Lead Generation Websites
When it comes to generating news leads and sales, the internet presents the most fertile environment for your business. However, with the scale of growth seen on the web today, simply publishing new website for your business is hardly enough. If you pursue such a strategy with your business website, you will likely find the time and money invested to be a waste.
In order to succeed and thrive on the web today, your presence needs to be dynamic and fluid. Meaning, your website needs to act as a core artery to the heartbeat of your online presence and business. And in order to be the heartbeat of your business, your website needs to have life flowing in and out of it.
So a lead generation website for any business is one that doesn’t just “get published and sit on a server”; rather, the website starts to take on a life of its own, and will soon become the primary source of new traffic, leads, and sales for your business.
Your business doesn’t just need a website. Your business should demand a website that’s built for growth in traffic, lead generation, and customer conversion. And this type of website stands in stark contrast to the majority of websites you see on the web today – and most likely in stark contrast to the majority of your competitor’s websites (which means there’s a great opportunity for you and your business to differentiate yourself).
More than anything, the internet is a competitive environment for any type of business, product, or service. In order to stand out and be seen, your website needs to differentiate itself from the crowd. If you do nothing to differentiate business and your website, and make no effort to “be found” by people who are already searching for and interested in what you offer, then your business will never experience the growth that comes from an effective online lead generation strategy. And from my experience, this can mean the difference between your business succeeding, or failing completely.
How To Build A Lead Generation Website
3 Core Elements To An Effective Lead Generation Website
When it comes to building a lead generation website for your business, there’s 3 core elements that it must include. The technique, style, or strategy of the integration of these elements isn’t necessarily important – at least not for this article anyway – but the presence of these 3 core elements are fundamental to your website’s success at generating new leads and customers for your business.
Effective implementation of the following core elements into your website will take your online presence from a static state, to a state of dynamic life and momentum on the web. Your website will become a valuable resource for visitors, which will help your business build strong brand equity to a growing audience.
And as you become more effective at leveraging your website for lead generation, you’ll find more visitors converting into long term customers for your business. More importantly, your goal over the long term should not be to just convert new customers, but impress your customers to a degree where they want to tell other people about your business, products, and services.
This is when your lead generation website moves beyond the static state of most business websites, and elevates above all the other websites in your market space. And it’s when your business will start to differentiate itself from the crowd of competitors.
#1: Call To Actions (CTA)
The first core element that a successful lead generation website needs are calls to action. Let’s first take a look at some websites that do a good job of presenting effective calls to actions:
Spotify understands the importance of having a simple call to action directly on the homepage of their website. As soon as visitor lands on the homepage, they are immediately presented with “Play Free” and “Go Premium” call to action buttons. These call to action buttons on Spotify are reinforced with the two powerful elements:
- Tag Line: notice on Spotify’s homepage the tag line “It’s play time.”, followed by the sub-tag line of “Say hello to the most entertaining Spotify ever. Play free or subscribe to Spotify Premium.” These tag lines are short, simple, and help to draw the visitors attention to the call to action buttons.
- Imagery: The next element used to reinforce the call to action buttons is imagery. By nature, people are drawn to images as a why to connect and relate. As such, your lead generation website should leverage the use of strategic imagery that represents your product and services. But not necessarily the product and image itself, but more so the emotional use of imagery that comes from what people will experience when, or how, people will use your product or service. Again, Spotify does a great job of this by presenting an image of an iPhone using the Spotify app. The idea here to show that Spotify is an app that allows you to take your favorite music and playlists with you on the go with your mobile phone.
Another great example of the use of call to action elements directly on the homepage of their website is the insurance company Geico. As soon as their homepage loads, you are immediately presented with the tagline “Get A Quote”, the supporting tagline of “More than just auto insurance.”, and finally the call to action button itself which is the bright orange “Get A Quote” button.
Again, the strategic use of imagery is obvious on the Geico homepage as well as the gecko is staring you down with a daring, yet challenging look. The use of the gecko on the homepage is reinforced by the millions of dollars in tv advertisements that Geico invests in order to build their brand through corky, humorous commercials involving the gecko.
The call to action (CTA) elements should be presented in an easy, distinguishable fashion above the fold on the homepage of your website, and every key landing page within your website where you present your core products and services. “Above the fold” means the part of your website that’s seen by your visitors before having to scroll down your page. Or on a mobile device, “above the fold” means the part of your mobile site or app that’s seen before having to swipe down.
