers takes time, effort and consistency. If you only publish a post once every few months, it will do more harm than good because your business will seem inconsistent and unprofessional.
When you decide to commit to blogging for your business, make a plan and stick to it. Publishing roughly once per week or bi-weekly is usually more than sufficient to appear consistent and provide a steady flow of content without overworking yourself.
However publishing more frequently certainly has its advantages, if you can handle that volume of work.
Blogging has numerous other benefits including things like boosting SEO, providing more relevant content for you to share on your business’ social media accounts, and providing opportunities to network with other bloggers and gain more exposure for your business.
4: Use local SEO, even if it’s just basic optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the process of manipulating aspects of your website to make it appear higher in Google search results.
When it comes to local sites, this usually includes things like getting your business listed in business directories, local review sites and partnering with similar websites that will link back to your website. This also includes things such as adding relevant location-related keywords to your website.
SEO helps you to get more leads from your website by giving your more exposure locally. For example if you are a real estate agent and someone in your area searches ‘Real estate agents in [insert location]’ you obviously want your website to show up in those search results — after all, you website won’t do your business any good if no one actually looks at it.
Local search engine optimization is relatively easy to implement on a basic level. There’s certainly more complex ways to handle local SEO, but I have included some links below to useful articles that break down basic Local SEO that you can perform yourself:
LOCAL SEO: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE 2016 (This one is hands-down my favorite from this list, and I use it in the local SEO strategy for my own clients)
5: Make it uber easy for them to give you their information
Another extremely common issue with corporate websites is that the company makes it too difficult to purchase or get in touch with them. By and large, people on the internet are fairly lazy and won’t put a whole lot of effort into filling out a form unless they have a really good reason to.
If there isn’t a good reason for you to be collecting extra information about them or inserting additional steps in the lead capture process, keep it as simple as possible.
There are instances where you do want to make the lead capture process more complex on purpose (to help filter out lower quality leads, for example) but for the most part you will want to keep that process as simple and easy as possible.
6: Showcase customer testimonials (ideally video, but text works as well) — place them well
When prospects are considering giving you their contact information, they like to have some kind of assurance that you are a legitimate business and that they are communicating with someone who has high moral standards and offers quality services.
Using customer testimonials is a great way to provide social proof that your product or service is valuable. Testimonials are the one exception to the the rule of not talking up your company on the home page. If you have raving customer reviews, don’t be afraid to show them off. Put them in prominent places where they will be seen even if a user only visits your website for a brief period of time.
Even better, see if you can manage to get some video testimonials from your most loyal customers. Don’t script the videos and certainly don’t buy fake ones (they’re way too easy to spot, and it’s a little sad to purchase fake testimonials anyway). Just let your customers talk about your product or service and why they choose to do business with you.
Video testimonials may not be possible for everyone or for people in certain industries. For example as a web designer, I have worked with companies that are hundreds of miles away, and we’ve never been able to really coordinate well enough to put together video testimonials. If you can manage video testimonials, they will certainly help convince users to convert, however regular text testimonials are perfectly fine.
7: Know who you are talking to
The most important thing to remember in any marketing effort — whether online or off — is to know your target audience inside and out. You have to understand who you are trying to reach in order to tailor your message in a way that will appeal specifically to that audience.
HubSpot has an awesome customer persona generator and template system that they give away for free. [Link]
If you don’t have customer personas already set up, and especially if you do not have a clearly defined target audience, take some time to go through their templates and get those things in order so that you can create marketing efforts that cater to the people you are actually trying to reach.
Once you have a crystal clear idea of who you are speaking to on your website and in your blog posts, go back through your website and look for ways that you can change wording or other elements to better appeal to those people.
Consistently getting leads from your website can be a really tough process, and it takes some trial and error.
Try applying just one or two of these ideas and consistently implement them for a couple of weeks before implementing the next. Try to make small changes that will eventually add up to big returns.
If you aren’t currently happy with your website and its performance, you should definitely check out my free live training that I will be providing on Wednesday March 30th, 2016 at 1PM CST.
We will be deep diving into how you can better optimize your website to provide more leads, increase sales and give your users a better experience when interacting with you online.
I hope to see you there!