Top 10 Tips for Improving Website Conversions and Lead Generation

December 18, 2014

website lead generation tipsIs one of your goals for the upcoming year to improve website conversions and generate more leads for your business online? Don’t rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) alone. Here are our top 10 conversion rate optimization tips to help you achieve success:

1. Invest in quality content.

In a world inundated 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a constant babble on the internet and social media it pays to offer a distinctive voice that will appeal to your target demographic. Not only should quality wordsmithing draw traffic and build readership, it should include SEO keywords in the body as well as in the snappy headline that generates interest. There are many built-in and/or free search engine optimization (SEO) tools available now so there is no excuse not to have complete and optimized meta titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions. As important as SEO is for the search engines, well written, meaningful copy about your product or services in a tone that resonates with your target audience is key for attracting human interest. Know how relationship books stress being a good listener? Use your content to build good relationships with existing and potential clients by being mindful of their questions and concerns raised in comments or any feedback. Use this to generate topics that will answer commonly asked questions and anticipate customer need.

2. Invest in quality visual elements.

You know that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? Make those visuals count by using professional photographs to showcase your products or services. Poor quality photographs, pixelated images, amateur video, or obvious stock photos simply don’t motivate purchases the way professional photographs do. Again, you need to impress the human eye with photographs but remember that you also need to optimize photos for the non-human search engines. Further, since Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm update, optimized images and videos are ranked higher in search than plain-text. That means great visual elements can please both your human audience and search engines so an investment in the creative components of your online marketing activity is worthwhile.

3. Be responsive.

Engaging with your clients and potential clients builds relationship, and when social media marketing and interaction is managed effectively it is a great way to generate interest in your product or service among qualified leads. Monitor social media and deal with questions, requests, and comments promptly and professionally — always mindful that how interactions are managed may persuade (or dissuade) people to do business with you. Ensure that icons and social sharing buttons are visible and encourage visitors to your site to share, perhaps upon completing a purchase or filling out a contact form like some large brands do in the hopes happy customers will want to share what they’ve just bought with their friends and family.

4. Anticipate need with your contact form.

Tailor your site’s contact form to suit the most common reasons visitors would want to contact you. It should be intuitive to fill out and reassure visitors that they have found the right forum to contact your business. The language ideally should confirm the expectation: “Please let us know if you would like to arrange for a free consultation” or “Sign up for our webinar.” If you say that you will respond the same day or reply within two business days be careful to follow through. Contact forms typically increase conversion rates when they are featured on all website pages or easy to navigate to from anywhere on your site. Analytics will help to track conversion success rates.

5. Think beyond the desktop.

The reality is that most people now surf the web using handheld devices like tablets or smartphones, which means the most successful websites are designed with mobile functionality in mind (not a separate mobile-specific app — that’s outdated now!). If your website doesn’t work for tablets or smartphones expect frustrated visitors to bounce from your pages to look elsewhere. Responsive designs for websites work no matter which device is used and keep browsers happy. That’s not all! Google has also made mobile optimization a visible search advantage, which means having a responsive website design is even more important now.

6. No one should have to ask for directions.

Don’t make visitors on the information highway feel lost, confused, and frustrated when they visit your site. Clear navigation encourages browsing and keeps visitors on your site rather than looking for other options online. Strive for clarity and simple navigation with every webpage easily accessed via the homepage. Ensure your most important and most-sought after information is as they used to say in the heyday of newspapers above the fold. In other words, the biggest news goes under the banner headline at the top because that is where people will look first.

7. Make it easy.

Visitors to your website appreciate finding what they want quickly. Expedite customer queries with a reliable site search tool that will leverage the keyword data from your pages to optimize results. Fast load times are very important because frustrated visitors will give up and exit out to look elsewhere. Test every form and link yourself and have others try and provide feedback so you can fix any trouble spots before they irk potential clients.

8. Generate goodwill with valuable free downloads.

Packaging informative content in a free e-book or PDF handout are attractive to visitors, plus you can use these offers to motivate people to sign up for your newsletter or email campaigns. Sell the benefits of the content you’re offering and incorporate any rave reviews or expert endorsements you may have. Keep visitors on your website by ensuring any downloadable information opens in a new tab or pop-up so they don’t click away from your page.

9. Publish frequently and cross-promote.

Regularly sharing new and useful information and insightful commentary keeps people interested and encourages return visits to your site. Use your other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook) to market your new blog posts with an integrated approach. Don’t stop there! Promote your business and social media sites in your email signature line and newsletters. Get help with content marketing here.

10 . Analyze conversion rates.

There are fantastic analytics tools available that take all the guesswork out of what works and what doesn’t so you can quickly modify and make changes to maximize success. When you want to determine the ratio of visitors who complete a desired action — whether that is purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter or some other action — there are reliable methods to track and interpret website analytics. There is even software that allows you to test which elements generate the most interest and convert visitors to customers. It is possible to run an A/B split-test, which lets some visitors see option A while the others see option B so that you can then determine which option attracted the most customers. Another possibility is multivariate testing, which allows for many such comparative tests to run at the same time.

Use your time and resources wisely and reap the benefits from establishing your business as one that is easy to work with online and a trusted source for information and ideas.

If you want expert help managing all aspects of your business blog writing, posting, and marketing, I offer customizable monthly packages for small and medium sized businesses. Contact me today for a free estimate or consultation.