More importantly, the call to action element should incite visitors to take an action that would result in a conversion. A conversion doesn’t necessarily mean a new sale for your business. Conversions can also be someone requesting a free offer from your business such as a white paper, checklist, or some other free offer that provides value to your visitors.
But whether your business conversion strategy is to generate a new customer or a new lead / subscriber to your email list, the point is that you need a strong call to action button to encourage your visitors to immediately engage with your business.
#2: Business Blogging
The next core element to an effective lead generation website is the use of a business blog. A business blog is a form of content marketing where you, the business owner, can produce a steady stream of high impact content which in turn will drive a steady flow of new visitors to your website.
The power of business blogging is that you can move beyond the core product and service pages within your website, and present a personal side of your business. Content that’s informative, entertaining, and otherwise “useful” to readers will allow your business to build long term brand equity with a growing audience.
The Compounding Returns of Business Blogging
The power in effective business blogging is in the fact that as your content library grows, the number of doorways or paths into your site grows as well. And every article your product on your blog will, in most cases, continue to drive traffic indefinitely into the future.
Certainly not all blog posts will perform equally in driving traffic. Some posts will see large spikes in traffic initially and then fall off over time. Yet other posts will see moderate spikes in traffic initially, but then continue to provide a steady flow of consistent traffic over time.
The greatest value in consistent business blogging is found in the compounding growth effective in traffic and exposure it has on your website. The more articles you produce, the more your total library of content grows, and the more traffic will grow coming to your website from your growing library of articles.
This is similar to the exponential growth rate of compounding interest. The more you invest over time at a certain rate of return, the more your total investment grows exponentially.
Tomasz Tunguz wrote a great article on the The Compounding Returns of Content Marketing: The Data Behind Why Persistence Pays Off in Blogging. In it, he uses data and graphs to show the value of publishing blog posts on a consistent basis. And here’s a key extract from his post that explains the thesis well:
This data underscores the persistent, compounding benefits of content. The corollary is the larger a content base, the greater the traffic, because of the sum of the visitors to the older posts.
What he’s saying is, as your older blog posts continue to drive traffic, the sum of all blog posts (old and new) have a compounding growth rate of traffic to your website.
Other benefits to business blogging and content marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Social Media Distribution
- Direct Traffic from Email & RSS Subscribers
SEO Benefits to business blogging
One of the greatest benefits of business blogging is the authority it can build into your website over time. And the more authority your website generates, the better all of your pages within your website will rank in Google.
As the saying goes, as quoted by President John F. Kennedy “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
The more content you produce on your blog, the more Google will be coming back to your website and crawl and index your new pages of content (i.e. blog posts). And the increase in crawl and index frequency will attribute more value to your website (assuming your content is great, that is).
Also, the more great content you produce over time, the more other people will find your content, share your content throughout social media, and link back to your content from their websites or other sources.
You can learn more about my philosophy on backlink building by reading The Secret To SEO Backlink Building That Might Surprise You, And Will Probably Piss You Off.
All of these attributes – more readers and subscribers, more sharing through social media, more backlinks, etc… – all contribute to building more authority and ranking power within your website.
A common structure within business websites that also run blogs, is they have the core pages for their products and services, and then their blog is running simultaneously in a separate section, or possibly a sub domain, within their website. So you have your blog and all associated posts that are continue to drive traffic and build authority to your website as a whole, while your core product and service pages are direct recipients of that authority, and will rank higher in Google search results for their targeted keyword phrases.
Social Media Distribution of Blog Content
Another powerful feature of blog content is that it gives you something to share throughout social media. One of the best performing types of content in social media are use posts that people find on the web, and then share that content with a link pointing back to the source. This makes up the exact same attributes as the blog posts from your blog.
The more blog content you produce, the more content you have to share throughout your social media profiles.
And blog content is more than just a quick, brief social media post. You can post the title to your blog post, an associated / featured image, and of course a shortened backlink to your blog post using something like bit.ly to shorten your URL (because shortened links work much better in social).
And just like with the compounding growth rate of blog posts published on your website, social media posts likewise carry a compounding growth effect. The more social media posts you generate, the more content there is available for your fans and followers to engage with.
This has the equivalent effect of building your social media presence and brand equity for your business, and opens the door to building a strong audience of fans and followers who are connecting and engaging with your business.
