You’ve heard it a hundred times before: In the 21st century, your website ought to be your best salesperson. This is a must today, as every competitive brand needs a sharp, results-oriented site to generate more leads. Just because you have a good-looking website doesn’t mean it’s effective at bringing in leads. So, how do your turn your site into a lead-generation machine?
It’s easier than you may suspect, and the key lies in site optimization. Essentially, it’s making sure that several factors that help leads find you and then induce them to contact you are in place and working well.
Here’s how you can turn any site into a lead-generation powerhouse.
It All Starts with Keyword Optimization
Quick refresher: Keywords are those industry-specific words and phrases that your customers type into search engines like Google to find solutions to their problems (and hopefully your challenger brand site, too). For instance, a company looking to buy office supplies for the workplace could type in search terms like “paper clips,” “toners” or “print cartridges” into Google. A customer looking for a new jacket could type in terms like “winter jacket” or “summer jacket” into Google.
If your brand has mastered keyword optimization, then there’s a good chance your site will rank highly and maybe even on the first Google search engine results page (SERP) for said keyword. That ensures your leads can find you because the more likely your site is to rank on the first or second SERP, the more likely it is leads will click on your site and eventually become customers.
Mastering keyword optimization requires understanding your customers intimately, researching what search terms they’re likeliest to use, and intelligently placing these keywords in on-page elements. Elements include things like your title tag, the content itself, links, the meta description, images, page title, URL and headlines.
Learn more about nailing keyword optimization through these ultra-helpful links:
- A Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page Optimization
- How to Optimize for Keywords in 2015
- Keyword Optimization: Why Optimizing for the Right Keywords Is Do or Die
Then Comes the Information Architecture
Once your leads can actually find your site because you’ve done a smashing job with your keywords, then your site has to be organized and laid out in such a way to promote the most efficient possible consumption of information by your site visitors. This is what a site’s information architecture is all about.
It’s making sure that you streamline the user flows of site visitors so that they find exactly what they’re looking for on your site in an orderly way that makes sense. If this sounds a tad complicated, it’s really not, as you’ll soon find out.
Suppose that your brand site sells many different types of electronics. A key aspect of information architecture is presenting this information so that it helps a site visitor’s user experience, not hinders it. Therefore, you wouldn’t be splashing all the various choices of electronics right on the homepage, which would be the first thing a visitor would see. He’d likely be overwhelmed by it.
Instead, successful information architecture calls for great navigation that enables visitors to find the different categories of electronics on your site quickly and efficiently. This could mean having the traditional navigation menu on top of the homepage with dropdowns opening up additional layers of navigation to every category, mega-sized images of various product categories splashed on the homepage with links going to each category, or maybe a combination of both.
You’ll have to decide what improves the user flow of getting your visitors to take action (read: contacting you or buying something directly) on your site.
For all this brilliant structure that takes into consideration both organization and user behavior, it’s nothing without keeping your site constantly updated with fresh content.
Constant Fresh Content to Attain Expert Status
The benefit of having fresh content on your site is twofold. First, it helps you with basic SEO and SERP rankings, as Google tends to reward sites that regularly put up new content. Second, it lets your brand slowly but surely position itself as an expert in your industry, no matter what industry you’re in. What’s the best way to constantly put up fresh content on your site? Blogging, of course, just like what we’re doing with the blog you’re reading now.
When you have a business blog, you commit to updating it regularly—otherwise, it won’t have the twofold effect discussed above. Perhaps the biggest mistake that companies and businesses do is to publish a blog post…and then forget about the blog for one or two months. That’s a huge error that should be avoided at all costs.
The research is quite clear on blogging frequency: It’s a best practice to publish at least as many as four blog posts per week. Less than that—say, a few times a month or going months without a blog post—is too inconsistent to pull in and retain an audience. Since you’ve already gone to the trouble of keyword optimization to make your site rank higher in the SERPs, you need to provide your site visitors with fresh, regularly updated and high-quality content that allows you to retain them as an audience.
Once you’ve retained these visitors, your brand may in time attain thought-leadership status, if you keep up with publishing high-quality content they can’t get anywhere else.
Making It Easy to Get in Touch with You
The last thing your site needs to be a lead-generation machine is to make it super-easy for leads to contact you. This may seem pretty obvious, but some brands’ sites don’t make it easy for people to get in touch with them. To move leads down the sales funnel until they become customers or clients, you’ll need to prominently display your brand’s contact info as a trust signal. Leads generally won’t do business with you if your site looks sketchy.
That’s why it’s vital to show your contact info as obviously as possible. When your leads are ready to ask for more details in the long sales funnel of eventually buying from you or hiring you, there needs to be as little friction as possible.
Therefore, I recommend that you put your challenger brand’s phone number in the header or footer of not just your homepage, but of every page. There should also be a dedicated “contact us” page on your site, so that your leads know exactly who you are and how and when they can reach you, which does wonders for your brand credibility!
Make Your Site Your Best Salesperson
Follow these steps, and you’ll have a site that will soon be your best salesperson. It’ll be an automated, self-contained entity that brings leads right to your doorstep. You won’t have to do much more than be available to return contact requests and keep publishing high-quality content on your blog.
Not every challenger brand has a site that’s a lead-generation machine, which is a pity. Having a site that fires on all cylinders like this means that there’s a process in place to bring leads to you even if you’re asleep, on vacation, on the road or busy at work. That’s definitely something to make a high priority.