Widening the net: 5 simple steps to make your website a lean, mean, lead capturing machine.

Your website is your basecamp. Whatever your industry, sector, product or service, taking marketing seriously will significantly increase your business’ chances of success and without doubt, the best place to start is your website.
Consider this: 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases (Retailing Today, 2014) and yet, only 22% of businesses are happy with their conversion rates (Econsultancy, 2016).
As consumers, we’re more informed and spend more time researching companies online than ever before, so it’s clear your website deserves a little TLC. Don’t panic, you’re not the only one. We’ve put together five simple steps to help you ensure your website is a lead generation gold mine.

1) Get great at goal-setting

It’s easy to get swept away with pretty design, cool functionality and text…lots of text. Before you get lost in your website, it’s really important that you set yourself a really clear objective and make sure that every decision contributes to that goal.
For example: If you’re selling a product through your website, your objective could be to lead your users to your products and then to the checkout page so they can complete the purchase.
Once you have an objective clear in your mind, everything from the page structure to the design will be aimed at influencing your visitors along this journey; after all, that’s what they’re there for, right?
Note: Be mindful though that not every customer is going to spend money with you right away. Make sure you always have a secondary fall-back objective. Using the example of an Ecommerce business, whilst of course you’d like your users to buy from you, they might need some advice or guidance to help them along the way. This is why you should always make yourself directly available, ideally through a phone number, live chats or a ‘find out more’ form.

2) Add a killer call-to-action

Once you’ve got a really clear proposition for your website, you need to think about how you’re going to get people to convert. A call-to-action (CTA) is a simple step on your site that tells users the actions they need to take to progress and how they can accomplish their goals.
One of the most typical forms of CTA is a button. A button is an eye-catching, clickable link that’ll help to push your user to where you’d like them to go. Simple statements like, ‘Read more’, ‘Buy now’ or ‘Get yours today’ are all effective because they create a sense of immediacy and help to psychologically guide your customers in the right direction.
According to Unbounce, more than 90% of visitors who read your page’s headline will also read your CTA copy – so it needs to be prominent. Copyblogger backs this up, their research has found that when your CTA copy is in the form of a button it can increase clicks by 45%.
As you can see, to effectively funnel traffic in the right direction, you need to make sure you get your CTAs right.

3) Find your USP

Everybody can setup a website, but how can you make yours stand out? With an estimated 1,085,628,900 live websites in 2016 (WPMultiverse), you’re a needle in a very large haystack. You’ve got your work cut out.
Here’s a few things to think about: What do you stand for? What makes you totally unique? How do you approach business differently?
The answer to these questions should resonate through your entire brand and give people a real incentive to use you. It’s not about having the fanciest and most expensive website; it’s about communicating what’s important to you and your business. Get this part right, you’ll find that you’ll have a more loyal base of returning customers.
If this is something you’re interested in then we really recommend watching this talk by management theorist, Simon Sinek.

4) Consider your user journey

Where will your users start out on your website and how will you get them to where you want them to go? Your ‘user journey’, the technical term for the route your web traffic takes through your site, is incredibly important if you want the website to me more a successful business generation tool.
Many web developers work to a ‘three click rule’ (MarketingLand). This is to say that your users may find themselves getting frustrated if they can’t find the information they need within three clicks. You need to make anything your users need as readily available as possible to create a ‘frictionless’ experience from start to finish.
The better the user journey, the more leads you’ll generate and the more your business will grow. Simple, huh?

5) Use trust-based selling tactics

If a business were to tell you that they weren’t very good at what they do, you’d be surprised right? That’s because as part of the sales and marketing process, businesses constantly try to convince their prospective customers that they’re the best companies to work with. Most consumers are pretty savvy to this approach, so we take a bit more convincing than we used to.
This is a challenge for any business and one really effective method of overcoming it is trust-based selling. Did you know that 92% of consumers now read online reviews when making a buying decision (Vendasta)? Whether using third party sites like Trustpilot or posting case studies and testimonials on your own website, the most important aspect of trust-based selling is that it’s coming straight from the customer, not you.
So there you have it. Follow this advice and reap the financial rewards from your website. After all the time and effort you’ve put into it, now’s the time it should be working for you.

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