When I first sat down to write, I thought could cover this full topic with one post. After working on it for several hours and only getting through two points, I see its going to be at least a 3-part series. Hold on to your sea; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Long gone are the days of yellow pages and newspapers as the most effective ways to market your business. Nowadays, pretty much all businesses have some kind of online presence. However, just like everything in life, not all websites generate the same amount of exposure and/or new leads.

Developing a website that generates new leads is the fundamental goal of most corporate sites. While tactics might vary from industry to industry to a certain degree, there are definitely best practices that will help you get the most out of this important asset.

Below are the 2 of the 5 most important things you can do to turn your website into a lead generating machine.

1. Increase Brand Exposure with Organic Traffic

This first principle is pretty dang obvious. If you want to generate more conversions, more people need to get to your site. As we all know, this is a lot harder than it sounds.

Organic Rankings for Root Keywords

Everyone wants more organic search volume. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s completely free, and is the most trusted form of online exposure. Back in the Pre-Penguin days, organic rankings were as easy as adding a targeted Title Tag and signing up for a link-building network. Following that model today will send you on a one way trip to the penalty box.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last 8 years, it’s that there’s no cutting corners with Google. Getting organic placement for high-volume terms is going to take some time. You need to show the search engines that you deserve placement over the other hundred guys that want the same space.

The main thing I want to get across in this section is that getting rankings for core terms isn’t going to be a quick and easy job. However, if you follow the rest of the principles in this post, Google will eventually give you your reward.

Organic Rankings for Long-Tail Terms

Ranking for long-tail terms is really where you need to start. The longer the search query, the less competition you’re going to find. The goal here is to think of real queries users would type into Google when looking for your produce or service.

I always tell people to think of questions users might have when thinking about your company. These can be very specific to your niche or general to your industry.

When you have a blog post that is written and optimized to rank for that phrase, Google will give you immediate priority over the competition. Below are a few long-tail terms we’ve focused on with Digital Flavor:

1. How to recover from Penguin 2.1
2. Guide for using anchor text
3. What is the future of online marketing
4. How to get started with inbound marketing
5. Most effective inbound marketing tactics.

As you can see, Digital Flavor ranks at the top of the SERPs for these terms. No, it isn’t magic. It’s simply writing great copy that’s optimized for specific, long-tail queries. As your website builds out content about these industry terms, it becomes more relevant for the root keywords.

2. Leverage Paid Channels for Immediate Visibility

Leveraging paid channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and AdWords is a great way to supplement visits ’til the organic comes around. However, as we all know, there’s a very big difference between running an ad campaign and running an ad campaign that generates ROI.

There are a few things that are absolute musts for building a profitable PPC program. Again, these take a little bit of time to develop, but will be worth it when the leads start rolling in.

A. Offer Something of Value

People love the feeling of getting something for free. This is the first and most important lesson to be learned in the paid arena. Don’t do anything too crazy with giving things away; we’re not looking for any hard merchandise or anything like that. Rather, let’s think of what’s important to your demographic and come up with a few ideas.

Business to Business

If you’re in the B2B space with a high-ticket product or service, people aren’t going to be impulse buyers. This is a space where you’re going to want to educate potential customers. Downloading a high quality eBook would be the perfect hook for an industry professional. Access to this content would be more than enough for them to give you their information.

Local Service Provider

If you’re providing a service to a local or national market, giving some kind of discount or special would be the right play. When the first round of termites hits your city, patrons would pick up the phone and call the first pest-control provider offering 20% off all services.

The real trick is to know your audience and come up with a value proposition that will make them take action.

B. Structure an Easy Conversion Funnel

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to buy something online when the website just won’t work. Its essential that the conversion process to be quick, easy, and secure.

If you’re offering some kind of downloadable as the value proposition, don’t make the users fill out several pages of information. If you’re offering some kind of special, make sure there’s an easy way for people to use the discount.

C. Build a Specific Landing Page for All Campaigns

Build a specific landing page where you can send your paid traffic. This should be a clean, professional, easy-to-understand page. Sending users to a specific asset for these kinds of campaigns will ensure you can track performance and offer the most dynamic content.

We highly recommend using a service like Lead Pages for easy construction. If you’re running a WordPress theme, they’ve developed super easy integration for
hosting the content on your local servers.

Conclusion to Part I

Increasing the number of online visits is the most obvious way to increate the total number of new leads. However, as we’ve seen, there are many different variables that go into leveraging both types of traffic.

Stay tuned for parts II and III. Also, be sure to take us up on our offer for a Free Branding Audit. I would love to have one of our Taste Testers give you a sample of what Digital Flavor has to offer.