Thinking of making website changes for lead generation? Well you've come to the right place.
In this post you'll find out what's working to convert today's visitors into tomorrows customers. And everything you read here are steps you can take now, like right now, to increase conversions on your site. If you're using WordPress you're in luck – it's going to be even easier and faster to make the small tweaks we'll be discussing.
Alright that's enough lead up let's get to the meat.
Change #1: Add More Opt-In Forms
This one comes first because if you don't do anything else, do this.
The bottom line is that if you want to convert more leads you need to capture more leads. In one sense you could call it a numbers game. Not everyone that becomes a lead is going to ultimately choose to become a paying customer. However, your changes are greatly increased if you can capture them in the first place and put them into a lead nurturing program.
So the question becomes where to put your opt-in forms.
Landing pages are the first place they belong, and there's no need to cover those as the purpose of a landing page is to capture leads (or make sales). However there are many other opportunities to capture leads, for instance:
- On the home page of your blog
- On the home page of your website
- At the top of a single post page (ack WordPress terminology! A single post page is what you're looking at here, just a page with a single blog post)
- At the bottom of a blog post
- On the sidebar at the very top (if you have a sidebar that is)
- In the footer
- On the about page
- On a resource page such as our How To Blog and How To SEO pages
Basically every page on your site can have an opt-in form unless it's a roadmap page, meaning a page that someone goes through to get to a destination page, such as a blog post. But even then, you can have opt-in forms.
Change #2: Remove The Sidebar
Whether or not to have a sidebar on your blog is up for debate and I definitely recommend testing your site without one and seeing if engagement goes up or down. But regardless of which side of the fence you're on with this one it comes down to knowing what Steve Scott calls your most wanted response.
Simply put what is the number one goal on your site? Is it to educate people? Is it to capture leads? Is it to sell affiliate products? Is it to showcase your music and hope for a record gig?
How does removing the sidebar help with this? In a single column layout there's only a few actions someone can take once they are on a blog post:
- Share it – doesn't take them off the site
- Comment – doesn't take them off the site
- Take you up on your call to action
- Browse to another page using the navigation (if you have that)
If you're in business you're going to want 1-4, sometimes in that exact order. Regardless though once you know your most wanted response restructure your entire site to focus on it while still providing a lot of value to your readers. Never forget about them – they keep your business going.
Change #3: Create Resource Pages
The SEO term for a “resource page” is a roadmap page. These pages consist of:
- A headline
- A few paragraphs of content
- Links to resources you've created – blog posts, opt-in offers (ebooks, videos, etc.)
- An opt-in form
Resource pages are great for a few reasons. First, they are fantastic for SEO. People are more likely to link to a large page of resources rather than a single blog post. And we're talking high-quality links. Second, these pages are a fantastic place to send people to as the offer a ton of information.
Here's an example of a roadmap page:
The key here is to build links to these pages and keep them up to date with the best resources you can provide.
Change #4: Clean Up Your Sidebar
If you're going to keep your sidebar definitely keep it clean. At one point my sidebar included:
- A large opt-in form with an ebook graphic, later replaced by a single graphic served from our customized ad server
- Links to every social network I'm on, which took up about two rows of six across
- Popular posts via PostRank
- Recent comments
- Even more stuff I thankfully can't remember
The first thing your sidebar needs at the very top is an opt-in form. This could be for either a free ebook or guide, or updates via email for your blog.
The next thing you might add are banners to your main resource pages. Here's an example from the Social Triggers blog (which is awesome by the way):
After that Derek has his popular posts, which is something I'd definitely test against “recent posts.” Nope they aren't the same and terminology can make a big difference.
In all the above examples the goal is to keep the visitor on your site for a longer period of time. You work hard to get them there so why send them away so easily?
What Do You Think?
Have you tried any of these on your blog already? What kind of results did you see from the changes?
Let's talk about it in the comments below.
I'll see you there…