The 12 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website

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IGNORANT MARKETERS RAVE that increasing your website traffic is the online marketing panacea. It's just a numbers game, they will tell you. You just have to get enough people to see your site, then …

IGNORANT MARKETERS RAVE that increasing your website traffic is the online marketing panacea. It's just a numbers game, they will tell you. You just have to get enough people to see your site, then you will increase your business.

Piffle and pooh. Website conversion is far more important than traffic.

Think about it: Would you rather have 5,000 website visits per month with a 1% conversion rate (50 leads/month), or 2,000 visits per month with a 3% conversion rate (60 leads/month)?

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  • 1.           About Website ArchitectsMost website firms focus on either graphic design (the front-end of your website) or technical programming (back-end coding).In contrast, we understand that website architecture is profoundly more important than good design on the front end and goodfunctionality on the back end. But almost no web designers know how to do it.Architecture is how your website content is organized andwritten. Itʼs based on tested web psychology. It pulls visitors Our No-Risk, Money-Back Guaranteein. Makes them click deeper and deeper. Answers theirquestions. Cultivates their trust. Builds a relationship with them. • Well completely finish your website in 45 daysConverts them into leads and sales on their terms. or less. • The design and writing will persuasively radiateDonʼt just design or build your website. Hire Website Architects who you are and your message.to architect it. We write your story and organize your content • Well architect it for optimal lead generation.so well youʼll think we own your business. • Youll enjoy constant communication throughout the process.Youʼll be amazed by how much your website can do for you. • Your site will be incredibly easy to update— even for non-geeks. • Youll be proud to show it off. TheWebsiteArchitects.com (801) 208-2422 If you dont absolutely love it, well refund all your money. Every last cent. No questions asked. info@thewebsitearchitects.com Our moneys resting on our mouth. Call us to get your website started today.   212 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 2.           ContentsAbout Website Architects ................................................................................................................................................... 2Element #1: Persona-Based Architecture ......................................................................................................................... 6Element #2: Credibility ...................................................................................................................................................... 10Element #3: Permission Marketing Lead Capture .......................................................................................................... 11Element #4: Free Download .............................................................................................................................................. 13Element #5: Tell Your Story .............................................................................................................................................. 14Element #6: Persuasive Copywriting ............................................................................................................................... 15Element #7: Search Engine Optimization Copywriting .................................................................................................. 18Element #8: Clear & Friction-Free Call-To-Action .......................................................................................................... 19Element #9: Elements for Interaction & Education ........................................................................................................ 20Element #10: Analytics ...................................................................................................................................................... 21Element #11: Easy-To-Update Content Management System (CMS) ........................................................................... 22Element #12: Clean & Professional Design .................................................................................................................... 23Architect Your Site ............................................................................................................................................................ 24 312 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 3.          I GNORANT MARKETERS RAVE that increasing your website traffic is the online marketing panacea. “Itʼs just a numbers game,” theyʼll tell you. “You just have to get enough people to see your site, then youʼll increase your business.”Piffle and pooh. Website conversion is far more important than traffic. By conversion we mean a website visitor takingan action on your site that engages with you in a meaningful way, such as: • Purchasing a product online • Submitting a contact/free quote/lead generation form • Calling your business for more information • Opting in to a newsletter • Downloading whitepapers/e-books/resourcesThink about it: Would you rather have 5,000 website visits per month with a 1% conversion rate (50 leads/month), or2,000 visits per month with a 3% conversion rate (60 leads/month)?Focusing on increasing your traffic while neglecting your conversion optimization is like desperately trying to fill a bucketthatʼs full of holes, rather than plugging the holes first. 412 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 4.          