In the past, a website was essentially a sales brochure—it had basic information about services and pricing, and a way to get in touch. But today, research shows as many as 74% of users prefer when a website offers them different personalized browsing paths to get the information they need.1 Today’s most successful websites are less brochure and more about meeting the customer on their personal journey. By the time a visitor makes it to the end of the sales funnel and are being called to action, they’ve reached a conclusion that feels like it’s just for them. Try these hacks to help you embrace your website’s ability to give each user the unique experience they want and generate more qualified leads.
It can sometimes feel that you’re trying things as you go in marketing, especially when just launching a new website or campaign. But if you want to embrace your site’s potential, you should look at specific aspects of your analytics to learn what’s most interesting to your audience. Then, you can focus on creating content pathways to match those customer interests. For lead gen purposes, look at these metrics: the exit percentage and the visit time.
- Exit percentage: Find the pages and articles on your website that have the lowest exit percentage.2 These are the pages that are most successfully attracting your audiences. Now ask yourself, what more could you add? When someone is reading that blog post, what content could you offer at the end to catch their attention even further and prompt them to give you their email address or other information? The content on the pages with the lowest exit percentage should inspire what extra information you put behind your lead capture portal.
- Visit time: You need to know not only how long the average visitor is staying on your site, but what specific pages are keeping their attention the longest. Your home page and any about us or services pages will always be high-traffic areas, but you might end up surprised which of your blog posts or case studies ends up being the most popular. From there, find your highest performing content and consider what other content could serve your audience well, such as whitepapers or webinars.3
Test and track the success of your content and premium offerings.
The visitors to your site might all be headed down different funnels, but they all converge on your homepage. With that in mind, you should design and write the front page of your website in a way that will speak clearly to different audiences and give them visible next steps to self-identify and continue their path to conversion. Start with messaging near the top of the homepage that addresses whatever common pain point or need your audiences have, and let them know how you solve it. Further down, speak to each audience individually, and invite them to click a resource that will appeal to them and encourage them to choose your brand. The more you can streamline yet personalize the experience of your homepage for your different consumers, the better. Make sure your contact info is in the footer in case they want support: a study by Ko Marketing found that once a visitor is on a website homepage, 64% are looking for contact information, and 52% want a general sense of what the business does and who you are.4
Not everyone coming to your website needs the same information to be convinced to do business with you. Some readers will like the practical route of a short-form blog, while others will take more time to read a whitepaper or take a webinar before making their decision. As you develop your blog and other top of the funnel marketing collateral, strategize how content or ads will eventually guide users to one of your landing pages, where there’s a free download or other offer to capture the lead. Though you may have three or four audiences, you may only have two landing pages, and that’s okay as long as each path establishes that the lead-gen offering has value.
If you’re not sure where on your website to put those landing pages, buy-now offers, or registration forms, there are plenty of great tools that break down your marketing analytics for you. Hotjar, for example, creates heatmaps of your website so you know exactly what readers are clicking on. If one content pathway isn’t working, you’ll be able to pivot and make changes to draw in more customers.
On social media, be sure to segment the audiences you’re targeting with ads based on geographic area, age, or professional industry. Send each group to the content or landing pages that are most likely to appeal to them. With email, regularly show off many aspects of your brand. A newsletter is where people who are familiar with your content might find other information of value.
Once someone enters their contact info into your site and becomes a lead, whatever content they’re provided with sets the stage for their conversion to a sale. However, if they download something that doesn’t give them a lot of value, they might lose confidence or even feel duped. Below are several different types of premium content you can put behind your lead generation forms to entice and satisfy a wide range of visitors on your website.
- Educational Content: Your educational content can take the form of an eBook, white paper, case study, guide, or webinar. These offerings should be substantial and practical, with enough information to build consumer confidence without totally giving way your business’s secret sauce. Webinars are especially great for this kind of education. A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute shows that webinars are one of the top five most effective strategies for lead generation and conversion.5 A well-done webinar offering can enhance your written content and help target consumers where they spent their time: watching videos. 55% of consumers watch video content online every day. If you provide services or consulting work, webinars can help you start building a relationship with leads immediately. Content like whitepapers or eBooks also offer this opportunity, but in a more passive way.
- Evaluation: Often, companies who are experts in certain material like lawyers, 401(k) providers, or medical specialists will provide an online or phone evaluation of a client’s potential needs. This is an effective premium offering because it helps prospective customers see where your company can help fill the gaps.
- Deals: For some businesses, especially B2C or retailers, offering discounts or special deals for people who make it to your landing pages can help motivate leads towards making a purchase decision. For example, when the company Stand Desk decided to offer businesses buying in bulk a $5,000 discount, they increased lead conversion by 221%.6
One of the most important things you can do to grow your lead generation strategies is to test and track the success of your content and premium offerings. You don’t just want to offer a variety of endings, you want to know which ones are most popular and why. That way, your future content will be all the more effective.
Allowing visitors to your website to customize their experience helps meet potential customers where they’re at, and also gives your business a clear picture of consumer needs. These kinds of solutions increase value for the user, can grow your web traffic, allow leads to self-identify sooner, and increase the quality of your leads. Turn your website from a static brochure into an active source of information, and your audience won’t be able to stop turning (er, clicking) the pages.