Everyone wants to get more leads, but turns out that creating an effective lead-gen site is not as easy as it sounds. Lucky for you though, I’m about to give you 37 actionable tips, tricks, strategies, and tactics to supercharge your lead-gen abilities and drastically get more leads from your site. Let’s get started!
Perfecting the Lead Capture Page & Form
- Create a lead capture page. The first step is to create a separate page on your website where people can take the action you want them to take, such as filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, requesting a demo, etc. That way when you are promoting your product or service in other marketing channels (like paid search, email, or social media) you can send them to a conversion-optimized page rather than a more general page, like the homepage.
- Write compelling Calls to Action (CTAs). Your CTA should be short and to the point. It needs to highlight the benefit of your service or why people should give you their email. We’ll go into a couple of ways you can encourage signups a little later.
- Make your CTAs prominent and include them on every page of your site (including blogs!). To increase your opportunities to convert people, include CTAs on every page. Your CTA should probably be slightly different on each page of your website. For example, your CTA on a blog post might be “Looking for more great marketing tips? Sign up for our newsletter to get weekly strategies & tactics!” For your service page though, the CTA might be “Ready to supercharge your SEO? Contact us today for a free SEO audit!”
- Have your lead capture form on each page, and don’t put it below the fold. If you are going to have a CTA on every page, you’re going to need a lead capture form on every page too. While most websites have lead capture forms at the bottom of the page, in my experience most people don’t make it to the bottom of the page. If it fits your site’s styling you could try having the form on the right side of your page, and follow users as they scroll down the page.
- Only ask for the bare minimum on your lead form. Acquiring leads is hard enough already without you getting in your own way, so don’t overcomplicate your lead capture forms. Only ask for the essential information like their name, email address, and maybe their phone number. In most cases, any other important information can be acquired later.
- Use Hello Bar. Hello Bar is a free tool that sets up a lead capture bar at the top of each page of your website. That way, the first thing a user sees on a page is the action you ultimately want them to take…but without it being intrusive. Check it out and see if it makes sense to use on your website.
Encouraging People to Fill out the Form
- Give people a compelling reason to sign up/fill out a form. People are very protective of their privacy, so if they are going to give some company they’ve never heard of before both their email and phone number, there better be a damn good reason. Include that reason in the CTA. At this point, you’d probably like to know what some of these compelling reasons might be. Let’s get into it.
- Include a free demo or preview. If your product/service lends itself to the demo format, offering a free demo is one great way of encouraging people to fill out a form. At this stage of the conversion process, the burden is still on you to show why you are valuable to the person visiting your site. A demo or preview is the best way to do that. However, if a demo doesn’t make sense for your business, there is still hope.
- Use a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a super valuable resource that people NEED to have, and the only way they can get it is to fill out a quick and easy form. Who wouldn’t want to do that? A couple of examples of lead magnets are white papers, How to Guides, and e-books. Decide what type of lead magnet makes sense for your business and start making it! Here’s a great article on lead magnet ideas and examples you can check out.
- Host a free webinar. Yet another way of encouraging form completions is to invite anyone who fills out the form to a free webinar. The subject of the webinar would depend greatly on your business, but generally speaking, the most successful webinars seek to help people solve a particular problem, a problem that your company is well suited to assist with.
- Create an email course. You can encourage signups and nurture leads by creating a free email course for people who fill out a form. For example, if you are an SEO agency you could have an 8-part course on the fundamentals of SEO in 2016, and email one part per day to subscribers over the next 8 business days. I particularly like this strategy because it provides great value for the subscriber and keeps your business top of mind for well over a week (or for however long you choose to do it).
- Use a trip wire. A trip wire is a paid offering that is incredibly cheap, yet super valuable to the end user. The reason trip wires are so effective is because their value is unquestionably worth more than the asking price. Why would a company offer such a product? The reason is because it helps you get more customers through the door to begin with. From there, you can work on upselling them on your more profitable products or services. Offering people access to the trip wire in exchange for the form submission will likely improve conversions.