This is why your website should be architected to optimize yourlead generation.You can spend a lot of money on graphic design and/or technicalprogramming/coding, but without the right architecture(copywriting, content organization, page structure, calls to action,reducing friction, etc.) youʼre pouring money down the drain.With that said, here are the 12 essential elements of a lead-generating (converting) website: 1. Persona-Based Architecture 7. Search Engine Optimization Copywriting 2. Credibility 8. Clear & Friction-Free Call-To-Action 3. Permission Marketing Lead Capture 9. Elements for Interaction & Education 4. Free Download 10. Analytics 5. Tell Your Story 11. Easy-to-Update Content Management System 6. Persuasive Copywriting 12. Clean & Professional Design 512 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 5.          Element  #1:  Persona-­‐Based  Architecture  A ccording to Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, personas are "modes of preferred behavior within the context of buying."When you understand personas, you can consciously craft your marketingmessages and organize your website content to cater to each, resulting inincreased leads and sales and greater customer engagement. Rather thansteering them on your terms, you provide the means by which they navigate andbuy on their terms.Based on the Myers-Briggs approach, there are four primary personas:Competitive, Spontaneous, Methodical, and Humanist. When interacting withmarketing materials, companies, products, and/or services, each persona looksfor different things, asks specific questions, and resonates with certain words andprocesses.Hereʼs a brief overview of each: 612 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 6.          CompetitiveCompetitive types thrive on competence and control. They appreciate challenges and are driven by curiosity. They arehighly motivated, success- and goal-oriented, hard-working, and persuasive. They like getting their own way and theycant stand inefficiency.Questions Competitives Ask: 1. Who are we trying to • What are your competitive advantages? persuade to take the action? • Why are you a superior choice? • Are you a credible company? 2. What is the action we want • How can you help me be more productive? someone to take? • How can you help me look cutting edge? 3. What does that person • What are your credentials? need in order to feel • What is your research? confident taking that action? • How can you help me achieve my goals?  SpontaneousSpontaneous types live in the moment. They are poised, flexible, and action-oriented. They like the "new" and "exciting"and anything that helps them enjoy life more. They dislike details and reach decisions quickly. 712 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 7.          Questions Spontaneous Types Ask: • How can you get me to what I need quickly? • How quickly can I take action and achieve my • Do you offer superior service? goals? • Can I customize your product or service? • How will this let me enjoy life more? • Can you help me narrow down my choices?MethodicalMethodical types are detailed, logical thinkers. They appreciate hard data, facts, organization, and logical, step-by-stepprocesses. They dont like surprises and they abhor irresponsibility. They have a businesslike, detail-oriented attitude andthey resonate with companies that provide hard evidence and superior service.Questions Methodicals Ask: • What are the details? • How can I plan ahead? • Whats the fine print? • What are the product specs? • How does this work? • What proof do you have? • Whats the process you use? • Can you guarantee that? • Can you take me through this step-by-step? 812 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 8.          HumanistHumanist types are personable and love building and strengthening relationships. They are sympathetic listeners andenjoy serving others. They value acceptance and personal freedom. They fear separation. They want to see testimonialsand appreciate incentives, which make them feel valued.Questions Humanists Ask: • How will your product or service make me feel? • What experience have others had with you? • Who uses your products/service? • Can I trust you? • Who are you? Tell me who is on your staff, and let • What are your values? me see bios. • How will this help me strengthen relationships? • What will it feel like to work with you?By anticipating their questions, you can write your content and organize your pages to pull each persona through yourwebsite on their terms. Of course, thereʼs much greater depth to this process than weʼve provided here. On every websitewe architect we identify real customers of the business who match each persona. This means weʼre dealing with realpeople, not just theory. 912 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 9.          Element  #2:  CredibilityY ou may have noticed that by anticipating and answering the questions of the four personas, you should naturally address credibility. Yet this is so often overlooked that we stress it as a stand-alone element. You need two things to persuade prospects: relevance and credibility. Relevance is assumed by the fact that theyʼve made it to your site through a search engine. Now you must prove why youʼre credible—that you can actually deliver what theyʼre looking for and what you promise. Credibility can come in the form of endorsements, testimonials, credentials, education, qualifications, awards, media appearances, official designations, experience, trust symbols, and others. It can apply to individuals within your company and/or your company as a whole.Any and all of these elements should be strategically highlighted throughout your site. Sometimes this means individualpages for specific elements, and other times itʼs integrated into your copy throughout. 1012 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 10.          