Website Development Best Practices
Many people think of web lead generation in a limited way. They create landing pages for campaigns, and order pages for products. But why not optimize every sub-page on your website for lead generation? Here are six things you can do to improve website lead generation and ROI.
First, make sure all elements of the page support lead generation. A three-column format is excellent for this purpose. Use the left-hand column for sub-navigation, making it easy for visitors to find more information. The right-hand column is a good place for calls to action and offers. The middle column holds the main content. Use the bottom of the page or one of the columns to include a call to action, such as “Learn more about our services by calling 555-555-1212 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs.”
Second, make sure you appeal to the various types of visitors. Some people are just browsing and don’t have a specific need, so give them fresh content with links that might keep them interested. Some will be “tentative shoppers,” mostly in educational mode. You may be able to convert them into qualified opportunities, so provide links to case studies to keep them involved and ask them to provide a little information in return, like their email address.
Then there are the need shoppers, who may be ready to buy. Because they’re hungry to learn, offer them valuable content while capturing their information. Give them links to content like e-newsletter subscriptions, whiter paper downloads and demos. Then, ask them to fill out a brief form before accessing the material. Just make sure it’s a fair trade, meaning the material you give must equal or exceed the hassle of filling out forms. For the “ready to buy” visitors, make sure your contact information is visible.
Third, use your keywords strategically. Place a primary keyword in important locations, such as in the page title, copy headings, body copy, and URL. The primary keyword should also appear early in the first paragraph, where organic search engines give it a higher ranking.
Fourth, find sites to link into your page and send you visitors. Ideally, you want links from websites that are relevant to your business, get more traffic than yours, or are better optimized than yours (i.e., have a higher Google Page Rank). Be sure these external websites use one of your keywords as the link “anchor text” (rather than just your company name). This will make the link more “relevant” and make your content score higher in organic search results.
Fifth, keep your page content updated and fresh. This gives the search engines reason to continuously spider your site, increasing the odds your site will be indexed. Fresh content also gives your target market a reason to return to your website. You should consider investing in a content management system (CMS) so you can easily update copy, graphics and links, without any programming at all.
Sixth, continuously work to improve your page. A Web analytics package, such as the free Google Analytics, can give you a wealth of information such as which keywords are used to find your site, average length of time spent on each page, and bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave after seeing only one page). You can then use this information to fine-tune and improve your page.
Every page in your website can be a vehicle for capturing a lead, moving a visitor further along on the sales cycle, or even closing a sale. By making lead generation a primary goal of your website as you consider layout, content and links, you can turn nearly every sub-page on your site into a lead-generating machine.