X

7 Steps To Optimize Your Website For Lead Generation [Guide + Examples]

Web Design,  Web Development

25 Mar, 2021

“We need our website to generate more leads.”

There it is. The buzzword that haunts business owners and marketing managers alike.

A website visitor clicking on a call-to-action (CTA), reading through a landing page, and submitting a form with their contact information, is the result of many carefully implemented web design strategies.

BUT.

With the increasing number of online businesses competing for leads, standing out amongst the crowd is becoming more difficult.

With the increasing number of ‘gurus’ and outdated tactics available online, identifying what methods actually work is becoming murkier.

We’re here to break down the most powerful, tried-and-tested methods to optimize your website for lead generation.

We’ll discuss the top seven ways you can improve your business’s website to attract new customers:

  1. Perform An Audit
  2. Create Meaningful Customer Personas
  3. Use Kick-Ass Landing Pages
  4. Make Sure Your Site Is Accessible
  5. Follow Web Design Best Practices
  6. Maximize Page Load Speed
  7. Test, Test, Test!

You’ll learn how these methods work and why they’re so effective, with real-life examples to show you how to implement these practices tomorrow.

No snake-oil strategies. No outdated facts. Just winning methods that we use with our clients, successfully, every day.

Let’s get started. 

1. Perform An Audit

Before you start implementing new strategies to drive lead generation, you need to know exactly where you’re at today. Think of it as a ‘before photo’ of your website’s performance. How else can you measure improvement or know which tactics worked the best?

This is called an audit. A website audit involves measuring and recording and analyzing the metrics that are relevant to lead generation.

You might be thinking, how the heck do I do that? A website audit sounds a lot more complicated and it is. Once you know where to look, it’s easy to record and track how your website is performing.

The following five metrics help to paint a picture of how well your website generates leads:

Metric What Does This Mean? How Do I Calculate It?
Click-Through Rate (CTR)  This shows you whether your call-to-actions (CTA’s) are doing their job. Ideally, you want a high proportion of viewers to be clicking through your website.  [Total Clicks] ÷ [Total Views] x 100
Conversion Rate (CR)  This tells you how many people performed the intended action (purchase your product, download your case study, sign up to your email newsletter) out of the total number of website visitors.  [Number Conversions] ÷ [Total Leads]
Time Spent on Page  This validates whether users are taking the time to read and interpret long-form content. If people are spending 10 seconds on a long landing page before clicking away, you should probably update this page to be more compelling.  Calculating time between clicks via Google Analytics or another platform
Cost Per Conversion (CPC)  You might pay for an outbound marketing campaign that takes your target audience to your website. This metric calculates the average cost of getting a user to perform the desired action.  [Total Cost For Clicks] ÷ [Number of Conversions]
Bounce Rate  The percentage of visitors who leave your website without taking any action. A high bounce rate suggests that you need to overhaul your website design and content.  [Single-Page Sessions] ÷ [All Sessions]

With these audit results, you can start allocating resources to areas that need the most attention. Once you start implementing changes, you can refer back to these metrics to see if anything’s improved.

2. Create Meaningful Customer Personas

Websites generate leads when they get this kind of reaction from visitors:

For that magical moment to happen, you have to know everything about your target audience (okay, not quite everything, that would be creepy), and use that knowledge to inform the website design and content.

This is why customer personas are so important.

With customer personas in your marketing toolkit, you can build and adapt your website around the knowledge, interests, challenges, pain points, and objections of your target audience.

If you don’t have customer personas, you run the risk of building your website based on your preferences alone. You might think it looks great – but if your customers don’t vibe with it, your website won’t generate leads.

To create a customer persona, you break down the key traits of the largest segments of your audience and turn them into archetypes. These archetypes then become a point of reference for all online marketing efforts – especially optimizing your website for lead generation. Most businesses have two to three customer personas.