Element  #3:  Permission  Marketing  Lead  CaptureA permission database is list of individuals who have given you permission to market to them. They land on your website, like what you have to offer, and subscribe to receive information from you by giving you their personalinformation, most importantly their name and email address.Their data is captured by webforms created by customer relationship management(CRM) or email marketing software. At the most basic level, this can mean theysubscribe to receive your monthly newsletter. You then cultivate them over timeby giving them relevant, valuable, educational content.Building a database should be one of the primary goals of your company strategy.A database is a ready-built audience that can be leveraged to generate traffic andrevenues—regardless of how much new traffic youʼre receiving. Without it, youʼll bedependent on the hamster wheel of constantly driving new traffic to your business.So how do you keep people coming around? How do you keep them engaged?How can you capture an audience of recurring visitors on the web, rather than relying on driving more traffic? You build adatabase of information from people who give you permission to stay connected with them through technology. 1112 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 11.          Below are two screenshots of websites we built with arrows that show the permission marketing lead capture. Click oneach image to view the live site.     1212 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 12.          Element  #4:  Free  Download  T he easiest way to motivate people to get into your database is to give them a valuable download. This can be an e- book, white paper, video or video series, audio recording, recorded webinar, podcast—the possibilities are endless.Donʼt be afraid to give away your best content. A person in your database that you can cultivate with multiple offersover time is more valuable to you than a one-time, small purchase.For example, Kris Krohn spent a lot of money producing his book, The Strait Path to Real Estate Wealth. Yet on hiswebsite youʼll notice that you can download the entire digital version for free. We do the same thing for our book, HubMentality. Financial advisors Tom Hamlin and Devin Larkins give away e-books. Life success coach Heather Haywardgives away an MP3 download. 1312 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 13.          Element  #5:  Tell  Your  Story  S trangely, very few business websites really tell the story of the business. The content is the bare-bones essentials. It doesnʼt highlight their most important messages or competitive advantages. It doesnʼt share the interesting, obscuredetails that make their business unique.Essentially, your story is: • Who you are • What you do for your customers • Why youʼre different and special • Your philosophy, principles, and valuesItʼs how you want your brand to be perceived and remembered.Everyone has a difficult time telling their own story; itʼs hard to read thelabel when youʼre inside the bottle. The best way to flesh out and tellyour story is to hire an outside consultant who isnʼt in your box. 1412 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 14.          Element  #6:  Persuasive  Copywriting  O f course, itʼs not enough to just tell your story—you must also use the art and science of persuasion to move website visitors to take action. This includes using knowledge of psychology, the differences between the leftand right hemispheres of the brain and how to cater to each, the three levels of memory, how to surprise and delightBrocaʼs area of the brain, the power of details, how to tap into emotions, etc.Countless books have been written on the subject, and it would beimpossible for us to detail all the knowledge and techniques we employ.However, here are a few basic techniques:The “WIFM” RuleYour visitors enter your radar asking the question, “Whatʼs in it for me?”Most websites are written about the person/business that the site isdesigned to tell about. Yes, you build a site to tell people about you, but itmust be written to be about your visitor. How do you meet their needs?Whatʼs in it for them if they use you? How do you make their life better? Thehome page especially needs to illuminate the benefits to your readers. 1512 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 15.          Future Now, Inc., an elite New York-based company specializing in website conversion, offers a free tool, the We-WeMonitor, that reveals how well your website focuses on your customers, as opposed to yourself. Try it out on your websitenow — the result may surprise you.Translate Features Into BenefitsFeatures of a MacBook Pro laptop computer include the 15″ monitor, 2.4 GHz Intel Duo Core processor, and 4 GB ofmemory with 1067 MHz of RAM. You probably donʼt have a clue what most of those mean. But hereʼs how they translate:The computer is fast. It can process a lot of information and run a lot of programs simultaneously. It loves to digestpictures and videos. In other words, you donʼt care about the features; you care about the benefits that those featuresprovide. And so do your customers.If youʼre a graphic designer, a feature is that youʼre proficient in Flash. The benefit to your customers is that you maketheir website come alive with excitement. If youʼre a hair stylist, a feature is that you use Redken salon products. Thebenefit is that your customerʼs hair will shimmer like the night sky. If you sell Jeep Wranglers, a feature is the 202 hp 3.8liter V6 engine; the benefit is that drivers will be flabbergasted as they crawl up a boulder-littered incline like it was childʼsplay. 1612 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 16.          Instill the VisionItʼs proven that people will not — in fact cannot — take any action that they have not already envisioned in their mind.Does your copy instill the vision of what it will feel like for potential customers to interact with your business? Does thevision inspire each of their senses? The more clearly a person can envision taking a particular action the more likely theyare to take that action in reality.Exploit VerbsVerbs explode your copy, transforming passive content into activecontent that leaps from the page and into the mind.Predictability is enemy #1 in the Information Age, and masteringthe use of verbs is half the battle of delighting readers withunpredictability.     1712 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 17.          