Category: Inbound Marketing

Information about inbound marketing

10 Necessary Features of a Successful Lead Generating Website

10 Necessary Features of a Successful Lead Generating Website

Last week we had the opportunity to present at Creative Office Pavillion in Manchester, NH. We had a lively group that were part of a non-profit organization with a great cause called Plan NH. Great people, great food and all around a good time.
 
We shared a topic that we run into frequently with organizations that struggle with online sales. We notice that organizations do very well with their visibility and brand awareness. Whether it be due to the years the organization has been in business or investing in a sales team, visibility and attracting visitors is not their main challenge. The challenge is setting a measurable inbound marketing goal and converting their online traffic into leads.
 
The bottom line is, your website can be more than just act as a brochure. Every business should be taking advantage of their online traffic and converting users into leads.
 
Here is a brief recap of the 10 Necessary Features of a Successful Lead Generating Website we discussed with are new friends at Plan NH.

1.) On-Page SEO

Make sure your web developer is adept at Search Engine Optimization. Proper SEO tactics need to be built in to your website from the start. If they aren’t there now, it’s a good idea to hire an SEO professional to do an audit of your site and start making improvements.

2.) Social Media Integration

Having social media integrated into your website is key to getting your content out there. If your content is interesting enough to your target persona, there needs to be a way for them to share it quickly and easily. Also, having an up to date social media presence makes your brand trustworthy and tells your audience that you are up to date.

3.) A Blog

A blog is the gasoline that keeps the inbound marketing machine running. It’s the best way to boost your organic search traffic, and sharing your ideas on a regular basis is a great way to connect with your users. Keeping your blog up to date can be a daunting task, but it is so worth it to build your inbound marketing funnel.

4.) The Right Messaging

Ask yourself these 4 questions when you visit your website.
Will people know what I do within seconds?
Will they understand what page they’re on and what it’s about?
Will they know what to do next?
Why should they buy/subscribe/download from this site instead of from someone else?
It’s important that your messaging is created for the user and based on what they want and need in order to take the next step. It’s not about what you have to say and what you want to tell them.

5.) Great Design

This is a no brainer. In this day and age, online visitors have a certain standard for the design and usability of a website. If it’s not up to those standards, it’s very easy for them to hit the back button and choose the next option.

6.) Responsive Design

Just this summer over 50% of online media was reached through a mobile device. We have reached the tipping point and having a responsive website will only become more important as time goes on. Your website needs to adapt and display differently for a mobile device than it does on a desktop.

7.) Calls to Action

Now we get into some of the functionalities that play a role in converting a visitor into a lead. The first is a CTA or Call to Action. A CTA is designed to prompt a user to take action. It’s a button with a phrase like “Click here for your free eBook,” or “Schedule your free consultation today.”

8.) Landing Pages

Landing pages are the pages that explain what you have to offer your user in exchange for some of their information. After they click on a CTA, they will usually land on a landing page. This is where the conversion will take place.

9.) Forms

A form is the place they leave their information in order to download or receive an offer. An offer can be a free piece of material, case study, webinar, worksheet etc. The length and depth of the form can be based off of what they are getting in return. The more valuable the offer, the more detailed questions the form can potentially have.

10.) Analytics

The analytics of your website is what keeps you on track. Not only do you need them in place but you need someone who can read and understand your analytics and translate it into how you’re doing in regards to accomplishing your online goals.
 
Goals. That’s the bonus we talked about at the beginning of our talk. Before you start with your inbound marketing strategy, you need to set some goals. How many leads do you want your website to bring in? How many of those should convert to customers? How much revenue do you want those customers to bring in? These are all important and necessary questions to answer when you begin your inbound marketing planning and website strategy.
 
If your company website is not generating leads and/or sales, reevaluate your website with these 10 features and find out if you’re website needs improvement.
 
Are their other features you find that has helped your website generate leads? Share in the comments!




Inbound Marketing Checklist



How to take advantage of your web traffic with a simple online form.

How to take advantage of your web traffic with a simple online form.

When we created our first website for our business 8 years ago, we made sure to add an online form to the contact us page and all project pages. It just seemed like a no brainer to have a place convenient for people to get in touch. Three years later we realized that no one had ever really filled out the form. Back then, most of our leads were coming in through word of mouth or picking up the phone and calling us. When we redesigned our website, we decided to get rid of the online forms since the only thing it was bringing in was spam at that point. We replaced all forms for a contact us page with a link to our email address, our physical address and a phone number.
 
Over the years our traffic has increased and become more qualified. This past year we’ve jumped into inbound marketing and we decided to review our traffic with intentions to get more leads from our website. We took a look at what pages had the most views, and the second most popular page was the contact page. With close to 100 unique page views per month, we knew we could take some serious advantage of that traffic. So we decided to bring back the contact form.
 
But we didn’t just add a few fields for their name, email and a brief message. We made sure this online form was well thought out. Here’s what we did and how you can take advantage of your web traffic with a simple online form.
 
1.) First, add the essential fields; name, email, company, phone, etc.
 
2.) Come up with list of questions that will help you understand your visitor’s needs. We thought about the things we would like to know to figure out if they were the right type of client for us.
 
3.) From that list of questions, choose your top 5 questions. Extensive forms are a turn off and you don’t want to scare too many people away.
 
