Your website is the hub of your online marketing - it's your shopfront, your salesman, your identity on the web.
Ideally your website isn't just sitting there doing nothing, it's generating leads for your business. So how can you increase the number of leads it brings in?
#1 Start with the basics
Make sure your phone number is on every page - make it as easy as possible for visitors to get in touch with you. In fact, to make it even easier, you could put a form on every page. Don't make a visitor spend extra time or effort trying to find out how to contact you - give them the opportunity to get in touch as soon as they want.
Fix broken links, missing images, or lacklustre content. It's always harder to convert prospects when they're put off by your website, and when you miss things like that, you're demonstrating a lack of care and attention that makes people wonder if that's how you run your business or treat your clients.
#2 Review and plan
Once you've got the basics in place, you need to make a plan. Using all the tricks in this post won't get you very far if you haven't got some sort of strategy in place.
Review the analytics for your site and identify what's working right now. Use a heatmapping tool to see where people are clicking and how far down
your pages they scroll - this will be particularly useful when you come on to some of the next tips.
Return to your personas. Work out what is important to them, what they need, what they might be looking for, and what they actually want. Keep this at the front of your mind.
#3 Implement CTAs
Calls to action (CTAs) are your way of guiding your visitor from one page to the next action you want them to take. You can direct them to get in touch, download some content, sign up to your newsletter, register for an event, or anything else you want them to do.
Use clear CTAs throughout your site - clear both in terms of what they say (setting out the action and what the visitor will get out of it) and in their visual appearance. Use contrasting colours or striking images to ensure they stand out from the rest of your copy.
Look back at your heatmapping data and place your CTAs in areas you know get attention. If most of your visitors only scroll halfway down a page, there's no point putting a CTA at the very bottom.
#4 Include social proof and trust signals
Consumers like to know what other people think - we look to reviews before making a purchase decision. Your website needs to provide that social proof, so that your visitors don't leave and find the information elsewhere. Share case studies, examples, and customer testimonials.
Research shows that testimonials that include an image of the person are generally found to be more trustworthy, so include customer images where you can. Don't use fake or stock photos though - people will see through it.
If you use any kind of external review site, or you have Google+, Yelp, or Facebook reviews, link these to your site too. External reviews may be perceived to be more believeable buy readers.
#5 Use popups - really
You know those popups that appear after you've spent a lot of time on a page, or when you move your mouse to the toolbar to close the page? Start using them on your site to generate more leads.
Yes, the use of popups can be a contetious issue - plenty of people say they hate them. So why would we recommend them?
Ultimately it's because they work. SumoMe found that the top popups average a 9.28% conversion rate - far greater than similar CTAs placed in sidebars. That's a conversion rate not to be sniffed at, so it's worth trying. But don't blindly add popups to everything - user experience is still vital.
#6 Include various types of content
Using different forms of content allows you to engage with more of your visitors - people prefer to consume information in different ways, so including a variety of approaches is the best way to expand your appeal.
Obviously you'll have text content, but visual content is hugely important too - images and infographics provide information in a way that's easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to share. Video content appeals to people who don't want to read reams of text, though you should be careful to make them relevant and snappy.
#7 Test, refine, then test again
Testing your website, especially when you make changes, is a vital component in improving its lead generation capabilities.
A/B Split testing (showing different versions of your website to visitors) is great for assessing different approaches, like your CTAs. Start with one change - the button colour, for example - and test that for a little while. Once you've found that, say, the green button has a higher conversion rate than the blue one, implement a green button and test having it in different positions on your page.
You can split test anything - CTAs, images, forms, headlines... See what works, tweak it a little, and test it again. You may only see small improvements, but those incremental improvements all add up.