You should include (at the very least):

  • A generic name (this helps you remember each persona and treat them like real people)
  • Age range
  • Occupation
  • Salary
  • Pain creators (what problems bring them to your service)
  • Pain relievers (how your service solves their problems)
  • Objections (what stops them from instantly purchasing your product or service)

Then, you can go deeper into:

  • Long-term goals
  • How they like to be spoken to
  • How they speak
  • Interests
  • Social media preferences

To show you how customer personas guide website optimization for lead generation, we’ve created an example.

You own an accountancy firm providing services to small businesses. Your three main audiences are freelancers, fitness contractors, and other small trades.

Let’s walk through some hypothetical ways that your audiences’ pain points can guide you with optimizing your website for lead generation.

Target Audience Pain Point How To Optimize For Lead Generation
Freelance Writer “My industry is fairly new. I need an accountant who understands my job.” Website content that showcases your knowledge of the gig economy and what freelancers need from accountants
Yoga Studio “I’m nervous about calling an accountant and keep putting it off!” Friendly, intuitive web design that breaks the mold of traditional accounting, including fun photos of you and your team to make you seem approachable
Gardener “I don’t think I can afford an accountant…” A pricing page that shows what’s possible for each budget, with call-to-actions for each package

With extensive user research, web analytics, conversations with your sales team, and customer surveys (wow, who knew you could ask your customers what they want?!) you can build highly-detailed personas to help you create more personalized messages and experiences on your website.

3. Use Kick-Ass Landing Pages

When done right, a landing page is a powerful lead generation hack for your website.

If you create valuable content, such as an e-book, calculator, or webinar, you can use a landing page to:

  1. Advertise this resource to prospects
  2. Help visitors identify why and how this content will help them
  3. Allow visitors to download or use the content in exchange for their details
  4. Collect and use lead details for more personalized marketing campaigns

This is more than just a standardized web page advertising your product or service to everybody. A landing page targets, engages, and delights a specific customer persona. By speaking their language and using web design best practices, your landing page explains why and how your resource is valuable to this segment of your audience specifically.

Even if you don’t have a goldmine of content to exchange for contact details, you can use landing pages to explain how your services can be tailored to the specific needs of different customers.

This creates a much more effective user experience than if you just had a one-size-fits-all services page. Visitors will click on the landing page that relates to them and see exactly how your company solves their challenges. If they’re impressed, they’ll fill out the form on the page so that you can reach out to them with more personalized information.

To show you how this works, we’ll use an example from the website we built for TForce Logistics.

TForce Logistics offers delivery services to four distinct industries – E-Commerce, B2B Distribution, Financial, and Medical. Each of these industries has specific challenges, goals, and risks, so TForce Logistics needs to tailor its messaging to show how its services cater to each audience.

To optimize the website for lead generation, we created separate landing pages to showcase the value of TForce Logistics to each industry.

TForce Logistics offers delivery services to four distinct industries – E-Commerce, B2B Distribution, Financial, and Medical. Each of these industries has specific challenges, goals, and risks, so TForce Logistics needs to tailor its messaging to show how its services cater to each audience.

To optimize the website for lead generation, we created separate landing pages to showcase the value of TForce Logistics to each industry.

Each landing page includes:

  1. An eye-catching above-the-fold section
  2. An industry-specific case study video
  3. Icons demonstrating the features and benefits of the service
  4. A detailed ‘how it works’ section
  5. A user-friendly contact form

There you have it. A well-oiled lead generating machine.

But, what’s the best way to build a landing page? We’ve got a few tips:

  • Use high-quality images or animations
  • Prioritize mobile-responsiveness
  • Choose bold and on-brand colors
  • Create a powerful headline
  • Make confident yet realistic promises
  • Incorporate intuitive design to guide the reader down the page
  • Maximize page load speed
  • Include relevant testimonials and statistics
  • Ensure forms are easy to fill-out
  • Place strategic CTA’s throughout the page

4. Make Sure Your Site Is Accessible For Everyone


Prioritizing website accessibility isn’t just a ‘nice thing to do’. The ADA punishes websites that are not accessible to people with disabilities – a form of discrimination under US law.

