“We had our website redesigned last year, so we don’t want to spend any more money on it for now.”
It’s a phrase that often crops up in meetings with new clients who have approached us for marketing support because they aren’t getting enough sales leads.
Perhaps you’ve been there.
“We used a great web designer, paid a fortune, the website looks pretty good, it’s not perfect but it’s probably “good enough”.
“But how can we get more leads?”
A common thread is that many marketers and business owners only see their website as a vehicle for prospects to get into touch. That’s why “Contact Us” is, by far, the most frequently used call to action on the websites of small and mid-size businesses instead of a value-based offer to convert visitors into interested buyers.
In truth, since Google accounts for 94% of all organic search, business owners and marketers need to focus on turning their website into a lead generation engine that can attract relevant search traffic, engage and convert them into prospective buyers and support sales growth.
Good web design and web development go far beyond making the website look good.
It needs to engage, inform and convert by providing a quality experience that addresses your visitors’ needs and caters to their motivations at whatever stage of the buyer journey they’re at.
There could be many reasons why your website is not generating leads.
Let’s take a look at a few – and what you can do about them.
1. Not enough visitors
“Build it and they will come”.
Someone should have added “But only if they can find us.”
OK, it’s an obvious point. But without (enough) visitors it is impossible for your website to generate (enough) leads.
Unless it can be found by the sort of buyers that are looking for the kinds of products and services you sell, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s not generating any leads.
There are a number of ways you can drive traffic to your website, but top of the list is ensuring it is SEO friendly and is ranking in Google (and the other search engines).
Improving your search engine ranking positions requires a multi-faceted mix of marketing and technical measures, including onsite basics such as page title and description tags, high quality keyword-infused content, and easy-to-navigate content structure with appropriate headings. Technical work is also needed to make sure pages load quickly.
Offsite, you need to ensure that authoritative websites are linking to key pages on your site.
Other ways to improve traffic to your website include paid search on Google, Bing and social media channels.
2. Bounce rate is too high
Your bounce rate is the percentage of people that land on a page of your website and leave having only viewed that one page.
If your website has a high bounce rate it can be an indication that either visitors couldn’t find what they were looking for, the content wasn’t engaging, the page wasn’t user-friendly or visitors just didn’t like what they saw.
Use the other data available via your Analytics dashboard to draw conclusions about whether you’re attracting the right kind of visitors, whether your page is catering for their stage in the buyer journey (see later) and other factors such as dwell time and what they actually did on the page while they were there.
Review your offers and calls to action, analyse what’s appearing above the fold, and whether the content is too long or short.
3. Bad design
Poor or unappealing web design is a turnoff for visitors and will not make visitors want to jump into your website and find out more about your products.
The website may be the first touch point your potential customers have with your brand or your business, so it is vital that it engages them immediately and makes the right first impression.
While being relevant and meeting your visitors’ expectations, your website design should also be attractive and intuitive, so that your visitors are engaged and can move seamlessly through to the next stage of the website path as quickly as possible.
Avoid busy or complicated page layouts that may distract visitor attention from the key goal you want them to follow.
Make sure too that your website design is consistent with your corporate identity – so that your brand colours, font, logo and tone of voice provide a consistent experience.
4. Too much content
Sometimes less is more.
Nobody wants to plough through page after page of text-heavy content on a website. It is not appealing, attractive or engaging for visitors and it certainly won’t help with conversions. It is far better to use concise content that communicates your key messages and in-page links for navigation.
On the other hand, elegant, well-crafted and concise website content can be the lifeblood of your site.
Consider how much text you have used on each page of your website and whether it is balanced by images and other forms of content. To aid readability, for example, keep paragraphs to no more than four lines for easy digestion to encourage visitors to flow through the content.
As well as being good practice, using images, graphics and video content to communicate with visitors will also make your website more visually appealing. Ensure that any images you use support your message and don’t conflict with or unduly distract from the visitor journey.
5. Wrong kind of offers
Using offers on your website is an effective way of persuading potential customers to engage with you.
If your website offers are not working, then it is very likely they are not of interest to the sort of visitors you are attracting – perhaps they don’t offer the value they are seeking at this stage of their buyer journey.
Your offers should reflect and address your potential customer’s pain points. If you don’t know what these are, revisit your target customer profiles and refine them to determine the type of offers to include on the website.
Above all, don’t expect your website visitors to buy on their first visit.
Target your offers at the stage of the buying process your visitors are at, recognising that if you try to sell to them too hard from the off they’ll likely be turned off.
They need help to build up trust first, so entice them more gently. Try:
- Tempting them with a free trial or sample
- Offering free delivery on a first purchase
- A discount on a first order
- A free consultation or audit
- An offer to let them experience your skills and expertise for free.
6. Confusing calls to action
A key factor in maximising website conversions is to ensure that your website has at least one clear and strong call to action, not just a “Contact us” button.
You must decide what you want your visitors to do as a result of coming to your website, and a good call to action will tell them what to do next, point them in the right direction and affirm that they are definitely in the right place.
It will also help encourage more tentative potential customers further along the journey towards becoming a customer.
Above all, keep your calls to action simple so it is crystal clear to visitors what they should do next if they’ve found your offers engaging.
For example, if you want visitors to make contact, prompt them to get in touch and make sure they know why they should contact you, how they will benefit and what contact details they should use.
7. Over-complicated web forms
While it’s tempting to think that gathering as much information as possible about potential customers is important, you should realise that people don’t like filling in forms. Complicated and lengthy lead generation forms will definitely impact your conversion rates and hinder your website in generating leads.
Keep the number of lead form fields to a minimum, requesting only the most important information, such as name and email address.
You can always ask for more information as the relationship progresses.
8. You don’t understand the customer journey
To understand your customer journey, you need to cater for the stage in the buying process you believe your customers are at.
If they are doing basic research on the key aspects of SEO, they’re not likely to commit to a year-long contract costing £thousands via a form that says “Buy now”.
Use content on your website that addresses your potential customer’s pain points and provides a solution to help them address the problem they want to solve. To help with this, create a profile of your ideal customer to help you build a customer persona.
Tailor and target your website content at these potential customers at the stage in their buying cycle where you want to interact with them. This in turn will nudge them further towards their purchase decision – from you!