You have a huge digital toolbox of lead generation tools, but which is your most important one? Email marketing is certainly high on the list, and so is SEO that creates high-value organic traffic. Where that traffic leads – in other words, your official website – is also a powerful lead gen engine, yet too many B2B businesses see it as little more than a space for advertising or a bare-bones framework for e-commerce. With a little care and optimization, your website itself can become an integral piece of your lead gen strategy.
Without content, you’re funneling all your traffic from other channels into an empty lot. It isn’t enough just to drive traffic; you need to drive them to somewhere they want to be. Make sure your leads have something to do once they reach their destination by supplying them with a wide range of content. Blog posts, white papers, video, webinars, and e-books all do their part to build and sustain interest. Leads are information-hungry, so feed them a multi-media smorgasbord of knowledge, not just advertisements.
Another reason content’s so important is that it keeps working as a lead gen tool long after you’ve published it. Your content management team can turn a single great idea into a series of blog posts, a white paper, and a webinar. Leads get their first exposure with short-form content and social media mentions, then dig a little deeper with gated content. In the process, they give you more information about themselves so you’re better able to meet their needs.
Optimize Calls to Action
You might think of calls to action as something for email blasts and landing pages, but they also have a place throughout your main site. Remember that gated content? Get leads excited about downloading it and reinforce their decision to read it with a strong call to action on the selection page. Typically, the calls to action we find most effective use the IOU method – generate Interest, make a compelling Offer, and create a sense of Urgency – but in this case, urgency isn’t always applicable. After all, your content library is always available, so it’s not a limited time offer. That means you’ll lean more heavily on stirring interest and making the value of the offer clear.
When weaving calls to action into your site copy, consider where you’re going to place them and how you’ll set them apart. Color cues, text, and position can have a dramatic impact on responses. To find out what works best for your site, test it. Marketing automation systems are ideal for creating test sites and analyzing A/B split data in real time.
Improve Site Performance
All the brilliant site design in the world won’t help you keep prospects on the page if your website doesn’t load quickly or lead to where they want to go. Immediate load times are the standard now, and anything less will lead directly to higher bounce rates. Your pages should also be optimized for viewing on any device. Your leads might encounter your site on a tiny smartphone screen, a paperback-sized tablet, a laptop, or a panoramic desktop monitor – and you need to look equally good on all of them. Responsive web design is the simplest way to keep your site looking clean and well-organized on any platform.
Forms are another potential sticking point for lead gen activity. Make them too long or tedious, and you set up unnecessary speed bumps between your leads and the content they’re after. You want them to glide through that process with a minimum of friction, not slow them to a crawl. When possible, design forms with radio buttons and simple stages instead of lengthy self-entry forms that look more like the paperwork for a second mortgage than an access form for a webinar.
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