Many small business websites are ineffective at capturing leads because they are little more than a corporate brochure divided into web pages. Each page talks about the company and its products and services, but does little to address prospects’ problems and concerns. If you want to make your website more effective at capturing leads, here are four steps for creating your small business website lead generation strategy.
Step 1: Capture Prospects’ Attention
When prospects visit your website, they are usually searching for information on how to solve a particular problem. This is especially true of search engine traffic. If you want to keep them on your site, you must provide the information they are searching for. A good way to do this is to provide great website content such as articles, audio, video, past newsletters, or an interesting blog. If you don’t capture your prospect’s attention in the first few seconds, they will click the back button.
Good websites focus on prospects and include plenty of informative content educating and explaining different problems your prospects have and offering advice, new perspectives, or potential solutions. They use web copy that speaks to the problems and concerns of visitors. Put yourself in the minds of your prospects – what are their biggest concerns, problems and obstacles? What might be motivating them to solve those problems? What keywords might prospects type into Google to find a solution similar to what you offer?
Step 2 – Position Yourself as a Specialist
Once your prospects learn more about their problem and potential solutions, they will become more interested in who you are and what you might be able to do for them. They are looking for a trusted adviser who can guide them through the process of solving their problem.
At the same time, your prospects are skeptical. They want proof you can do what you say. They want to know if you are credible and trustworthy. Here are two ways to do that.
- Use a unique selling proposition. – Your website should tell visitors who you are, why you are different from other service professionals, and why they should choose you.
- Provide social proof. – While anyone can brag that they are the best service provider for the job, you prospects want to know what other people think about you. Do you offer client testimonials and case studies? Have you won awards? Has the press mentioned you? Do you often speak at industry events?
Step 3: Capture Leads
Offer several ways for people to contact you through your website. Don’t simply provide your address, phone number and a contact form. Give them an incentive to give you their contact information and permission to follow up. Here are a few ideas for capturing website leads.
- Include an opt-in form for your newsletter. – Place your newsletter’s opt-in form prominently on your page. Ideally, your form should be visible when a visitor clicks on your page so they don’t have to scroll down to find it. Use your form to capture your prospect’s name and email address in exchange for joining your newsletter, downloading your free report, or accessing special content on your website.
- Display contact forms prominently. – Use contact forms for general inquiries, to schedule a consultation with you, or to ask a specific question, which you will answer on your blog.
- Store leads in your contact database. – Having a place to collect and store leads is critical to your follow up success. Anyone who joins your newsletter, requests free information, or inquires about your services should immediately be entered into your contact database.
Step 4: Have a Follow Up System
Most people who give you their contact information won’t be ready to hire you. Instead of discarding these leads, follow up with them. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Offer a newsletter – Email marketing is cheap. You can sign up with an email service provider like Aweber for less than $20/month. Decide how often you want to publish your newsletter and send prospects articles about potential problems and issues regularly. A 500-word article shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to write, once you get good at it. Then, simply copy and paste it into Aweber’s interface and click “send.”
- Create a follow up autoresponder sequence. – Autoresponders are emails that you schedule to send at particular intervals in response to a prospect’s actions. For instance, if they request your free report by filling out your form, your email service provider (like Aweber) will automatically send them an email with the link to download that report. You can also schedule to send emails every few days to follow up, The best thing about this is that it’s completely automated. You write the content once, set it up, and Aweber delivers the content to your prospects for you.
By putting this four-step small business website lead generation strategy into place, you will not only capture more leads from your website, but you will convert a higher percentage into paying clients.