Jul 14

My website is my lead generator

Posted by Tim Bertens on 14/07/2008

Many companies suppose they have to own a website just because ... everybody has one.  Some of them might even declare a website does not have any impact on generating leads.  If you’re one of ’them’ you should really read on.

Target, Convert & Measure

Your website can offer your company many opportunities to generate leads and cultivate new business. But, to be successful you should follow the TCM approach:

  • Target: Attract targeted prospects to your website that are seeking your products and/or your services
  • Convert: Convert those anonymous visitors into named leads that can feed your business development process
  • Measure: Measure the results of your online marketing efforts to enhance the effectiveness of future campaigns

How do I get visitors on my site in the first place?

The key is to get them to visit your website when they are looking for a solution to their problem. A summary of essential methods for driving targeted traffic to your website

  • SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the ongoing process of designing, writing and coding your website to maximize the chance that its pages appear at the top of the “organic” search engine results. SEO is a gradual process that can take weeks or months to achieve. Read our articles about Search engine optimization
  • SEA (or Search Engine Advertising) is a search engine marketing technique that requires you to pay when someone clicks to your website from a brief mostly text-based advertisement that you have placed in the sponsored links section of the search engine results. It is often referred to as PPC ads or Pay-per-Click advertisements as you pay a fee (a few cents to a few euro›s depending on the keyword and location of the ad) every time a that your advertisement is clicked by a user
  • Offline direct marketing and advertising. Just because we are talking about online marketing doesn't mean you should forget about offline marketing. Print advertisements and direct mail pieces are excellent vehicles for driving targeted traffic to your Web site. By including a compelling call to action in these pieces to direct prospects to visit your Web site for more details, you can increase the value and ROI gained from your offline marketing efforts.

A website is very important source of information

More and more often a website is the first point of contact with your company and the will give potential customers an impression of your company. As we all know you can only make a first impression once! In many cases there is no direct business with the customer through the internet, but nevertheless your company, its products and its services are compared with the competition. Your potential customer will sniff around before they get in touch with you. If they don't like what they see or if they don't find what they're looking for; within seconds they're gone...
Within seconds you say? Yes, within seconds!

Where is the banana?

So to keep you're the visitor on your website you'll have to give them what they want. In most cases this is information! As soon as they visit your website, they want to know what's in for me? Make the banana obvious to find:

  • Use a very clear and easy structure for your website. A visitor gets lost on your site will give up. Make sure you have a link to your homepage on every published page (e.g. use your logo to link back the homepage)
  • Make important and popular content accessible within 3 mouse clicks.
  • Your contact information is only one click away! Put a link to the contact page on every web page or even better put your summarized contact details in the footer of every page. Make sure your contact page holds all relevant information
  • In most cases it is a people's business, so don't forget to publish the names of your key people on the website, it will give your visitors confidence in your company
  • It's not just about the looks of your site. What is the story behind your company, your products and/or services, what can people achieve by talking to you and by being your customer. The best way to do is using some old fashioned copywriting
  • Update your website as frequent as you can. Yes, it is time consuming, but it is necessary to make this an ongoing effort. Your visitors are after your content, if your website contains only old and out of dated information you're telling your customer your company is static, slow and should be ignored as soon as possible

Convert the anonymous visitor into named leads

Okay, so now you have visitors and they like your banana's, how do you convert them into named leads? To effectively convert visitors into leads, you must provide -as you should now by now- your target audience with valuable offers and information in exchange for providing basic contact information. A few features that used to do that:

  • Purchase online, the ultimate conversion
  • Order form for free samples or a free trial of your service
  • Subscription to your newsletter
  • Register to access “premium content” like whitepapers, presentations, articles, etc
  • A “Call me now” or online chat to get in touch with your salespeople
  • Registrations for seminars, webinars or events

Your website should include a combination of these techniques to maximize the conversion rate of your lead-generation efforts

To measure is to know

As you might have noticed already, one of my favorite sayings. You don't know what you should be doing if you don't measure the success or failure what you're doing. Measurement is the most important, yet least utilized aspect of any marketing program. You must measure the success of every aspect of your lead-generation efforts to identify your most successful targeting techniques, as well as your most effective conversion methods. You should establish a Web site analytics system to monitor the following metrics:

  • Total leads
  • Conversion rate—visitor-to-lead ratio
  • Average cost per lead
  • Average revenue per lead
  • Web visitors by targeting method (search engine, pay-per-click ad, direct mail piece, etc.)
  • Leads by conversion technique
  • Lead conversions by targeting method

By monitoring these and other metrics, you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your lead-generation efforts. And you will be able to leverage this knowledge to enhance your efforts to improve your results in the future.

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