I've said repeatedly that you can't have a website "because". Not because everyone has one. Not because your competition has one. Not because your customers ask about it. You have to have a website to help achieve your business objectives. If you can't sell directly online but one of your objectives is increasing revenues or profits (and you know it is), you need to be focused on generating leads that your sales and marketing people can nurture into sales.
To be effective at generating website leads, you need to understand the basic Inbound Marketing lead generation model. It's fairly simple and we've discussed the various aspects before, but here's a simple rundown.
Your offer is something perceived as high in value such as a piece of content or another item that a website visitor will want from you. When it comes to content, you may be offering an ebook, a whitepaper, a video, or catalog. Other offers may include coupons, product samples or product demos.
Your offer needs to be something that a website visitor will view as high enough in value to trade their email address and name for.
Call To Action
You can think of the call to action as your online billboard to catch the attention of your website visitors. There are many best practices for calls to action (CTAs). I won't get into them here. I just want to make sure you understand what they are.
Your call to action might be text, an image, a button or a combination of the 3. Your CTA links to a landing page where the website visitor can request your offer.
As mentioned above, your landing page is where a website visitor goes to request your offer. Your landing page should only be accessible by clicking on a CTA. You want to be able to track exclusively how a website visitor makes it to your landing and which CTAs are most effective at driving visitors there.
The landing page should have copy that explains the primary benefits of your offer and a form to request your offer. That's it! There should be no distractions. You've gotten the visitor to the landing page, now we want them to convert into a lead by filling out the form. You don't want to give them any other options on the landing page. No navigation, no other offers. Just the main offer and a way to request it.
A lead cannot be generated if you don't have a form. The website visitor has to be able to enter their information in some way. If they can't, you can't convert them into a lead. The form on your landing page should be hooked up to your email marketing platform, your crm, and any other platform you use to track and communicate with leads.
A good form is one that asks for the bare minimum information that you can. If you ask for the visitors' life story, you won't generate a lead. If you ask only for the essentials you need, you will see many more conversions. The information asked for should be dictated by how your offer aligns with your buyers' journey. If these leads are in the awareness stage, you shouldn't push it. Ask for their email and name. If they are in the consideration phase, you may be able to ask for their company name and optionally their phone number. The idea here is as they move further along the buyers' journey, they will be willing to share more information about themselves.
Put It All Together And Generate A Lead
At a basic level, put your offer, your call to action, your landing page and your form together and you can generate leads. Duplicate this model with several offers and you will be on your way to exceeding revenue growing objective. After these basic pieces are in place, you need to do what you can to optimize each component and your thank you message.