According to the State of Inbound Marketing Report, the cost-per-lead of inbound leads are 61% lower than outbound leads. As a result, many businesses are taking this trend into account and are reallocating resources and budget towards their online presence in the hope of increasing lead generation via the company website.
All websites can generate new leads, but this is something that won't happen alone. There are a few steps and requirements needed to achieve this. Once done and done well, your website can and will turn into your top salesperson.
I often find clients telling me that they are managing to increase traffic to the company website but are struggling to leverage the value of that traffic, turning them into leads, which means potential clients. This is where I explore the Inbound methodology with them as a solution.
Inbound marketing puts much focus on the functionality of your website—the methodology users your website as an extension of your marketing and sales team. The Inbound marketing methodology is your most hard-working employee, that is available 24/7. Your website becomes your instrument to convert website traffic into leads.
With this in mind, I have compiled a list of key steps that need to be taken into account if you want to turn your website into a lead generation tool. Let’s have a look:
Your buyer personas are the key to your website. If you have not defined them well, it becomes difficult to create compelling content that will be considered interesting. It would be best if you remembered that your website is like any other sales or marketing tool.
You want to make it your smarketing tool. To have a conversation with someone, you have to know whom you are speaking to, speak to them in a language that they understand, and about a topic that they find interesting and of benefit to them. Not only that, but you also have to know where your personas spend their time online so that you can reach them.
Defining a buyer persona is more complex than simply choosing an industry. Inbound Marketing agencies are trained to walk their clients through the steps to creating detailed buyer personas based on research. If you are not comfortable working with an agency, there are several different techniques that you can explore. If you would like to read more about this, you might find this article useful: How to Use LinkedIn to Create Buyer Personas.
Life is about giving and taking. To receive, you have to give. So if you want visitors to fill in the forms on your landing pages, you need to give them something in return.
The best way to maintain this online relationship is to consistently create educational, informative, valuable content catered to your buyer persona. You also want to create content offers so you can move your visitors towards lead generation. When creating your content in its various forms, always think about your buyer persona and discuss issues that matter to them, solutions to the challenges that they face, and how you can help them.
However, big but bold and italics, you do not want to sell your services when creating this content. You are never to create sales content about your service. You are there to educate and help.
This is your role—nothing more, nothing less. If you can do this with your content, your website will most definitely turn into the ultimate lead generation tool. Like many good things in life, content comes in many forms; eBooks, infographics, guides, manuals, cheat sheets, checklists, white papers, case studies, product demos, free trials, presentations, webinars, and so on the so forth. The sky is the limit when it comes to the type of content you can create.
Landing pages and forms are the ABCs of a lead-generating website. Without them, no matter how much traffic you drive to your website, you will not be generating leads. A landing page is a web page accessed when a visitor clicks on either an ad from a paid campaign, content shared socially, an email campaign, or via a Call To Action (CTA) from one of your posts on your blog.
In other words, it is a page that they are directed to by you. Landing pages provide information directly related to the ad or content offer they clicked on. They are your lead capture magnet. So, for example, if you have a content offer that is an eBook, you will want to create a form for your visitors to fill in to download the eBook. It’s almost like an exchange, where they provide you with some information about themselves, and in return, they get to download.
This also works if you want people to register, apply, sign up, try the demo, etc. Once the visitor fills in the form and receives the content offer from you, you have their information, which is the starting point of a lead, generated via your website. Once you get their information, it is time for you to start nurturing this lead and hopefully turning them into a customer.
A lot of the time, I have noticed that many companies have not updated their website design to meet the latest requirements. Remember that times change.
Technologies change. SEO changes. It would be best if you kept it up-to-date. It drives me crazy when I found the Copyright at the bottom of the website still in 2014. The design is not responsive and does not work on the different devices on the market today.
What’s the point of having a website that does not work on a mobile screen or a tablet screen? Unfortunately, many clients create a website just because every company has to have a website.
Well, in 2015, it doesn't quite work that way. Instead, your website design must follow the science and techniques needed to generate leads for your business, let alone appear on search engine results.
Keeping your website content fresh and up to date is important for search engine visibility and lead generation. Without it, it doesn't work. It’s like trying to drive a car without gas. If you would like to know more about website design for 2015, you might find this article interesting.
So you have launched your responsive website, started your blog, prepared your content offers, landing pages, CTA’s, and the rest of it. Now what? What’s next? Now you need to make some noise on social media. Make sure your website is optimized for social sharing, as there are share buttons to the social media platforms you choose to work on. I personally almost always recommend LinkedIn.
You want to be certain that at the end of every post, users have the ability to share your content through a simple click. The choice of social platforms for you to use is enormous.
Try to choose the ones that are relevant to your buyer persona.
Also, remember that the type of content created for each social media platform varies in length and style. For example, some social platforms like Twitter only take 140 characters, while Instagram and Pinterest work with visuals, as Youtube and Vimeo work with video.
Think carefully about the type of content you are creating, making sure it is relevant to your buy persona, and what you can do to encourage social sharing. The more your content is shared, the more visibility and traffic generated to your website, the more landing pages and CTA’s will be clicked, the more leads you generate.
I hope you find these steps food for thought. If you would like me to explain any of them to you, please free to get in touch or leave me a comment below. On the other hand, if you have applied any of these steps to your website, let me know your experience. I would love to hear about it.