- Give them a discount. People love discounts and love the feeling that they are getting a good deal. A great way of doing this is to offer a discount for signing up. This tactic is of course dependent on your business model, but if it makes sense, it can really improve the quantity of qualified leads you get.
- Create a sense of urgency. One way to get even more out of the above strategies is to create a sense of urgency so that people make sure to sign up right away. If you’re offering a free white paper, but only for the next hour, people will be much more likely to convert right away in fear of missing out.
Clearly Explain your Product or Service
- Use images and videos. Raise your hand if you get excited when you get to a page and it’s an endless sea of text that reads like an encyclopedia. Nobody? It turns out that humans are visual creatures and we are much more likely to finish reading a page if the text is broken up with images and videos. Speaking of videos…
- Use an explainer video. An explainer video is, as the name suggest, a video that explains what your product or service is. There are many examples of explainer videos helping to skyrocket conversions, so definitely consider creating one. For more information on how to create a really great explainer video, check out this article.
- Break up your text into several sections with subheadings. In addition to using images and videos to make your pages more readable, use subheadings to further break up pages. This will make your content flow much better, help people remember where they left off if they had to stop reading in the middle of a page, and allows you to include relevant keywords in your subheadings (which is a minor SEO ranking factor). The more people that finish reading your (engaging!) copy, the more potential leads you’ll get.
- Design a service page with a clean layout that uses images, videos, and testimonials. Besides your homepage, your product or service page is your most important page on the website. When designing it, make sure that the layout is simple and easy to navigate, with all of the pertinent information clearly explained. Leverage images and your explainer video, and also consider throwing in links to, or snippets of, reviews and testimonials. Make this page compelling enough on its own so that if a user only ever sees this page, they’ll know everything they need to about your unique value proposition.
- Display reviews and testimonials prominently on the homepage and lead capture page. Studies have shown that approximately 90% of people read online reviews before visiting a business or making a purchase. Having existing customers endorse your company is an incredibly valuable trust signal to potential customers.
- Create a case studies section of your website. (Video case studies are great too!) Creating case studies, particularly video case studies, can establish how your company or offering has helped real people. Even more than online reviews, case studies can boost your credibility. If you can, try and use real statistics where possible. Include figures, graphs, and charts. Tell the story of how your business positively impacted someone else’s. You can take a look at Wpromote’s case studies for inspiration.
- Have a fleshed out ‘About Us’ page. When people are considering actually filling out your form and getting into contact with you, they’ll likely want to know more about your company beforehand. That’s why it is essential that your site includes an easy-to-find and thorough About Us page so that prospects can feel more comfortable contacting you. The lack of such a page screams that something shady is going on. Don’t let that be people’s impression of your company.
- Include picture of your team to establish trust. Another good way of establishing trust is having pictures of key members of your team, that include their job title, possibly a short bio, and a link to their LinkedIn profile. After all, if someone is willing to put their name and face out there, they are probably not trying to hide anything. This is how Wpromote does it. Put your own spin on it!
- Focus on positive words (never mention spam). This is an interesting one; Michael Aagaard of unbounce found that mentioning spam in a form submission decreased conversions by 18.7%. That’s not good. The phrase was even a positive one (“100% privacy – we will never spam you!”) but just using a negative word hurt conversions. Make sure you focus on the positives, and also test your changes to see their impact.
Engage with Site Visitors
- Include a clickable contact number and email. Include your contact information on every page, ideally in the upper-right corner. Your phone number and email address should be clickable so that on mobile devices people can call with a single button tap.
- Respond within 24 hours after a form completion. This should be obvious, but it needs to be said; a quick response time can be the difference between setting up that first call and losing the prospect altogether. Make sure you have the internal bandwidth to respond to all inquiries in a timely manner.
- Include live chat. If a prospect wants an answer to a question that they can’t find elsewhere on the site, Live Chat can be invaluable in nurturing the lead.
