harnessing-the-power-of-your-website-to-generate-leadsYour website has the potential to be a well-tuned lead generation machine; it all depends on how much effort you put into it. Take the time to address the needs of your potential customers and provide them with an easy-to-use site that provides valuable information, and your website will be much more than some static page on the Internet — it will help you get the leads you need.

Define your target audience to a “T”

Before you update your copy or make a massive overhaul to your site, you need to consider who exactly you are targeting and who you want to visit your site. This will play a big role in building a site that actually appeals to your customers.

Sit down with your team and construct buyer personas that accurately reflect your target customers. Do you want to connect with CMOs in Cincinnati or soccer moms in Mississippi? Who your audience is will impact the look and feel of your website and the type of content you provide. Some characteristics you can consider when building your buyer personas are

  • Job titles (e.g managers, small business owners)
  • Location (e.g. Europe, the Midwest)
  • Business size (e.g. SMBs, Fortune 500)

Once you have developed a list of your idealized buyers, you’ll be prepared to actually make changes to your site to appeal to these users. In doing so, you’ll have the tools necessary to build a website that users will actually visit and, in turn, will give you more chances to generate real leads.

Make it modern

An outdated website won’t do you any favors when it comes to lead generation. Today’s buyers expect the websites of professional businesses to be up-to-date and optimized for multiple devices; anything less makes you look like an amateur.

If your site hasn’t been updated in the last two or three years, invest in an upgrade. Website functionality and design shift every few years, and a site that looked and felt great in 2010 might be woefully inadequate for your customers today. Spruce up your site and make sure it’s optimized for mobile. A majority of the public views websites on mobile devices, so be sure yours is adaptable to different devices.

A mobile-optimized site that looks and feels current will position you as an adept, modern business, provide your potential customers with a better user experience and giving you a better shot at capturing leads.

Publish valuable content

No matter what you’re selling, you are providing a solution to buyers. And what better way to help buyers solve their problems and position your business as a thought leader than to offer great content?

The days of in-your-face, me-me-me marketing are waning. Inbound marketing, in which you pull customers toward you by providing great content, is a more fitting way to generate leads today. You can turn your website into a resource for valuable information. Some possible content you can publish to your website includes:

  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Guides

By publishing valuable content regularly, your website is more likely to appear in search results relating to your business and, in turn, attract customers seeking out specific info. Gate your content by asking visitors to provide their email addresses and other vital info, and you’ll be able to capture tons of great data and create email lists to reach out to them later.

Frank Kasimov, director of Business Insurance Quotes, has used this technique very effectively by creating educational content for his website that brings actual value to business owners. According to Frank, “Lead generation is an important part of any online business. In order to reach more entrepreneurs we create content that effectively establishes our brand as experts in our field by educating our key demographics on various relevant topics. This, essentially helps on multiple levels; helps with SEO and as a validation tool that helps with driving and increasing conversions.”

This is a perfect example of how answering your customers’ questions, and giving them information that benefits them in some way that no other business can provide can result in having a captive audience of potential leads.

Streamline the conversion path

A modern-looking website with great content can go a long way, but if you don’t make it an easy enough process for your customers to acquire that content, you’re wasting your time.

The conversion path should be smooth. For example, if a visitor comes to the site and wants to download your fantastic new whitepaper, you need to make it easy for them to do so by including easy-to-follow call to actions (CTAs), a quality landing page, thank-you page, etc. Bury your CTAs and muddy up your landing page and those potential leads will at best, be frustrated and at worst, be annoyed.

This is especially true if the main purpose of your website is to help consumers get and compare quotes from multiple companies all from one place. If your site is a hassle to deal with and the conversion path hard to understand, you can bet that will impact whether your business is able to continue providing this service. Streamline your conversation path and you’ll make both your and your customers’ life easier. They’ll get the content they need and appreciate the smooth user experience, and you’ll get the leads you were looking for.

Use analytics

Where are your visitors coming from? What parts of your homepage are they clicking on? How much time are they spending on each page? This type of info is valuable in helping to create a user experience that appeals to your potential customers.

Whether you use Google Analytics or another analytics service, these services can help you get a clearer picture of your customer and, in turn, help you change your website and content to generate leads. For example, if you find out that the bounce rate for your homepage is incredibly high (meaning, a large amount of users only visit that page before leaving), it’s probably a good idea to change the look and feel of your homepage in response.

As you can see, there are so many things you can do to improve your website and make it more suitable for generating leads. Consider the age of your site, track what pages people are visiting, create detailed buyer personas, and your website will be the better for it. Make your website a priority in your lead generation process and you’ll see the benefits in time.