You’ve built out a great website architecture, you’ve spent time linking your site to reputable third-party sources. You think you’re pretty engaged in social media. And the color palette of your site is just gorgeous.
So why isn’t your website generating any leads for your business?
One of the most common mistakes out there is that people spend a lot of time thinking about how a website looks and not nearly enough time thinking about how it functions. After all, if the only purpose of having a great website was to show it off to your friends and family, then there’s no reason to even go live with it. Just take a screen shot of the thing, off line, and email it to your friends.
No, your website needs to work for it to be worthwhile. And in order for it to work, it needs to be generating real, actionable leads for your business.
So maybe you’ve noticed a few revenue streams that have been generated by your site, but if you are anything like thousands of other webmasters out there, you aren’t getting nearly as many as you like.
After all that time and effort spent on getting the site to look right, you might be looking at your site and thinking, “Is that it?”
Your website should be making you moneuy, not costing you money. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons your website might not be generating as many leads as you like.
No call to action
This one is huge. In fact it’s probably the number one mistake people use. It’s not enough to just have a great looking website; in fact it’s not enough to have really great content, either!
For your website to work, you need to have a call to action for your visitors. This should be something that casual visitors can skip over (you don’t want to annoy people with thousands of pop-ups). But it should be clear, and visible, and relate directly to what you are doing.
So whatever you are trying to do with your site — farm email address, get direct offers, get direct sales — there should be an easy and straightforward way for people to do it.
Don’t just hide your call to action on one of the back pages. The really, really hungry people may find their way to it — but those people would have done so anyway, probably! You want to convert the people on the fence. So make sure your call to action is visible, that it’s friendly and accessible, and that it’s clear both to you and to your lead what exactly the call to action is. Don’t trick people. They want your service. Give them an opportunity to volunteer themselves!
Okay, okay. True, in the introduction we said “it doesn’t matter if your website looks great…” Of course, it does matter. If your website looks old or clunky or just plain ugly, it’s time to do an overhaul.
Keep in mind that things change fast on the web. You don’t need every single new piece of funcionality that comes along (in fact, being too trendy can make you seem desperate). But you do need to constantly be looking at the freshest web pages out there and then making sure your own page looks modern and fresh.
With good links and good SEO, you can get a lot of visitors. But with bad design and ugly graphics, it’s hard for people to trust you enough to stick around and listen to what you have to sell.
Lack of blogging
Websites that amount to little more than a static landing page don’t encourage visitors to engage. People that live and work and buy things in your particular niche may come back to your site several times before they buy anything or sign up for your email list.
If every time they come by, nothing has changed, they may begin to wonder if your business is moribund or starting to go under.
You don’t need to manically update your blog just for the sake of saying something. But regular, relevant, and thoughtful pieces about your own business can make a world of difference in generating leads. Some people will actually stick around much longer — and be more exposed to your call to action — if there are engaging, fun-to-read blog posts on your site.
Being too cool for social media
There’s been a bit of a backlash against social media. Two or three years ago the web was flooded with people who claimed that social media was “changing everything” and that all you needed to do was kick butt in social media and to make your millions.
Of course, business is a lot more complicated that just tweeting stuff out or “liking” pages on facebook. But that doesn’t mean it is not still important. Social media is here to stay, and while the landscape is ever-changing, it’s not hard to keep track of the leading sites (there are hundreds out there, but don’t make it too complicated… master the big ones, Facebook and Twitter, then you can move on to more nuanced sites).
It doesn’t matter if you find these platforms irritating or boring or whatever. There are millions and millions of potential customers there, and your site needs to be easily integrated into their daily social media use. People will easily offer up lots of information that can be turned into solid sales leads, if only it’s convenient for them. Luckily, the leading social media companies have taken care of the “convenience” side of things. Now it’s your time to make sure you’re using that to your advantage.
Lack of clarity about your goals and audience
This really could be number one. It should be the first thing and the last thing you think about when you work on your site:
Who is your target audience?
What do you want that audience to do?
What do you hope to achieve with your site?
Let’s say your target audience is car owners who are looking to learn to customize their cars themselves. You are selling a service that teaches people how to do this, including personalized consultations. In order to engage your audience, you need to collect their email addresses so they can receive your free monthly bulletin.
Now you know what you need to do with your site. Every single page ought to move you toward this goal. It doesn’t matter if you have some cool ideas or content if it’s not relevant to your core audience and if it doesn’t help that core audience engage with your product.
Save the irrelevant stuff for your personal blog or facebook page. Focus like a laser on who your audience is, and what, specifically, you want them to do.
Avoid these pitfalls, and you will be well on your way to generating dynamite, actionable leads from your website. Good luck out there and happy hunting!