5 Functions Your Website Needs to Generate Leads and Make You Money
As a web design company we have found that we have two types of prospective clients coming to us on a regular basis:
a) those who have a website and hate it
b) those who don’t have a website at all
I can understand those who fall into the first category. After all, most web developers aren’t designers or marketers so the sites they build are functional, but boring and drab or little more than a digital business card.
The second group? They baffle me. Especially in 2017. Whatever.
So, let’s talk about what a website is really for and how to build one properly so that it does more than just sit there gathering digital dust.
Here are the 5 things you need to incorporate into your site to make it work for you.
1) Make it aesthetically pleasing.
With the tools we have available to us today there is no reason to have an ugly website. Sure it needs to be functional and user friendly, but functionality and aesthetics aren’t mutually exclusive.
With that said, make sure you are listening to your designer and take his or her advice where possible. Keep in mind that they are professional designers and you most likely are not. If you think your logo should be bigger on the homepage chances are you are wrong. Just go with it and trust their design sense.
2) Optimize your site for user experience.
Make sure you take some time to think about the information you want to deliver and where that information should go. What is the first piece of info you want a visitor to know? What is the second? And so on. Your most important information should be just a click or two away.
Organizing your content into logical silos is important so that visitors can have a clear path to what they need. For our client Ashley Manor for example, we have create silos that separate information into “buckets” for easy access. They are in the assisted living and memory care space, so their site visitors tend to consume lots of information.
They have silos for General Information, Care Giving, Health and Wellness, and Financial and Legal. These categories keep everything organized and easy to find.
3) Your site should have a way to collect leads.
I’m not just talking about a boring “Sign up for our newsletter” function either. Unless you are going to be more specific about what they get and it is valuable or useful your little newsletter is going to die a slow death.
You need something that is going to act as a hook. Something that will get their attention and agree to exchange their contact info for it. Let’s go back to Ashley Manor for a second.
Right there on the homepage they have a lead capture form that offers a free PDF guide called “8 Tips to Choosing a Memory Care Facility” and is loaded with practical and useful advice (I know because I wrote it).
Visitors to their site presumably have a loved one who has been recently diagnosed with some form of dementia and are looking for a care facility. This guide is exactly what they are looking for.
4) Your site should have a resource center.
Today’s consumer is much more savvy, has greater access to pricing, reviews, and information about you, your company, and your products and services than at any other time in history. No longer are you simply selling goods and services.
In today’s marketplace you should operate as a publishing company would, providing helpful, useful, and relevant information to your site visitors. If you’re a dentist, you are really in the business of providing oral care health information and just happen to monetize it by selling dental services.
If you are in the data storage vertical you are really in the business of educating business consumers about everything cloud and just so happen to make your money by selling cloud storage services.
You get the idea.
Consumers are looking for solutions to their problems. The businesses that will win in today’s competitive environment will be the ones who give the most freely of their expertise and knowledge to help those consumers find the best, most cost effective solution to those problems.
By housing a resource center on your site you can establish yourself as THE go-to place for cutting edge best practices, interviews with experts, downloadable guides, helpful checklists, current news about your industry, and more.
This is your chance to set yourself apart from the competition and carve out your place in the marketplace as the number one expert in town.
5) Your site should have multiple calls-to-action located in strategic places throughout the site.
The reason most websites don’t generate leads or calls is because there is no clear “next step” in the copy. Most blogs simply post their information and leave it at that. No contact us, no call now, no get a quote…nothing. Without that next step then readers simply vanish, on to the next site.
We recommend setting your blog page up in a 2 column/1 column format, i.e. having two columns to the left with a sidebar area on the right. Your blog content goes on the left and calls-to-action go to the right in the sidebar.
These calls-to-action can really be anything you want, but I’d recommend you lead with your most desirable outcome.
For example, our client, Lowry Dental, wants appointments scheduled so that call-to-action is the first thing listed. Below that are other banners for teeth whitening coupons, free mouth guards for youth athletes, etc. But, first and foremost we are highlighting appointment scheduling.
Build Your Own Lead Generating Machine
I hope that you will take these 5 considerations to heart, give your own site an audit, and implement these strategies where necessary. By doing so, you can build a website that does more than just site there in cyberspace…you’ll have a real asset that actually generates leads and revenue on a consistent basis.
As always, if you need help or guidance please visit our Resource Center for more ideas or feel free to contact us by filling out the Start a Project form below.