As firearm hunting season in Wisconsin draws to a close this year, it’s got me thinking about all the preparation that goes into our hunt each year. From scouting, to outdoor video, to target practice, to building tree stands and setting up ground blinds, we spend a significant amount of time each year preparing for a potential shot. Why would we not spend just as much or more time making sure our website is also prepared for a shot - at a new customer? Just like our hunting preparations, preparing for a website visitor takes strategy.
But also like our hunt, our preparations are useless if we don’t have the one thing we need to close the deal: the bullet. Driving leads to your website and increasing your website traffic is useless without forms on your site to help close the deal.
Why Forms Are a Website Must-Have
Forms, a designated place on your website where your visitors can trade their contact information for information that’s valuable to them, are necessary to get to know your website audience better. Without forms, you’ll never know who is visiting your site while researching solutions. And without understanding who is researching and what they’re looking for, you cannot target the messaging on your site toward them.
Forms can come in many variations. Most sites today have a basic “Contact Us” page with a form on it. However, you may be missing the chance to communicate with prospective buyers who are researching but aren’t yet ready to make a purchasing decision.
First, Create Conversion Opportunities
First, create conversion opportunities on your website that you can put behind forms. And by conversion opportunities, I mean information that’s useful to your audience - not just what you want them to know, but what they are actually looking for on your site. An inbound marketing strategy with business growth as the goal will allow you to start creating relevant, premium content for your specific target audience and publish it on your site, just like a scope enables you to target what you're hunting with precision.
Forms should be set up to gather information that will be helpful to marketing for follow-up and to sales for determining lead quality. That may include asking a series of progressive questions through several landing pages, such as:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Website URL
- Project budget
- Project timeline
- And more
Without the draw of educational information or especially useful tools, your site visitors aren’t likely to fill out any form on your site; they don’t want to talk to sales yet. If they did, they would have contacted you first.
Next, Increase Website Traffic
Next, increase the traffic on your website by publishing consistent, targeted content that your audience - the main companies, roles, and ideal customers you’re trying to reach - will find educational in their buying process. You can do this easily through a blog hosted on your site.
Publish consistently using topics and keywords that answer questions your prospects are asking. Over time, you’ll be able to use the data to determine which topics are best for your audience - which ones convert the most leads, convert the best qualified leads, and which of those leads close to the most sales. This important data will prove the ROI of your content marketing strategy and allow you to invest more money in the areas that appeal most to your customers and prospects.
Don’t Forget To Train Sales to Close Web Leads
Publishing consistent marketing content and using premium content to convert visitors to leads is where a strong partnership between sales and marketing comes into play. This smarketing alignment leads to closed-loop conversations so that marketing content can better address the questions that prospects are asking. Sales, in turn, can continue educating through the sales process.
Using the information gathered using forms (and perhaps housed in a CRM such as Salesforce or HubSpot), a salesperson can see the visitor’s entire digital journey. When following up, salespeople should utilize this information to offer related pieces and build the relationship further. An experienced sales enablement expert can also help train your salespeople to utilize the information they have from web leads and your CRM, and train how to follow up using sales enablement tools.