What you will learn: Ways to make your website better at generating sales leads.
Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership.
If your phones aren’t ringing and form submissions through your website are few and far between, the problem could be your website. Many companies fail to build the proper lead generation features into their websites, and as a result, they miss out on leads they could easily capture. Here are 10 of the biggest mistakes to avoid with your lead generation website.
1. Not Being Mobile-Friendly
This goes at the top of the list because a non-mobile-friendly website is a lead generation disaster. More people access the Internet from mobile devices than desktop computers, and the gap is widening. If your website delivers mobile users a bad experience, they will form a negative impression of your brand and are very unlikely to inquire. What’s needed is a responsive website design, i.e., one that automatically adjusts for optimum display on any size screen. If your website isn’t responsive, the time to convert is now.
2. Poor Contact Forms
“Contact Us” forms must be short and sweet. Companies frequently err by asking for too much information, requiring users to put too much effort into completing the form. What do most of these users do? Give up … and probably go to a competitor.
3. Improperly Placed Contact Forms
A great rule of thumb for lead generation websites: Don’t make me think. (By the way, read the book “Don’t Make Me Think” to really understand user behavior on your website.) If users have to hunt to find your contact form, again, they will give up and seek a competitor. The best place for links to contact forms are in main navigation and/or as text links periodically in the body copy, and/or in the footer — these are places users naturally look for contact links.
4. Incorrectly Placed Phone Number
The best quality leads are often phone-ins, so your phone number should always be quickly visible to users. Display it in the header in a way that stands out! Surprisingly, many companies miss this, burying the phone number as tiny text in the footer. Then, they wonder why they don’t get any phone leads!
5. Unpersuasive Copy
Users need a lot of motivation to phone in or submit a form. Usually, companies fail to appreciate this and write website content that is heavy on features, benefits and self-congratulatory statements rather than zero in on what problems they solve for customers. Great lead generation websites hit users over the head with “what’s in it for me” content — making them eager to learn more.
6. Too Much Copy
Along with the last point, strong lead generation copy doesn’t tell the whole story; rather, it tells just enough to make the user curious. Trying to tell too much of your story results in lengthy pages that confuse or bore prospects, or go completely unread. Regardless, these overly detailed pages become obstacles to lead generation. Companies must remember a lead generation is not meant to sell, only to generate the lead. It is a very important distinction.
7. Slow-Loading Pages
A website truly built for lead generation is built for speed. We all know how frustrating it is when trying to get information on a website where pages take forever to use. What do most people do? Exit and look elsewhere. Fast page loading is a function of skillful design and development: How hosting is set up, pages are programed, designs are created and implemented, and how images are handled all have tremendous bearing on loading speed.
8. Weak SEO Foundation
If you have an enormous brand following like Apple or Target, you may not need SEO for your website to generate leads. Though for the majority of companies that can’t rely on branded search to fill their online lead pipeline, having an SEO-friendly website is critical. Typical SEO-related website errors include poorly structured URLs, internal linking and worded navigation; lack of unique and keyword-optimized title tags and meta titles; no keyword optimization in the content, and too much keyword optimization in the content.
9. Poor Form and Phone Lead Tracking
Companies serious about website lead generation track form submissions and phone calls granularly, so they can tell the source of every lead. Think about it: If you don’t know whether that great lead came from a Google search, a Bing search, a paid Google ad or an email, how do you know which of your online marketing campaigns to invest in more/less, fix or leave alone? Setting up proper tracking is a Web design function that requires a lot of development skill and intimate knowledge of Google, Bing and other online marketing platforms.
10. Failing to Validate Sales Leads
Finally, careful readers will notice in the last section that I wrote about tracking submissions and calls. Keep in mind, not all form submissions and phone calls are sales leads — this is important! They also can be misdialed phone numbers, personal calls, spam, sales solicitations, customer service calls or something else. Unless there is a lead validation system in place to separate leads from non-leads, you won’t truly know which online marketing campaign is generating the best ROI — and you will also overestimate lead generation results, possibly to the tune of 45 percent.
Avoid these 10 mistakes and your website is sure to improve its lead generation performance! To discuss how we can help you, call or request a quote.