When it comes to lead generation, your website is the linchpin that holds everything together. When you market via pay per click ads, social media, and other methods, it’s the destination you send people back to.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure that when people land on your site, they take the action you want and become marketing and sales leads. In this guide, we’re going to share 10 proven ways to collect leads and turn your website into a lead generation machine.
1. Optimize the Right Pages
If you want to generate leads quickly, it helps to identify your busiest and most effective pages. Those pages are already getting traffic, which means they have strong lead generation potential.
To find them, dig into your web analytics. Let’s use Google Analytics as an example. Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. That will show you the most popular pages by pageviews.
But don’t stop there. Use the comparison tool to add a secondary metric such as “Average Time on Page.” This will give you some green bars that show the pages that score well for both traffic AND engagement.
To make this data even more useful, go up to the top and change the date range to cover a period of a year or more. This will highlight the pages that consistently get traffic over time.
Another option is to use this free Google Analytics dashboard from Hallam to measure content effectiveness.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll end up with a shortlist of pages to apply the website optimization tips listed in this guide.
2. Welcome Your Visitors
Your home page is one of your site’s most visited pages. It’s also a page where it’s easy to lose visitors’ attention. When they’re gone, there’s no guarantee they’ll come back.
The good news is, you can keep them from bouncing away and collect leads at the same time. Here are a couple of things to try.
First, create a dropdown overlay, or a welcome gate. To keep things user-friendly, it should slide out of the way after a couple of seconds, and there should be a way for users to dismiss it.
You can use this space to:
- Tell new visitors a little about your site
- Point them to your most important pages
- Ask them a quick question (then point them to more information depending on their answer)
For example, Neil Patel welcomes visitors by asking a question and offering a free website analysis. When people sign up for the analysis, then they become leads.
You can also use a video to welcome visitors, as this is proven to get attention. According to Wyzowl, 72% of people would rather use video than written content to learn about a service.
Whichever you choose, be sure to put in a suitable call-to-action asking people to sign up for your newsletter, grab a lead magnet, or take your current offer. They won’t know what action to take unless you tell them, so this is a core aspect of lead generation.
3. Rotate Your Messaging
Sometimes your business does a lot of things well, and you want to make sure your audience knows about all of them. One way to do that is with an interactive, changing banner. This often displays as the main tagline with one or two words switching in rotation.
For example, you can outline the main ways you help people, like boosting sales, generating leads and growing email lists. Or you could include the key audiences you serve, like publishers, marketers, and small business owners.
This sort of interactivity gets attention and forces people to look. And if they happen to be one of the core audiences or be interested in the main products, then they’ll likely stick around to learn more.
4. Create a Specialist Landing Page
Did you know that sidebar email signup forms have a terrible conversion rate? In fact, many people ignore them altogether. If you want to collect more leads, then you need to put your lead capture form where it matters.
One of those places is on a special landing page related to your offer or lead magnet. Landing pages are proven to increase conversions. And they don’t have to be that complicated. You’ll need an image, a headline and subhead, some text describing the offer and an opt-in form that collects the information you need.
To see this strategy in action, check out Hubspot. Lead magnets (see the next tip) are a pillar of the company’s strategy. Each has its own landing page, and they get tens of thousands of shares and lots of leads each year.
Once you have a landing page, you can use it as a destination for external marketing efforts. Making your landing page the target of ads or simply sharing it on social media increases the potential for collecting leads.
5. Offer a Lead Magnet
If you think about it, there’s no reason for visitors to give you their email address. After all, who wants more email? So you’ve got to make it worth their while.
If you want them to hand over their details so you can nurture them into becoming leads and customers, you need to offer an incentive. That’s exactly what a lead magnet is.
Lead magnets are often digital products such as ebooks, checklists, worksheets, and the like, that help your potential customers solve a problem. If you provide something of value, visitors are happy to hand over their email address. Once they do, you can keep in touch with them, and begin the process of nurturing them as leads.
Of course, a digital file isn’t the only kind of lead magnet you can offer. Many companies offer product demos or free trials of their services. In fact, according to Totango, 62% of SaaS companies get more than 10% of their business that way.
And you can also pick up leads on your site by offering access to webinars. According to ReadyTalk, between 20% and 40% of webinar attendees become qualified leads.
6. Get Interactive
One of the Content Marketing Institute‘s predictions for 2019 is that interactive content will become even more important. And the CMI had previously said that interactive content worked for building awareness of a brand, just at the point before they become leads. So it’s worth adding interactivity to your site to get your visitors’ attention.
Types of interactive content to try and include:
- Quizzes, which are easy to set up using a tool like Interact or Qzzr.
- Polls, which can often be created with the same tools
- Surveys, which can be done with GetFeedback
Alternatively, you could use your marketing software to pop up a single question on your site.
7. Use Live Chat
Another way to keep people on your site and win conversions is to use live chat software. The truth is, people like talking to people, and live chat helps with that. It’s good customer service, and great for lead generation.
Live chat helps you talk to visitors and address their concerns before they have the chance to click away. And it’s proven to keep customers happy and boost conversions and sales.
And if you can’t be online 24/7, you can still connect with customers by using chatbots to respond instantly and take care of the queries that come up regularly. In fact, Salesforce recommends that chatbots should be a part of both lead generation and sales.
Not sure where to start with chatbots? Check out this guide from Sprout Social.
8. Grab Attention Before They Go
When people are about to leave your website, you’ve got a short time to grab their attention and keep them engaged. Use your marketing software to create a slide-in offer.
The beauty of this is that it doesn’t annoy visitors when they’re browsing. That would create a poor user experience. Instead, it appears just in time to pique their interest.
We do something similar on the Sleeknote blog, showing a message that says: “We have something for you”.
This makes many people curious, and when they click, we give them a valuable offer, which is currently a huge resource bundle.
You can do the same on your site. Use an exit-intent trigger to detect when visitors are about to leave and make the offer at the right time. This really works. Telecoms company 3 generated 127,000 leads by using exit-intent.
9. Gate Your Content
Want to make your website even more of a lead generation machine? Make some content inaccessible unless people sign up. This is called content gating, and it’s proven to work.
There are a few ways to do this. For example, you can publish or show part of a blog post and only reveal or deliver the rest when people sign up.
Or you can use the content upgrade strategy, where you write a piece of great content, then dangle the carrot of something even more useful or appealing in exchange for an email address.
As long as you’re offering something valuable, content gating is a hugely effective lead generation technique.
10. Psych Visitors Out With Urgency and Scarcity
Finally, you can collect more leads on your website by using two tried and true marketing techniques: urgency and scarcity.
We humans don’t like the idea of missing out on anything. That’s called loss aversion). Whether that’s because time is short or the resource might run out, it’s how we’re wired.
Use urgency and scarcity to make any of the tips we shared earlier more effective. For example, you can:
- Have a timer at the top of your home page or on a popup offer
- Use messaging that reflects scarcity or urgency
- Pop up a limited offer just before people leave your site
Here’s an example from Social Media Examiner:
Showing the end date for their offer triggers people to make a decision, resulting in more leads.
That’s it. Now you have 10 ways to collect leads on your website and turn it into a stellar lead generation machine. Which one will you try first?
Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience.