The internet is a tough environment to make a sale, or even commence and influence a sale, especially for small to medium businesses. It's so crowded with competition and flooded with data that when someone does visit your site, it's a ever increasing challenge for B2B marketers to keep them there. Unfortunately, getting Google searchers to land on your site is only half the battle. Briefly skimming your homepage is different to sticking around and reading your content. People have almost zero patience when they're browsing online, so it's imperative to do whatever you can to keep them hooked.
Without further ado, here are some common mistakes to avoid when it comes to online lead generation:
#1 Bad timing
People hate feeling pressured into anything - especially buying, so don't push the sale too soon. Also make sure that your offers, CTAs, and content are targeted to answer your buyer's needs at different stages of the sales funnel, otherwise you can be sure that you've lost them. Instead, match your content and offer to the right stage of the buyer's journey.
#2 Landing page link overload
To marketers, landing pages' sole purpose is to convert visitors into leads. If you have enough links on a landing page to distract or confuse a visitor, it may cause them to stray from the page and abandon the offer completely. Avoid this by creating a streamlined conversion process by removing surrounding navigation. Yes, that means your menu header too!
#3 No targeted landing pages for social media visitors
This is usually overlooked, but it's worth looking into. You could just link back to your homepage and hope for the best, but targeted landing pages work. Think about which landing page would suit the audience of that particular network. If you don't have enough of an online presence to segment your audience in that way, link back to your top of funnel content; for example, your resources page, rather than your generic home page.
#4 Unclear CTAs (calls to action)
People have a short attention span. Coupled with the inherent laziness that comes with internet browsing, you risk your visitors thinking, "well I guess there's nothing left to do here" and they drop off your site. Make sure each web page has a CTA, and definitely each blog post.
#5 Confusing landing pages.
No one likes a cluttered landing page. There are too many things to look at, too much text and not enough white space. It's bad feng shui! Trim down your wording by simplifying it (often harder to do than ramble on), and remember to use bulletpoints when listing things. Design your CTAs with clear actionable language.
#6 Below-the-fold forms
Again, people are lazy. Put your form somewhere they can see it. Also, make sure the form submission button is eyecatching so it's the first thing they see when scanning the page. That way, prospects will know what they have to do to get your offer in a split second. Make it as easy as possible for them so they don't need to read a lump of text before they have to scroll down.
#7 Fancy but unactionable language
Keep it simple. Start with a verb (action), and be human. There's nothing worse than stuffy corporate language that people can't relate to. Make your language as simple and straightforward as possible. Web surfers like being told what they need to do. Compel them to do it!
#8 Too many hoops to jump through
Avoid tediously long forms. The longer the form is, the more it will cause your visitors to question if your offer's really worth it.
#9 Language is all about you
Instead of having language which is centred around your company's products or services ("choose us, we're better than the next guy because of features blah, blah, and blah!"), address your buyers' problems or challenges. Put yourself in their shoes and genuinely try to help them solve their problem instead of self-promoting.
#10 Ignore analytics
If you don't know your funnel maths or how long it takes people to move from stage to stage, then how can you determine what's working and what isn't? Have a good, hard look at your analytics so you better understand how to nurture your leads.
#11 Have a nonexistent blog strategy
If you don't have a blog it's time to start one. Now! If you do, but you don't have a proper blog schedule, you leave people wondering whether you're still alive or not. Plan a blogging topic schedule that complements your campaign focus and keywords. Build and maintain momentum. Remember to optimise and distribute appropriately so your awesome content doesn't fail.
#12 No recycling tactic
When someone leaks from your funnel and they're not ready to buy just yet, have a tactic to stay in touch with them until they are ready to. One of the most effective tactics to recycle leas that have leaked is blogging.