8 Reasons Why Your Website is Failing to Generate Leads
Let’s face it – if your website – the thing that is supposed to be making you money and generating leads just isn’t cutting the mustard, you’re probably finding it hard to justify even having a website to begin with. After all, if your website is failing to generate leads, what good is it? Merely having a website stocked with boat loads of information about your business isn’t enough these days. Your website can no longer be just a static resource of information; it needs to be a 24/7 marketing machine.
You might be saying to yourself, “Well, my site doesn’t need to be generating leads. We get our leads elsewhere.” While that may be true and while you may be currently doing well with offline generated leads, it doesn’t address the growing shift towards online shopping, particularly on mobile devices. One third of all eCommerce purchases made during the 2015 holiday season were made on a smartphone. And mobile purchases are only increasing, year over year. So, if you’re site is failing to generate leads, or isn’t converting visitors into customers, you’re missing out on a good chunk of sales.
Besides, how much time and effort would it take on your part, or your team’s part, to bring in a lead, (IE, how much does it cost you in time and funds)? My guess is that you may be spending more time and money on getting the lead than what that lead is possibly worth. If you left the heavy lifting to your website to help generate those leads and concern yourself with other important tasks, I think you’d find that your cost per lead would decrease drastically.
If you are currently using your website to generate leads, or if you aren’t, and your unsatisfied with the results, don’t give up on your website just yet. A few small changes (and even a couple big ones) can make a huge difference.
Here are 8 reasons why your website is failing to generate leads.
No calls to action
This one is a biggie. A call to action is simply an instruction for the user to take an appropriate response. Most of the reasons why a website is failing to generate leads is because the call to action either doesn’t exist (there isn’t one at all) or it doesn’t stand out enough for people to take notice. Call to actions (or CTAs) are almost always links or buttons leading the user to take the next step or complete a microconversion – a positive step toward the main goal conversion for a given webpage.
Your call to action – the actual verbiage – should be thought over and for best optimal results, should contain explicit verbiage that you want the user to do – “Learn More About Our Program”, “Buy X Product Now”, “Sign Up For Our Webinar Today”, etc. The landing page to which the CTA takes the user should also contain the same or similar verbiage in a major headline to confirm that the user arrived at the right place after clicking your CTA. For more on landing pages, read our article on landing pages.
In short, no call to action = no way to generate leads.
No way to collect lead info
As I said above, CTA’s are a must. But, even with having a call to action, you still need a way to collect lead information. Without it, obviously, you’ve got no lead. What do you need to collect lead information? Usually, a form will get the job done – and usually, the shorter the form, the greater the likelihood that people will submit it. Common uses of forms to collect lead information include email newsletter signups, contact page forms, ebook downloads (with email address opt-in), social media, courses and webinars, etc. Anything that breaks up the act of completing a form – having to collect information for a form, moving to another section of the form, giving up too much information for an initial form submission – these can all lead to form abandonment. Make sure you have some way that is quick yet adequate for acquiring your lead’s information.
Not enough consumable content
Yoast, the SEO plugin for WordPress, recommends 300 words on any given page – just one of the factors it uses to score your page’s SEO. But, content doesn’t necessarily have to be text. Content can refer to images, video, audio, presentations, courses and more. However, you not only need to have content, it needs to be consumable as well. By consumable, I mean being able to spend time reading, viewing, digesting – yes, digesting – spending time on your website and interacting with your content. If you don’t have enough content worth consuming, possible leads are likely to bounce. If they don’t find what brought them to your site, they will leave and likely never come back.
Not targeted for different stages of buying
Another possible reason your website is failing to generate leads is that you don’t have landing pages that are geared for the different stages of buying. Different stages of buying? Yep. People are not always ready to buy – they may look, research, try and compare before they make a decision. For example, you wouldn’t sell to someone who was not even thinking about buying a car the same way you would if someone was actively car shopping. So, too, should our website pages. Our webpages should speak to people in their stage of buying – and if that means having 5 different landing pages, so be it. This said, don’t make your home page try to appeal to everyone. It will fail. Your home page should be general in nature, but not too general as to not be relevant to your ideal customer.
No website or a poorly design website
This is yet another big reason why people just won’t convert for you. If you’ve got no website in this day and age, you’re probably not going to be in business a whole lot longer. Seriously. If your site was designed EVEN 5 YEARS AGO it’s ancient and probably isn’t responsive. Take the time, spend the money and have a professional website designer create a website for your business. You can try WIX or SquareSpace or any of those other WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors, but it’s just not the same as having a website design professional create a website with a strategic plan for how that site is going to work for you.
No idea who your ideal customer is
Ok, so you may be saying, “I have no idea who my ideal customer is”, which is a problem. Because, without knowing this information, you can’t really build a plan to market to anyone. Moreover, if you don’t know who you are trying to market to, it’s useless to use landing pages, create content, calls to action or target specific stages of buying. Think about who is most likely to buy your product or service. What do they look like? What do they like to do? What makes them tick? This is called a persona (view our post on personas here). Personas are the describing characteristics that make up, in this case, a potential customer. Using personas, we build landing pages using content targeted to their particular buying habits and stage in the buying process.
Your website is too “salesy”
The important thing about writing content for your website is to be genuine. If people think they are being “sold” to, they are going to bounce – and never come back. Keep your content conversational, light and easy to digest. Save the hard sell for another time; your website is really where you want to nudge them along in their buying process buy giving them value in your content. This may sound crazy but it’s ok to give something away for free, too – free knowledge, products, services, whatever is appropriate but would provide your potential customer value. If they consume enough of your valuable content, they will eventually become a paying customer. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell on your website; just don’t make it the ONLY thing on your website.
CTAs are misaligned (leading to ambiguous pages instead of targeted ones)
If you have CTAs, great! If they aren’t working for you, don’t get discouraged. It could be just a matter of tweaking them so that they are more aligned with where they are taking the user. For example, if you have a call to action that says “Click here to learn more about our widgets!” and it takes them to your contact page that doesn’t mention your widgets at all, people will bounce. Consider this change: “Click here to learn more about our widgets!” which takes you to a page whose top headline (the h1 tag) is “Learn About Our Widgets”. Make sure the call to action references the title or headline of the page that it is taking the user. This same philosophy can be applied to Google Adwords ads, Facebook advertisements, Twitter ads and so forth. Make them explicit and relevant and they will help you gain more of the leads you want.
So, that’s it – 8 of the biggest reasons why your website is failing to generate leads. There could always be more and some more technical than others. These are the easiest to figure out and the easiest to implement fixes for. Try some of these on your website and let me know the results!
Do you have any tricks that you use to help generate leads for your website? How well do they work? Let’s hear them!