While less than two-thirds of small businesses have a website, websites are crucial for marketing strategies and lead generation. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to engage with a business that has a website.
Today, we’re going to go through a quick overview of why you need and how to create a website. We’re not going to solve technical problems or go exactly step by step through this, but we do what to give you a good overview of why you need a website and how to create one that is going to generate loads of leads for you.
Let’s get started!
Why Do You Need a Website?
Before we delve into the specifics, you need to understand why you need a website. The specifics of this will vary depending on your industry and business, but the overall reasons are usually quite similar.
Perhaps the most obvious reason is the lead generation component. Websites are crucial for generating leads, obtaining lead information, providing audiences with content, etc.
Besides that, there are also a couple other things that are super important to the “why” of this questions. The first is that you want to really own your brand. You want to have a website in order to secure your name and your brand, especially within your market, and a website is the perfect way to do this.
You want to connect the website to your name, your company, and your brand since that’s what consumers are going to search for online, and you want to be sure that your website pops up and not some competitors. And this is true, too, about owning your own name, even if you work for an agency or a brand. You want clients and customers to Google your name, too, so having a website out there for you will help to solidify yourself and your individual brand along with your company’s.
Think about it: even when you give a client or a customer your card with all of your information on it, they’re likely going to lose the card or not even look at it when searching for you/your company. You want them to be able to google your name and find your website easily. Start with that fundamental assumption that they are going to Google you and that having a website to lead them to after this Google search is going to help you keep them in the long run.
Besides lead generation and owning your brand, the last, but not least, a reason to have a website is a convenience for you and your clients.
No matter what you sell, products and services alike, a lot of times a client, even if they’re very interested in working with you, will like and appreciate the convenience of filling out your contact form and then having you get back to them after they’ve given their information. Clients also like to search websites so they can call or reach out on their own time, which a website helps them do by providing them with contact information and on-site fill forms. or potentially, um, real quickly trying to find your phone number.
You might be thinking, “But I gave them my card! Isn’t that the same thing since it also contains all of my information?” But most people lose or throw away your business card, no matter how pretty it is.
So just having that simple convenience of looking you up whenever they want and for how long they want is going to increase the likelihood that they will engage with you.
Build a Website That Focuses on Conversion
First and foremost, when you’re building or improving any sort of website, you have always think about focusing on conversion. So what is a conversion?
Conversion can refer to turning a lead into a sale, or it can refer to turning a consumer into a lead. When we’re talking about a lead and about conversion on your website, what you’re really talking about is a person coming to your website and filling out a web form with their name, email, and sometimes they phone number.
And that’s all the information you really need in order to grab them as a lead and then hopefully convert them into a sale. You just need enough information to get the conversation started, right?
Another element of conversion for websites is a phone call. You want to make sure that your number, or your company’s number, is displayed on various areas of the website. This allows consumers to see it and reach out when the time is right for them, which converts them into a lead and, hopefully, a sale.
However, you can have all of the phone numbers and forms you want and they still might not convert people to leads if they’re not displayed properly or in the best places. So, take a good hard look at your site. Ask yourself: what can I do to this page to help the visitor be encouraged to either fill out my form or give me a call?
Let’s delve a bit deeper into the answer of that question:
The “Sales Funnel” Fallacy
If you pour water in the top of a funnel, it’s got a big opening to make sure it doesn’t slosh around, right? The funnel then narrows and all the water goes straight down and collects at the bottom. This is how many people see sales, aptly called the “sales funnel”: a great majority of people enter through the broad top by going on the website, and then they’re pushed down the funnel towards a “sale”, step-by-step, thorough sales and marketing tactics.
Well, that’s not really how sales and lead generation happens, though. From our perspective, it’s really more like a tornado funnel. There’s a lot of things swirling around and sometimes things get tossed out and sometimes things get sucked back in.
With a sales/lead tornado funnel, people are constantly being engaged and re-engaged, becoming a lead and then an aged lead and then not again. It’s not a simple step-by-step funnel process as the traditional idea of a sales funnel would lead you to believe.
The problem with this type of realistic funnel is that you can’t always assume that people are going to come to your homepage, become aware of you, and then go directly to fill out your form, and go to the next step of the funnel perfectly.
That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that you should be trying to create opportunities for this to happen and have these conversion elements on every page of your website. Thinking back to a traditional funnel, a common thought is that a consumer will visit your home page, see the form, fill it out, and become a lead.
