Beauty is more than skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. You can’t judge a book by its cover. All of these clichés are clichés for a reason — they’re all essentially true. As appealing as something might be in a superficial sense, there’s no substitute for quality — and the same applies to Internet marketing.
When it comes to creating a lead generation website that spawns conversions and more sales, an appealing façade is only part of the equation. In order for it to be a truly high-performance website, it needs to have the infrastructure behind the scenes to really make a true connection with customers and drive them to take action. That means marketers need to scratch the surface of their websites and look for the key elements that deliver the best results.
The elements that make up a high-performance lead generation website can be organized into five main categories:
- They must be user-friendly.
- They must be designed with mobile users in mind.
- They must incorporate best SEO practices.
- They must utilize effective copywriting.
- They must feature advanced conversion techniques.
Although most sites have at least one or two of these features fully functional behind the scenes, only the most successful websites have all of these features working in sync. If you’re building a lead generation website from the ground up, or optimizing your existing site, here are some suggestions to ensure your site has all of the elements it needs to be successful.
No website can be successful if it becomes a struggle for visitors to navigate it. Whether the site features confusing layouts or takes too long to load, visitors want a smooth, streamlined experience on a website — whether they access it from their desktops or on their smartphones. Websites need to be designed with responsive layouts that will scale automatically to various screen sizes, and images need to be optimized to ensure that the entire page will load quickly. Intuitive navigation is essential — visitors must always know where they are and how to get to where they want to go. Including a sitemap as part of the site’s architecture is another crucial component.
Good design also involves making sure a website is just as easy to navigate on a mobile device as it is on a desktop computer screen. Providing visitors with navigation that remains fixed to the top of the screen as they browse makes navigation much easier. Just as it does for the desktop experience, responsive web design choices improve the usability of a website on a mobile device by narrowing choices and elements to the bare essentials.
The key for website design that is optimized for usability is providing visitors with an uncluttered experience, as too much information in any format will likely overwhelm and confuse visitors.
Driving better lead generation means incorporating clean, professional copywriting, and optimizing content for SEO. Effective copy from a lead generation perspective (a) is copy that promotes a solution to visitors’ problems, (b) is delivered with credibility and authority, (c) makes a persuasive argument that appeals to visitors’ interests, and (d) is highly shareable.
By featuring copy that approaches visitors from their point of view and offers a solution that is backed up with concrete evidence, lead generation websites can become much more effective at driving conversions. What’s more, copywriting that is concise and easy to understand becomes much more sharable, which increases the potential for a website to be exposed to a wider audience. Marketers also need to pay close attention to the visual aspects of copy, with an emphasis on short paragraphs and heavy use of subheadings/bulleted lists to make copy easier to scan.
Making a website that is SEO-friendly requires a lot of attention to detail. Among the elements that must be included are title tags, meta description tags and header content on every page; clean, custom URLs; HTML and XML sitemaps; a content management system; and blog functionality. SEO carries over into the copywriting element, too. High-performance lead generation websites feature copy that seamlessly incorporates keywords and a clean style that speaks directly to what potential customers will be searching for online.
Finally, the best lead generation websites are optimized to drive greater conversion rates. Some of the most effective techniques for this include featuring calls to action that are always prominent on the page, and ensuring that the company’s main contact number is always displayed where visitors can find it easily. Designing forms that don’t ask visitors for too much information is another important step designers can take for better conversion rates.
Designed To Impress
Designing a lead generation webpage that is attractive to visitors is a good thing, but it’s only part of the equation. To build a high-performance lead generation website, Internet marketers have to look beyond appearance — and build sites that have everything working properly behind the scenes. Once they do, they’ll have sites that impress with their conversion rates as well as their looks.
Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and website design services. Shorr has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, and has been featured in leading online publications including Forbes, Moz and Entrepreneur.