70% of marketers state that lead generation is their top priority and their primary contribution to business growth. However, attracting high-intent prospects and gathering their contact information is becoming more costly and less effective with traditional marketing methods.
Decision-makers and consumers now begin their buying journeys online, and 93% of those online experiences start with a search.
Because of these shifts in consumer behavior, marketers are increasingly relying on digital marketing to generate leads. Specifically, inbound marketing strategies, which create educational content to attract ideal customers to a website, nurture their decision-making and convert them into leads.
Without an effective lead generation website—your digital marketing efforts will result in money spent with few leads to show for it.
“Properly executed inbound marketing is 10x more effective for lead conversion than outbound (source)”
But what is a lead generation website—and how is it different from a traditional site?
A Lead Generation Website Is Not a Brochure Site.
Websites used to be little more than digital brochures. They looked great—on desktops—and outlined a company’s skills and offerings. Beyond the “Contact Us” button, there was little engagement and the information did little to educate customers, showcase skills, nurture, and convert leads.
Brochure sites simply don’t provide enough information—of the functionality—to properly educate visitors and motivate them to become leads.
There simply isn’t enough information with a brochure site to motivate visitors to become leads.
Having an amazing-looking website that tells your story is still important, but looking great doesn’t motivate customers to buy. It just means they likely won’t immediately leave.
Brochure sites function on the idea that prospects will find them through a webpage or ad and arrive on the site with an already formed understanding of what they need. Thus, they’ll be motivated to reach out or “convert.”
In your personal experience as a buyer, how often does this actually happen?
Is it any wonder that these sites generate few, if any, leads?
How is a Lead Generation Website Different?
The approach to awareness and conversion is fundamentally different on a lead generation website than a brochure or legacy website.
Rather than merely state offerings and business value, lead-generating websites are built to educate and inform prospects. Focusing on education and providing insights upfront, draws in prospects who are looking to solve a specific need.
As we mentioned earlier, decisions makers and consumers are searching for solutions to their problems online. By offering valuable educational content on your site, you can engage prospects earlier in their buying journey and provide them with the insights and resources to make best-fit decisions.
In the process, prospects get introduced to your brand and expertise, building familiarity and rapport. As prospects gather further information and progress through their buying journey, they exchange their contact information for deeper understanding and insights.
Stated another way, lead generation websites are all about creating content that nurtures and helps prospects rather than trying to sell to them right out of the gate.
The results are websites that generate higher traffic, fill prospects funnels, and create quality leads—passively.
While each lead generation website is different, they all share the following elements to draw in traffic and convert leads.
A great website that generates leads and traffic starts with knowing who your ideal customers are. Understanding your ideal customers’ needs, problems, and goals enables you to target and speak directly to them.
The ability to talk directly to an intended audience makes your copy more compelling and your site easier to navigate. Most importantly, it means you know your customers enough to guide them through the buying journey, showcase expertise, and generate leads. Being specific in your messaging also helps you weed out poor fit leads—those customers who don’t fall directly into your business offerings and end up being a drain on resources.
Focus on Education
Education and awareness are the names of the game. By providing valuable content tailored to your audience—you can attract visitors and earn their trust. This trust becomes invaluable as you seek to nurture and ultimately sell your prospects.
As a general rule, your website’s content should be 80% educational resources and insights and 20% offerings and promotions. Instead of blogging about your latest products and news—provide content that your potential buyers need to make the right decisions.
Teach your visitors how to identify their problems, ways to approach or solve them, and what resources they can use. Help your customers avoid costly mistakes and in turn, they are more likely to spend their resources on you.
Nurture The Entire Buyer Journey
Your prospect’s buying journey doesn’t begin and end when they decide to make a purchase. There are three general stages to the purchasing process: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Your website should house content that speaks to every persona at each stage of their buyer journey.
This will enable you to engage prospects sooner in the buying process and guide them through their journey. Getting to clients first and becoming a trusted partner increases your chances of earning the sale and accelerates the sales cycles.
But if you’re only focused on the purchase, you are not only missing out on great potential leads—you’re likely scaring potential customers away.
Stop rushing the sale. No one wants to be sold as they walk into a store—so stop doing this with your site.
Manage The Customer Experience
Your website needs to guide people through their buying journey and provide a coherent and easily navigable experience.
A great experience needs to extend to mobile devices (i.e. responsive or mobile-first). Mobile internet browsing has become a significant portion of all internet traffic. In fact, Google found that some people spend up to 70% of their time on mobile devices.
Sites that provide a great experience that educates and motivates prospective customers through the buyer journey have a long list of commonalities:
- User-first focus
- Easy navigation that remains consistent
- Navigation limited to seven pages or links
- Limited number of fonts (3)
- Consistent theme and appearance
- Limited number of contrasting colors
- Proper use of white space
- Use the “rule of thirds”
- Provide social proof and legitimacy
- Use transparency to foster trust
- Provide personalization wherever possible
- Secure, via HTTPS
- Responsive and mobile-friendly
- Optimized for speed
A great experience removes as many hurdles as possible and makes the experience easy. Reducing friction on your site lowers the chance a prospect will “bounce” (i.e. leave your site) and increases your chances of attracting visitors, providing insights, and nurturing them into leads.
Use CTAs To Promote Action and Guide The Experience
Once you understand the buying journey and have created an experience that guides visitors to useful information—it’s time to develop and place Calls To Action (CTA). CTAs motivate visitors to convert into a lead.
High traffic pages should have multiple conversions that speak to different phases of the buyer journey. More than just “contact us” on the home page. You need to offer insights, webinars, ebooks, comparisons, case studies, free trials, demos, and free consultations in exchange for contact details.
Spread these CTAs across your site in high traffic areas and align them to your expected customers’ needs.
Measure Results and Optimize The Experience
The best lead generation websites integrate testing and monitoring tools to help optimize traffic and lead conversion.
Tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, HotJar, A/B testing suites, and others enable you to know precisely when, where, and how customers engage your content.
If you do not measure your web experience—then you’re missing out on leads.
How can you know which conversions could perform better, when content is losing audiences, or which pages get the most traffic?
Accurate measurement leads to improvement.
A website is more than just a brochure. It’s your best asset for generating leads and nurturing prospects through the buying journey.
When appropriately built from the ground up with lead generation in mind—a lead generation website becomes your best marketing and sales asset for growth.
Whether you’re developing a new website or redesigning an existing one— your primary purpose should be to provide valuable information and education to your key personas.
At SequoiaCX, we specialize in building effective lead generation websites and developing streamlined digital marketing plans to drive traffic and generate leads.