Direct Traffic from Email & RSS Feed Subscribers
You don’t want to rely solely on the fickle traffic that comes from search engines and social media. In order to grow your business blog, you want to build and audience of fans who look forward to reading your next article. This is achieved through the use of email subscribers and rss feed subscribers.
There are a couple of different strategies to building your email subscriber list. First, you can simply add an email subscribe element to the sidebar of your website like this:
- Direct Email Subscribers
This comes directly form the right hand sidebar of my blog here at Bipper Media (if you are reading this, just look right… and while you are at it, perhaps you’ll want to go ahead and subscribe yourself…???)!
- Free Giveaways
The other strategy is to use a free give away on your website such as a free white paper, checklist, video, or training course. In exchange for the free offer, you will require a visitor to enter their email address. And when a visitor enters their email address to get the free offer, their email is then added to your email list.
#3: Mobile Sites
The final core element to an effective lead generation website is the presence of that website. In a lot of cases, using our clients here at Bipper Media as the example, there are more visitors coming to websites via mobile devices than through desktop computers. This points to the explosive growth of mobile phone use over the past 5 years.
The graph above, from a SlideShare by KPCP on Internet Trends 2015 – Code Conference, shows the growth of mobile phone usage as measured by the time spent per adult user / per day. The graph compares the growth trends of mobile phone usage, desktop / laptop usage, and other connected devices.
As you can see, mobile phone usage continued to climb from 2008 into 2015. Likewise, the usage of desktop computers and laptops are showing a gradual decline in usage. And as we move forward, it is fair to expect mobile phone usage will far outstrip the usage of all other devices.
This graph is representative of the data we see in the analytics from our client’s websites as well. Especially since the core focus of our work, after building or rebuilding our client’s websites, is driving traffic through search and social media. And if more people are using search and social media via mobile devices, it makes sense then why we see more traffic coming to our client’s sites via mobile devices.
But when it comes to mobile devices, it’s not just about driving mobile traffic.
The business objective is to ultimately generate leads, calls, and customers. And the techniques to generating leads and customers from a mobile device follow the same patterns that we’ve discussed above with desktop websites. And these techniques are:
- Call To Action (CTA)
- Business Blogging
The business blogging element, for mobile devices, should really take care of itself in regard to design integration with your mobile website. Properly designed mobile sites are simply the desktop version of your website, but styled to format properly on mobile devices. As you publish new articles on your blog, these articles are automatically included in the mobile version of your website as well.
The main divergent of leveraging a mobile site vs. desktop websites is with the call to action (CTA).
From our experience, the most effective call to action element on a mobile device is the “tap to call” button.
Here’s a couple examples of our client’s mobile sites that feature the tap to call button:
Call To Action / Tap To Call on Mobile Sites
As you can see in these two examples, the main call to action elements are the “Call Us”, “Find Us”, and “Tap To Email” buttons.
These call to action elements on a mobile site are featured, just like with the desktop website, above the fold so they are the first elements people see when the site loads on their mobile device.
And again, “above the fold” on a mobile device refers to the part of the site you see before having to swipe down the site on your phone.
The objective for your mobile site is generate news leads and customers for your business. And since mobile visitors are already on their mobile phone, we’ve found the most effective call to action element for a mobile site is the “tap to call” button.
These clients in particular have experienced 30% – 50% month over month increases on calls into their business as a result of their presence on mobile phones.
And the second most popular action element on mobile sites, at least with our clients, is the “Find Us” buttons. A lot of our clients are focused on local / geographic markets. So when a visitor taps through their search results, or finds them on social media from their mobile phone, they like to tap on the “Find Us” button to see exactly where they located.
Conclusion to Lead Generation Websites
It’s not enough anymore to have a static website that just sits on your server doing nothing. This lack of activity will cause your website to loose authority and relevance, and as such, whatever chance you had to rank for relevant keyword phrases has been diminished due to the lack of visitors and activity.
The most effective way to build a website and web presence for your business is to think in terms of lead generation and customer conversion. By taking this approach, your website will go from a static brochure to a proactive component to your overall lead generation and customer conversion strategy.
Some of the most effective techniques we’ve seen in leveraging a website to generate more traffic, leads, and sales for a business is to focus on:
- Call To Action (CTA) elements above the fold.
- Producing a consistent flow of articles via your business blog.
- Leveraging mobile websites as a way to connect with new leads and customers via mobile phones.
What other strategies or techniques do you think are required in producing an effective lead generation website for a business?