When new prospects visit your website, what happens? Ideally, you want a high percentage of them to converting into leads. However, before your website can convert prospects into leads, it must be equipped with lead generation pages, also known lead-capture or opt-in pages.
What’s the difference between a landing page and regular web page? One is designed to provide high-level information while the other (the opt-in page) is built to do one thing: generate leads.
On traditional corporate websites, prospects can come and go anonymously. And while traffic and visitors are important, they are not the same as leads. Leads are those who are interested enough to leave you their contact information so you can follow up with them.
Of course, most prospects think twice before completing any forms on your website. In fact, I’ll bet 90 percent of you never get more than one or two leads a month from your site. How do I know that? Because after reviewing hundreds of advisor sites, I’ve come to the realization that almost none of them have been optimized for lead generation. They are still functionally built like it’s 1998.
So how do you optimize your site or pages for lead generation?
An important first key is to understand that online lead generation is a value-for-value exchange. Prospects will only give you their contact information if doing so will get them something of value in return.
This happens by having two things:
- A valuable offer (also known as a lead magnet)
- Optimized landing pages
In this article, we are specifically outlining number No. 2 above — how to optimize your web and landing pages for lead generation.
You can use the following points to refine any landing pages you currently have up and running, as well as the ones you create in the future.
You only have 2 seconds to grab visitors’ attention. Make your headline count. (Photo: iStock)
1. A compelling headline
When visitors hit your landing page, you have only 2 seconds to grab their attention. The headline is the first thing they’re going to read, so a compelling headline is the best way to ensure they spend time on the site or page.
One formula for writing a headline that works really well is to use a proven headline formula like the following:
“How to (Insert Positive Benefit Statement) without (Insert Negative)”
“How to retire confidently without the fear of running out of money.”
This speaks directly to both the desired end result of your ideal prospects as well as the negative thing they want to avoid.
There are lots of formulas for crafting headlines that work. Bottom line, the headline is extremely important and any lead-capture or web page that you create must have a compelling headline if you’re going to convert visitors into leads, so be sure to spend some time on creating several you can use on various pages.
Don’t hide your call to action where readers will never see it. (Photo: iStock)
2. A call to action located above the fold
Most web visitors don’t scroll down the page. So the button they click and the form they must complete to receive whatever offer you’re making on the page must be positioned above the fold. What does that mean? “Above the fold” simply means the top half of the page, the section of your site that’s viewable without scrolling down. Anything you can’t see without scrolling down is located “below the fold.”
This is an area where we see a lot of websites fail. Most advisor landing pages have tons of text, bullet points and images, and then, at the very bottom, there’s a button. We want to avoid that. We recommend what we call a “high-level call to action” or an “above-the-fold call to action.”
Keep the amount of navigation options to a minimum so visitors don’t get distracted or confused. (Photo: iStock)
3. Limited navigation
Ideally, the only action a prospect should be able to take on your landing page is complete a form and become a lead. That’s it. That’s the whole purpose of directing them to a landing page. To avoid distracting visitors, your landing page shouldn’t offer links to a lot of other pages. This is another big mistake that we see a lot of advisors make.
Multiple links draw prospects away from your offer. Granted, if a prospect decides to leave your page without converting, that’s okay, but you don’t want to encourage them to do so. You may think you’re going to grab their attention by showing them a lot of exciting things to click on, but it’s actually going to kill your conversion rate.
A high-quality, compelling image of your offer demonstrates value to your prospects. (Photo: iStock)
4. A high-impact image of your lead magnet (offer)
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re offering a case study, a white paper or a planning guide as your lead magnet. Your landing page should always include a professionally designed image of the cover of the piece you’re offering. This is the first value for value exchange you’re going to have with this potential client, and while your lead magnet is being offered for “free” it should look like something they’d be willing to pay for.
By making it visually appealing, you increase the perceived value and increase your chances of converting more leads. They’ll be more willing to give you their contact information if they can see what they’ll be getting in exchange.
The lead magnet is a critical variable in the lead-generation equation. Prospects are giving you their attention, their contact information and their permission for you to follow up with them. In exchange, you are expected to deliver a high-quality piece of content.
Don’t scare prospects away by asking for more information than you need. (Photo: iStock)
5. Limited form fields
Another huge mistake we see most advisors making is asking for too much contact information. A perfect example of this is asking for their address and or phone number. Unless you plan to cold-call your prospects, don’t ask for more than their name and email address.
In fact, given the way automation and online marketing have changed how prospects move through your sales funnel, you really shouldn’t be calling leads at this stage in the process anyway.
At the very top of the funnel, when they first provide you their contact information, they’re really just expressing some level of interest. They may be very interested or just marginally interested. You really don’t know yet, and you want to let your sales funnel do the heavy lifting of moving them through the sales process for you.
To pick up the phone and start calling leads as soon as you capture them would be premature. And let’s be honest, 99 percent of you aren’t going to call them anyway. So if you don’t absolutely need a piece of contact information, don’t ask for it. Eliminating unnecessary form fields will dramatically increase the number of leads your site produces.
Make sure to give prospects a reason to stay when they start to navigate away. (Photo: iStock)
The exit pop
An exit pop is that little window that pops up once you visit a page but then start to leave or navigate away without completing the opt-in form. It says, “Wait, you forgot to get [fill in the blank].”
I used to think that these were just annoying, and that prospects probably hated them, but then I researched the statistics. What I found, is that by having an exit pop in place, you’ll convert 20 to 30 percent more leads than you would have without one.
That means that you’ll get two to three additional leads for every 10 people that visit your page. This one tip alone can make a dramatic difference in the total number of leads you generate. If you do nothing else, get this in place ASAP.
The key to successful exit pops — those that aren’t annoying — is that they need to offer something relevant to the page a prospect is visiting.
For example, if they click on a page that says, “Top Tax Strategies for Business Owners,” don’t have a pop up that says something generic like, “Wait! Join our newsletter!” Instead, have an exit pop that offers a tax planning white paper, and your conversions will be MUCH higher.
Armed with the information in this checklist you’ll be able to pull up your site, lay the checklist right beside it, and begin constructing a game plan for optimizing your website for maximum lead generation.
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