Ensuring that your website is accessible to as many people as possible does two things:

  1. It demonstrates that your business considers the needs of everybody
  2. It maximizes the number of people your website reaches, therefore maximizing potential sales and revenue

If you hadn’t worked this out already (yikes), it pays to be a good person who considers the needs of others.

When 26% of Americans live with a disability, maximizing the accessibility of your website helps to make the internet a more open and user-friendly space for everybody. Of course, it also supports your lead generation efforts as more people can access your business and become paying customers.

Website accessibility involves developing your website in such a way that people with disabilities can still understand, navigate, and interact with it.

If you have a web developer who knows how to build accessible websites, they’ll be able to design your platform with the following disabilities in mind:

  • Physical
  • Visual
  • Speech
  • Neurological
  • Cognitive
  • Auditory

So, how do you ensure that your website is accessible to everybody? Let’s dive in.

Accessibility Optimization What It Means
Allow font enlargement People with visual impairment struggle to read small text. Your website can offer an alternate style sheet so that visitors can enlarge the font size without disrupting the layout of your website.
Consider color combinations Those with color-blindness and other vision impairments have a hard time distinguishing between similar colors. Use high contrast colors for the foreground and background of your website to make your website easier to read.
Add alt text to images If someone can’t see the pictures on your website, they might not be able to understand your company properly. Screen readers can describe images to visually-impaired users, but only if there’s alt text available with each image. Make sure you add alt text so that disabled users can understand what each image is.
Use video and multimedia Video elements make for a more engaging website, particularly for those who struggle to read or understand textual elements. Consider including animated explainer videos, with subtitles, so that all visitors can understand your business while having an entertaining experience.

Having an accessible website is a wise business move, as it optimizes your website for lead generation by widening your reach to people of all abilities. But, it’s also the morally right thing to do.

When looking for an experienced web design agency, be sure to ask them what they know about accessibility.

5. Follow Web Design Best Practices

For 94% of your website’s visitors, their decision to continue navigating or to go somewhere else hinges upon whether they like the way your site looks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling magic beans, hair vitamin gummies, or life coaching classes. All three have relatively similar value, but the product with the best-looking website is going to generate the most leads.

Because aesthetics play such a crucial role in the success of your website, it’s important to be aware of the latest trends and proven methods for attractive website design.

We’ll walk you through three on-trend design principles for beautiful websites:

  1. Implement a style guide (and stick to it)
  2. Make the most of white space
  3. Blend real-world products with digital design

 

Implement A Style Guide (And Stick To It)

Although almost all companies have formal brand guidelines, only 25% of brands actually stick to them. That’s wild.

Your style guide is your blueprint for all marketing efforts. If you don’t have a style guide already, any web design agency worth their salt will help you create one to use for the web development project and all future digital marketing efforts.

A style guide includes:

  • Logos: original, secondary, icons
  • Color scheme: primary, secondary, tertiary, accents
  • Typography: fonts, sizes, spacing requirements
  • Images: what to use, what not to use, illustrations, artwork
  • Brand voice: words to use, words to avoid, tone and angle

If you don’t have a formalized guide to stick to, your internal team or any contractors you engage to do your web design and marketing will just go with their gut each time they create something for your business. This inevitably leads to inconsistencies, which stick out like a sore thumb to potential customers.

Make The Most of White Space


Whitespace is a vital element in your website’s design.

Rather than a passive, unused space, white space is an active part of your website that helps with:

  1. Creating a clean, uncluttered design
  2. Guiding the visitor’s eye to relevant content
  3. Supporting the overall hierarchy to create harmony and draw attention

In fact, correctly using whitespace can improve legibility by up to 20%.

Many amateur web designers or outdated business websites fail to generate leads and make an impact because they’ve overstuffed each page with design elements and long-winded sections of content.

When it comes to web design, less is often more. Ensuring that there is plenty of room around your design elements not only creates a better experience for your audience, but it oozes confidence and therefore boosts your audience’s perceptions of your brand.

