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What every website needs to convert visitors to customers

Imagine this: your brand is firmly planted at the number one position on search engine result pages, your influencer network is producing daily content pointing their followers in your direction and your email open rates are on the rise. Congratulations, you’ve achieved every digital marketer’s dream scenario!

But don’t start patting yourself on the back quite yet. Despite this consistent flow of traffic, your visitors are still bouncing from your site. Unfortunately, if your website is not designed to convert traffic leads, this nightmare might be your reality. It’s true that in today’s multi-channel digital landscape, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get visitors to your site. But getting them to stick around and visit again is a different story entirely.

The first thing you have to do to turn your site into a lead-generating machine is conduct a thorough site analysis to better understand your site’s problem areas and provide clarity as to why visitors are bouncing. When it comes to upping your lead generation game, you need to start with the basics: site speed, strong landing pages, clear calls to action and valuable content.

1. Site speed

Not only is site speed a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, but it is also one of the first snap judgments users will make when they visit your site for the first time. In fact, DoubleClick by Google reported that 53 percent of mobile visits are abandoned if a site takes longer than three seconds to load on a mobile device.

Mobile users don’t have the time or patience to wait around for your site to load. If you don’t deliver immediacy you can almost guarantee that first-time visitors will bounce and never look back. Consult Google’s PageSpeedTool to see how quickly your pages really load across devices.

2. Strong landing page

After your site speed, landing pages are the next aspect of a site that a first-time user will judge. Landing pages are successful when they succinctly tell your story, are relevant to your visitor’s needs and entice visitors to continue exploring your site. If your copy and brand messaging feels inconsistent to the ads or content sources driving your visitors to your site, they may leave immediately.

Remember, you have a very short window of time to impress on your landing page, so don’t waste it with botched creative, confusing calls to action or inconsistent messaging. You can use heatmapping techniques to gain a better sense of where your landing pages are excelling or falling short. From heatmaps, you’ll be able to see where visitors tend to linger most so you can make actionable site upgrades based on this feedback.

3. Clear calls to action

Successful website lead generation depends on your site’s ability to capture key customer information. But potential leads won’t know when and where to leave their information if they’re not clearly told through strong calls to action. Hubspot recommends using contrasting colors to clearly highlight each call-out button.

One call to action per page is not enough if you want to capture information from the majority of your site’s visitors. Customers are scrolling fast and looking for specific information, which means they’re going to miss some of your CTAs — regardless of how bold or bright they may be. You must include multiple calls to action that relate to specific steps within the customer buying funnel across every page of your website.

When it comes to convincing customers to input their information, language matters. The phrases “submit here” and “sign up now” are tired, boring and definitely not the best that you can offer your visitors. Instead, try piquing visitor curiosities with these phrases:

  • Discover More
  • Start Your Free Trial Now
  • Your 15% Promotion is Waiting
  • Get Tips to Increase Your Sales

When it comes to using effective language in your CTAs, pay attention to your product and audience. What works for a B2C company may not perform well for a B2B service provider. Check out this list from Hubspot for more ideas.

4. Valuable content

Most brands today already invest in robust content marketing programs to educate their existing customers on product updates, company initiatives and industry trends. But high-quality blog and video content is also an assured way to attract new customers. Creating ongoing content series specifically aimed at educating new audiences in the form of blogs, videos or webinars will help you convince audiences that revisiting your site, or better yet, joining your list, is worth it.

A powerful story will always be one of your strongest sales tools. If you create ongoing content series that shares your brand’s story and communicates to your customer the value of your product or service, then your site’s visitors will be enticed to come back for more.

Your website is the foundation of your sales strategy, and if it is not functional by today’s standards, any other engagement tactic you employ will fall short of expectations. Why spend thousands of dollars on a new paid social campaign to convince new audiences to click through if your site is disappointing? It doesn’t make sense and is, quite frankly, a waste of time and money.

Simple website updates have the potential to completely transform your business. recently highlighted the evolution of a small bridal retail business after making simple, yet transformative website upgrades. An improved user experience and site navigation helped the retailer grow year over year sales by 200 percent. As evidenced by this small-business success story, your website has the potential to do a lot of the lead-gen heavy lifting, but first it must be optimized correctly.

While there is no right way to create a lead, there are tried and true strategies marketers should employ to build a solid lead generation foundation. Before you can expect your other lead-gen techniques to thrive, you need to first create a strong lead-gen foundation within your website.

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