Search Google. Really, search it for anything. A house—there is a website for that. A person—there is a website for them. An idea—yep, there is a website for that too. In fact, just about anything typed into that little search box will pull up thousands, if not millions, of possible websites that relate. And this is the problem haunting most businesses. There is an abundance of competition. If someone searches for a service or product that we offer, all of our competitors pop up too. They may visit our website to get an idea of what we offer, but they will likely close the window, think about it, and go back to Google later when they have made the decision to purchase.
It is for this reason that capturing that individual the first time they visit our website is a good idea. If we know someone is interested in our services, we can get information on that individual and begin a conversation. We can show them what we have to offer and help them through the sales funnel. The trouble is in doing it effectively. Generating leads is not as simple as it sounds. It is an intricate dance and the following is how we optimize our website to make sure we get this dance right:
1. Evaluate Where We Are
The first step in optimization is understanding where we are. If we do not know how we are doing, how can we possibly know what can be improved? But knowing where we are is helpful to more than just improving, it also helps us benchmark ourselves so that we can track out progress and see if we are succeeding with any new implementations.
The first step is to self-evaluation. We do this by comparing our different landing pages. We look at the landing pages that are doing the best and we analyze them. We then look at the landing pages that are doing the worst and see what the biggest differences are. Then, we make changes to the worst ones and track their progress over the coming months. For additional self-evaluation, we run a few internal reports. These reports dive deep into everything from our page shares to our call-to-action clicks. Whichever ones are doing best, we duplicate and we throw out the bad ones.
And while we do go through and self-evaluate, we also like to get an outside opinion. One great tool that we love to use is Marketing Grader. It evaluates our landing pages, calls to action, and other lead generation sources and gives us an idea of how well they are doing compared to the best in the business.
2. Get The Basics Right
Sometimes we get so caught up in creating intriguing landing pages and calls to action that we lose ourselves. We forget the basics. This is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make.
If a potential customer wants to get more information or they want to ask a question, they need an easy way to get in contact with us. And that contact information should be obvious, not hidden and definitely not just not there. There should be a clearly marked contact page. Beyond that, the contact page should be extremely user-friendly. It is also best to give the potential lead options for contact. This might include a phone number, it might be an email, it may be a live chat, it could be a contact form, or it might be an office address. Ideally, it is best to provide at least two options. Some people prefer to talk over the phone and some people prefer to email—let them decide.
To make getting in contact even easier, having information on every page will make most visitors feel like we are more than happy for them to get in touch with us. And an extra little tip: whichever way potential leads contact us, we make sure to get their details. This is easy to do with an email, contact form, or live chat option; with a phone number, we like to enable our phone system to comprehensively collect information, too.
Oh, and when it comes to providing an address, we never forget that. This is especially important for brick and mortar business. Google found that 80% of consumers want local information when they use search engines, 50% of individuals who search for a local business visit that business on the same day and nearly 20% of local searches on smartphones lead to a same-day purchase.
3. A Lead Is More Than Just Data
When we get a lead, we are excited. But we know that getting the lead is only the beginning of the process. We must nurture that lead. So as soon as we get contact information, a lead goes directly into our present workflow. We send them content that they will be interested in. We stay in touch. We remind them that we are still here and we have amazing services and products that they should not miss out on. Forrester Research has shown that nurtured leads are 50% more likely to make a purchase. And, when a lead is nurtured correctly, it costs the business 33% less to get them all the way through the sales funnel. Not a bad deal.
Optimizing a website is not difficult. However, it does take time, thought, and a little bit of jiggering around. We rarely get it right the first time, but once we do get it right it really pays off.