Element  #7:  Search  Engine  Optimization  Copywriting  Y ou canʼt persuade and convert if you canʼt get found. Your website content must be written to both humans and search engines alike. Not only does this help increase your organic search engine rankings, but it also ensuresthat visitors will stay longer on your site—assuming your site is relevant to their search. The first place to start is to do keyword research, for which many online tools abound. These help you identify what real people search for when they want to find your product, service, or solution. They also rank them according to competitiveness, so you can see which search terms would be easiest for you to pursue. You then place your carefully-selected keywords into titles, headings, tags, intra-site links, and external links so that both search engines and humans find the right things, come to the right conclusions, and make the right decisions. 1812 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 18.          Element  #8:  Clear  &  Friction-­‐Free  Call-­‐To-­‐Action  H ow do people engage with you? Whatʼs the first step for them to get started working with you on the web? Your call-to-action could include any of the following and more: • Free trial • Register for an event • Free quote • Product purchase • Free consultation • Learn more • Download contentWhatever it is, it needs to be clearly-defined and made prominent in strategicplaces throughout your site using buttons, hyperlinks, and forms.It also must be as frictionless as possible. For example, if youʼre a financialadvisor offering free consultations, donʼt make visitors complete a long formthat asks for all their personal financial data. You can collect those details onyour call or visit with them. Your website goal is to simply generate as manyleads as possible. As a general rule, the less data required in your webforms, the higher your conversion rate. If you havean e-commerce site, you must ensure that your checkout process are smooth and hassle-free. 1912 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 19.          Element  #9:  Elements  for  Interaction  &  Education  If your site feels like a ghost town, your conversion rate will drop. Visitors want to feel like theyʼre dealing with real peoplewith whom they can interact on a personal and intimate level. They also appreciate companies who become educationalresources for them, rather than simply product-pushers.The most important elements here are a blog with anRSS feed and social media icons (which, of course, ispredicated upon you actually being active in socialmedia channels). Read The Beginning Bloggerʼs Bibleto learn why an active blog is essential for mostbusiness websites.The more content you provide and the moreprospects interact with you, the greater likelihood thattheyʼll convert into leads and sales. 2012 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 20.          Element  #10:  Analytics  B uilding a website is just half the battle of converting. After building and launching your site, the next step is to continue optimizing your site to increase your conversion rate over time. You can fine-tune any and all elements tosee which versions convert the best. Installing analytics software, such as Google analytics, allows you to do that. Analytics track massive amounts of website visitor patterns and data and tell you how people are interacting with your site, where theyʼre spending time, where theyʼre losing interest and leaving, places where theyʼre experiencing friction, etc. Fine-tuning your website is a process, not a destination. Build the best website that you can. Get as much feedback as possible before launching. But ultimately, it is your visitors that have the final say on whether or not your site is effective. Let them tell you what they like and donʼt like about the site by paying attention to your analytics. Then, keep changing elements and testing to improve your site continually. 2112 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 21.          Element  #11:  Easy-­‐To-­‐Update  Content  Management  System  (CMS)  I n the early days of web design, you would determine your needs then have someone custom design and code the entire site from scratch. If you wanted to update it, you would either need to be a geek or have a geek on staff. The proliferation of Content Management Systems (CMS), including Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal to name a few, has drastically changed this model. A good CMS makes it simple for anyone to update a website, whether theyʼre technically-inclined or not. Weʼre raving fans of Wordpress. Itʼs the most user-friendly CMS on the market, and itʼs robust and flexible enough to work for virtually any functionality requirements.Building your site on a user-friendly CMS is critical because of the need for constant testing to optimize your conversionrate. It allows you to be lean and quick and make changes on the fly. 2212 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 22.          Element  #12:  Clean  &  Professional  Design  F inally, your site must look and feel good. If it looks like something your brother-in-law threw together over a weekend, well, your visitors will treat you accordingly. People wonʼt invest in you if youʼre not willing to invest in yourself.Notice, however, that we include this element last. The previous 11elements are more important than fancy graphic design when it comesto converting visitors and generating leads.This is a critical mistake made by tons of businesses: They invest inhigh-quality graphic design, but neglect complete architecture. Theirsite looks good visually, but it doesnʼt convert.Still, this shouldnʼt be an either/or choice. Build your website right withboth quality graphic design and conversion architecture. 2312 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website
  • 23.           Architect  Your  Site  Now   Your site shouldnʼt just look good. It should actually get you results. Hire Website Architects now to architect your site for optimal conversion and lead generation. Remember: If you donʼt absolutely love your site, weʼll give you your money back. No questions asked, no hassle, no stress, no risk. 2412 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website