1.Relevant and useful content
The success of your generating leads online is dictated by your website and the content and information your web pages are comprised of. It’s often easier to produce a website with content that you think should be included. But this is not the right strategy. The better approach is to always put the interest of the end user in mind and don't simply throw up words about your company/products/services. Ask yourself questions like:
Why would anyone visit my website?
What content would a visitor find useful?
Is the presentation of my content interesting?
If your website offers content that resonates with your web visitors, you not only provide value, but you also increase trust and the “stickiness” of your site that will help increase the chance of converting visitors into potential leads. Some examples of useful content include market reports, how-to’s, neighborhood guides, and resources for buyers and sellers.
2. Use a contact form
Although, there many ways to display your company’s contact information on your website, a contact form is the single most important entry point for users and the “work horse” for your lead generation activity. A contact form can be integrated with web a web analytics tool (see below) to offer rich data regarding who, when, where and how your visitors are contacting you so you can make informed, data-driven decisions on how to make improvements.
Tracking this data also allows you test elements of your contact form (layout, communications, colors, etc.) to optimize and improve for better conversions. You can apply the principles of a contact form throughout your website on various pages; don’t just focus on the contact information page. For example, property pages and product/services pages lend themselves very well to contact forms and can be a massive source for generating inquiries.
3. Optimize call-to-actions
Every page of your website has the potential to generate a lead for your business. Therefore, it’s important to think about the objective of each page and what you would want a visitor to do when they land on the page. For a real estate business, site-wide call-to-actions like “what’s my property worth?” or “get the latest market information” can be very effective to help create interest and convert visitors to warm leads.
Once you have decided the objective of your pages, you need to optimize for performance. First and foremost, this means the main “call-to-action” of your page needs to be somewhere very visible, ideally above the fold (upper half of the page) as it will drive significantly more clicks than other placements. Also, there are many variables surrounding a call to action that should be constantly tested and optimized. This includes testing different communications, buttons, layouts, colors, and styles... all of which can have an impact on conversion rates and the success of your overall lead generation efforts.
4. Track leads with Analytics
Google Analytics is essential for measuring the performance of your online lead generation activity and the overall success of your website. With Analytics you can set goals and events for a variety of conversion activities on your website. This includes tracking clicks of links, downloads of files, and successful completions of contact forms. Tracking these conversion events gives you a laser focused view of what marketing channels are converting best so you can clearly identify where to spend your online marketing dollars and optimize your cost per lead.
Without Analytics and some measurable KPIs in place, it will be very difficult for you to gauge what's working and how to scale your lead generation efforts. Ask your web developer to setup your goals in Analytics and create reports so you can start making decisions based on hard data instead of instinct.
5. Run targeted Ads
Google Adwords is a power house for lead generation and is the single most effective online channel bringing targeted traffic to your website. With Adwords, you can run campaigns in a highly controlled and focused manner to target specific keyword queries your customers are searching for in Google. You may also run targeted banner Ads in relevant websites associated with your niche and market.
The beauty of running Ad campaigns on Google Adwords is that you are in complete control of your campaigns and can make changes at a very granular level. Coupled with Google Analytics, you can identify what types of campaign variables (keywords, Ad copy, frequency, demographics) work best in terms of traffic to your website and conversion to leads via your contact forms or other call-to-actions you have set as goals.
Bob Samii is an online marketing strategist and founder of inMotion Real Estate Media, a real estate marketing and web development agency helping companies generate leads and increase brand visibility. You can find him on twitter: @cultureslurp