Even if your website looks like it’s in showroom condition, you have to remember that it’s what’s under the hood that really counts. A flashy website design won’t do much for your Internet marketing campaign if the nuts and bolts of the design aren’t optimized to drive lead generation.
Here at Internet marketing agency Straight North, we’ve identified some of the most common elements of high performance lead generation websites. Although they aren’t things that a visitor would notice at first glance, they’re all essential for driving conversions and turning visitors into customers — and they’re all things that you should make sure your website has in place before visitors take it for a spin.
These essential elements fall into five main categories: usability, mobile design, SEO, copywriting and conversion. The absence of any of the elements within these categories can make it more difficult for your website to convert visitors, and can hurt your standings when it comes to SEO. Your website needs to perform like a well-oiled machine to push visitors into action, and that means having everything under the hood working in perfect harmony.
For example, a website’s usability plays an extremely important role in converting visitors. After all, what good is an attractive design or powerful content if users get frustrated with the interface after a few moments? Ensuring your site has optimal usability means keeping it fast, friendly and clean, designed for quick loading of images and the ability to adjust automatically for a variety of screen sizes. Sites that don’t emphasize usability are likely to have visitors confused and looking for a competitor.
By the same token, websites also need to be designed with mobile browsing in mind. So many people access the Internet through smartphones or other handheld devices today that sites need to be designed to provide the best possible experience for mobile users. That means elements such as sticky navigation, and providing more than enough anchor text on hyperlinks to make the act of navigating the site with a thumb or forefinger much easier.
SEO is a crucial component of any Internet campaign, but there’s more to SEO than dumping a bunch of keywords onto the page. Successful lead generation websites are built with an extensive amount of keyword research and strategy, and those keywords have to be buried deep within the infrastructure of pages in header tags and custom meta description tags to gain the maximum effect. These features will ensure that no detail is overlooked when crawlers scour the Internet for your website.
The copy that makes up a significant portion of a website’s content not only should be optimized for SEO performance, but it needs to be written with authority and persuasiveness in order to drive visitors to action successfully. Far too often, companies ignore the quality of the copy on their sites in favor of keyword-heavy text that may grab the attention of search engines but leaves people feeling uninspired or confused. The way text looks on the page also is something that shouldn’t be overlooked, as messy-looking copy can be a serious turn-off for many people.
Finally, all of these elements need to be tied together in a package that makes it easy for visitors to convert. That means featuring a prominent call to action as well as smooth, uncomplicated forms and easy access to contact information to help visitors convert without giving them a chance to change their minds. Websites that try to gather too much information from visitors in the interest of being thorough only wind up thoroughly frustrating visitors and driving them to do nothing more than leave the form incomplete.
Things such as sticky navigation on a mobile site or persuasive copy-writing aren’t just options — they’re as important to the smooth operation of your website as a clean fuel injection system is to a car’s engine. Neglecting or ignoring any of these aspects of your website means your site will be out of gas before you even turn the ignition key. The following presentation breaks down these critical elements and explains what makes them so important, so have a look and make sure your lead generation website is firing on all cylinders.
internet marketing agency
Brad Shorr is Director of Content Marketing at Straight North, a B2B Internet marketing firm in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and web design services. With more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Brad has been featured in leading online publications such as Forbes, Moz and Entrepreneur.