Is Your Website A Lead-Generation Powerhouse? Our 5-Point Checklist

Your website is an essential part of your lead generation strategy. Not only is it often the first stop along the customer journey, it’s also where conversions happen. And leads get generated everywhere in between! How can you be sure you’re website is working as hard as it can to deliver as many new leads as possible?

When our strategic and creative teams work with customers on website development—at the crossroads of lead generation, naturally—we come to the table with the following 5-point checklist. Consider these your guideposts for creating an up-to-date, lead-generating website:

1. It makes a great impression.
The first moments on your website may be your visitor’s first experience with your brand. Make it a good one so it’s not their only experience! Design trends evolve over time, led by changes in technology and customer preferences, so it’s important to keep your website “fresh” and up to date so it visually pulls visitors in. Today’s most universally appealing sites contain:

  • Bold, unique typography that’s easy to read
  • Bold, brand-consistent colors
  • Compelling hero images (large banner image placed up front and center)
  • Grid, or card-based page layout
  • Homepage headline and subhead to orient the visitor

Note that your website’s experience syncs up with what’s standard in your industry, too, so it’s not at odds with what do your customers and web visitors expect.

Once they’re “in,” keep visitors on your website with the right functionality and content. it’s best practice to include:

  • Copy that’s welcoming, benefits-focused, and that literally invites visitors to explore
  • Images, including videos, that tell your brand story while speaking to your visitors
  • Points of engagement like social media links and—of course—lead generation forms

For more insights into rising to your visitors’ demands, read How Direct Response Marketing Can Keep Up With Customers’ Liquid Expectations.

2. Search engines can find it (again and again).
If you want to attract new visitors, customers, or subscribers to your website, you really need to stay on top of search engine optimization. You want the search engines to serve up your web pages to people who are searching for your products and services—and you want them to “click” on your website so they can take advantage of your led-gen offers.

The bottom line is a static website that never changes isn’t going to get noticed by search engines or new visitors. To keep your pages in front of the Google indexing bots, make sure you’re optimizing your pages and consistently adding new content to your site. Integrating your company blog into your website—as opposed to housing it on a different domain—is key. Not only is blogging a great way to introduce fresh content to the web, blog posts are the perfect place to put special deals or exclusive content behind lead forms.

Next steps? First, check out How to Improve your Google Rankings for actionable SEO advice. Then, read 5 Steps to Create a Company Blog that Supports Direct Marketing, Part 1 and Part 2 for tips on developing compelling content.

3. It can be seamlessly experienced on a mobile device.
In 2016, mobile and tablet devices accounted for over half of internet usage worldwide compared to desktop

(see Statcounter for details). And this figure is most certainly rising. Chances are really high that your website is being viewed on a mobile device—possibly most of the time. If your website only “looks good” when viewed on a standard computer screen, you run the risk of failing the first impression test and making it nearly impossible for mobile users to engage with your site in any way, let alone fill out a lead gen form.

The solution is to rebuild your website with a responsive design. Not only will it look better on mobile devices, but it’ll function better, too. It will speed page loading and be easier to navigate to all of your informative, offer-filled content. And that means more leads! Discover more in The Importance of Responsive Design for SMBs.

4. It’s easy to navigate.
Lead generation efforts can be thwarted in a hot second—and all it takes is faulty navigation to bounce people away. (And when people don’t stick around on your site, search engines don’t want to send them there!) From a usability and customer experience perspective, intuitive navigation is critical to support visitors’ journeys on your site. Your website doesn’t stand a chance of generating leads if a web visitor doesn’t know where to go or what to do next.

You want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to get from one place to the next. Your site navigation facilitates this “flow” and leads them through a logical path, even if it’s self-directed. So what does easy navigation look like? It depends on your products, services, and customer journey, but it’ll likely include:

  • Descriptive menu labels without drop-down menus
  • Sticky navigation menus for long-scrolling pages
  • Breadcrumb navigation on all pages
  • Search bar
  • Links that are easy to recognize
  • “Next steps” suggestions
  • A translation option for sites targeting a diverse or global audience
  • Links in the footer connecting to important pages on the site
  • Hamburger menus on mobile sites

For more on ensuring a comfortable and action-oriented website experience, read White Space/No Space? Why Strategic Web Design Matters in Direct Response Marketing.

5. It has clear call-to-actions.
Q: What is a website visitor without a CTA?
A: A missed opportunity!

As we’ve been discussing, your website should enable a prospective customer to take some action toward their goal. Why are they visiting your site in the first place?

  • If they’re doing research, they want information.
  • If they’re thinking about purchasing your product or service, they want details.
  • If they’re taking action on a social media ad or email offer, they want to provide their information and get their offer
  • If they want to make a purchase, they want to make a purchase—and if they can find a “deal,” even better!

Regardless of what you want your visitors to do, you’ve got to make your instructions clear on every webpage, even if you’re just providing your company’s contact information. And whenever possible, don’t send people in multiple directions—keep them focused. Here are some best practices for web page CTAs:

  • Make them stand out with a button, and don’t be afraid of color. Thanks to Amazon and other online retailers, consumers now look for colorful CTAs and may not notice them otherwise.
  • Use benefit-oriented language, like “stay connected” or “let’s talk”
  • Test. For example, see if “download now” works better than “get my coupon”

To learn more, don’t miss:
The 3 Simple Keys To Maintaining An Up to Date Website At Minimal Cost
Why You Should Customize Your Content Management System

Love checklists? Check out How to Evaluate Direct Marketing Creative: Our 5-Point Checklist

Want to talk? Contact us to learn more about making your website a lead generation powerhouse.