If having a website is an essential of modern business, why do so few make a measurable contribution to results?
It's a common consensus that a website is an absolute must for doing business. If this is the case, why are the vast majority of B2B websites little more than expensive online brochures? Why do so many business owners look the other way when their website produces no measureable input to the achievement of company objectives?
If this sounds like you and your website, never fear, there are things that you can easily do to start the process of turning your website from a digital brochure into a lead generating machine.
What does it take to generate online leads?
Generating leads from your website relies on three things:
Getting found by prospects
Engaging their interest
Converting them into leads
The best method for getting found by a large number of high quality prospects is to appear in a large number of organic search results.
These days, the key to appearing in a large number of desirable search results is the creation of fresh, unique online content that aligns with potential buyers' pain points and, thus, search behaviour.
When you create quality content, your site will receive more and more organic traffic. This additional content and any inbound links it earns can also help your main site rank more highly for its target (and more competitive) keywords.
To ensure that you gain the full traffic benefits you are due, you need to search engine optimise all your pages and content. Without content, SEO alone can no longer offer you big gains, but together they are very powerful.
Engaging visitors is a two-step process of making the right first impression and then presenting information that is of interest to them.
Making the right first impression is essential to keep desirable visitors on your site. It's not unusual for even good sites to have bounce rates around 50%, so every additional visitor that stays on your site is valuable. Unfortunately for you, website visitors make snap judgements based on a range of factors:
Quality - how credible is this company based on their appearance
Clarity - how clear is it that this company offers what I am looking for
Usability - how easy is it to go forward, if I want to
It makes sense then to invest in a website that meets modern standards both functionally and aesthetically. The truth is, however, that you don’t need to spend the earth to achieve this. Many companies thrive with template-based websites.
Once you are over the first impression hurdle, there is another one to clear.
The majority of visitors to your site will probably be new visitors, the vast majority of them not actually looking to make a purchase. Therefore, information about your company or its products have only very limited appeal to the majority of them - most are too early in the buying process.
The only reliable solution is to offer information or content that helps your prospect, rather than sells to them.
Converting visitors to leads
When your website starts converting anonymous visitors into known contacts, its starts generating leads for your business - a step change in the value of your website.
Converting a visitor into a contacts requires them to fill in a form. If the only form on your website is the contact form, don’t expect to get leads. These seem to have a deterrent effect on visitors and, when they are the only form, they are rarely completed.
Create more opportunities to convert visitors to leads by creating more forms - think about offering pricing, demos, free trials or valuable content in return for contact details.