How to convert website visitors into leads and sales

Space rocket boostingCorrect me if I’m wrong but the point of a website is to increase the visibility of a business and ultimately generate quality leads that are likely to convert.

By implementing an effective lead generation and conversion strategy you stand to dramatically increase your profits, or engagement, or whatever objectives you are pursuing.

Whilst on the surface this might seem like quite a daunting task, the reality is that it’s actually relatively straightforward. In fact you have done the tricky bit already by building a beautiful website – now you just need to add the polish. So, lets role up our sleeves and and start the process of boosting your business into the stratosphere.

And joy of joys, look what comes up first…

1) Search Engine Optimisation

First things first – you have to begin by attracting quality traffic to your site. This fundamentally means you need to have a good SEO strategy in place. Google prides itself on matching people’s queries with the most relevant web pages and so it’s in your interest to help Google understand the content on your website as clearly as possible.

Bringing low quality visitors to your site is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

chocolate teapot

Granted your might get lucky and convert them further down the line, but this will be more by luck than judgement. By writing regular quality content and optimising site structure, Google will naturally drive quality traffic to your site.

So, now that you are reaching out to your target audience you need to ensure that your site’s functionality is at the optimum in terms of speed and ease of navigation. As we’ve mentioned in other blog posts involving SEO, negative bias is especially strong in relation to online activity and so the user experience needs to be top draw.

Employing SEO for lead generation is generally, but not exclusively, implemented for non-eCommerce products/services/goals in that you’re trying to entice the visitor into making an enquiry, thus moving them a closer to conversion and a little further down the much talked about sales funnel. SEO for eCommerce is a slightly different kettle of fish which we’ll get into later.

One important thing to remember is that search traffic is among the highest quality traffic online in that the user has already expressed an interest in what they are looking for, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. So, make the most of it!

What is the point in encouraging unqualified or low quality visitors to hand over their email addresses? The juice simply isn’t worth the squeeze and you’ll end up waisting valuable time trying to convert somebody that simply doesn’t want to convert. A far more effective way of operating is to only attract those who are interested in your service or product from the outset. Whilst this might mean less traffic, this doesn’t equate to less conversion.

 

2) Move them down the funnel

Sales funnelIn most instances in life people like to choose the easiest route possible and so the job of the website host is to not only to encourage the visitor to stay on the site, but also urge them to take the next step, whatever that might be,  by guiding and engaging with them every step of the way. This needs to be done subtly so as not to annoy the visitor but it also must be proactive – never simply ‘expect’ people to do what you want them to. Encourage them, entice them, dangle a delicious looking carrot in front of their nose and lead them to the next step.

3) Overlays

It is well known that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. There are many tools available today that allow you to maintain the focus of your visitor.

I bet that anyone who spends even a short time browsing online each day will encounter what is known as an ‘overlay’.

marketing overlay exampleAccording to Justin Rondeau of Econsultancy: “A site with an overlay garners up to 400% more email opt-ins than a site that relies on an in-line form will”.

Read Justin’s insightful article on how to increase email opt-in rates.

Who are we to argue with Justin?!

The trick with these is to ensure that you don’t annoy the visitor – quite often you come across a website that abuses these tools and ultimately this will have a negative effect. Whilst they are invasive and a quite aggressive way of approaching potential customers, the reason why you see the all of the time is that they work.

Overlays are aimed at first time visitors and the objective is to quickly obtain their information before they leave the site. In most cases they will appear as soon as a visitor arrives.

 

4) LEAD MAGNETS / LEAD HOOKS

These are not as in your face as overlays as they can be triggered as a response to the manner in which your visitor is moving around your website and, generally speaking, they offer an immediate benefit for the visitor, like ‘20% Off’ or ‘Free Shipping’.

Overlays are enticing little pop-ups – for want of a better expression – that appear after you have spent a certain amount of time on a webpage and they’re designed to encourage the visitor to convert, whether it be by proposing a one off offer should they go to the checkout or a free consultation if they get in touch.

