The biggest website mistake experts make

Have you ever wondered why some expert service providers can generate leads through their website while others can't?

The main reason people don't get business through their website is because it hasn't been optimised for lead generation.

A great website is so much more than a glorified brochure or business card. It should be working around the clock to generate leads on your behalf. 

When designed correctly, your website forms a central piece of your marketing activity as it’s one of the few channels you truly own. This is a contrast to social media channels where you are at the mercy of their algorithms in terms of what content is shown to your audience. 

The crucial thing to remember is – your website’s primary purpose is to collect the contact information of your ideal clients so you can follow up with them.
This is important because only a very small percentage of your target audience are ready to buy your services the first time they browse your site. 

In all honesty, it’s quite likely that a website visitor will forget about you and not return to your site when they are in fact ready to buy. So in light of this, having a way to stay in touch with them until they are ready is important, and the way to do this is to ask for their contact details when they first visit your website.

But how do we encourage people to give us their information? Well this can be broken down into two key parts:

#1 A compelling home page header section

The first problem you are up against is that people have very short attention spans. Each time someone lands on a website, they subconsciously ask themselves 'is this relevant to me?'.

This means that if they can’t find what they are looking for, they will leave and go to another website – something that typically happens in the first few seconds after they arrive. 

So your initial goal is to encourage people to stick around. In order to do this, you need to be clear about who your offering is for and the problem it solves for them in your home page header section.

The standard way to format this information is to use a main headline and a short paragraph underneath. Avoid the common mistake of just using your company name as your main headline or simply writing the word “welcome”. This is your opportunity to build a real connection with your ideal client and demonstrate that you understand their situation. So focus on their problem and the key benefits your offering delivers.

#2 An opt-in form

Now that we’ve given people a reason to stay on your site, we need to invite them to give us their contact details. It’s important to remember that people won’t give you their email address without a good reason to do so. You must offer some form of value in exchange for it.

A lot of experts (and other businesses in general) make the mistake of inviting people to join their newsletter without saying why they should sign up. I often see them just use the words “sign up to my newsletter”. This won’t cut it as we need to clearly state the benefits to the website visitor and explain what they can expect to get in return.

Here are some examples of different types of value you can offer in exchange for someone's email address:

  • tips and advice relating to your area of expertise
  • a free assessment or consultation
  • downloadable assets such as e-books
  • email / video courses
  • cheat sheets 
  • templates
  • checklists.

In terms of where to feature the opt-in forms on your website, we should have them in various places including your footer section. Having an opt-in form directly under (or even as part of) the header section can work well too.

Conclusion and action points

So there we have it – two important parts of your website you can work on in the short term to make it more effective at generating leads.

However, another consideration to bear in mind is that even when our websites are optimised for lead generation, we can’t expect people to just magically find us. As it can be difficult to get on the first page of Google search results, it's important to actively engage with our ideal clients in multiple ways (both on and offline) to drive traffic to our websites. 

Your action point for today is to review the header section of your website home page and assess whether or not it's doing a good job at explaining your service offering. And does it make you want to read the rest of the content? 

Also think about how you could incorporate an opt-in lead generator (or refine an existing one) to encourage more people to give you their contact information. Remember to communicate exactly what they can expect to gain if they gave you their details.