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generate leads online

The whole reason that businesses have websites is to bring in more business, or in other words to generate leads online. But, unfortunately, very few websites are actually doing their job. That’s right – I can use two words to describe the vast majority of business websites – THEY STINK!

These websites that stink, they usually take one of two forms. The first kind are very common amongst small and medium sized businesses. I call them the self-professed stinkers. The business owner knows that the website stinks. It’s ugly, it’s confusing, and it doesn’t bring in any business. The business owner has either decided that they don’t think it is worth the money to redesign the website, or they simply haven’t gotten around to it yet. I love talking to business owners who proudly have terrible websites. It is a very easy conversation. The business owner knows that they need the help, and if they think that a new website will make them money, it is an easy decision for them (if you are in this camp, use the contact form. I’d love to talk to you about de-stinkifying your website!).

The second group of businesses with bad websites are the secret stinkers. I feel bad for these business owners. They have usually recently paid for a new website. Sometimes they have paid a lot for their new website. The website probably even looks quite good. These are the business owners that can’t figure out why they are not getting leads from their website. Usually, it is down to the design of the site. Looking good is not the most important thing for a website. While it is important that a business site look professional, it is much more important that a site generates leads. Here are 5 reasons that your site is not generating leads.

Failing To Plan = Planning To Fail

One trick that I use to make a website convert visitors to leads is to decide what I want my visitors to do before I design my page. Do I want them to call me? Do I want them to fill out a form to get a quote? Do I want them to print out a coupon to bring into a store? Granted, I will always add a few other ways to gather contact information to a site as well, but I always want to keep my number one target in mind and make that obvious to a visitor. Think of your website like a funnel, with every part designed to get your visitor closer towards your end goal for them. I know that this isn’t groundbreaking information, but being intentional is often the difference between having a successful website, and one that looks great but doesn’t make you any money. Besides planning ahead, I find these five things important for any website designed to generate leads online.

5 Things That Will Stop Your Website From Stinking

1. Have Your Contact Information Clearly Visible

Your phone number (and your address if you have a physical location that customers visit) should be easy to find on the page. Do not put all of your contact information on the contact page. Statistics show that visitors are more likely to click the back button and look elsewhere than to click around looking for your contact information. Think like your customers. Where would you likely look for a contact number? Put it there in a large bold font in a color that stands out!

2. Strong Calls To Action

Lead generation online is not always common sense. As strange as this sounds, visitors need to be told what to do. You might think that it would come across as pushy, but it really works. Instead of a button that says “Free Quote” include a call to action that says, “Click Here Now To Get Your Free Quote” and your conversion rate will go up significantly. Add a benefit into the call to action and you will have even more leads. Keep it short and sweet, but make sure to tell the customer what to do, and why they should do it. Something like “Click Here To Get 10% Off Your Next Purchase.” It’s not long, but I guarantee you that would get a lot more clicks than a button that said “Save 10%” or “Get A Great Deal.”

3. Everything Above The Fold

Everything that is important on your site needs to be above the fold (above the fold is internet speak for what is visible on a webpage without scrolling down). Strangely, visitors are more likely to click the back button than they are to scroll down to look for more information. So make sure that you give them what they need at the top of the page where they can see it without scrolling. So many businesses have very nice looking slideshows that take up a good portion of the area above the fold. These can be very effective if they include the call to action and are click-able. But many of them are purely for looks. If you have a slideshow at the top of your web site, ask yourself whether this is what the visitor needs to know about your business. Or is there more important information (like your calls to action, contact information, lead capture forms, social media info etc.) that a visitor would have to scroll down to see. Make sure that you keep your number one target in mind as you decide what gets the valuable real estate above the fold.

4. Not Too Many Fields

You are probably going to have a form where you ask for a prospect’s contact information. If you do, don’t ask for too much information. Often, a name and email address is all you need, but sometimes it is appropriate to ask for a phone number or a business name as well. But try to keep it at 4 fields or less. Any more than that and it starts to seem like to much work to fill out and you will get less leads. Remember, once you have their email address, you can contact them to ask for more information. But if they don’t fill out the form at all, you can never contact them again.

5. Give Away Something Valuable

If you are asking for contact information (and you should be!) this is the most important piece of advice that I can give. The days of asking visitors to sign up for a newsletter are long gone. People guard their contact information because their inboxes are already too full. If you want a new lead, you are going to need to give them something valuable in return for their contact information. This can take many forms depending on what kind of business you are in (and the value of what you give away should vary depending on what the lead is worth as well). So a restaurant may give away a coupon for a free entree, while a telephone answering service may give away a free trial of their service. A plumber can give a coupon for $25 off your next house call, while a realtor may give away a free guide on “How To Stage Your House To Sell It 30% Faster”. All of these offers are going to be valuable to a visitor to the site, and they would all be something that a visitor would be willing to trade their contact information for. Be creative and think of something that your visitors would find valuable and find a way to offer that and you will be amazed at how many leads you will begin to generate leads online.

Remember, your website doesn’t have to stink! Be intentional in your design and think like your visitors. Have your goal in mind for your visitors and make it as easy as possible for your them to get there. Like most things in life, it really isn’t that difficult, but a little bit of intentionality will go a long way towards success. If you add these five things to your website, your site will start generating leads online and you’ll start making more money.

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