There has never been a time when a website can do more for your small business than now. It is the first impression your potential clients will get of your business. How do you want people to react when they visit your website? What do you want people to know about your business? A website is much more than a logo and your contact information. Small businesses can use their website content to help them stand out from the crowd by showcasing their products and services and speaking directly to their target market.
Writing content can be a real challenge for most business owners. Barbara Chaney, copywriter and content strategist, helps business owners turn their websites into a valuable lead generation tool by focusing on content. Read more below!
1. Let’s start by talking about lead generation. What do we mean for a small business and what are the usual options online?
When you’re trying to generate leads online, it all centers around your business website or it should. Your website should be the main hub for everything you do online. It really acts as your online salesperson and you want to give it every tool available so it can bring in leads for you. Some of these tools are obvious, like contact forms, your contact information, call-to-action buttons, email signup, and live chat boxes. Other items are more subtle and are meant to get readers to know, like and trust you and your business enough to convince them they should contact you.
2. What pages should a small business have on its site to bring in leads?
It depends on the type of business, but in general, these are the pages most visitors expect to see and they all should contribute in some way to bringing in leads:
Home Page – The home page is one of the most important pages on your site. You can quickly lose visitors based on what is (or is not) included on your home page. From the first headline, you should tell visitors what you do and why they should choose to work with you. There should be no vagueness in this message or you’ll lose them. A headline like, “Welcome to our website,” for example, is too vague and can cause visitors to click away to a competitor.
Product or Service Page – This page should go into detail about what you offer. Your offer should also be unique and specific, especially if you have a lot of competition and prospects are comparing offers.
About Page – People usually want to know who’s behind the business they hire. Don’t you? Introduce yourself and your team and tell visitors how you work with clients. I often see companies just stick a mission statement here and call it a day. A mission statement is OK, but the story about why you started the business is better.
Contact Page – A contact page is an obvious must-have and should include all of the information they’d need to contact you as well as a contact form.
Blog – A small business might not feel it’s necessary to have a blog or articles, but these articles offer many opportunities for you to lure new visitors to your site with content that shows your leadership, your experience and your willingness to share your knowledge. It does take extra work to post articles, but you benefit overall with more visitors who spend more time on your site.
3. What are some of the lead-generation tactics that should be used on those pages?
First consider your end goal. What’s a lead to you? Do you want them to fill out a form, sign up for your emails or schedule a call? Once you define this, you’ll understand what actions they’ll need to take on your website. Then you can arrange your site to encourage those actions. There can be more than one action, but one should be primary and the other secondary.
Here are a few tools or tactics to help increase lead generation:
Lead-generation forms aren’t limited to the contact page anymore. Add one to your services page, any feature pages and even your home page (in simplified form). Save visitors an extra click and make it as easy as possible to get to a form.
These are the buttons and links that tell people to “sign up,” “get a free consultation” or “schedule a call.” These calls-to-action or CTAs should be throughout your site. In fact, every page, should have a CTA telling them where to go next. You want to lead visitors through your site and to that end goal.
This is still a fairly new option for many small businesses, but I’ve seen it work successfully. Live chat boxes can help you grab those visitors who have unanswered questions and might just leave if they don’t find an answer. It’s a simple tool that pops up a little “Need help?” box when a visitor arrives. You get alerted if they ask something and can answer their questions live right on your site. It also gives you a chance to turn that person into a lead. Livechat, Chatbot and Zendesk are a few options, as well as a Facebook Messenger live chat.
Thank You Pages
If you’re using forms, you need thank you pages. And while they don’t generate leads alone, they help you track them. Sure, you can count how many emails you get, but you’ll get more reliable data if you track it with thank you pages and Google Analytics.
If your business has good content that educates prospects and customers, building your email list could be one of the best things you do. Ask prospects to sign up and nurture that relationship with a stream of information that eventually leads them to a sale.
This tactic doesn’t bring in leads directly, but it contributes to the lead-generation process in a big way. Social proof is about using testimonials, reviews and even case studies to show you are trusted by other buyers and their peers. Consider that 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. For service-based businesses, it’s especially important to show a few positive testimonials as they can tip over visitors who may be on the fence about contacting you.
If you use a few or all of these tactics, be sure to have a good system for lead follow up. You don’t want to lose any leads and prospects online expect to be contacted within the same day.
I hope this offers a few new ideas for your small business website. There are more advanced options like landing pages and funnels that are effective as well. I’d be happy to answer any questions on any of these here or on my site, Clever-Copy.com.
Barbara Chaney is a copywriter and content strategist. For the past decade, she has enjoyed helping clients stand out online and grow their businesses. She founded Clever Copy after a career in PR and marketing and uses that experience to help businesses grow. When not working, she enjoys living in South Florida and exploring the local food scene with her husband and son. (Photo by Fuse Creative, Inc.)