4.) Make sure the questions are as easy to answer as possible. We had a check box or a drop down option wherever possible, and only a text box as an option for any additional details if they have them.
 
5.) Lastly, create an even shorter online form as another option. This is for the people who might not have a project in mind but want to connect anyway. Or maybe they just have a comment or want to say hello. We wanted to make sure there was a place for this as well.
 
6.) Make sure to add an option to subscribe to your blog on both online forms. Asking visitors to subscribe is a great way to keep you on their radar.
 
Within the first month our new online forms were on our contact us page, 60% of our new leads converted using those forms. It turns out, people want things to be easy, and picking up the phone can be hard. So put a well thought out contact form on your contact page and the hard work is done–they don’t have to start a conversation, they just have to answer some questions. Take a look at how our contact page turned out.
 



25 Tactics Great Websites Use



6 Tips for an effective Call to Action (CTA)

An effective Call to Action (CTA) guides your visitors take the next step

While some symbols and design elements have become intuitive for users, your visitor does not always know what to do next. It’s up to you to tell them what to do, and why they should do it. A key piece of your inbound marketing strategy is an effective Call to Action.

An effective Call to Action should be in clear sight on a webpage. They should be bigger and bolder that the other elements on your page without it taking over completely. Don’t compromise good design to make your CTA stand out.

1. Consider the colors of your CTA.

It should be a color that stands out and stimulates action, but still looks like it belongs there.
 

2. Tell them what they’re getting with clear and concise copy.

A thorough CTA that leads to an offer should be descriptive. Make the messaging about them and why they will benefit by clicking.
 

3. Make it look clickable.

Create a hover effect for your CTA so your visitors understand it’s a button that should be clicked.
 

CTA-Rollover-1  CTA-Rollover

 

4. Test it out.

Try some A/B testing with different colors, copy and position on the page. The data could provide some insight on how your audience behaves.
 

5. Place them where it makes sense.

You don’t want CTAs everywhere on your website. Take a step back and act like a website visitor. When will they be most interested in your offer? After they read a blog? Once they’ve gone over your services?
 

6. Understand which CTAs should go on which pages.

Segment your offers into Top of the Funnel (eBooks, free downloads), Middle of the Funnel offers (request a quote, free trial). Your Top of the Funnel offer CTAs should go on top level pages that have a lot of page views, while the Middle of the Funnel offer CTAs should appear on pages the user has to do a little bit of digging to find.
 
Take a look at your website from the user’s perspective and find some places where a CTA is needed. By adding an effective Call to Action, you could see your lead generation results improve right away.



Greatest Lead Generation Tips



An Email Marketing Strategy Can Be So Much More than a Newsletter

An Email Marketing Strategy Can Be So Much More than a Newsletter

Sometimes it seems as though email marketing gained most of its reputation before the days of social media. For a lot of business owners, the term “email marketing” conjures visions of bad clipart and awkwardly placed images, alongside blurbs of content outlining everything that happened in their business that month. But the ways in which we use email marketing have evolved quite a bit in the past 15 years, and it is still one of the best ways to reach your contacts.
 

Your email marketing strategy does not have to revolve around monthly e-newsletters. As long as the people on your list have opted in and want to hear from you, then you are free to get creative and have a little fun with your communication. Here are a few points about email marketing that you should practice, and some that you really don’t have to practice.

 

Make Sure it’s Email-worthy

What is email-worthy, other than an awkward hyphenated phrase I just coined? If something noteworthy happens or you have some information that you would shout to a room full of people on your list—that’s email-worthy. This information would be something they appreciate hearing and are glad to have heard it from you. Before you compose your email, have this email-worthy communication in mind.
 

Have a goal

This is the most important piece to every email you send out. You need to have a purpose and a goal. It could be to get more traffic to your site, or to get a certain amount of people to fill out a form or redeem an offer. No matter what, you can’t measure the success of an email campaign without having a bar set somewhere first.
 

They don’t have to be timed out

You don’t have to write and send an email every second Tuesday of the month. If deadlines help you complete your tasks, then by all means set a deadline. But don’t let that deadline sabotage the authenticity of your communication. If you get it done before then, or need to push back an email, you can rest assured that no one will notice.
 

You don’t have to include everything

Try your best to keep your emails short and sweet. If your subscribers can read and act on your email in less than a minute then there’s a much better chance of them following through. Really think about it from their perspective and only include what they would love to hear, instead of all the things that you would love to tell them.
 

Get Creative

Especially with your subject line. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I get an email with a subject line that reads “August 2015 Newsletter: blah blah blah.” It doesn’t really say blah blah blah but that’s what I hear in my head after such a giant lack of creativity. Research shows that subject lines that are 5 words or less, are questions, or are just really funny and creative get opened. Boring stuff doesn’t.
 

Listen to your audience

If you can manage it, go through your replies or even encourage people’s thoughts on your email campaign. The email is for them after all, it would be worth it to hear what they think in their own words. Also, I find that once I hear from my subscribers, whether it’s in a comment or in an email reply, it’s easier to write for them. They are no longer just an email address, but an actual person that I’m speaking to.
 
Above all, you need to understand that the world of email marketing, and inbound marketing in general, is a marathon and not a sprint. With every piece of great content you put out there, you are building up your reach and your connections, and building a solid foundation of communication for your business. So, keep at it, and have some fun!
 




25 Tactics Great Websites Use