In today’s ever-changing marketing world, roughly 63% of businesses say their company’s top marketing challenge is capturing traffic and leads. Although there are a lot of methods for generating leads, it isn’t as easy as posting on your Instagram or sending out a tweet and watching the business roll in. Instead, capturing leads has become a much more strategic process and has made marketing tools, like websites, more crucial.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the best practices for optimizing your company’s website for lead generation.
1. Tell Your Story
Telling your company’s unique story can prove to be vital when it comes to capturing leads through your website. And although it can be an important tool for marketing and sales initiatives, your story should be entirely devoted to helping your visitors connect with your brand to form long-term relationships.
So how should you build your brand’s story?
Below we’ll explore some of the best ways to craft a story that resonates with your visitors and boosts engagement rates:
Simplicity is Key
Even though you could probably write an entire book on the conception and motivations of your company, there’s no guarantee that visitors are on your site to learn about it. You should understand that your visitors have an issue, and your company can provide the most simple or effective solution to solve it.
Telling your company’s story should follow a simple framework that most of us should be fairly familiar with:
Solving your customer’s issue is the first aspect that should be addressed when telling your company’s story. This is where you can show your organization’s sense of humanity. You’ve been in their situation before. They’re not alone.
After the dilemma, explain your solution and your thought process behind it. This shouldn’t be too lengthy or complex; just a painless, human solution people can relate to.
Lastly, show your victory over the issue, and get excited about the value your solution has provided to, not only yourself but to others, thus far. Showing your success can inspire the customer and lead them to seek the same solution you pursued. This final section shouldn’t be an ending, however, but more of a path toward perseverance and bright beginnings.
Following this framework, you should be able to create a formidable story, but not for your brand. The story you tell should be solely for your customers and the value they receive from engaging with your product or service.
With over 5.3 trillion ads shown online each year, people have become extremely keen at detecting companies that aren’t genuine. Within your company’s story, establish a set of core values that stand as the bread-and-butter for everything your company strives to be for its customers. That way, you know exactly who your audience is and what it is they’re looking for. Just be sure to be as clear as possible when creating your company’s mission and vision statements.
A great example of a company that does this is Microsoft. Microsoft has established a clear set of goals for both their mission & vision statements and have tied it into nearly everything they’ve created along the way. They even have a Microsoft Stories Platform that showcases Microsoft’s latest stories surrounding their overall mission of “empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Crafting a story is critical when it comes to portraying your organization’s goals and motivations, and with the competition of today, differentiating your company from the rest through storytelling could be the deciding factor for whether a customer chooses you or the other guys.
2. Improve user experience
For a website, design easily remains the most important facet for customer engagement and retention. A research report by Stanford University showed that about 46.1% of people saying that a website’s design is the top criteria for deciding if a company is credible or not. That being said, it is vital that your website has a professional design to create website credibility for your company.
Let’s look at some ways you can refine the overall design of your website:
This simple law states that the time it takes for an individual to make a decision is directly proportionate to the possible choices he or she has. In other words, the more options placed in front of a customer, the longer it will take them to make a final decision. In a study by psychologists Mark Lepper and Sheena Iyengar, Hick’s Law was utilized to show that customers presented with 24 types of jam took a much longer time selecting which type of jam they wanted compared to those presented with six types of jam. Although you probably aren’t selling jam, this study shows what can happen to your customer if too much content is crammed into one area.
With this considered, do your best to keep the information on your landing pages simple, legible, and rich. A simple page will do a much better job at grabbing a user’s attention and boosting conversion rates.
Rule of Thirds
A popular photography principle, the Rule of Thirds is a principle frequently used within website design. With the Rule of Thirds, you can visually divide a web page into 9 equal sections, like so:
For the Rule of Thirds, the points of intersection are considered points of interest and naturally generate more impact within a composition. Some companies utilize this law in order to refine their content and to generate more impact from specific elements within their website.
Respect Your Users’ Patience
If you were visiting a website, how would you feel if a landing page took a bit too long to load? Or what about if you had to navigate your way through four different sections just to find that one specific article you’ve been searching for? Annoying, right?
Make your most important and sought-after content linked through the homepage and/or the main navigation. The idea is that you want users to find the information they’re seeking in as few clicks as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing their attention and therefore, their business.
Page load times are also crucial when it comes to your website, with a study showing that a minuscule one-second interruption can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions. Optimizing your page’s load times is essential when it comes to building a cohesive, responsive web experience for your visitors.
Here are some tools we think will help you get a sense of how fast your pages are loading:
Optimizing your company’s page load times will not only make your website more appealing to visitors, but it will also make your visitors happier, and thus more inclined to return to your website.
Consider an F-Layout
Like the Rule of Thirds, the F-Layout is another popular layout utilized within website design. However, unlike the Rule of Thirds, the F-Layout doesn’t utilize an invisible grid or specified points of interest but relies more on a visitor’s natural behavior when browsing a web page.
Think about how people have been reading their entire lives — left to right, top to bottom. If you look at a heatmap of where a user’s eyes land upon visiting a web page, the same left to right, top to bottom layout of information can be observed.
Take a look at the heatmap of this web page that employs the F-Layout for their content:
If you’re looking to redo the layout of all the content within your site, maybe the F-Layout is for you.
Utilize High-Quality Images
For me, one of the single most important things within a website is image quality. With 60% of users being more likely to consider search results attached to images, the importance of pictures within your website should be fairly clear. Not all images are equal however, and you should have some idea as to what images will have the greatest effect on your conversion rates.
