Are you aware if your website is actually generating real prospects for sale which can be closed by your sales team? This is a question that most B2B companies struggle with when they set up their strategy to generate online leads from among the visitors to their websites. They are not sure where to start and also how to actually get it done. All they know is that they do need new leads to be generated, so that the awareness can actually get converted into actual business.
The reason this has become so important is that the effectiveness of traditional means of marketing and lead generation are gradually becoming more and more ineffective. The budget that companies used to spend on newspaper advertisements or trade fairs is reducing, and the number of responses received from these channels is also reducing. Therefore the cost of generating each lead is going up. Online lead generation, therefore, provides a cost effective way of lead generation.
As with any new thing, the world of online lead generation presents a complex maze of new concepts which are cryptically expressed in acronyms like CRO, ESP, UX, UI, SEM and SEO. There are so many technical terms like conversions, bounce rate, inbound traffic, impression etc. etc. that it is very easy to get bogged down in understanding the concepts before actually getting down to lead generation. This article will make an attempt to guide you through the various aspects. Let us start at the very beginning.
What does a lead mean?
Any person who contacts a B2B company with the intention of finding out more information or for purchasing its products or services is referred to as a lead. One way to identify them is that they would be keen to fill up forms on your website or even calling you directly on the phone numbers given on your website. Let us take an example. Let’s say a B2B company XYZ is in the business of creating websites for other companies. A visitor to XYZ’s website who has the need for a website himself, has the budget for it, and is keen to initiate the necessary discussions for going ahead with the website work.
What is the source of such leads?
Any online lead will always have its genesis in your website. Even if the digital marketing strategy does generate some online leads, yet they all have either a direct or indirect link to the website, which is where you can record details of all such leads.People who open your company’s website are called visitors, and the collection of visitors (in one day or one month or a year) is called traffic. The overall digital marketing strategy pushes visitors to your website, and once those visitors browse your website, they are likely to turn to prospects or leads.
What is ‘conversion rate’?
When a visitor to a website finds what he is looking for, and submits his details for the company to contact him, or contacts the company himself, then he turns from a visitor to a lead, and this is called conversion. If a website has 100 visitors in a day and 4 of them become active leads, then the website is said to have a conversion rate of 4%. The rate of conversion is a function of how well the website can interest a visitor into actually transacting with the company. Mathematically speaking, it is just the ratio of leads generated to the number of visitors, so the number of leads generated is the product of conversion rate and conversion rate. In order to increase the leads, therefore, you can either increase the number of visitors (traffic) or you can improve the conversion rate.
The Calculations behind Conversion Rate
As we saw above, an increase in the number of qualified visitors would improve the number of leads for the same conversion rate. If the number of visitors becomes stagnant, then the other way is to improve the lead generation process by working on our conversion rate. The best way, though, is to work on both traffic as well as conversion rate. Let us see how each can be done.
How to Increase Website Traffic
There are several ways in which you can drive more people to visit your website. All of these would result in generating quality content on your website or outside, which would help interest more people in your website. These are the most popular ones :
SEO : Everyone who needs to search for something on the internet uses a search engine. Search Engine Optimization helps design the webpage in such a way that it figures on the top of the search engine results page.
SEM : Today a large portion of our waking hours are spent on some or the other social media. If your company has social media profiles which have engaging posts and content, and point visitors to your website, that will help increase the number of organic visitors.
Blogs: Blogs serve a dual purpose. First, if the correct keywords are present in your blog then the relevant searches would ensure that your website features on the top of the search page ranks. Also, if your blogs are well written and are about topics relevant to your products and services and your website in general, then visitors would find your website more engaging.
Emails: Targeted email campaigns informing recipients about your website and also about products and services would generate interest and induce visitors to come to your website. The only downside to this is that many people ignore emails or have emails from unknown ids directly diverted to their spam folders.
Back Links: If you are able to generate content that draws the attention of experts in the field or popular websites in the same industry, then they might include links to your website on their own website, which will help direct some of their traffic to your website as well.
How to Improve Conversion Rate
It is not enough to increase the number of visitors to your website. They should find enough engaging content on the website to stay on it, visit the various pages, and also transact on it. These are the ways we can do it :
Testing : Instead of going live on a website immediately, it is best to create two versions with certain differences, and carry out user tests on both to see which one generates more user engagement. For example, it has been seen that the use of the word ‘Submit’ on a button gets less responses than buttons saying ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Click Here’. This process is referred to as an A/B test.
Validation : When you get referrals from satisfied clients, happy channel partners or impressed experts, it is a good idea to put them up on your website and on your social media profiles. It helps in increasing visitors’ trust on your website and on your products.
Micro Conversions : A visitor might not always get completely converted by buying something or signing up for something on your website. There are some other subtle ways to get buy-in and involvement from a visitor. You could get them to download a whitepaper or participate in a webinar or sign up for a subscription email on your website. As soon as these micro conversions take place, your website is able to collect enough details about the visitor to get the sales team to work on them.
Once you have done some or all of the above, and succeeded in increasing your website’s traffic and also improved on the conversion rate of your website, then you can be assured of being able to generate enough leads for your sales team to focus on and convert to revenue.