In this series of blog posts, Gravity Marketing will share the foundational principles of effective website lead generation. You can use each article as a checklist for your current website to see where improvements can be made.

Before we get started, there are three common mistakes businesses make when creating a website that can compromise lead generation potential:

1. Seeking only internal advice on website structure and design – A third-party can give critical feedback that closely aligns with the general user experience.

2. Assuming everyone who comes to your website already knows you, and all that you do – Website visitors come from search engines, referring sites, and word of mouth. Your site needs to give an informative first impression to anyone who visits, no matter where they are on the buying journey. Don’t forget that media, potential investors, and job candidates are visiting too.

3. Launching an advertising campaign before you have strong content – Paying to drive traffic to your website won’t be worth it unless you can achieve an ROI from conversions to leads or sales.

If you have avoided these mistakes, congratulations! You are on the right path. This series will help you identify ways to increase the number and the quality of leads generated from your website.

If you have made these mistakes, this series will give you the tips you need to transform your website from a dormant digital brochure to an active lead-generating machine.

In Part 1 of this series, we covered the five critical attributes every business website must have. In Part 2, we take it to the next level – generating leads. Our definition of a web lead is when a user shares their name and contact information through your website.

1. Web Forms – Multiple and Strategically Placed. One contact form alone at the end of your top navigation is more of a catch-all than a call to action. Think about the purpose of your website and the specific leads you are trying to drive. Use forms throughout the site in places where people are compelled to fill them out. A Quick Quote, Ask the Expert, Download a White Paper, Schedule a Meeting, are all great ways to make a specific ask, while demonstrating you are here to help. The users who only provide their name and email address can be added to your email database. The users who provide more information may be ready to have a conversation. Forward their details over to the sales team so the rep can respond in a timely manner.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform – Integrated into the Website. CRMs like Zoho and HubSpot are easy to integrate into your website and are an essential way to manage your web leads. Use CRM-supplied forms or compatible plug-ins like Ninja Forms on WordPress to create your web forms. When a form is submitted, an automated email confirmation can be sent to the user and a web lead notification can be emailed to the sales or marketing rep. The entire sales and marketing team can then access the CRM to see all web leads in one place, and where they are at in the pipeline, including the last contact that was made and by who. CRMs centralize communication with leads and store all of their contact information. No more updating spreadsheets or digging through emails.

3. Content – Relevant to Your Audience and Optimized for Search Engines. Let’s face it. No one is calling to ask your sales team what you can offer them. And they won’t stop by with that expectation, either. In 2020, 80 percent of the average B2B buyer journey took place online. By the time you receive a phone call, a drop by, or a web lead, your prospect has already researched your company and the competitive landscape. And for good reason – so they can maintain control of the decision-making.

Cater to online researchers by organizing your website in a way that is intuitive to them. Use benefits-driven language that is simple enough so anyone can understand the value you bring. Serve up different types of content to appeal to target audience segments, popular industry search terms, and different reading styles. A balanced mix of text, images, and videos is a must.

4. Social Media Presence – To Drive Organic Traffic. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the like are excellent channels to drive traffic back to your website. Establishing a social media presence for your company allows you to interact with customers, suppliers, and prospects where they are and engage them with bits and pieces of valuable insight. Promote events, blog posts, service offerings, case studies, and the like on social media with a link to your website for the full details.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising – To Drive Paid Traffic. Where social media followers are made up of your fans, PPC traffic is made up of prospects actively searching for your product, service, or expertise. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are two examples of the PPC advertising channels available. If you are in a niche industry you may want to consider digital ads on trade media websites or sponsorships with associations as well. Ads should speak the language of the prospective buyer and when clicked, take them to a unique landing page that continues the conversation, features a strong call to action, and has a prominent web form to generate the lead.

A website is not a digital brochure. It is a living representation of your company’s past, present, and future. At minimum, website content should be updated monthly. This keeps the information about your products, services, and clients relevant. Case studies, blog posts, sales and discounts, events, tools, and resources are all imperative to keep a website fresh and are valuable ways to drive leads.

Once you have these items in place, you are ready for the next step – automation. Keep an eye out for Part 3 in The CEO’s Guide to Effective Websites, where we tackle boosting existing results, real-time engagement, and dive deeper into digital advertising.