Generally speaking ‘lead hooks’ are triggered when the visitor reaches a certain point of your page. Essentially they have committed enough time on page to demonstrate that they are interested in the subject. This being the case they are more likely to engage in whatever you’re offering, whether it be a call-to-action, an offer or redirecting them to another page of your site. Like contact forms they can also be a method of capturing email addresses.Marketing Lead Hook Example

In both of these examples it is important to give your visitor an incentive. Especially nowadays with countless stories of data breeches, people are not willing to give up their valuable information for free so offering them something like a free handbook or access to an upcoming webinar is essential if you are going to convince them to part with their contact information.

This is also a chance to be creative – don’t just write a run of the mill, boring CTA like ‘Join our Newsletter’. This provides no incentive to your visitor. Get creative and make it worth there while!

As ever it isn’t as simple as offering them a juicy bone. Different dogs like different bones (I’m not sure if this is entirely true but regardless you understand what I mean!) and this is especially relevant now because there are three different types of leads; early-stage, mid-stage and  late-stage. You have to approach all three with a different strategy.

Read what Dummies have to say about the three different types of early, mid and late stage buyers

5) Intelligent Lead Generation

Understanding who your customers are, the tone of voice to use with them and the stage they are at in the sales funnel is an essential part in converting leads into sales.

On average over 70% of site traffic leaves your website never to return. So, if you were able to harness and convert even a fraction of this number, it could dramatically transform your business.Lead Magnet example

There are a number of tools that help you do this, Convert Plus, OptinMonster (as seen in the alongside image) and Sumo to name but a few.

Checkout exactly what the Convert Pro plugin does in this video.

These intelligent systems allow you to target specific users, whether they are new or returning, with specific messages depending on who they are.

These tools are designed to keep visitors on the site, encourage engagement and conversion and even contact visitors who have recently left the site.

Setting up ‘lead alerts’ that tell you when a new qualified visitor is on your site allows you to engage them directly thus giving you a greater chance of converting them.

73% of your leads are not ‘sales ready’ for a variety of reasons. Keeping in touch with recent visitors in order to keep them interested is an effective way of encouraging conversion but speed is a critical part of this. Infusionsoft is one of many tools that can send an automated email to recent visitors with differing messages depending on where they were in the sales cycle / funnel.

As ever balance is important and whilst you want to imprint your brand at the forefront of your customers mind, it’s important not to over do it or do it in an overtly aggressive manner – this might sound obvious but it’s something that many people get wrong.

It is often necessary to build trust with the customer before they convert and in some cases this might mean contacting them as many as 6 times before they edge the ultimate outcome. However, know your limits and disengage with people who show no sign of converting, not only from the point of view of not waisting your time, but also in order to remain within the confines of the new General Data Protection Regulation laws.

 

6) A / B Testing (Split testing)

Developing the correct tone of voice and working out what works and what doesn’t is an essential part of developing a lead generation strategy.

By implementing split testing at the beginning of your campaign you’ll be able to quickly determine which one of your strategies is converting more traffic.

Have a look at some examples of A / B Testing and how it can significantly effect the way you role out a lead conversion strategy.

Lead generation, conversion and retention is an iterative process that must constantly be massaged in order to know that you’re operating at full capacity. It doesn’t happen over night. Take your time, adapt and don’t be afraid to try knew things.

Be Proactive

The moral of this story is to be proactive. Don’t sit on your laurels and wait for traffic to convert.

But who am I to say that?

Take it from someone who’s done pretty well in their life/career…

Ladies and gentleman, without further ado…

Mr…. Stephen….. Coveyyyyyyy

 

(Who I hear your cry?  I admit I found this quote on Google – but don’t let that detract from its relevance…)

 

“The most important thing in this highly competitive world is action, and you just need to take matters in your hand, create your own possibilities, and be proactive. Whether it is your career or personal life, get going; take charge; make it happen; be proactive!”

 

So, roughly translated; understand who is coming to your website, entice them to stay, encourage them to engage and inspire them to convert.

Have you built a website and are looking to transform leads into sales? Do you need any help doing this?