3 Most Common Lead Generation Mistakes on Small Business Websites

3-biggest-website-lead-generation-mistakesSince I run a web marketing company, I get the opportunity to work on lots of websites and spend time learning how to tweak and improve them. After doing this for years now, I’ve learned there are just some trends that need pointed out.

By all means, this is not a comprehensive list. But if you want your website to get more leads and sales, it’s definitely worth taking note of this short list. These are the 3 biggest mistakes I see small business owners making with their websites every day:

Mistaking SEO for Lead Generation

There seems to be an idea out there that the main thing we should all focus on is SEO. Well, I’d have to agree that search engine optimization is important. Especially for small businesses. But if lead generation is your goal, it’s most definitely only part of the equation.

I’ve often asked clients “if you’re not getting any leads from the traffic you have now, what makes you think twice as much traffic is gonna help that much?”

Bottom line, you need visitors. Of course. But your website also needs to convert. If you are not getting a high conversion rate (20%+) from your landing pages, then you’re wasting any additional money you spend on SEO or advertising.

Just do the math. If you’re a business owner, do you really want twice as much traffic? Or is your REAL goal twice as many leads? If lead generation is the goal, then you can do that two ways…

  1. Double the amount of traffic you get, while keeping conversions the same
  2. Double the conversions you get, while keeping traffic the same

Just so you know, #2 is usually significantly less expensive, quicker and offers a much more sustainable return on investment. So instead of hiring an SEO firm to drive more traffic, simply optimize your site’s landing pages. Something to consider 🙂

Adding More and More Features and Tools

One thing I seem small business owners doing with their websites is adding more and more little widgets and tools. Common choices are:

  • Calculators
  • Calendars
  • Newsfeeds
  • Automated blogging tools
  • Tag clouds (eeckkk!)
  • Etc

Everyone likes the idea of a feature-rich website. So what the heck could be wrong with adding more features? Nothing at all is wrong with it. It’s just that when it comes to lead generation, it’s not gonna help much.

This is one of the profound ways the internet has changed. Visitors just aren’t impressed with little gadgets and tools anymore. What works better? Provide content that solves their problems, and give them a compelling reason to sign up for your email list. This is the brutally simple fundamental that most people still seem to be missing. It really is that easy.

By installing fancy tools, you’re just making your website look more and more like everyone else’s. When it comes to lead generation, this is the opposite effect than what you’re going for.

Failure to Use Lots (and lots) of Landing Pages

The fact is that landing pages work. I would not be able to claim the conversion rates I do if it weren’t for the use of landing pages. Even though the concept is not new by any means, it seems to be a concept that has still failed to proliferate into the small business world.

A landing page is simply a single page on your website built for one single purpose…conversion. You can build a page to generate phone calls, email signups, purchases, whatever you want. But a landing page has a single focus. No distractions. It’s optimized to do just one single thing…get the conversion.

Small business websites typically have one or two calls to action. Most commonly a small box in their sidebar that says something like “sign up for our newsletter”. Not very compelling. Would YOU sign up for a newsletter like that? Probably not. So it’s not too big a surprise that no one else is signing up either.

So as it happens, landing pages are a crucial element to any lead generation strategy. Offer your visitors compelling reasons to buy from you, sign up for your newsletter, get a free report or video, call your office for a free consult, etc. The possibilities are endless, but the point is that landing pages are the primary vehicle for generating leads and sales from your website.

So if you want more leads from your website, make sure you focus on these three things first:

  1. Forget SEO for a little while. Get focused on optimizing your website for lead gen. Make sure you’re converting an impressive number of visitors into leads first. From there, increasing traffic to your site is gold. Until you have your site optimized for lead generation, everything else is a waste of time. 
  2. Drop the idea of adding any more features or tools to your website. Focus on creating content that solves your prospects’ problems. And come up with compelling reasons they should sign up for your newsletter, contact you and buy from you.
  3. Take the ideas you come up with from #2, and create landing pages on your website. Each landing page offers one simple, compelling reason to sign up for your email list (or whatever your call to action is). It’s not uncommon for a successful small business website to have 20, 30, 40 or more landing pages, all generating leads consistently every day.

After you learn the basics of how to generate leads from your website, everything else about marketing your business on the web gets a lot easier.

How do you design an effective landing page? How do you get traffic to your landing pages? How do you measure results? All good ideas for future posts, no? Maybe not? Let me know what you think. For realz…use the contact form on this page and let me know what you think, yo. Or else I may end up covering stuff that’s helpful for other people but not you. Speak up and let me know what questions you have, and we’ll see about getting you some answers. Peace.


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