At the top of every marketing director’s mind is having a website that converts web visitors into leads and leads into new business opportunities. How can your firm get there? In this post, we’ll highlight the top five trends in lead generating websites with examples of how some of the best marketers use these strategies to drive increased engagement and leads.
1) Calls-to-Action (CTA). A lead generating website uses effective calls-to-action to convert visitors into leads. CTAs offer something valuable to users usually in exchange for some information from the user. This could be an email address, the name of the company they work for or more detailed information about their role or interest in your firm.
Offers will differ depending on the industry, but there are a few common kinds of offers traditionally used in professional services. Offers could include a blog subscription, guides, ebooks, industry whitepapers, webinar signups, or a free consultation.
Example: The Daily Egg’s right sidebar offer is a good example of an effective CTA. The website also offers an incentive by offering a free ebook when the visitor signs up for the blog.
The CTAs are also bright yellow, drawing your attention to the offer. Color should be a thoughtful element of your CTA’s design, making sure not to blend in with your website’s overall color palette. This will help capture visitor’s attention and motivate an intended action.
2) High Quality Content. Today people expect access to information and expertise at no cost. Many professional services firms are educating and persuading prospects up front, prior to the point of sale.
The best way to convey your expterise and educate your audience is by producing high quality content and make it readily available to your prospective buyers. Our research has shown that high growth firms consistently rate the effectiveness of content, and specifically online content, higher than average growth firms.
When a firm decides to create content for their audience, they should consider which formats would be most valuable for their readers. What kind of format does your audience respond to most? Keep in mind the habits of your intended audience and tailor your content to their interests and needs.
Example: KISSmetrics has an entire library of guides around the topics that they have an expertise in. They also display infographics and webinars on their homepage and in their main navigation. This allows users to learn more about these topics and positions KISSmetrics as an expert on these topics.
3) Responsive Design. As smart phone adoption increases and as Google hints to near-future algorithm changes, it’s becoming clear that firms need to create an experience for their users that is accessible across devices.
Responsive design renders your site so that it adapts to the screen size a user is accessing your website from. On a smaller screen, details of a desktop version of a website can be distracting or difficult to process. Responsive design attempts to optimize the user experience by removing elements from a website and simplifying the layout so that it’s easy to navigate on a mobile device.
Example: Search Engine Journal demonstrates how a responsive version of a website can simplify the user experience across different devices so that only essential information is displayed.
In the mobile version of the website, the menu items are included under a menu icon, instead of in their position at the top of the site on the desktop version of the website. This eliminates clutter for the mobile version of the website while maintaining the functionality of the full site. The responsive version of the site also stacks the blog posts vertically so that scrolling is natural and doesn’t require mobile users to zoom in or scroll horizontally.
4) Pop Up Offers. Nobody likes pop-ups. If done poorly, they can distract from the user experience on a website and may even cause visitors to leave a website. But there are ways to integrate pop-ups into your website without impeding the user, in turn increasing your conversions and offering something valuable to your audience.
First, to understand how pop-ups can be employed effectively, it’s helpful to describe the do’s and don’ts.
Don’t set a pop-up to open upon entry to a website. It’s highly unlikely that someone will immediately opt in and give you their email address if they don’t know anything about your firm.
Do set your pop-ups to trigger after some condition has been met, such as time elapsed on website, or scrolling down past a certain point on a page. This allows users to spend some time engaging with your website and content before being prompted to take an action.
Don’t include condescending language in your pop-up. Peer pressuring your audience into giving up their emails with negative language won’t build trust with your audience and poorly reflects your brand.
Do ensure that your pop-ups are relevant to the content the user is engaging with. If someone is reading about a specific service or topic, make sure the pop-up offer is related.
Example: Marketo has an effective pop-up with a compelling blog subscribe offer. The offer uses complimentary colors to draw users’ attention to the subscribe button, as well as a simple graphic to give the offer a little character and direct users attention to the subscribe button. The text below the CTA is subtle but important, stating that Marketo will respect users privacy.
5) Video. Lead generating websites often use video to communicate elements of their brand and messaging to their audience. There are a number of different video formats that firms can use in their branding efforts, but there are a few formats that are most common for lead generating B2B websites.
- Video blog posts are typically short 30 second to 5 minute clips that aren’t always highly polished in format. They can offer unique perspectives or opinions on a topic, and are aimed at starting a discussion or educating your audience.
- Video case studies and testimonials are a great way to showcase your firm’s clients as well as successful projects that your firm may have completed.
- Branding videos can communicate the differentiators of your firm, and your approach or values as a firm. They can also highlight your firm’s culture or notable team members.
Example: Convince & Convert uses a number of video formats to effectively communicate brand message, capabilities, and thought leadership. The homepage prominently features a video that gives users an idea of what's on the site, and what the brand stands for.
Convince & Convert also makes good use of video blog posts. Jay Baer discusses a number of topics around content marketing, social media and marketing, encouraging the audience to weigh in on the discussion in the comments section.
Implementing these elements into your website will create new opportunities to convert visitors and build trust and engagement with your web visitors. When implemented thoughtfully and strategically, these techniques can transform your website into a high performance lead generation tool.
Ready to learn more? Download our Lead Generation Website Guide to get started.