Don't be afraid to put your most important sales message on the home page -- for two reasons. One, most links to your site will point to the home page. Why make someone have to go somewhere to get your sales message? They're already there; take advantage of that. Two, it will help your search engine optimization. As other sites link to your home page, the more copy (and keyword search phrases) that you have, the better.
Then too, if you're using a pay-per-click campaign to drive traffic to your website, you definitely want your sales message to be on the exact page that your driving them to. You're paying to get them there. So, a great headline to make them start reading, a very strong first paragraph, and enough information to get your message (and maybe become a lead) helps if the visitor doesn't have to click somewhere else.
Don't rely on your web prospects to figure anything out. Use a strong call to action for everything on your site. But for something that's as proven as the concept of the importance of strong calls to action, many web sites don't practice this rule. On many sites, the best is a tab that says "Contact." And visitors may have to search too hard to even find it. Three simple rules follow for any web site:
- Display your contact information on every page. The top right, or the top left, or right-hand column all work. You never know when a prospect is going to get mildly interested enough to want more information. Make it easy.
- Make all of your contact information mini calls to action. Don't just show your email address. Instead, say, "For free information about lowering your costs twenty percent, just email us here." Or say, "Call us 8-5 Pacific Time at 800-555-1234. After hours? Submit this form and we'll get back to you promptly."
- Always give a web prospect at least three ways to contact you -- whichever they are most comfortable. They can call, or email, or fill out a convenient form.
If you want a lead, give something of value. Want more leads? Give more value. A small percentage of web visitors may be desperate to buy right now. They'll pick up the phone and call. That's great, but if that's all you get, you're missing out big time. Most web visitors are using the Internet to research products and suppliers, often at the very early stages. One of the secrets to capturing more leads online is to consider prospects that are not red hot right now. The whole idea is to capture their email address as soon as possible, and follow-up with all of them over an extended period of time. until they become hot down the road. Then, you'll be right there to help them.
To get web visitors to give you their email address, you have to give them something. And, it's important to think about prospects in the early stages of research. They want information and knowledge. Examples include:
- White papers
- Free reports
- Critical check lists
- Quick start guides
- Product demos
- Free trials
- Industry surveys
Just keep in mind that it's better to give something if you want to get something.