But with the tornado funnel, you get a much more realistic picture. What if the consumer doesn’t go to the homepage but a blog page instead? What if they do go to the home page but don’t see where the form is and leave without filling it out?
This is why it’s important to always have those conversion elements on any page that you might have on your website.
Deciding on the level and type of site navigation you have for your site is going to depend on many factors, namely, the overall goal of the site.
Take the Kaleidico website, for example. You can see that we don’t actually have a lot of navigation. The reason for this is when we get someone to come on our website, the end goal is for them to talk to us.
We want them to tell us about their projects, to ask us questions, and to start a conversation. So we don’t have as much need for intense site navigation as much as we want to push out contact information. We don’t want them to click on a bunch of additional navigation. Instead, we have simple navigation with a contact us form right on our home page.
So this is how we do site navigation cause again because we want to keep everybody super focused on generating a lead and contacting us. That’s the first step of great site navigation: understand your main goal and construct the navigation around completing that goal.
Once you’ve done that, you can start on the navigation at either the top of the page or as a side menu like we have. However, you don’t want to lose the opportunity to have someone see your number and fill out our for, so even in our navigation menu, we have that fill form and phone number again so it’s not lost to the reader.
You’ll also want a contact us page in your site navigation for those who don’t want a phone number, don’t want a fill form, and do want other forms of contact like an email or a physical address. Ensure those things are there, too, to appease all types of client contact wants/needs.
Besides that contact information, you don’t want to overload the site navigation and overwhelm them with information. You don’t want the visitor to do anything other than either learn more about the company or contact you.
Bottom line? Keep things super simple. Don’t give them a ton of options. Options paralyze people on the web. So keep that navigation to a minimum number of clicks it takes someone to convert. For example, on the home page there are zero necessary clicks to convert since we have contact and fill forms right there.
Same thing for the navigation/menu since it only takes one click to get to a contact us page. And again for a blog page, there are no clicks necessary, right? Because there are plenty of CTAs and contacts and fill forms on those pages too.
Back to our funnel fallacy idea earlier, this shows how viewers come in at various pages, convert on various pages, etc. There’s no one funnel people follow so you have to ensure there are easy entryways everywhere they go. You just need to give people the option to quickly give you a call or fill out that web form with a question or comment to get the sales conversation started and get the ball rolling.
The Art of the Call to Action
As with site navigation, the types of calls to action that you implement in your site is going to vary slightly depending on your business, your industry, and your overall goals.
For example, let’s say you;’re a real estate company. A great call to action for you would be a “Schedule a Tour” CTA. For us as a marketing company, ours could be to contact us to ask us questions about a marketing concept or for help arranging their next campaign. For a company selling a product, you could have a CTA that allows the client to set up a demo with you or set fill out what they want/need out of a product to match them with the perfect option.
If the CTA is in a blog post or something like that, try and see if you have the ability to input a CTA button that automatically sends them to a contact form or a scheduler. This, again, decreases the number of clicks it takes for them to convert. Instead of just linking them to the contact us page and have it be two clicks to convert, a single click to scheduler/fill-form is an awesome option.
In terms of simple CTAs, “Ask us a question” or “Contact us here” are some of the best. These can also be interspersed throughout your site; it doesn’t have to be at the end.
Images are super important, and too often when we’re building out our websites, we rely solely on stock images. But the thing is, there’s really no excuse for not using original photos anymore when even the most basic of smartphones (that we’re sure everyone reading this owns) have high-quality built-in cameras.
That being said, learn to take pictures and use your own pictures whenever possible. Take pictures of your office, take pictures of you with your clients,take pictures of yourself, your staff, your neighborhood, etc.
We also recommend that you upload your pictures onto a free sharing site like Unsplash. This stores them all in an easily accessible place for you to use many times.
This can also help you out in terms of SEO. How? Well, when we uploaded our images to Unsplash, we found that they actually got us a lot of backlinks for our site because other sites and publications were using our images and crediting us for them.
Provide Information to Your Audience
While your website is definitely a useful marketing, SEO, and selling tool for you, for your audience, it’s a way to gain more information about you, your product, and/or your service.
