Turning Visitors to Leads and the Missing Link

Carl is our analytics guru, tech specialist, data miner...He pretty much does everything we need to keep running smoothly! He's an expert on computer hardware and software, and even brings design skills to our team.

We all want more traffic and leads from our website. The internet is littered with posts that talk about calls to action, pop-up forms, LiveChat and more. For the most part, all of that is kinda true, but it’s not the most important part. However, it’s where most people stop. I have audited hundreds of websites. And most have about seven to eight ways for visitors to convert. One recent example had:

  • A “Contact Us” link in the upper right
  • Call to action conversion box on the right hand side of all content areas
  • Many “Buy now” buttons littered below the fold
  • A large bouncing orange ball on the left of the page that shouted “Contact Us!”

With all of that is going on, it’s hard to make the argument that users won’t know how to contact the sales team of this site… if they wanted to.

Still there were conversations of adding LiveChat or “more aggressive calls to action” from this site’s owner.  Getting leads takes more work than just providing colorful calls to action. Messaging will play an important role here too, and I am not just talking about words on the page. You have to realize that this person has been on your site for about three pages and 3-5 minutes. Have you ever thought about how the different pages of a site dovetail together to create a single message? What is the frame of mind of this visitor? How did this visitor get here?

Let’s take it back a step or two and start from the beginning. For a visitor who does not know you, they probably started with a search engine site like Google or Bing.

Step 1

A potential customer will go to Google and search. They are provided with 10 search results. Each of the sites is given two sentences to make a good first impression and try to get the visitor to click.

Questions: How much attention do you give to your description tags? This is the first (and maybe only) impression you give potential customers and they are not even on your site yet! Did you know Google Webmaster Tools shows you stats on the percent of people who click your page? Would you be surprised if less than 3% of the people who saw your site clicked it? 

Step 2

Now empowered with the two lines of text they saw in Google, they start to look at your page. We know that converting visitors typically look at 2-3 pages, so let’s not focus on overly aggressive calls to action. It would be like asking someone out on a date and proposing in the first two minutes. Let them get to know you first.  Focus on sharing quality information that validates you are able to meet their needs.

Questions: Do your descriptions tags harmonize with your page’s message. If not, this is a huge contributor to bounce rate. No one likes to be tricked. Do you have thin content, less than impressive content, or overly pushy calls to action? Just remember, there are nine other options that are just one back button away!

Step 3 

Now that they know what your product or service is, they are ready to be bombarded with LiveChat requests…just kidding. We know that most people will look at 2-3 pages before converting, so make sure the pages that they would be interested in are easily accessible.

Questions: What pages to your potential customers need to see before converting? Every industry and site is different, but here are a few examples: 

Service Focused Sites: 

  • Testimonials 
  • Portfolio 
  • Support

Product Focused Sites:

  • Support documentation 
  • Warranty   
  • Detailed Spec Sheets

Step 4

The sale! It’s at this point that most people are ready to convert or request to be contacted. Notice how much information they’ve already taken in before they arrive at this point!

Many people when reviewing their own site will skip those first three steps. These first three steps put potential sales leads into the frame of mind to converting. Only looking at traffic and conversions can be a little misleading.

To find the missing link on your site, try not thinking like an employee, but a site user. Remember that users typically are not going to convert on the first page they see. Or sometimes not even on the first site visit. If the product or service is technical, this becomes even more relevant. Think about the steps a potential customer took before they visit the page you are analyzing. Where did they come from? How long have they been on the site? Is this a second visit? A third? Don’t overlook previous steps when identifying why visitors are not converting. To identify the success of any page make sure you check the following.

Checklist: 

  1. What is the visitor flow to the page you are looking at?
  2. Are you missing any quality verifying content or links on those pages?
  3. What are the descriptions in Google that those users saw before they came to your site?
  4. Do you have goals setup in Google Analytics to help measure this type of information?
  5. If applicable, do you have funnels setup?

By taking the above into consideration, you can act more patient and less aggressive with your calls to action. You can also be more tailored in those contacts. It should result in higher conversion rates and better leads.