How to Optimize Your Website for Lead Capture
Even if it doesn't translate into an immediate sale, being trusted with someone's contact information opens doors to prospects. That's why lead generation is by far the most common and well important business goal for any website.
by Catie Leary
Lead generation is, by far, one of the most common business goals for a website.
Even if a lead doesn’t immediately turn into a prospect or customer, being trusted with someone’s contact information opens the door to possible future engagement from that person. For example, maybe someone signs up for your email newsletter out of sheer curiosity with no intentions of becoming a customer. And yet, after more than a year of regular email communications from you, they finally convert as a customer because you were in their ear the past year.
Of course, you have to get the leads in the first place for that fabulous long game to work, and that’s where lead capture optimization comes in. Essentially, you want to do everything in your power to make it easy for your users to convert to leads.
There are a few tried and true tricks you should know to make that happen, but before you start optimizing anything, we recommend going through the benchmarking process. You need to think about what kind of leads you’re looking for, how you plan to capture them, and how you will measure your lead capture success. Once you’ve laid that foundation, you can begin lead capture optimization in earnest.
Continue below for ten simple ways to optimize lead generation on your site.
1. Create landing pages for specific campaigns
If you’re embarking on a highly targeted PPC campaign, you’re going to want to create a dedicated landing page for those efforts.
As Neil Patel explains in his Beginner’s Guide to Landing Pages, a landing page focuses the user’s attention on a call-to-action and streamlines their path to conversion:
“Rather than directing visitors from those sources to your general website (where they may have a hard time finding what they’re looking for), you can direct them to a specially-designed landing page that steers them in exactly the direction you want them to take.”
How do you create an attractive landing page? While you can make a basic landing page using whatever interior page template your website already has, but if you’re looking to create something more dynamic and eye-catching, you will probably want to either (a) get in touch with your developer to design a new template for your site, or (b) look into a landing page builders, which are very easy to use and offer many options for customization.
2. Make sure landing pages match what was promised to users.
Don’t pull a bait and switch. If you’re running a PPC campaign, make sure your ad is truly advertising what a user can expect when they click on it. The same principle applies to SEO titles and meta descriptions.
A bait and switch may result in increased traffic (at least, temporarily), but it is unlikely to result in conversions. And since your goal is capturing leads, the amount of traffic you have doesn’t really matter if no one’s following through because they were tricked. It’s also important to note that a bait and switch can also get you in trouble with Google since it flies in the face of meeting a user’s search intent.
3. Write tailored calls-to-action for every page and post
Having strong CTAs is not only critical for PPC and SEO landing pages — they should be present throughout your entire site. After all, if a visitor is perusing your site, you want to make it really easy for them to take the next step in their journey as a customer — whether that’s giving you a call, filling out a contact form, or signing up for your newsletter.
Don’t just call it a day by pasting “Contact ABC, Inc. at (555) 555-6789 for more info!” at the bottom of every single page. No site visitor is going to feel compelled to continue their user journey with such a milquetoast request. Instead, write a call-to-action that complements the purpose of the page or post.
4. Offer freebies.
One great way to capture leads is to offer “free” stuff in exchange for contact information. Freebies are often downloadable assets that serve an educational purpose — for example. white papers, online courses, templates, webinars, slideshow presentations, and ebooks. These types of educational and resource-based assets do well when they’re supported by a dedicated landing page or blog post that can make the pitch to the reader for why the freebie is worth sharing one’s email for.
Two other types of freebies to consider are product demos and free trials. Free trials are especially great because, in addition to capturing a lead’s contact information, you may even end up earning them as a loyal customer if they’re satisfied with their trial and wish to continue.
5. Choose your homepage calls-to-action carefully.
Your homepage is one of the most critical pieces of real estate on your website. Given how valuable the homepage is, you may feel a pull to cram as much as you possibly can onto it. Resist this impulse!
We see this often with websites that use rotating image carousels on their homepage — with each rotating slide offering up a different CTA. There are many reasons why image carousels ought to be launched into the sun, but the biggest reason is that they’re conversion killers. Having too many CTAs on your homepage distracts and dilutes the attention of your users, so you generally want to feature one or (maybe) two CTAs to feature prominently. If your goal is capturing leads, then you’ll probably want to choose a CTA that collects contact information. For example:
- “Request a quote today!”
- “Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.”
- “Try us free for 30 days.”
6. Make it really easy for users to find your contact information.
This may seem pretty obvious, but your site visitors shouldn’t have to jump over hurdles to get in touch with you. While we’ve already talked about the importance of including tailored CTAs on every page and post, you should also think carefully about how you’re presenting your ‘Contact’ page. Here are just a few guidelines for making sure you’re easy to reach:
- Every self-respecting ‘Contact’ page should have (1) a contact form and (2) all of your contact information neatly laid out.
- If applicable, you may also want your ‘Contact’ page to include your social media links, hours of operation, and/or a Google map of your business location.
- Make sure any phone numbers are clickable — not just on your contact page, but throughout your site, as well. Mobile users will thank you!
- Add basic contact information into the footer of all of your pages. Users will expect it to be there, so give them what they want!
7. Add a live chat
Live chats are becoming more and more common on websites — you may have even noticed them on our own site! In our experience, they’ve done a great job of getting your site users the answers they need quickly — especially when there is a real person behind the “support desk” fielding visitor queries.
In addition to helping your users, live chats are a lead capture tool that helps start conversations with curious visitors. For many people, filling out a “request a quote” form might feel like too much of a commitment, but engaging in a more informal chat conversation about your product or services may feel less pressured.
8. Conduct A/B testing
If you’ve done all the right things, but still aren’t seeing the conversion success you were hoping for (or you’re curious to see if you can take it step further), you may want to consider A/B testing.
Hubspot defines A/B testing as an “experiment that shows two different versions of one piece of content (such as a landing page, email, or call-to-action) to two similarly sized audiences to see which one performs better.”
You can perform A/B testing on all sorts of marketing assets and elements — both on and off your site. Off your site, you might do A/B testing on your inbound marketing campaigns (such as email campaigns or pay-per-click ad campaigns). By pushing out slightly different versions of your ad or email, you can determine which versions do the best job of enticing users to your landing page.
Once a visitor reaches your site through one of these inbound marketing vehicles, you may want to A/B test various elements of the landing page to see which encourages more conversions. The list of things you can A/B test is pretty long — page layouts, body copy, call-to-action copy, button colors, images, videos, contact form placement, or even the “Thank You” page that a user is redirected to after submitting a form.
9. Go even more in-depth with visitor tracking tools
Still curious about how users are interacting (or not interacting) with content or elements on your site? While A/B testing can tell you a lot about how your campaigns are performing, you can also take a deeper dive through the use of visitor tracking tools.
Visitor tracking tools, like mouse tracking or session recording, allow you to view specific users’ movements on your site and identify friction points that might be preventing conversions. On their own, these tools cannot offer a definitive analysis of what is and isn’t working on your site, but they do provide valuable qualitative data to take into account when determining the direction of your CRO strategy.
10. Optimize the pages and posts that receive the most traffic
Here’s one last lead capture optimization trick I’ll leave you with: Open up Google Analytics, pull a list of your site’s most highly trafficked pages, and begin methodically updating each one to maximize its lead capture potential. Essentially, you want to treat these highly trafficked pages as landing pages. This may mean adding a contact form at the bottom, rewriting some of the copy, tweaking the CTA, or promoting downloadable “freebies” behind a lead capture form.
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