- Use pop-ups on user exit-intent. Pop-ups are the worst…but unfortunately they are pretty effective at getting people to submit their information. Set your pop-ups to display if a user is signaling exit-intent, such as moving their mouse to the top of the page. Remember, a pop-up doesn’t have to be spammy; use lead magnets or other tactics to actually provide value to people who fill out the pop-up form.
- Use retargeting to connect with past visitors. You can use various ad platforms like AdWords, Criteo, and AdRoll to retarget or serve ads to people who previously visited your website. It often takes people several encounters with a website before they convert. Make sure you keep your business name front and center in people’s minds.
- Create a ‘Thank You’ page after the form is submitted. When somebody does fill out a form, you want to immediately reassure them that they did the right thing. Therefore, after form completion, thank the person and let them know what the next steps are. Don’t forget to properly follow up within 24 hours!
Use Keyword Research & Content Creation for Top of Funnel Initiatives
- Use keyword research to inform your content marketing strategy. There’s a lot of great keyword tools out there like SEMrush, Brightedge, io, etc. Use those tools to identify the keywords your website should be trying to rank for. For more information on how to actually do keyword research, check out this post I wrote. How does keyword research relate to increasing leads? Allow me to explain.
- Use keyword research to create relevant, compelling content about your niche. Using the keywords you researched earlier, begin writing blog posts, articles, and guides with those keywords in mind so that you can start ranking for those terms. Focus on a good mix of content for people in various stages in the funnel. You should write content on more general subjects, for people who are new to your industry, and then more focused pieces for the experts. Having this kind of content not only brings in more qualified traffic, but it establishes your company as a thought leader in your industry. New to content marketing? Check out our content marketing basics guide.
- Build links to your blog, and then use internal links from blogs to static pages. Internal linking is a tried-and-true way of passing the ‘ranking power’ of links throughout your website. A page with hundreds of backlinks will usually rank highly for a keyword, while a page with only 10 or so may not. However, you can use set up an internal link from a page with many backlinks to a page with just a few backlinks. This will help the latter rank better. For more on internal linking, you can check out this guide on online presence management for small businesses. To monitor the backlinks pointing to your website, use the Ahrefs tool.
- Blog well, and blog consistently. A blog can help you rank for keywords your other pages wouldn’t be able to, particularly top of funnel terms. Google also tends to prioritize new (or fresh content), so you want to keep a consistent blog schedule, especially if you are planning on using blog content in a newsletter.
Test & Track Efforts
- Track your efforts. When you start using the tactics laid out in this blog post on your own site, you’re going to want to measure performance. I recommend using Google Tag Manager, in conjunction with Google Analytics event tracking, to track various user actions on the website, such as links people click on, how many forms are submitted (and which pages see the highest conversion rate), the effectiveness of your pop-ups, how many people call you directly from the site, etc. To get started with Google Tag Manager, you can go here.
- Analyze which pages lead to the most conversions and apply learnings site-wide. Once your tags have been set up to track actions on the site and you’ve accumulated a good amount of data, take a look to see what pages drive in the most leads. Is it your blog? Your FAQ page? The product page? Depending on what you find, you can apply those learnings across the website and prioritize high-converting pages when sharing content via other marketing channels.
- Use A/B testing frequently. A/B testing is a great way of improving your conversion capabilities. Maybe you have a really great lead capture form, but you’ve noticed that people aren’t clicking on your CTAs. You can do A/B testing to see if the issue is with the CTA itself, its positioning, the color of the button, etc. You can do basic A/B testing in Google Analytics. For more info on A/B testing, check out Wpromote’s comprehensive A/B testing guide.
- Use heatmapping. Heatmapping software helps you analyze how users interact with your website by providing information such as where people click most often, how far down the page they scroll, etc. You should definitely be using heatmapping to on your lead capture page as it can help you see what works, and what doesn’t. I recommend using CrazyEgg, Hot Jar, or Lucky Orange.
Thanks for making it to the end of this monster of a post; I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new today. Let me know in the comments if you think there’s something I missed.