So any sort of information that will help them move forward in an intelligent way is great for your website. Let’s say you’re an insurance broker. Your site could contain informational articles on relevant topics about the difference between term and whole life, for example. Or perhaps a page detailing who needs what type of insurance or what to do when you get married.
This information helps the customer understand you better and that along with the CTAs interspersed within these pages and articles will give them the confidence and desire to contact you and eventually convert.
Don’t be afraid to switch up how you deliver this information, either. This could be written blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, and more.
Talking through common customer concerns, potential questions, and general relevant information essentially allows you to pre-sell them, as it reinforces the need/relevancy of your product/service. This also puts you more in their perspective than your own, which allows you to understand their concerns and objections before you even start the relationship. So then when they actually reach out to talk to you, you’ll already understand how they think and how to answer them in a way to push the sale and calm their concerns.
Taking those objections or taking those common questions and turning them into videos or writing them out it’ll actually make you better on the next call because you will have thought through it in a really good and thorough way. You can even use the website content you create and send it through emails, print marketing, direct mail, etc, to answer people’s questions.
The Power of Video
We can’t say this enough: video, video, video. Video marketing is taking over marketing and is one of the most effective types of content on the Internet today.
This includes how-to videos, informational videos, vlogs, demos, and more. Video testimonials are also hugely successful for websites. If you can get some video testimonials with your clients, it makes everything feel real for your viewers. This increases your credibility, increases trust, and showcases a real happy client/customer to a potential one, which is a very powerful tool.
Showcase Certifications, Achievements, and Awards
Your LinkedIn doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be the only place you showcase your achievements. Posting your awards, certifications, significant customers, brands you’ve worked with, directories, accolades, large projects, and more on your website can help people arrive to your page and help them increase their trust in you as a company.
This is more of a technical aspect of creating a website so we won’t go into a ton of detail.
However, we will leave you with this fact: studies show that over half of your page visitors will leave (aka bounce) if your loading speed is slow. And by “slow”, we mean seconds too long.
Positioning Yourself in the Local Market
Positioning yourself in the local market is essential for most businesses and there are simple ways you can do that today.
You should go to “Google My Business” and claim your business and your location. Put yourself on the map right in your local area.
This is super critical. You can put your office location, you general servicing area, and more. When you’re filling out this information, we recommend that you fill out and give as much information as possible because this will help more people find you and increase your overall exposure and traffic in the local market.
You want to list your phone number. You want to have an address. You want to have a link to your website. You’ll also want to provide the images we talked about earlier: images of your clients, images of the view of your office, images of you, etc. You control these images, so choose the ones that make you look good and make you look and feel like a real thriving business.
All of this will help your clients feel more comfortable about you. Not to mention that because it’s Google, this will help you rank especially locally.
You’ll also want to fill out these types of local business online forms for maps on other browsers since many will access through other search engines and browsers, and you don’t want to lose out on those markets.
Another awesome resource for getting your website and info out there is through Yelp. A lot of people think that Yelp is just for restaurants, but that’s really not the case. It’s for any and all business types.
There’s actually a good possibility that your business or your location is already on Yelp, so you either could be claiming it or you might have to set it up as you did with Google My Business.
Yelp is important for your online presence because it’s mainly used for getting and leaving reviews. Because of the large impact, these types of reviews have on consumer opinion of you (90% of people read online reviews on a business before working with them or buying their product), you want to kind of control this page as much as you can.
You can’t necessarily suppress bad reviews, so you’ll always want to make sure you’re doing good customer service. If there are bad reviews, you can respond to them kindly and apologetically, which makes you look good despite the bad review.
All of these things will help people find you and your website and it will help reinforce the notion that you are the best local option.
Actually Getting the Website Done
All of this is great, but it doesn’t mean anything without an actual website platform!
We are huge proponents of WordPress because of all of its amazing features and its omnipresence online. However, it can be a little more technical and you’ll potentially need to hire a designer or a developer to create if for you.
But once it’s designed and set up, WordPress makes it pretty easy to use, add content, install plugins, and more advanced features.
If you don’t have the budget to hire designers or developers, we suggest something like Squarespace. This is a super cheap and basic option that will work for most sites, especially if you’re on a budget. They have various templates that you can use to make it easy on yourself without a designer
How to Create a Lead Generation Website: Wrapping Up
Hopefully, this gave you a sort of broad introduction on creating websites and how to make sure they’re designed to get and convert leads. This probably generated some questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!