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Why Your Website is a Lead-Gen Liability

September 28, 2017

Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier for people to access information than it is today. However, thanks to that little search bar at the top of your browser, it’s also never been easier for people to leave when they don’t like what they see.

Your website can be one of your most important lead-generation assets. But, if not managed correctly, it can also be a lead-generation liability.

Here are some common lead-generation mistakes organizations make with their website and how to fix them.

Not optimized for mobile

In 2015, mobile and desktop searches were neck and neck. But as of a year ago, mobile edged out desktop for worldwide internet usage for the first time.

People have started spending more time on mobile devices than desktops and, more specifically, started using mobile devices for search. Google even says 40 percent of visitors will abandon sites that take more than three seconds to load. That means if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re going to start losing customers.

Make sure you’re testing your website on any device your audience may be using, especially your big lead-generation assets like lead-capture forms and gated, downloadable content.

No clear CTA

People come to your website from so many different places.

To maximize your lead-generation efforts, consider how your prospect found your website and the specific action you want them to take when they arrive.

Many companies get hung up on this by putting too much content or clicks in between arriving to the site and completing the goal action. The more steps you put between the customer and the action you want them to take (either fill out a form or make a purchase), the more opportunities you give them to abandon their customer journey and leave your website before taking any meaningful action.

One way to tackle this is by including CTAs wherever you can. Your reader is much more likely to take a desired action if a clear and present CTA encourages that action.

[RELATED CONTENT: How to Write a CTA that Converts]

Think about designing landing pages to serve the page’s unique goals. If you want a reader to sign up for a mailing list or download a piece of gated content, lead them to a page that lets them just put in their details.

No retargeting

People abandon the buyer journey all the time for various reasons. Maybe the content didn’t suit their needs at that time. Maybe the baby started crying and they had to put down the phone or step away from the computer. Retargeting is a way to help them pick up right where they left off.

By utilizing tracking pixels or cookies (small pieces of code used to map visitor behavior) on your website, you can monitor where your leads came from and where you might have lost them.

You can then retarget them with an ad or content designed to remind them where they left off and how they can continue. Maybe it’s an additional discount if they book now or maybe it’s a simple reminder that they left something in their digital shopping cart. Either way, it allows you to stay connected with your leads and keep them engaging with your brand.

No maintenance strategy

If you’ve dabbled in Facebook marketing, you understand the importance of A/B testing images, copy and headlines to see what works and what doesn’t. The same principle is highly effective in website maintenance and, ultimately, lead generation.

When you run ads with new custom landing pages, create two mostly identical ads with some minor design changes like where the CTA is placed or what copy goes in the form. You can then split test two ads going to similar audiences, with the only difference being which landing page the customer is sent to. By comparing results, you’ll see which is most effective at capturing or nurturing leads and you can make better content decisions going forward.

It may not seem worth the effort, but there’s evidence to suggest it is: The removal of a banner increased SimCity sales by 43 percent; changing a “Shop Now” to a “Buy Now” CTA button increased Black & Decker CTRs by 17 percent; and the FSA store increased revenue per visitor by 53.8 percent by removing subcategories from the homepage. By continually testing and updating design elements on your website and responding to data, you can dramatically increase your sales, leads and revenue.

Content inconsistencies

Companies go to great lengths to make sure the design of an entire website is consistent and complementary. But they often give less attention to tone and language.

This can lead to inconsistencies in the user’s experience and make lead generation even more difficult than it already is. Someone might love your edgy tweets but be turned off by a pink and fluffy website.

Treat your website like a piece of content and make sure it matches the content leading visitors to view it.

[RELATED CONTENT: How Content Accelerates Lead Generation]

What can you do?

Lead generation is hard. The good news is that the content you’re already creating is probably only a few tweaks away from generating a lot of them.

Make sure your website looks good on mobile and uses clear, prominent CTAs. Make sure your content is consistent across all channels and that you’re retargeting effectively. And make sure you have a plan in place to test and optimize your content to make sure the right message always reaches the right people.

About the writer: Zachary Jarvis is uninspired by the never-ending talk of “vanity metrics” in the world of digital marketing. He’s a digital marketer at Magnate, the “Social-First” marketing agency.

September 28, 2017

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