Books are judged by their covers, a small business website is judged by its landing pages.
You have heard it 100 times; the first 10 seconds in any meeting are the most crucial. A visitor to your internet site will size up the site like a customer walking in a store or showroom. The colors you employ, the size, style and relevance of your visuals, content, and your brand are what can make you a lead generating machine. Any time a new potential customer visits your small business website, they must know in just 10 seconds whether they have arrived in the absolute right place.
It takes a lot to make a small business website, however when it comes to landing pages there is one very important thing to keep in mind, there must be no indecision – make it clear to them on the first page with:
• We are important to you because…
• We sell or provide…
• We want to solve your need by…
• We can help you by…
A Successful Small Business Website Landing Page Should
Guide your visitors through your small business website, like a good salesman in a showroom. (Click here to read Why You Must Have a Small Business Website)
The moment you have gained your online visitor’s interest and attention, you then want to virtually take their hand and direct them to every page on the website. This is an essential part of a lead generating machine. This is achieved by using links and clever words and phrases to take your visitors to the answers they are looking for. Find out what your visitors want and make sure you provide those answers on your website. Lead them bit by bit towards the contact us web page, until you have their name and email address.
Keep your home page and all pages open and uncluttered.
Many small business websites try to cram so many pictures and text on a page it confuses the viewer and they leave. Specifically, avoid the temptation to create your webpage as some massive logo image or flash web presentation. Remember, convey who you are, what you sell, and how you can help the visitor with what they are looking for if you want your website to be a lead generating machine. Do this in a clean, uncluttered way, branded with the same colors and typeface throughout. Keep it simple, stay on target, and stay branded throughout the website.
Never believe visitors are browsers and can’t be sold right then!
Many website owners just accept that there are lots of competitive websites and the visitors are not necessarily purchasers. That may have been true in 2005, but today things have changed! Web browsers are searching with a goal in mind – they are searching for a result that will solve their need or problem. If you don’t meet their needs, then they will keep searching. What if they are not willing to purchase yet, but you are the answer they have been looking for? In that case, seizing their details for the opt-in e-newsletter list is more important than ever in a lead generating machine. If they leave without giving their email you have lost them; the internet is simply too big for them to come back on their own.
Link destinations should be targeted, and links on your blog should be mostly internal.
The normal landing page for a small business website is the home page. Oftentimes the visitor feels trapped or overwhelmed and quickly departs. Instead, have the link from your email or newsletter bring the visitor to a blog on your site which concentrates on a target topic relating to your product or service. The blog should have many links within them, but these links should bring them to the answers within your website. If you need to use a knowledge source outside of your website, it should be generic, not a competitor’s site. This seems obvious but many make the mistake of sending the competition a lead you yourself generated!
We may hate pop-ups but they are still very effective!
Do you dislike those infuriating pop-up windows that many websites use? You know the ones…in your face; some won’t go away no matter what you do. Bear in mind that pop-ups do work and do increase email lists if used properly within a lead generating machine. Instead, use a cookie-based conservative pop-up. Do not block the site and allow the visitor to easily opt out. You may try once again when they leave the site, but offer something free. More on this later!
Tempt, coerce or bribe.
So, what is the point of pop-up windows? They should exist for a single reason exclusively. Highlight a special offer, or even better, spotlight the free email information newsletter. Everybody knows that it is much easier selling to an active consumer rather than to a new one. Remember what you offer the visitor for free is getting you a potential client for FREE. This is the time to give a free trial or a free white paper or a free Webinar in exchange for the visitor signing up for your email newsletter. Incentivize your visitors if you need to, but get their email address and details right away; it is all part of a lead generating machine.
Employ the effectiveness of FREE in your favor.
Alright, I can hear you arguing, “But… But… But…” The most effective way to close a client is to engage that client! A single pay per click can cost more than $5 just to attract a visitor, and you give them nothing when they arrive! Think of your small business website as a booth in a huge trade show. Offer a free white paper for an email sign-up, or a cool little free giveaway. Think about it: you then get their full information, and when you mail the item, you get to include whatever sales material you wish! Yes, everyone loves free stuff, of course, we all do. SO GIVE THEM FREE STUFF as part of a lead generating machine!
Once you have the visitor’s email, use it wisely, with a plan to build their interest, not to pester them.
Once you have got hold of them (your new potential customers) – don’t let go! Love them, care for them, and even if they have not opened their wallet for you, show them the same level of gold service that you normally reserve for the spending clients. It is important to email and update them with new data and facts and to personalize your company. Welcome the visitor to your circle of friends! Do not abuse their trust; your emails should give them information on your products and services. Never sell or misuse your email list for other products not represented on the website they signed up under!
Make your small business website one portion of a network.
First, make sure you have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube accounts all branded the same as your website and all attached to your website. Additionally, you may want to make link deals with related but different product and services websites to exchange leads and traffic.
Remember, the goal once the traffic gets to your site is to get, at the very least, their opt-in email address. Without that email contact, a visitor is just a useless number on an analytics report. It is the difference of a customer walking through a mall looking in store windows and a customer walking into a store! Get those email addresses.
Remember a small business website is one of the most powerful tools you have! it must be professional, informative, easy to navigate and most importantly, it must clearly define the actions you want the visitors to take.