Having a great website is an extremely important part of any successful marketing campaign. By creating a great user experience and strategically thinking about the best ways to nurture your visitors and build a relationship with them, you can hopefully turn them into leads for your business. Figuring out how to generate leads from a website can be a complex task and will evolve over time. By focusing on specific parts though, you can put your website in a great position to start working for you and bring more revenue into your company. Let's take a look at five actionable tips you can get started with today to get your website up to snuff and turn it into a lean, lead-generating machine!
1. Sitemaps and robots files
A great way to ensure your website continues to generate leads for your business is to ensure it's easy to navigate for both human visitors and search engine crawlers. Your HTML sitemap enables visitors to find what they’re looking for more easily. They can quickly get a good idea of the general structure of your site, where different information is located, and where they’re most likely to find the answers they’re looking for. While HTML sitemaps are aimed at helping humans better navigate your site, XML sitemaps help search engines do the same thing. By building your XML sitemap, you can make sure search engine crawlers are finding all the great content you’ve put on your website.
Equally important is your website's robots file. This file is the first thing a search engine crawler crawls when analyzing your site for search engine ranking purposes. Within the robots file, you can indicate to the crawlers which pages of your website you don’t want them to crawl. This is great if there are certain sections or pages on your website that you don’t want to be indexed. Perhaps you have pages that aren’t ready yet or need reworking, or maybe sections of your website contain content you don’t want to be indexed. Whatever the reason, a robots file is a great way of ensuring search engines are picking up the exact information about your site you want them to.
2. Internal linking and attributes
Inbound and outbound links are useful for improving the SEO performance of your website. Search engine crawlers give value to your site depending on the quality of the links you have on there. However, there are times when you don’t necessarily want crawlers to track these links. Usually this is when you link to pages on your website that aren’t necessary to it’s SEO performance: things like contact pages, log-in screens, or if you’ve paid for the link on your site and don’t want to be penalized by Google. Use a “nofollow” attribute on any link on your website that you don’t want search engines to take into account.
3. Contact information and forms
If your website is going to be generating more leads for your company, you need to give your visitors numerous ways to contact you. Make sure your business’s phone number and address are easily available. Throughout your site, visitors should have ample opportunities to contact you. You never know what page or piece of content will be the one to tip the scales and push them to reach out to you.
Understand, though, that people are sometimes put off by forms that are too long-- “form fatigue” is very real. The last thing you want is to have your visitor abandon the page just because the form’s too long. Try to limit the fields you require to be completed to the absolute minimum necessary. Get input from your sales team into what they feel they need to determine the quality of a lead and work with them to find the balance between the information they need and what your visitors are willing to fill out.
4. Having thank you pages with a purpose
Thank you pages serve to (you guessed it!) thank your visitor for downloading a great content offer you’ve given them. Your messaging here should be genuine and make your visitor feel as though they’re appreciated. After all, they’ve taken a big step in giving you their contact information in exchange for your content offer. Try to continue the good will of this situation by giving them some indication of what they can expect next. Will one of your experts be giving them a call?
Thank you pages are also a great opportunity to keep your visitor engaged with your website. Include Calls-to-Action (CTA) to other relevant content you think they may be interested in. Maybe you’ve written a blog post relating to the offer or perhaps you have a case study showcasing the expertise of your company that’s similarly related to the content you gave them. Your thank you pages should also give your visitor the option of return to the rest of your site through the site navigation. While your landing page removes such distractions with the hope of making the focus on submitting for your content offer, your thank you pages don’t need to do this.
5. Optimizing your meta tags
Meta tags are what appears on a list of search engine results when your site comes up in a search. Because Google limits the amount of space for both your page’s title and meta description, you need to make sure both are small enough to fit and not get cut off. Unfortunately, Google limits both titles and meta-descriptions by the number of pixels they appear as on the screen rather than the number of characters they contain. Since it can be tricky to figure out how long is too long when it comes to meta tags, try using a tool like the Snippet Optimizer.
When writing your meta-descriptions, don’t be tempted to stuff them with keywords that you are trying to rank highly for. Not only will this not help your site rank better as Google doesn’t take into account meta-descriptions when crawling sites, it will read unnaturally and visitors are less likely to click on your link. Instead, give your reader an accurate description of what they’re going to get by visiting your page. This will result in a far better user experience and increase the chances of your visitor becoming a lead.
Getting your website up to snuff
Creating a great, lead-generating website takes time. There are many different aspects and areas to take care of to make sure it’s firing on all cylinders. These five areas are a great place to get started, but there are many more areas, tools, and tricks you need to consider to get your website where it needs to be. Try not to get overwhelmed, though-- your website is something you can experiment with as long as you take the time to analyze the results. As long as you invest the time to keep up-to-date with the latest industry practices, you’ll be sure to have a constant flow of leads coming in.
Did you find these tips helpful? If you did, we’ve got a whole bunch more for you to enjoy. Check out our free eGuide on the “28 Greatest Website Tips for Generating Leads & Increasing Sales”!