Websites Should Bring Customers to You
A lot of people think about their site as a brochure they send customers to for ‘more information.’ Your website should be driving customers to you not the other way around! It’s time to start thinking about how to turn a website that just sits there month after month into a marketing tool for your business.
On-Site Lead Generation
Now that someone has come to your site the next objective is to convert them into a lead. The basic strategy is to:
- Come up with a discount or offer something for free
- Create a form for someone to fill in their name and email and put it on your site.
- Promote the offer through email, social media, your website and pay-per-click ads.
- When the form is submitted the user gets a message and an email confirming what they signed up for and a download link or voucher. More importantly their contact info is added to your mailing list so you can send them messages in the future.
What Are Inbound Links and Why Are They So Important?
Inbound Links (also called backlinks) are simply links to your site from another site. Despite how simple it is, they are one of the keys to increasing search engine rankings as well as direct and indirect traffic.
Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and Pinterest are not only great for getting your messages out to wide and diverse groups of people quickly, but they also generate a ton of inbound links. Even if you’re not a ‘Facebook’ kind of person, having a presence on social media sites can go a very long way towards boosting search rankings.
For many businesses it also makes sense to add listings on popular review sites like Yelp, Google Places, Trip Advisor, Foursquare and Urban Spoon. This is another way to build inbound links. More importantly, it is a way for you to proactively respond to reviews and stay engaged with customers. Even if a review is not stellar, it is an opportunity for others to see that you care about service and reputation in a public forum. There may be listings that you’re not even aware of. Claiming ownership of them empowers you to be more in control of your company’s image.
The other consideration is that, similar to an email list, you essentially have an active and engaged audience that has requested to receive messages from you.
Landing Pages are minimally designed pages or pop-up windows with most navigational elements removed that have one purpose. Yep, you guessed it – to generate a lead. The form being filled out might be to get a download link, subscribe to a newsletter, register for a webinar or enter a sweepstakes.
Another important characteristic of landing pages is that they can be used to track response rates to ad and email campaigns. Say you’re advertising an annual Spring Sale and put together an eblast, messaging for social media channels and several ads to put on AdWords. Linking to your home page would make traffic generated from your campaign nearly impossible to distinguish. By linking to the landing page created for that specific purpose, you can know every visit was a result of your campaign. This also makes ROI much easier to figure out.
Lead Generation is the True Measure of Online Success
There are many aspects to generating more leads through Internet Marketing – but you certainly don’t have to do them all, or all at once. The main thing as a business owner is to think of your site as a tool that helps bring customers to your door. It is an ongoing process to discover what works best for your budget and customers, as well as which channels bring the highest return in your particular situation.
We are here to help! Whether you’re just getting started or looking for more effective solutions that yield higher returns, Sean Alan can provide a complete overhaul of your marketing strategy or simply act as a guide along the way.