Believe it or not, generating leads in digital marketing environment, through your website is not as difficult as most would think. Heck, if one-man companies can do it, so can you! But at the same time, it's not as simple as just casually leaving a Contact Us button on every webpage.
The Prequel: Lets talk about the Lead Generation Process
(Yes, I made a prequel because apparently, they're are fashionable now)
To start, let's first understand the process of lead generation. What turns a website visitor into a lead? Let's take a look:
- A prospect searches online and comes across your website in his search results
- The visitor views your website and sees a relevant content offer such as a free e-book or even a template.
- The prospect sees the call-to-action button (CTA) that says “Download for Free Now”.
- After the click, they are directed to a landing page with a form which collects their name, email and other vital marketing information.
- After completing and submitting the form they can finally download the content and become enrolled as a lead that has the potential to be a customer.
This process is the heart of website lead generation. Now, we're on the same page, lets get rolling!
1. Assess your lead generation state
Knowing where you are in your lead generation state is the first step. It allows your to have your first benchmark so you can track success and know where improvement is needed.
If you've been running your website for some time, compute the number of contacts it has produced in a month either through people contacting you through your contact us page or those emailing you from your email address in your website. Compare that with the number of site visits. This is your entire website's visits-to-contacts rate. So lets say you have 1000 visits this month that produced 2 contacts or leads. This means your visits-to-contacts rate is 0.2%.
If you have individual landing pages, you can also compare landing pages that are doing well with those that aren't. Let's say that you get 100 visits in Landing Page A, and 3 of those people filled out the form and converted into leads. For Page A, you would have a 3% conversion rate. Let's say you have another landing page, Page B, that gets 5 visitors to convert to leads for every 100 visits. That's a 5% conversion rate which is great! After this, the next steps could be to see how Page A differs from Page B, and optimize Page A accordingly.
You could also try creating internal reports. Evaluate landing page visits, call-to-action clicks, and page shares to determine which offers are performing the best, and then create more pages like them.
2. Get search engine optimized!
Remember the first step of the lead gen process? About being found online? Well, to be found online is a challenge on its own. You need to make sure that the text within your website uses "keywords" that are used by your target customers to find your services or products online. I would suggest reading our 15 minutes guide to SEO before continuing.
Keywords must be used at least 1-5 times within your page's body, once in the page title, the URL and the alt-text of one of the first images in the page.
One tool you can use to check if your pages are optimized for searches is Internet Marketing Ninja's On-Page Optimization Analysis Tool. It will allow you to see if your target keywords appear on your page.
There are also more professional tools such as HubSpot's SEO and Keyword Tools which allow you to identify and include the right keywords on each page. Take a look at the snapshot below:
3. Optimize each step of the lead gen process
If your visitor searched "Paris tours" and ended up on a blog post of yours called, "5 Must-Do Tours in Paris," then you'd better not link that blog post to a content offer about ski trips. Make sure your content offers are related to the page they're on so you can capitalize on the visitors' interest in a particular subject.
As soon as a visitor lands on your page, you can start learning about their "conversion path". This path starts when a visitor visits your site, and ends with them filling out a form and becoming a lead. However, a visitor's path doesn't always end with the desired goal. When that happens, its time to optimize the conversion path.
One way you can optimize is to run an A/B test which makes two versions of a landing page using Unbounce to see which tactics were getting better results on each page. Changes could range from changing a link within a button to adding or removing fields from a form or modifying the layout of a page.
When running A/B tests on a landing page, be sure to focus on the three key parts of the lead gen process:
Use contrasting colors from your site and keep it simple. Try using a tool like Canva to create attractive image calls-to-action for free.
If you can, you should definitely look at having dynamic, personalized calls-to-action that change themselves based on the attributes of your visitor.
Personalized calls-to-action convert up to 42% more visitors than static calls-to-action. Basically, dynamic content and on-page personalization helps you generate more leads. To get dynamic content (or "smart content") on your site, you need to use a tool like HubSpot's Content Optimization System.
b) The Landing Pages
According to a HubSpot survey, websites with more than 30 landing pages produced up to 7 times more leads than websites with only 1 to 5 landing pages.
c) The Thank-You Pages
It's not all about the landing pages when it comes to lead gen. Thank-you pages, where visitors are led to once they submit a form on the landing page and convert into a lead, also play an important role.
Aside from saying thanks, include a link for your new lead to actually download the offer on your thank-you page. You can also include social sharing buttons and even a form for another related offer, as in the example below:
Bonus Attack: Hit them with a Kickback Email
After a visitor converts to a lead and their information is saved in your database, you can send them a kickback email (basically a "thank you" email).
According to a study of HubSpot, thank you emails double the engagement rates (opens and internal email clicks) of marketing emails. Use thank you emails as a way to include super-specific calls-to-action and encourage sharing on email and social media.
4) TEST AND ANALYZE
For as long as you are doing lead generation, you should be continuously performing A/B testing to improve your click-through rates. This is especially because there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution that everyone can just follow. You have to see which CTA messages, page layouts, images work for your audience.
When doing A/B testing, you need to be testing ONLY ONE different attribute with each other to ensure the integrity of your test. So for example, you can't have 3 major differences in in each page version. If you're testing out the effectiveness of a CTA, then that should be the only difference between the two versions.
5) NURTURE LEADS
Leads don't just suddenly turn to customers. They need to be nurtured towards that goal.
The leads that you generate need to go into an automated series or set of nurturing emails called "workflow". One free tool that allows you to make workflows is Mailchimp. Just create the automated series of emails, set the time intervals, enroll your new leads and the workflow will do the rest.
What you put in the emails should be valuable pieces of content - either blogs, ebooks, free webinars etc, that match their interest. As you nurture them, you can learn more about their preferences and tailor the content accordingly. Take a look at an example below:
The email offers the recipient a piece of content, guides them down the funnel, and gets to the point. Forrester Research found that companies who nurture their leads see up to 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost than their counterparts that don't nurture.
So now it's time to get to work!
Ready to learn more? Why not level-up your knowledge about generating leads? We made a free Inbound Marketing Team Starter Pack which contains basic and advanced inbound marketing ebooks, guides, reports and templates; basically hundreds of dollars worth consulting value all for you. Download now!