Given how society now practically lives on the internet, there’s a lot of value placed in one’s online presence—particularly with websites. Ask any digital marketer: optimizing your website for your target market is one of the best ways to generate online leads.
However! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that placing a huge “Click Here!” button and throwing in some weekly content is enough to get the results you want. A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that simply having a website is enough.
If you want your website to generate a lot of online leads for your business, you need to invest a lot of thought and a lot of strategy behind how it looks. Your design team should work with your marketing team in order to optimize your site’s visuals. Never underestimate the value of a clean, attractive, and perfectly functional website.
Here are a few design tips to get you started.
1. Match the website layout to your audience.
Your website’s layout plays a critical role in generating online leads.
The right layout can subtly guide and visually funnel each visitor’s attention towards the areas of the site that they might find most helpful. Lines, colors, images, text placement—all these elements should come together in a cohesive and balanced manner.
For example, you wouldn’t want colors that clash so loudly, they detract from your user-friendly navigation system. Likewise, you definitely don’t want lines that are so big, black, and bold, they lose all sense of subtlety. That’s the visual equivalent of a flashing neon button.
And remember; one arrow pointing towards your offer is enough; two is a little awkward, three only works if it fits in with the aesthetic, and four (or more) is borderline desperate.
But keep in mind that there is no “one design fits all” template.
Your layout should also be in line with what your target audience wants to see. Catering to young professionals? Clean, crisp edges and straight-to-the-point navigation usually works best.
Selling products meant for artists and creative individuals? Sweet color combinations and palettes will make (or break) your website. Do you promote clean eating and holistic health? Soft greens and whites are sure to catch their attention, and a lot of high-quality, easily-accessible information should get them to stay
2. Optimize the design of your landing pages.
Landing pages serve as the last point of contact before the website visitor officially becomes a lead by filling up a form. This is why you need to make sure you’re optimizing these pages properly. Keep the landing page’s layout as simple as possible. Remove all unnecessary elements that could only serve to distract the audience. Only give them one or two site navigation options.
Gather your visitor’s relevant information by using the shortest form possible and place it on the right side of your landing page. Although we did say that one template won’t work for everyone, studies suggest that form fields are most effective when they’re on the right.
Also consider renaming your “Submit” button. “Submit” sounds too old, too formal, and too mechanical. Use upbeat, active phrasing that’s direct to the point and reminds people why they’re filling in the form. Things like “Get Your FREE E-Book Now” or “Yes, I Want To Generate More Online Leads!” are great examples.
One last thing: bullet points. Love them. Use them. As much as you can. People’s eyes tend to glaze over when they’re reading a paragraph longer than 100 words. Bullet points are neat, concise, easily digestible, and are therefore more likely to hold a visitor’s attention and impart the intended message.
3. Use the right kind of images.
Not all types of photos are going to match your brand’s message. Most people make the mistake of covering their pages with (obvious) stock photos that do not look genuine at all. If you do this, now might be a good time to think of remodeling your website. We’re talking a full facelift.
Because here’s the deal: stock photos lack any sort of subtlety. People can usually tell right away that the photo is general stock product, even without the watermark. This does not help establish a visitor’s trust in your brand.
Generating online leads requires a modicum of human touch. People will only trust your brand once they’ve established a relationship with you, and they can’t establish a relationship with you if there are no human elements that they can see. The models in stock photos obviously do not count.
However, if you include photos of real people who are actually involved with your brand (i.e. the management team, employees, manufacturers and distributers, etc.)? Visitors will find you a little more legitimate and a lot less sketchy.
If you can’t upload real images, at least find high-quality stock photos that don’t look as posed. It’s all about humanizing your brand.
At the end of the day, no lead is going to magically transform into a client. How you nurture your online leads will define whether they will turn into loyal customers or not. It’s equally important to find a way to keep your leads as it is to generate them in the first place. Optimizing your website in a way that they find visually appealing is a good first step.