Website Design for Lead Generation

Many small businesses build a website because they have been told that having one is a must nowadays. Whilst the sentiment is true all small and medium enterprises (SME's) need to ask what it is that their website adds to the business?

Is it a nicely designed site that friends, family and employees can enjoy looking at or is it a website designed to educate potential customers and fuel lead generation?

If you can't honestly and objectively say that your website is the later, then it must be a place where people visit, say 'that's nice' and then disappear into the ether.

Don't get me wrong, word of mouth or other marketing devices may send some traffic your way and some of that traffic may choose to contact you via the website but don't be under the illusion that this is your website working for you. This is other marketing mediums supplying the customers that choose your website as the form for first contact, nothing more.

So you've got a sleek, shiny homepage, you've listed your products or services, you may have gone the extra mile and had customers produce testimonials that you display with pride. Whilst these are all standard practice and should feature on any website, simply adding these pages will not generate leads that are the lifeblood of any company.

When constructing your website, consider the user journey. If they land on your homepage, where would you like them to go. If you're investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and a user lands on a product or service page, will you try to convert them 'then and there' or are you going to ask them to move through another step such as a 'contact us' page in order to turn them from visitor to customer and risk losing them along the way.

Think carefully about your ideal website journey, ask colleagues, friends and family for their input. Ask yourself seriously, do you want to convert browsers into customers? and does your existing or planned website actively facilitate this conversion?

If it doesn't, then it might be time to consider dedicating some time and investment to optimising your website for lead generation.

Pay-Per Click – Myths & Assumptions

I'm often asked questions about Pay-Per Click and with surprising regularity i'm faced with various comments that I thought I'd try and address. These questions and comments are from owners and marketing executives within companies of all sizes, from SME's through to international corporations.

So to address the myths, please see below:

> I have a small budget and I'm worried that I'll be pouring what little I have into a black hole.
* It's very easy to track conversions when using PPC, so you can clearly see if your campaigns are providing a return on investment. If your campaigns don't provide a return then you can easily rethink your approach or pause your activity.

> I'm worried that I'll end up spending more than I've budgeted for.
* Users define daily budgets, so you can limit the amount that you spend on a daily basis. Occasionally the amount spent will be slightly higher or lower than the set budget but this will even out over time.

> Does PPC help my website's SEO and performance in the search engine rankings?
* In a word; no. You can use the data that you gain through doing PPC to help with SEO efforts, but Pay Per Click Advertising has no direct effects your website ranks.

> So do I just turn it on and let it go?
* You can, but this is unlikely to provide an optimal return on your investment. You need to regularly optimise various aspects of the account to ensure that your ads are fresh and inticing to users and potential consumers.

> There's no point in me doing PPC, my company is in a highly competitive industry and our budgets simply can not compete with the 'big boys.'
* There are various options and strategies that you can utilise, to challenge in competitive marketplaces. The major PPC providers prefer relevancy to high cost per click amounts so if your get your message right, you have every opportunity to outperform the big spenders.

These are a small selection of the questions that I've been asked and there are many more, so if you have any questions please ask them in the comments section below.