Susan Snipes / Posted 3.21.2017
Get more leads from your ExpressionEngine site
Do you want more leads? Really, who doesn’t? This article walks you through five easy ways to update your ExpressionEngine site so that it will produce more leads for your business.
Websites are an essential tool in any lead generation toolbox—and they’re critical for the B2B industry. Gone are the days when cold sales calls were the best way to reach prospects and convince them to become customers. Today’s buyers do their own research on their own timetable from the comfort of their laptops and smartphones. In fact, 90% of B2B researchers use search specifically to research business purchases.
Generating fresh leads from your website is a dynamic process with many steps. You may feel overwhelmed as you think about everything you could or should do to improve lead generation on your website. So, let’s keep it simple.
Use the website you already have.
As a smart marketer or business owner, you can build upon the site you already have. You don’t need to scrap your current site in order to get more leads for your business. If your site is running on the ExpressionEngine platform, all the necessary functionality is there and ready to be harnessed. Upon understanding and carrying out these recommendations you can increase your leads.
Five simple things you can do right now
1. Tune up your page titles
One of the easiest ways to improve your search engine rankings is with a customized title tag. Not only will your pages rank higher with better titles, but people will also be more likely to click on your pages when they show up in search results!
The page title is a tag that is visible to site visitors only in the browser bar. It’s also what shows up as the bold linked heading in search engine results. The page title is the content found in the <title> tag in the html for the header of your page. (e.g. <title>Page title goes here</title>.) Your page titles are a huge factor in your rankings in search results.
In most content management systems, the title of a content entry (like “About Us”) is automatically converted into the page title. In some cases, such as for the name of a blog entry or a news article, this default page title works well for SEO. However, for pages that describe your services or solutions, this automatic page title won’t cut it. You need a better title and you need to be able to write and edit it yourself. Your pages will rank higher in search engine results with intentionally written page titles that include your keywords and chosen phrasing. And when your pages rank higher and have compelling titles, you’ll get more clicks through to your site.
ExpressionEngine has SEO add-ons available that let you create custom titles (for ExpressionEngine 3, check out SEO Lite. Or, your developer can add a new field specifically for custom page titles (this is what we prefer to do). Then you can edit your page title when you work on all your other page contents.
2. Add your phone number to the top of every page
Adding a phone number to every page of your website increases your credibility and conversions for the other actions on your site.
Your site visitors’ experience is improved in two ways by posting a phone number: building trust and reducing frustration. People have short attention spans. Don’t make your current or prospective customers hunt for a quick way to contact you. If they want to contact you right away, make sure they can easily do that. Plus, listing a phone number humanizes your brand, reassuring potential customers that if they choose to work with you, they’ll be interacting with real people.
Use a phone number that is the direct link to your sales team or the best contact for your purposes. Avoid the mistake of including more than one phone number—simplicity is key. You want to provide the single best phone number for your business.
Are you worried that once you add a phone number you’ll be bombarded with calls? Yes, some site visitors will call. However, a large portion of your site visitors will simply feel reassured that they could call you—if they need to. The ones who are going to use that phone number were likely looking for it in the first place.
If your ExpressionEngine site is built well, it will be easy to add a phone number to the header of every page in one step. Request your developer make this section of your header available for you to edit. Then, you can test different versions of how you call out the number. You’ll find out whether “Call us at 555-555-1212” works better than “Sales: 555-555-1212”.
Pro Tip: Make your phone number a link so smartphone users can click the number to initiate a phone call. For example, the phone number code would look like this <a href="tel:+1-555-555-1212">555-555-1212</a>.
3. Incorporate customer testimonials
Testimonials add instant and powerful credibility to your website. Nearly 90% of B2B marketers identified customer testimonials and case studies as the most effective content marketing tactics.
Testimonials can be as simple as a short, impactful sentence or as robust as a video from a happy client. Testimonials are most credible when they include the client’s headshot, name, title, and organization. If a headshot is not available, use a logo alongside the person’s name, title, and organization.
Testimonials can be incorporated into your ExpressionEngine site in a variety of ways. One of the ways we recommend building in testimonials is by creating a testimonials channel with one entry for each testimonial. With this setup, we can create a series of testimonials. Then, our clients can individually select and show the one or two testimonials that suit each of their web pages.
4. Make the contents of your pages scannable
When you make it easier for website visitors to find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to take the next step. Make your pages more scannable by editing long blocks of text to have more headlines, bullets, and shorter paragraphs. Chunky, scannable content is great for all types of web pages—solutions, articles, or case studies.
In ExpressionEngine 3, the Rich Text field provides great out-of-the-box text editing. However, if you prefer an editing experience with more controls and options, ask your website developer to set up a custom WYSIWYG field. Some of the most popular ones are Wygwam, Editor, and Expresso.
Pro Tip: Use the right type of content—and in the right order—on your pages. For example, your Heading 3 should appear after a Heading 2.
5. Place one call to action on every page
All website pages need prominent calls to action—not just some pages. A call to action (sometimes abbreviated as a CTA) is an image, button, or line of text that prompts your website visitors to take a desired action. Some examples of calls to action are a “download now” offer and button that links to an ebook about your expertise, or a “request a quote” form and button that will send off an email with the potential client’s info to a salesperson.
Most likely your site has more than one call to action. For example, you might have a “free trial” call to action on some pages, and a whitepaper people can download on another.
Forms are the best way to collect prospective customers’ information (such as name and email address) when they make an inquiry. If you’d like to set up your own call-to-action forms on your site, you have options. A simple form function is built-in to ExpressionEngine. However, we recommend a more robust form add-on, like Freeform or Forms. These have some valuable extra features, including saving copies of emails into your database.
Often a call to action is the button in a form. However, a call to action doesn’t have to be part of a form. To stick with our theme of extra easy things that you can do right now, the simplest CTA you can add is a big fat button. Insert large buttons that link to the most important thing you’d like someone to do, such as downloading your favorite case study or filling out “request a quote” form. If you don’t have any of these, you can still make a large button so people can “email us” or “call us now.”
Pro Tip: Do repeat the same call to action on your page in more than one place, such as in the middle of your content (at a natural pause point) and at the end of the content before your site footer.
I chose these simple tips so that you can make improvements to your site immediately. Some will require no changes on the technical side of your ExpressionEngine website. And for the updates that do require a developer, once the code is in place you won’t require technical upkeep to continue using them.
Can we help you implement these techniques—plus 37+ more methods we have to get you more leads?
Use the form below to send us an email or give us a call at 720-224-9715.
President and Founder
Susan Snipes is the founder and president of Q Digital Studio. As a community-minded web entrepreneur, developer, and ExpressionEngine expert, Susan’s innovative approach to the web has benefited well-known companies and organizations ranging from technology, healthcare, education, nonprofits, local and regional governments, and more. For more thoughts on entrepreneurship, leadership, and inclusivity in technology, follow her on twitter @SusanSnipes.