When it comes to pictures, high quality is the single most important driving factor for engagement. Research shows that utilizing high quality, individualized photographs can lead to an average of 94% more views and doing this is easier than ever with resources like Unsplash, Pexels, Gratisography, Negative Space, and appropriately named, Death to Stock. Pikwizard is another excellent free stock photography site and features great images of people.
Using the right images within your website can be a massive factor when it comes to optimizing conversion rates, so be sure to double-check your current images and replace them as needed.
3. Optimize your landing pages
Bringing customers to your landing pages is one thing, but getting them to take action is something else entirely. You may also find that some of your secondary web page’s bounce rates are higher than that of your homepage or primary pages.
So how can you optimize your overall bounce rates and get more visitors to take action with your website?
Adding facets like CTAs, forms, testimonials, and case studies is absolutely vital for generating leads through your website. However, you need to make sure these are easily found throughout your website. After all, your customers came to your website for a reason — so give them what they came for!
Let’s take a look at some of the key ingredients you can add to your webpages:
Add Lead Capture Forms
Have you ever encountered a contact form on a website that has seemingly endless fields to fill out? Or the opposite: a form that has virtually no fields to complete?
Regardless of whether it’s too short, or too long, a website’s contact form is an important piece for lead generation, security, and user convenience. The question remains, however – does a form with fewer fields yield better conversion rates than a form with more fields?
Generally speaking, a form with fewer fields yields higher conversion rates than its counterpart, simply due to the fact that it’s much faster to fill out. However, this is not always the case. In a case study from ConversionXL, Michael Aagaard of Unbounce tested whether a form with fewer fields performed better than a form with more fields. When he reduced the number of fields from about nine to six, he found an astounding result: a 14% drop in conversions. He then stated, “I removed all the fields that people actually want to interact with and only left the crappy ones they don’t want to interact with.”
When it comes to forms, you should evaluate the goals you want your website to achieve before deciding whether you want to add a short form or a long form. And regardless as to whether it’s short or long, forms can prove to be a very important piece of your website, so be sure to add them where necessary.
Display Real Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are an incredible resource for word of mouth marketing, and building your brand’s credibility & reputation. In fact, an article from BigCommerce said that 74% of consumers identified word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. So although technology is taking over, people still inherently rely on the validation of other people your company has served; and what better way to show your customer’s happiness then displaying it right on your website?
This goes back to a topic we discussed earlier (Be Genuine), and how customers can easily distinguish whether a company is authentic or not. If you don’t have any testimonials on your website, you immediately strip the social proof from your company and sense of security from the visitor. Now imagine if someone logged onto your site and saw a testimonial from someone like Ray Kurzweil or Bill Gates front and center on your website. You would immediately witness a massive spike in visitor interaction, and for good reason.
Overall gathering and displaying testimonials on your website is a huge part of creating trust for any of your visitors.
Show Off Trust Indicators
When it comes to making an overall decision, your customer wants to know they can trust you as much as possible. Testimonials do a great job at this, but there are plenty of other ways you can show your trustworthy on your website.
Showing off client and partner logos is a fantastic way to visually display your company’s social proof. People will recognize larger brands right away, so imagine if they were to see one of their logos within your site. Even in the case of smaller brands, visitors may be pleasantly surprised by some of the clients and partners you’re displaying on your website.
Adding an awards showcase within your website is also another way for your brand to develop trust amongst consumers. Awards help display your company’s expertise and recognition received from other industry leaders.
Trust is obviously something you want your visitors to develop when they visit your website, so be sure to do your part and show them they can do exactly that.
A call-to-action, or CTA, is your company’s chance to get a visitor to take real action when visiting your website. These are an extremely effective lead generation tool too, and when it comes to components that need to be on your website, CTAs are among the most important. There are a vast amount of calls-to-action as well, and you can deploy them anywhere you want your visitors to take further action.
Some common CTAs are as follows:
Button Samples: Contact Us, Request Info, Request a Quote, Schedule a Demo, Schedule an Appointment, etc.
For many B2B company websites, buttons are the go-to when it comes to CTAs. although they may seem like a small addition to your website, buttons can have a huge impact when it comes to boosting conversion rates. Buttons can include a range functions too, like social media sharing, new member sign up initiation, subscription completion, and many more. Some other typical buttons are “learn more” and “read more” buttons, which are fantastic methods of customer retention.
Be sure to make these buttons easily visible so users can easily find them too! Give them high levels of contrast, that way users can effortlessly locate the buttons. Check out how easy it is to spot the call-to-action buttons in the photo below.
Add to Cart, Buy Now
If you have any products on your website, adding a cart for your customers can give your business that little push into the e-commerce world. An add to cart CTA allows customers to take a virtual shopping trip on your website right from their laptop, tablet, or mobile device, which creates a sense of convenience for shoppers.
Adding a wishlist function could make the shopping cart an even more enticing component for shoppers too, but don’t go overboard! Whether it be the cluttered cart landing page or just a mere 1-second distraction, people have a tendency to abandon their carts in the purchasing process. With this being said, make your cart page checkout as simple as possible.
Make sure your website is linked on social media profiles
As social media rises, so too does the necessity of its use across multiple platforms. We’re all aware of the magnitude of social media, but you’d be surprised to find that some people still haven’t connected their company. Having your social media platforms incorporated within your web page helps lead visitors to your social pages, which can, in turn, increase the connection and credibility you have amongst your customers.
You can include these with simple social media buttons placed in strategic spots throughout your website, or you can feature recent & important posts on the homepage.
Clearly, your company’s website is a huge tool for your marketing efforts, but are you using it correctly? We can ensure you do, so don’t hesitate to contact us at Eri Design!