Whether you’re an MD that likes them or loathes them, websites are here to stay –and the good news is they can be a very valuable tool when it comes to lead generation.
Visiting a company’s website to check out its products, services and credentials is now very much the norm. Whether finding a company through an internet search engine or being encouraged to visit a site through other marketing activity, for a business the ability to capture detailed data and track visitors can be a ‘golden egg’.
As with any investment you make for your business, the website must work for you, so having processes in place to monitor its effectiveness are a must. For example, do you know how many people are visiting? How long for? What pages are they looking at? Simple tools like Google Analytics can provide a good starting point.
If used alongside traditional marketing activity, such as face-to-face and hitting the phones, then a great website can prove an equally strong asset and will enhance the efforts of your sales team. It should support your wider company goals and ultimately earn its keep many times over if used effectively. And here’s how…
A great website……will have a clear purpose
As with any communication platform you are using, your website needs to have a clear purpose and a defined objective. This will help shape everything about it and how it functions and every decision you make about it moving forward. It may be that its main objective is to drive leads – so how is it going to do that? How is it going to capture info about who has visited? Or to encourage people to contact you, or leave their details? Is the objective clearly behind all elements of the website – as one hidden away ‘Contact Us’ form is just not going to cut it.
…will be more than an electronic brochure
If your website is simply a fancy version of your company brochure then you are missing a trick. Unlike the limitations that will naturally come from using a printed brochure, with a website the world is your oyster! While you may be thinking of it as simply a digital ‘shop front’ any investment you make is being wasted if you are not making the most of its potential (and that does not mean having to spend a fortune). Intelligent functionality and all the innovative tools that are now available means a website can work hard for you.
…will be centred on the website user
It may be about your company but if you want your website to generate leads then it needs to be structured in a way that puts the website user at its centre – not the business. Visitors need to be taken by the hand and guided through the site – ‘here’s what I want you to do next on my site…and now this…and now please fill out this, or maybe this if you don’t like that’ and so forth. It needs to be all about the user experience (UX). A good place to start is by thinking of it as you would a conversation made by one of your sales team to a new lead. Map out how the journey might go to reach the outcome you are striving for.
…will capture data
There are various data capture functions that can be built into a website to gather contact details. Start by deciding what the priority data you really want is. It needs to be quick and simple for the user, so more than a few questions just won’t work. And keep it as standardised as you can to avoid getting lots of different answers. It could be that you use an incentive, such as the offer of downloadable resources. Just make sure you are always working within data privacy guidelines.
…will make every potential lead count
Advances in intelligent software mean there are now more and more ways that you can use your website to capture leads.
…will generate leads through targeted content
Far beyond the capabilities of a static communication tool, a website should be fluid and current. By providing new content regularly that will be of interest to your target market you can reach the right people and start driving the type of web traffic you want. Content marketing in this way can be really effective for generating leads. It will also go far beyond that, as it will be showing off your expertise and positioning you as a leader in your field. The content will also help keep your website feeling fresh.