Your small business website is not only a way for potential customers to learn more about your business, but also an opportunity to continue marketing your business and capturing more potential customers (aka leads). Many small business owners still have static, under-performing websites that are basically digital versions of a brochure (aka “brochureware”). The truth is, failing to optimize your business website for lead generation is a missed opportunity to leverage your website to grow your business. Here are three ways to transform your website from static brochureware to a customer-attracting marketing tool.
Related: The 5-Step Guide to Creating Killer Website Content (free eBook)
The first thing to do to get more leads from your website is to add a blog to it. Many small business owners find the idea of blogging on a regular basis to be daunting, but it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially once you get into a rhythm.
Look at blogging no as a chore, but as a great opportunity to educate potential customers more about your industry and tell them more about your business. You’re in this business to help people, right? Well, helping them before they are customers is one of the best ways to convert them into customers.
Blogging is one of the most effective ways to consistently add fresh content to your website, which will improve your search engine rankings. Simply stated, the more you write, the more website traffic you will generate. The more traffic you have to your website, that stays on your website, the more Google will recognize you as a source that can be trusted. If Google trusts you, then your target audience will trust you too.
It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but the best way to generate leads from your blog is essentially by indirectly attracting them. As such, avoid writing exclusively about your own business. Provide news about your industry, and offer insight into your customers’ problems without being overly sales-driven.
Your customers will appreciate the free source of industry knowledge without a sale being constantly pushed on them. People won’t ever become customers because you asked them to; they become customers because they decided on their own that it’s the right choice for them. Being a trusted source of information while giving them space to make decisions is the key to lead generation.
You may have many potential customers visiting your website, but what does that matter if you don’t even know it? The key to converting website visitors into leads is by capturing their contact information so that you can further engage with them.
One section that almost every small business website has that can easily be converted into a lead capture form is the “contact us” page. Many small business owners use this page to provide their address, phone number, and an email address. The problem with this approach is that if anyone contacts you via these channels, you won’t have any information about how they found you. This is a common mistake and a missed opportunity to gather more information about the potential client perusing your website.
If your website visitor has made it to the contact us section, they’re very likely to become a customer in the future. Replace your email address with a contact form that requires their email address and captures other information so you can best serve them. Use a tracked phone number so you can know which calls are coming from this contact us page.
By taking these measures, you you can build a quality list of potential customers to contact in the near future, limit the amount of spam you receive in your inbox, and understand specifically which leads are coming from your website.
The contact us page isn’t the only place to put a lead capture form. There are many reasons for which a person will provide their contact information. It could be to obtain a free piece of content, to register for an event, to redeem a coupon, to get a free consultation, and more. You can (and should) use multiple lead capture forms on various pages for your website, from product/service pages to blog posts.
The point of capturing leads is to establish a relationship with a potential customer— not so that you can call or email and ask them to buy your product or service—but so that you can nurture those leads through email newsletters and other promotions, which provide valuable information or offers, and further familiarize them with your business.
The key to generating leads from your website is by offering something for which a person would be willing to provide their contact information to obtain.
Another common mistake when small business owners design their website is to go too heavy on the web design tool called Flash. Flash, as indicated by its name, is indeed flashy and visually pleasing. It’s basically an animated version of a brochure. However, what you may gain in wow factor you may lose in more important goals, such as getting to the first page of Google through search engine optimization (SEO).
Google uses the text of your website to define what you’re offering to your customers. When someone searches for a service, the keywords they type into Google are the means by which Google connects them to your website. What does all of this have to do with using Flash? Flash converts the text content of your website into an image which renders it invisible to Google and in turn your business invisible to a potential client that is searching for your services.
These three improvements to your website can significantly increase your website traffic and improve your ability to turn visitors into leads. Elevate your website from static and ineffective brochureware to an engine of growth for your business!