Design & Promote Blog

Fresh, Creative & Engaging Ideas

If you’re running a business, you need to generate leads.

No leads = no sales.

No sales = no business.

It’s not easy. If it were, every site would be a lead-producing machine. The reality is that for every site that has been optimized to convert visitors to leads, there are 10,000 that are starving for business.

Our Chicago website design agency spends a lot of time helping clients transform their sites from online billboards to effective lead portals. In a few weeks, I’ll be giving a presentation in Chicago titled “Modern Marketing in The Big City” that covers much of that process. I’ll explain how design impacts lead generation and why it’s a crucial piece of your inbound marketing plan.

Below, I’ll give you some of the bullets. These are actionable tips you can use starting today to boost your conversion rates and grow your business.

#1 – Build Your Site With Responsive Design

This is something I’ve talked about in the past. It was important then, and even more so now.

Here’s the gist: your site must look good on every platform. Whether someone views it through Chrome on a 24-inch HD display or on his or her iPhone, every page should appear perfect.

That’s called responsive design. Your site’s layout must respond to every browsing environment. Remember, every visitor turned off by a badly designed site is a forfeited lead. That’s money down the drain.

#2 – Encourage Visitors To Contact You

Put your phone number and business hours on your site (preferably in the upper right hand corner of your website). It’s also best practice to build a contact page with a contact form. You may even install a chat software to help guide people live if they have any questions while looking at your site. A lot of folks will want to contact you to see if you are reachable and trustworthy.

#3 – Capture Visitors’ Contact Details

This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to lead generation. You need to collect visitors’ contact info so you can reach out to them later. However, don’t bog them down with 50 questions like address. Chances are you can collect that information further down the conversation funnel. You probably only really need to know three things from a first contact:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Choose these criteria wisely; keep in mind, the less information you ask for, the more likely the visitor will provide it.

#4 – Make An Offer Visitors Can’t Refuse

Unless they have an urgent need for your products or services, few visitors will provide their contact details without an incentive.

What types of incentives work well for lead generation? EBooks, checklists and white papers are effective when they’re combined with a solid value proposition. Video tutorials also work in some niches.

Once you have an offer your visitors can’t refuse, make it prominent and clear.

#5 – Add Social Proof To Your Site

No one wants to be the first to do business with you. Your lack of a track record presents too high a risk of failure.

That’s the value of social proof, such as testimonials and customer success stories. They tell prospects that others like them have benefited from working with your company. Social proof stimulates trust.

#6 – Hire An Experienced Copywriter

Chicago website design and solid copywriting go hand in hand. The former ensures every visitor has a good experience viewing and navigating your site. The latter speaks to visitors’ needs, identifies the problems they’re facing and proposes workable solutions.

Design and copywriting are the Bonnie and Clyde of lead generation. They work seamlessly together to achieve a common goal.

#7 – Expand Your Traffic Sources

The most important piece of lead generation is targeted traffic. You need people who are interested in your products and services to visit your site. Only then can you convert them to leads.

There are a lot of ways to attract targeted traffic. If you’re like most business owners, you’re not taking full advantage of them. Or worse, you’re neglecting them altogether.

A comprehensive marketing campaign should include search engine optimization, PPC advertising, social media outreach and email marketing. Those are the basics. Each one can send an ongoing stream of highly targeted visitors to your site.

#8 – Point All Traffic To Your Landing Pages

Sending visitors to your site isn’t enough. You must send them to pages that have been optimized to generate leads. Called landing pages, they’re designed to continue the conversation already happening in the visitor’s head.

Every landing page on your site should include a value proposition, bulleted list of reasons to “opt in,” social proof and an image, either a “hero shot” or a picture of the lead incentive. And of course, it must have a clear call to action.

All of your traffic should be directed to these pages.

#9 – Split Test Your Landing Pages

Traffic volume is important. You can’t generate leads without traffic. But conversion rates are equally important. They define the percentage of your visitors who become leads. Another way of thinking about conversion rates is that they define how much of your traffic goes to waste.

It pays to split test your landing pages. Each test can produce an incremental improvement in your conversion rates. Over time, small improvements add up to big results.

Suppose you’re paying $10 to bring each visitor to your site, and converting 25% of the traffic to leads. That means you’re paying $40 per lead.

Now suppose you manage, through consistent split testing, to increase your conversion rate to 50%. You’re now paying only $20 per lead.

Can you see how that might benefit your business?

#10 – Add Calls-To-Action Throughout Your Site

Remember earlier when I recommended sending all traffic to your landing pages? That includes folks who are already on your site. Whether they’re reading your blog, perusing your case studies or reviewing your testimonials, they should always be one click away from a landing page.

Sprinkle calls to action throughout your site. Put them on every page. You can also install software that pops a lightbox when your visitor signals their intent to leave your site. Design the lightbox to serve as a mini-landing page.

My upcoming presentation on Chicago website design will cover the points outlined above, as well as many others. Until then, go back through the list and start making changes to your site. There’s no better time to turn your website into a lead generation machine.

Design & Promote is committed to helping clients get their sites ready for 2016. Don’t let the new year arrive without having a clear, actionable plan for growing your business. Contact our design team today to learn how customized responsive design and smart lead generation practices can help your business leapfrog ahead of your competition.