Just having a website isn’t enough to make it successful. It’s important to think strategically about your site to make sure it’s built to drive conversions and generate leads. Your website should be a vehicle that allows you to convert prospective visitors into interested leads who will later become customers and advocates for the products and services that you sell.
Here, we will outline the top five ways to turn your website into a data-driven, lead-conversion machine.
1. Optimize your site for lead conversion.
Before you commit to a web design, it’s important to test your pages to see which ones yield higher conversion rates. There are many businesses that opt to build a professional-looking website but fail to focus on the conversion elements. It’s important to test multiple design layouts to identify the number of conversions, site engagement, and bounce rate. Taking the time to pinpoint what elements of your website resonate with your potential leads at the beginning can earn your business thousands or millions of dollars in revenue over the long term.
The key to conversion rate optimization is to strategically place clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTA) around the website. While you’re at it, rather than just setting up a bunch of CTAs, try to experiment by A/B testing different colors, keywords, and offers. That way you will continuously learn what messages and design elements appeal to your target audience the most.
Online experimentation and testing platforms like Optimizely allow digital marketers to deploy A/B testing experiments across the entire customer experience. A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a web page, landing page, or app against each other to determine which one performs better. A/B testing is essentially an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a pre-defined desired action.
In addition to A/B testing, multivariate testing is a technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations. Websites and mobile apps are made of combinations of changeable elements. A multivariate test will change multiple elements, like changing a picture and headline at the same time. Three variations of the image and two variations of the headline are combined to create six versions of the content, which are tested concurrently to find the winning variation.
Testing allows website owners to make careful changes to their user experiences while collecting data on the results. This allows them to construct hypotheses, and to learn better why certain elements of their experiences impact user behavior.
Feel free to check out our recent blog post entitled Top 5 Signs your Website is Underperforming at Generating Leads, which takes a deeper dive into the importance of a strong CTA.
2. Integrate your CRM with marketing automation software
Customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software are powerful tools that, when integrated, can be a game changer for your sales funnel. Marketing automation tools from vendors like HubSpot, Pardot, and Eloqua are an important asset to any inbound marketing strategy and can give you a far more intimate look at your customers and prospects in hopes of better understanding their online behavior and motivations. By setting up a token, or alert, you can capture insightful data from website traffic, letting you know how visitors reached your site, which pages they visited, the duration of those visits, what buttons they clicked, and much more.
This data can prove quite valuable if integrated with your CRM software. Accessing these data sets can give your sales team a whole new level of insight into buyers’ actions, interests, and pain points, making conversations with potential customers easier to initiate and navigate. And, once captured, these leads can be nurtured through automated email marketing campaigns that serve to shepherd the prospect along in the sales cycle.
3. Offer valuable content for website visitors.
Getting new visitors to your website to register their interest in your products or services starts by having content that offers them something of value. The old adage, “content is king,” could not ring more true than it does for quality website content. Good content is what sets your website apart from your competitors and, arguably, all other components of your website (design, visuals, videos, etc.) take a secondary support role. The key to a successful website is having clear, relevant, and keyword-rich content that delivers the right message with power and conviction. The content on your website should target your audience, engage them, and persuade them to take action.
Taking the time to invest in well-researched content with a style and voice that reflects your brand and speaks to your target audience will not only boost your lead generation efforts but it will also increase the number of people who find your website through search engines. Most search engines build an index based on crawling, which is the process through which engines like Google, Yahoo, and others find new pages to index. Content, especially good content, is one of the most important elements for SEO because it tells search engines that your website is relevant. Moreover, good content is shared and other sites link back to it, which is another quality that carries weight with search engine algorithms.
Effective content marketing doesn’t always come in the form of web copy. Alternate content, including blogs, eBooks, white papers, case studies, testimonials, infographics, and even videos are changing the way important messages are communicated. Website visitors expect to get the information they need without much in the way of effort. Providing different mediums for delivering content, at different stages of the sales funnel, is a great way to engage audiences and drive important messages in a format that requires less effort than reading large amounts of text.
4. Develop a lead scoring system
A lead scoring system prioritizes leads based on specific criteria (e.g., the level of engagement a lead has with your website or brand assets) and determines how likely a lead is to purchase from you. Once you set up the system, you will be able to develop sales strategies that target and nurture leads based on their assigned value. You can award points for specific actions that a prospect completes on your site, such as visiting certain pages, filling out a form, and/or demographic attributes like job title or industry. When scores accumulate over a certain period of time, they reach a key threshold, at which point they become marketing qualified lead (MQL). With more additional follow-up and nurturing, prospects will reach another key threshold: sales qualified lead (SQL). It’s at this time that prospects are turned over to the sales team for direct engagement and closing.
5. Implement retargeting tags.
Later, when your cookied visitors browse the web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served to only to people who have previously visited your site. Implementing retargeting tags in the code of your website is an easy way to promote your site’s content, products or services offering across different ad networks. It’s easier and cheaper to retarget a visitor that has been on your site before than to promote and convert a brand new visitor.
While it’s rare for a new visitor to make a purchase on their first visit to your website, there are elements you can add to your site to increase the likelihood that first-time visitors don’t leave without taking some kind of action that will help strengthen your sales pipeline.
When a visitor accesses your website, it’s important to make sure that every page of the site pushes users toward the end goal of moving them along in the sales journey. The information you’re able to capture early on will allow you to nurture leads through the sales funnel until they’re ready to buy. Using these website lead generation tactics, you can take advantage of every opportunity of converting more visitors into leads into your sales funnel.