While the saying goes that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the hard reality is that most of the time people do. This is especially true when it comes to your website. While every business wants to have a well-designed website that puts them in the best light, it needs to hit on all the right marks: be responsive, look good, and accurately reflect their overall branding message. In fact, these aspects are all essential in today’s digital world.
So is your website putting your business in the best light? Does it do a good job of capturing leads and generating sales? A good website for a B2B company does this and more, it:
- Acts as a source for new prospects and leads, and moves them through the sales funnel
- Sets you up as the go-to resource in your industry
- Increases your credibility with your audience
If your website fails to hit the marks the above, then you’re in trouble. Let’s look at six of the biggest website mistakes that are costing you leads and how you can fix them:
1. Your website takes too long to load
Just check out any of the stats on the subject and you’ll find out that web visitors have extremely short attention spans. Sites that take too long to load can lose up to 40% of visitors within the first 10 seconds, whether they’re moving on to another page on your site or another site altogether. The point is, the slower your site is to load, the higher your abandonment and bounce rates are going to be.
Consider the following tips for optimizing your website and keeping visitors on it for longer:
- Reduce the size of images, eliminate unnecessary web pages, plugins, etc. that slow down your website. For instance, if you’re using WordPress on your website, check to see whether you really need all the plugins you have installed.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) to serve your website up faster. A CDN uses a network of servers in different data centers to host and deliver your website. Different parts of your site are housed on different servers, taking advantage of the high-availability and high-performance of each center to serve each portion of your site faster and more efficiently.
2. Your website doesn’t look trustworthy
I’m not just talking about web design here, but rather, social proof. How do you show that visitors that they can trust your business? Your website should have at least some of the the following indicators of social proof:
- Social share counts on blog posts and landing pages
- Registration counts for webinars
- Anti-spam and/or privacy statement to inform visitors of how you’ll treat their information
- Testimonials from happy clients
- Media and/or news mentions from other publications or media outlets
- Security badges if you’re asking for sensitive information like credit card information
Any and all of these count towards your social proof status, help validate your site as trustworthy, and should be shown at every opportunity.
3. Your lead capture process is broken or nonexistent
If your site gets a lot of traffic but is not generating many leads, your lead capture process isn’t working as it should. At the basic level, your lead capture process should include a sign-up form, compelling calls-to-action (CTAs), and a relevant reward for signing up. Plant your forms throughout your website so visitors don’t always enter on the home page.
These basics are a good way to start your lead capture process if you don’t have one, but if you do, there are always ways you can take it up a notch. Get higher-quality leads by testing your gated content and seeing how it does. This information will help you see which content works best for each type of situation so you can produce more (or less) of the right one. It’s all about give-to-get, so give them content that’s a fair trade to what you’re getting from them. Here are a few examples of the value exchange you can offer when you gate your content:
Give away a checklist in return for a name and email
Most people are willing to give their email address for something simple, like a checklist. They like the fact that it’s not a huge commitment on their part, and they’re still getting something out of it. It might not be their business email, but that’s okay. When they see how useful and valuable your content is, they’ll be more likely to give you their business email the next time you ask. Remember that at this point they’re still a prospect, ready to hear what you have to say, but not quite ready for a full-on sales pitch. Nurture your leads to build their interest up to that point.
Give away a report, whitepaper, or ebook in exchange for a name, email, and company name
A piece of content more robust like a report or ebook shows your commitment to educating your readers, and they know it costs you more in time and effort to create it. Therefore they’re more likely to give you their business email and company name for it. Sure, they know you’re probably going to email them regularly, but they’ll be okay with this if they find the information useful. Depending on your organization, and whether you use lead scoring, this can signal their transition from prospect to lead and let you know that they are interested in learning more.
Give away an on-demand webinar in return for a name, email, company name, and phone number
You’re dialing up your commitment to educating them with a webinar, but you’re also asking for more of a commitment from your readers as well. It’s a time-based exchange between the two of you, and signals a bigger commitment from both sides. At this point, they’ve rounded the corner from semi-interested lead to interested lead. They’re almost ready for a call from a sales representative now.
Give away a product demo or free trial for as much information as your sales team needs to vet them
This one works well for larger-ticket products, like enterprise-level cloud software solutions or complex logistics services. Ask for their issues or pain points when they sign up for the demo, and then address them specifically. If you’re giving away free trials, send them a quick reference card that calls out the parts of your solution that will address their identified issues.
The fact they’ve made it this far is a clear signal of their commitment to you, and how they’re ready to hear more. They’re probably ready to put your name on a short list of vendors and want to talk more about their buying situation.
4. Your website has poorly written content
Your website is how some your leads hear about you for the first time, so you need to make a good first impression with engaging content. Let’s assume that you already have a good website design. Once they dig in to your site and start reading, your content needs be up to par with the products you’re selling. That means taking care of the basics like spelling and grammar, and extends into the more subtle areas like tone, voice, and accuracy. Consider hiring a professional web writer and/or copywriter to take full advantage of these nuances. Areas to look at on your website include:
- Product pages: Keep the descriptions as crisp and entertaining as possible, especially if your products are complex or ‘boring’. Make the content easy to digest.
- Landing pages: Use compelling headlines, images, and actionable CTAs to draw readers in.
- About Us/Company pages: Show off the personality and qualifications of your company’s management team, showing that they’re professional, knowledgeable, and real people.
5. Your business blog is a little ‘too’ corporate
A blog is another great way to create relationships with your visitors, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the people that work at your company and their thoughts. But if it’s only filled with press releases and other promotional marketing, chances are that no one’s going to bother reading it.
Create an editorial calendar and start writing about topics your leads would be interested in. For ideas, look at your social media accounts and see what’s popular there. Or speak to your sales and customers service reps to see what customers and leads are asking about. Or showcase how your existing customers are using your solution. Or…well, you get the idea. Create content that catches the attention of your audience and keeps them engaged.
6. You’re not publicizing your social media presence
Today’s clients (B2C and B2B alike) are on social media. They expect you to be too, so when you’re not, or when you’re only on there sporadically, they disengage from you. Lead generation is all about creating and maintaining relationships with people, so doing social media badly or not at all is a missed relationship-building opportunity. Here are different ways you can boost your social media presence:
- Investigate where your leads are on social media and then get on the same networks.
- Post interesting and relevant images, articles, and other content regularly to your leads reading and hopefully talking. Share links to content they’ll find informative, even if it’s not necessarily about your product.
- Add links to your social media networks on your website: in the footer and header of your site, and anywhere else you think is useful, like in your email signature and on your business cards.
Success in today’s digital world stems from having every part of your business firing on all cylinders. This means your business website should work just as hard as you do. Inspect your website for these six blunders. Once you address them, you’ll be well on your way to capturing more leads!
Do you have any more tips to add? Or do you experience with one of these blunders? Share your thoughts in the comments below.