Unfortunately, most small business websites don’t generate leads for the business. In other words, you may be getting traffic to your website, but how many leads come in the door? (A lead is when someone gives you their personal information like name, email address and/or phone number).

Be honest: how many people fill out your request for more information, or sign up for a newsletter, or even just give you a call? Probably not many.

There are three things your website needs in order to convert anonymous web traffic to leads, and most websites are missing one, two or all three of them.

Look at your own website. Do you have them in place? If not, it’s easy to fix.

Trust Factors

It’s a simple fact: if people don’t trust you, they won’t give you their money. You have to be overt about making sure it’s clear that people have gone before you, and they were happy with what you delivered.

Often times, when searching for a company to do business with, you have several competitors. From the outside, you all look alike. The only way people can make a decision about who to do business with, is their online reputation. That’s why Yelp and other online review sites are so popular.

I’m sure you read the reviews or at least scan the star review scores on Amazon.com before you ever make a purchase. Your customers are doing the same thing with you.

Lead Capture Tool

You have to tell people how you want visitors to your website how you want to get in touch with you. It may be that you want them to call you, but most of your web visitors probably aren’t ready to speak with a live person. Instead, they want to kick the tires a bit and see what you’re all about. If it’s hard for them to figure out how to get more information about you, then they’ll just go somewhere else.

Make it easy for your visitors to give you their contact information. With a simple online form, they can request a quote, sign up for your newsletter, or download your brochure. The form should be as short as possible, maybe only asking for first name and email address. The longer the form and the more information you ask for, the less likely people will be willing to fill it out.

Make sure the option to contact you is obvious. This seems like, “Well, duh.” You’d actually be surprised how hard most websites make it for people to find this. Position it at the top of every page on your website, including your blog and blog posts. 54% of visitors won’t scroll, and if it’s at the bottom in a footer, you’ll lose half your opportunities right there.

Lead Magnet

Most of us don’t like to part with our personal information (name, email or phone number) very easily. It’s personal! Giving it up means we’ll get inundated with more “stuff” and we already have enough stuff in our inboxes as it is.

A lot of websites have “Get our free newsletter!” as an option. Sorry, but 99.9% of us don’t want yet-another-newsletter cluttering up our inbox, and we don’t have the time to read them anyway. So this is actually something that will turn away people.

Instead, you need to have a strong lead magnet, which is an “ethical bribe” in which you give them something valuable in exchange for their valuable personal information. When you have a great lead magnet that is compelling to your target audience, they’ll sign up to get it.

What kind of lead magnet should you use? There are many, but it can be as simple as a single-page PDF document. Others might be a free webinar, a checklist, a mini video course, a spreadsheet tool or a thousand other things.

Use your imagination, and try to come up with something that’s:

  • Easy to create
  • Useful to your target audience
  • Simple to understand and use

Set up your email system (like Constant Contact) or CRM with an auto-responder to send it as soon as they sign up.

Now you’ll have a way to get in touch with your ideal client, because they’ve given you permission to send them more information.