Recently, at a business conference, one of the speakers asked, “How many of you have a website?” It sounded really funny to me. I haven’t heard of a single business that does not have a website. Most people get a website before they even register their business.
The question should have been “How many of you have a website that works for you?” “Is it fulfilling your purpose of lead generation, credibility, or any other objective you may have?”
Whenever I ask people, “Why do you want a website?” I see astonished faces. Getting a website seems to be an almost mechanical process nowadays.
The very first exercise in building a website is to make a list of all the things you want your website to do for you or your business. Typical objectives of a website are to generate leads and build credibility for your business.
Now, let’s focus on lead generation.
Here’s a list of things you can do to generate more leads from your website.
#1 Establish your target audience
The old marketing cliché, “If your target market is everybody, then its nobody.” Choosing your target market wisely will make you more strategic in your approach. Read my article on choosing your target market for more details.
#2 Research your target market
The best marketers in the world, this is even before Google arrived, spent a lot of time understanding their target market – what they liked, disliked, the words they used, their emotions, and their deepest desires. Today, it’s a little bit easier with social media and keyword research tools.
#3 Be more personal and establish credibility
So many websites just don’t have the name of their CEO or the team listed. People buy from people NOT companies. Give your business a face. Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and many others were brand ambassadors for their companies. If your ‘about’ page does not have your name on it, you know what to do right away.
Loosen up and talk to your audience directly. Let them see your emotional side. You don’t have to be perfect, just being authentic is enough.
#4 Sales copy and landing pages
The copy on your website should directly talk to your target audience. Now, you understand the importance of your target market, don’t you? Writing sales letters and landing pages is a skill by itself and I’ll cover that in another article.
#5 Have a sign up form at a prominent place
A lot of websites don’t have a sign up form at all. If you want to collect leads, it’s obvious that you need to have one. It’s quite easy to set up a sign up form on your website. Just register with any of the top email marketing softwares, set-up and it’s as simple as pasting some code.
#6 Build a relationship before you ask for the sale
Once someone has given you their email, don’t send them only promotional emails trying to sell them something. Instead, send them information that is valuable (value = something that people would pay for) and connect with them first before you send them a promotional email.
#7 Spread the word about your website
The fastest and easiest method to let people know about your website is to advertise online. Some of the more popular ad platforms are Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your choice of platform depends on your target market. Advertise on places where your target market hangs out.
It’s important to understand that your real purpose is to generate leads and establish a relationship. Once your audience trusts you and believes you, you may then ask for a sale. Gone are the days of pushy obnoxious selling.
I’m seeing that too many people are asking for the sale before they even establish a relationship. Sometimes, your audience is in immediate need of a product, and they just want to pull out money from their pocket and make that sale; but that’s not always the case.
I understand that some of you have revenue and cash flow targets to meet on a monthly basis and it’s not always an option to delay the sales pitch. But try to build some sort of connection before asking for the sale, it could be a 20 minute consulting call, or a webinar. If that’s not possible, try to maintain a balance between relationship building and selling.
#8 Call To Action
If you want your prospects email or phone, then just ask. It’s so powerful to know that some people will give you their details if you clearly and explicitly ask for it. A lot of websites just don’t get their visitors emails or phone numbers because they don’t ask for it.
Building an opt-in mailing list is one of the most important activities in marketing. The old saying, “Money is in the list.” Spending time and effort understanding your target market, their needs and deepest desires, and nurturing your list is worth every penny on the long term. This not only helps you build products that fulfill their needs, it also gets you strong referrals. In the era of social media, referrals through social shares is going to be the new currency.