Blend Real-World Products With Digital Design


There’s an emerging web design trend that we think is pretty cool.

In the past, e-commerce websites have been fairly straightforward – images of the products dominate the overall design.

This means that, if you only sell one kind of product, you’re pretty limited in the variety of images you can use on your site. It quickly becomes uninspiring and uninteresting, especially if visitors have never used your product before.

In 2021, websites have started merging digital design with product imagery to create tactile and fun visual experiences.

Check out this web page. Rather than inserting static images of the products (nail polish), the web designer has merged the product with the overall design of the website. The result is a fun, organic, interactive website that breathes life into an everyday product.

6. Maximize Page Load Speed


You could have the greatest website in the whole world.

It could be beautifully designed, with compelling copy containing the answers to all your customers’ problems that keep them up at night.

But, if your website takes too long to load, it will fail.

Don’t believe us? Check out these stats:

Pages that load in two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that take five seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38% [Source]
79% of online shoppers won’t return to a website that performed slowly [Source]

It couldn’t be clearer – a slow page load speed kills your lead generation capability. For visitors to become leads, they have to move beyond the home page and interact with your site. They literally can’t do this if it takes too long to load.

If your web designer doesn’t know how to build for page load speed, all those pretty design elements will bloat your CSS (the code that tells your website what to look like).

So, how can you maximize page load speed? Well, here are a couple of places to start:

How To Increase Page Load Speed How It Works
Caching “Here’s one I prepared earlier.” Caching stores copies of your web pages so they’re ready to go. This means that your server doesn’t have to generate a web page for a visitor every time they click on your site. WordPress has a bunch of useful plugins to help with this.
Optimized hosting solution Cheap website hosting doesn’t prioritize page load speed, because your server is being shared by other customers’ websites. By paying for a speed-optimized hosting solution, you won’t have to share server space and your website will load much faster.
Minimize unnecessary plugins Plugins can be helpful, but they can also bloat your website’s frontend. If they aren’t maintained, plugins can slow your website down and leave it vulnerable to security threats. With regular website maintenance, your designer can optimize and clear out plugins that are no longer useful.
Compress images Images and animations are often the elements that take the longest to load. By compressing them, they become smaller files that can be loaded faster.

For your website to get results, it’s imperative that your web designer knows all the tricks in the book to create a beautiful platform that loads effortlessly on all devices.

7. Test, test, test!


Optimizing your website for lead generation is not a set-and-forget process, but a constant exercise. If you don’t test your website’s performance regularly, you’ll never know if the changes you implemented are working!
The most popular method of testing lead generation performance is A/B testing. It’s painfully simple:

  1. Measure the lead generation of one asset (such as a CTA)
  2. Change it to the proposed new layout or content (such as altering the CTA copy or moving the CTA)
  3. Measure its performance again
  4. Make a decision based on the result

Although it’s a simple thing to do once, full-scale A/B testing on every lead generation asset can be painstaking. To get the best results, businesses should allocate enough time and resources to get the feedback they need to make data-driven decisions.

This is why it’s so important to engage with a web designer on a monthly basis for website maintenance that includes testing the lead generation performance of your website.


Conclusion: A Results-Driven Web Design Partner


The strategic process of identifying, attracting, and collecting new customers keeps everyone on their toes – from CEOs to marketing executives and web developers.

The most important thing to remember is that optimizing your website for lead generation is an ongoing, constantly evolving mission.

With that said, ambitious businesses need a web design partner who prioritizes lead generation, with tried-and-tested processes that get results.

At State Creative, we stay on the pulse of the latest web design trends that get tangible results for businesses. Whether you’re an e-commerce brand, a professional service, or a non-profit, we can help you get more out of your website by building an online presence that speaks to your audience.

With services that encompass website development and website maintenance, we’re committed to your success – long-term.

Ready to optimize your website for lead generation? Reach out to our team and we’ll provide a free website audit to kick-start the journey.

Share This