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5 Ways to Transform Your Website From Boring Online Brochure to a Lead Generating Tool
You could probably remove half of the content on your website and make it more effective.
Most websites aren’t converting visitors into leads because they aren’t focused enough. There’s too much information, and none of it communicates what you do and why your potential ideal clients should care simply enough to compel them to take action.
I think the reason this happens so often is that we treat our websites like online brochures for our company, instead of a strategic step in our sales process.
So how do you make sure your website is a strategic step in your sales process?
It’s all about deciding what action someone needs to take to convert from a website visitor into a lead for your business and then making sure everything about your website is clearly pointing people towards taking that action.
HERE’S THE STEP-BY-STEP BREAKDOWN:
1 – Create your primary Call to Action
Everything comes down to the Call to Action, so you should decide on this first. What action do your website visitors need to take to turn into a lead for your business?
(We’re calling someone who has indicated interest in your offer + provided a way for you to follow up with them a lead).
Usually, this action is scheduling a consultation, filling out a form to request a quote, or booking an appointment. But it could also be subscribing to your email list if that’s the first step in your sales funnel.
Once you know the best next step a potential ideal client should take in order to make the switch from website visitor to awesome new business lead, your job is to use your website content and design to make it as easy and obvious as possible for them to take that action.
*Note: even though we’re talking about your primary call to action here, it’s important to remember that the majority of your website visitors probably aren’t ready to work with you yet. So if your primary call to action is something like “Schedule a Consultation” or “Get a Quote” you should also have a secondary call to action on your site – like subscribing to your email list – so that you can capture leads that have an interest in what you offer, but aren’t ready to take your primary Call to Action yet. We’ll talk more about developing a secondary call to action in a minute.
2 – Use your copy to communicate clearly
Every bit of copy on your website should be clear and concise.
This doesn’t mean that all your website pages should be short, necessarily. Long-form sales pages are appropriate and effective in a lot of situations.
The point is this: if you can say it in fewer words and still get the point across just as powerfully, do it. Don’t add information to your website that isn’t supporting your primary (or secondary) call to action.
People are impatient when they are on your website. You only get a short amount of time to say something to a website visitor, so make sure you’re only saying the really important stuff.
If you do a good job of communicating the main points on your website, the people who are interested in what you do will become leads, and you’ll get the opportunity to give them more information.
Your website doesn’t need to include everything right up front. If you try to cram too much information on your website’s main pages, most people won’t stick around to read much of anything. But if you focus on providing just enough clear, compelling information to get your ideal clients to take your Call to Action and become a lead, you’ll get the opportunity to deliver other relevant information – via a consultation, an automated email series, or blog posts, for example.
Use your website copy to communicate 3 things: what you do, who your ideal clients are, and why they should care about working with you.
3 – Use design to support your goal and deliver a great user experience
You’ve got your call to action nailed down and have written clear, compelling copy that will motivate visitors to take that action.
These steps alone will improve the lead-generating power of your website by miles.
But you have to consider design, layout, and user experience, too, because visuals send strong and instantaneous signals.
In fact, if the design of your website is confusing, overwhelming, feels outdated, or sends “spammy signals” people will pay attention to that before reading a word of copy on your site.
We process the visual information quickest, so your design needs to clear the way for your message to take center stage.
While the topic of great website design is a big one, covering the basics will – at a minimum – keep your website design from getting in the way of your message and Call to Action (while really great design can enhance the experience and make your message even more compelling).
MAKE IT FEEL MODERN
An outdated website will usually follow web design principles that are also outdated and deliver a poor user experience. Websites used to be boxy, packed with lengthy text, and stuffed with links and elements that weren’t essential to the message. All of these things date your site.
To give your website a modern refresh, head toward the minimalist end of the spectrum. Use plenty of whitespace to give elements room to breath on the page and create punchy, short blocks of text that are easy to read. Also, make sure your website works well (and still delivers a great user experience) on mobile devices.
MAKE IT EASY TO NAVIGATE
Don’t make visitors work hard to get around your website and find what they need. Use a simple navigation menu (don’t cram too many pages into it – remember to keep your website focused on the information visitors need in order to take your primary call to action).
Use headings to organize text so people can quickly identify what information is where.
And always tell visitors what they can do next. If they’ve reached the end of a page, include your call to action (or the next best step to move towards taking your primary call to action).
MAKE YOUR CALL TO ACTION STAND OUT
Also, make your call to action impossible to miss. Use obvious buttons that stand out against the rest of your design, and make your call to action copy clear (i.e instead of “click here” say “request your free quote” or instead of “get in touch” say “schedule your consultation now”).
4 – Make sure everything is engaging your ideal clients
All of this advice centers on one thing: clarity. In order for your message to come across clearly, you’ll need to get very specific about who your message is intended for.
Aka, your ideal client.
No matter how passionate you are about your services and your brand, you still won’t be able to create a clear and compelling website if you don’t know exactly who you want to reach.
It can be tricky to identify the vague language in our own website copy because we are so close to our own business and work. To us, it seems obvious. We can subconsciously fill in background details or context when reading our headlines and paragraphs because this stuff is so ingrained in our thinking. But to our website visitors, it doesn’t come across clearly.
Have a trusted friend or mentor (or a professional copywriter!) look over your copy and give you some perspective on what is coming across to them. You can also do some research on how your ideal clients are talking about your industry or the services you offer through social media, blog post comments, Amazon book reviews, or surveys. Take note of how they describe their problems and the words they use when they talk about the solution they want. Incorporate this language in your own copy to make sure you’re appealing specifically to your intended audience.
5 – include a secondary call to action
So now that your website is set up to turn ideal prospects into leads, what about the rest of your website traffic that isn’t ready to take a serious step towards working with you?
In fact, most of your website traffic likely won’t be people who are at the right stage to become a lead. These visitors may like what you have to offer but aren’t ready to talk with you or initiate a proposal yet. The solution: your email list.
These visitors can still become valuable leads for your business, you just need to approach them in a different way. A lower-stakes option – such as opting in to your email list – gives them the chance to connect with your brand without much risk on their part.
But to be sure, sharing their email address with you isn’t a no-brainer. Our inboxes are busy and personal spaces, and no one wants “junk mail”.
You’ll still need to work hard to make your email list opt-in clear, compelling, and valuable. The best way to do this is to offer some helpful, intriguing information in exchange for a website visitor’s email address. This can be called a lead magnet, opt-in offer, or content upgrade – but the point is the same regardless. You offer something scalable (i.e you can give it away over and over again without creating more work for yourself) that solves a pressing problem for your ideal prospect or makes their life better/easier in some way.
This lead magnet opt-in offer for your email list becomes your secondary call to action. This is what website visitors can do when they like what you have to say, but aren’t ready to take you up on your primary call to action.
Once someone opts-in to your email list, you can follow up with them, send them more great content, and eventually present them once again with your primary call to action.
Ready to transform your website from a boring online brochure into a lead generating tool for your business? Grab a notebook and pull up your company website. Go through each of your primary pages (Home, About, Services, etc.) and make notes about your website copy, design, and calls to action. Where can you be clearer? More compelling? How can you make it effortless for your website visitors to find and act on your primary (and secondary) call you to action?