How to generate sales leads online

Fraser McCulloch - Monday, November 14, 2016

Want to generate sales leads online through your website?

Read our full guide and use our website lead generation calculator.

If your website doesn’t sell products online, the alternative is a lead generation website.

This guide is for business owners considering launching or improving a lead generation website.

Download my guide to generating sales leads through your website

There was a time when you could build a company website, put together some pages about your services and have a contact form and you would generate sales leads for your business.

This approach may work have worked 10 years ago but business owners that do well today devote serious time, money and resources towards generating sales leads for their business.

Table of Contents

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But first, what is a sales lead?

A sales lead is a prospective customer showing interest in your products or services or expressing a problem they need solved.

The purpose of a lead generation website is to generate awareness, interest and enquiries through design, words, pictures and video that your product or service can help them or solve their problem.

The sales lead is generated when someone gets in touch by phone, by email, by filling out a web form, downloading a white paper or document or taking some kind of proactive action towards your business.

Why a lead generation website and not an online shop?

Certain products and services you can’t sell online.

For example, you cannot have a haircut delivered when you order online but a lady can enquire on a website about a hair stylists availability.

Other examples of companies that generate sales leads online are recruitment, insurance, property, energy, travel, engineering, car and many other professional service companies.

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How to do business maths (before you start a lead generation website)

Most business owners and entrepreneurs forecast their monthly overheads and profit when starting or running their business.

They will also know the average price they sell their service for, the cost to make their product and a sales cost; paid commission to a sales rep or the cost for advertising and leads.

Using our website lead generation calculator, you can use these business metrics to calculate the number of sales required each month to be profitable.

By adding industry average or known enquiry to sales conversion rates and website traffic to enquiries, the calculator will then estimate the traffic the website requires to reach the monthly gross profit you forecast.

The default example, shows the monthly overhead is £2000 and a forecast of £4000 monthly gross profit selling a £3000 service that costs £1500 to make and £300 to sell.

With a high value service the conversion of enquiries will be low, 10%, and the website to leads conversion also very low, but not untypical at 2%.

Our lead generation website calculator then estimated a business needs 1500 visits per month.

With this website traffic estimate, the business owner can now discover and plan how to generate this traffic for the website.

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Website Lead Generation Calculator

This calculator helps you plan a lead generation website; the website traffic and conversion rates you will need to meet your monthly goals.

Simply use the slider to chose your monthly overhead, monthly revenue goals, price you charge, cost to make one product and the estimated web and sales conversion rates and we will calculate an estimate of the website traffic you will require.


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How to mind read what prospect customers want

Seth Godin once wrote that the best way to sell is to make something that people want to buy.

Not every one can or will buy from you.

Those who have a problem to solve, the money to pay for the service and the ability to approve a purchase decision are the 3 key qualifying questions a business need to ask when doing customer research.

But when a business owner doesn’t know what people want they either have to do hard or sort research; you cannot leave the decision up to instinct or luck.

You can ask prospects, “if I make this product at this price and it will help you do that thing, will you buy it ?” that is soft research.

Or you can do a survey of 100 or 1000 of the ideal prospects and ask them what they like or want and if they would buy.

So let’s jump to the next section.

How to do keyword research with Reddit
How to survey prospects using the sales safari method
Use SurveyMonkey to create a bespoke questionnaire or web survey

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Competitors and alternative products

Every business faces competition from similar companies but also competition from customers used to purchasing similar or alternative products to yours.

Google introduced voice typing to their Google Docs software that may have an impact on the secretarial recruitment industry.

A business owner can use Google Trends and compare their service with alternatives and the trends over time.

For example, there is a decline in the search trend for web designers and web developers compared with the growth of ‘do it yourself” web design software.

The web designer would be well advised to do research to understand what users gain or lose by using the alternative product and then creating benefit statements or advantages to using his service.

A business owner can also use research tools to understand the adverts competitors are running and how they are promoting the benefits of their services and to who they are advertising to.

Use Google Trends to identify trends
Use the advertising research and display advertising links on Semrush to discover your competitors advertising
Use the paid search section in Ahrefs to discover the keywords your competitors are using and what advertising messages they promote.

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How to drive website traffic

You have two options to drive traffic to your website; drive traffic from Google’s organic search results and use paid for advertising.

Organic search is a slower method of driving website traffic.

Whereas some forms of paid for advertising can drive traffic in a matter of hours after the adverts have been approved by the advertising platform.

In 2016, we have search engines and tools that can help us discover what people are looking for.

With the business and website goals established you now need to figure out how to drive qualified and relevant website traffic.

How to drive website traffic from Google’s organic search results.

Contrary to popular belief, getting organic search traffic from Google is not free.

We recommend using keyword research tools to uncover search phrases that are relevant to your service with a high search volume and low competition.

In step 6 we will explain the website content required.

Use Ahrefs to discover keyword search volume and difficulty
Use Keyword Titan to find easy to rank keywords with high search volume and low competition

How to drive traffic from paid advertising

Many of the search engines and social media channels offer a platform to advertise to their users.

You can use these platforms to drive relevant traffic to your website; fast.

Most channels offer a pay per click pricing system where you only get charged when a user clicks on your advert.

They will give you an estimated price per click in advance of launching your campaign so that the cost per click estimate and your cost per conversion aligns with your budget.

Jon Loomer explains Facebook Lead Ads
We have a free Facebook Lead Ads Course
Twitter explain how Twitter Ads work
Read about LinkedIn advertising

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How to create content for a lead generation website

Google want to deliver the best content for the search each user makes.

In return, the user wants the best answer to a search they make.

Google generally reward a website providing high quality content with high rankings and, in turn, more website traffic.

With millions of web pages for every search result, Google tend to show the most trusted and relevant web pages on the first page; along side relevant adverts.

The most trusted websites tend to have more high authority and industry related websites linking to them.

Here are some examples of high quality content designed to generate sales leads from a website.

  • A loan calculator on a bank website who lend money.
  • A guide to generating sales leads from a website on a web designers website.
  • A salary guide for hiring managers on a recruitment website.

Backlinko survey on importance of backlinks
Semrush found the average page one result contains 1890 words

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Offer and Call to action

If you start from a user’s mindset and can answer “what’s in it for me” when they are on a web page, then you have a better chance of this user becoming a sales lead.

Your web page content should make a user motivated offer, relevant to their needs and your service.

For example, the web page you are reading right now is an educational guide to building a lead generation website.

I believe my prospective customers seeking sales leads and new business are money orientated so this page contains with a lead generation calculator.

The next element to design on a web page is the call to action.

Think of a call to action like a green or red sign on traffic lights.

They tell users want to do.

Green tells the drive to drive and red tells the drive to stop.

A lead generation website requires signs or prompts that tell the user what to do during or at the end of a web page.

Here are some popular call to action examples on lead generation websites.

  • Click to Read 
  • Sign Up For Free 
  • Get Started 
  • Download Now 
  • Send Me Special Now 
  • Click to get started 
  • Find out more 
  • Search 
  • Grab the bonus offer 
  • Get Instant Access 
  • Register For Our Webinar 
  • Download Our Free White Paper 
  • Free 30 Day Trial (No Credit Card Required)  

The call to action below in the yellow box on this web page is an offer to download the Guide To Generating More Sales Leads From Your Website.

Call to action examples

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How to choose the right software for a lead generation website

A lead generation website requires a service to host the website.

The website needs a content management system so business users can manage the web pages and content.

An email and form system is required to capture the leads on the website and pass them to the CRM.

A database or CRM to required to store the sales leads information.

A company need the facility to nurture the captured sales leads over a period of time to help the sales leads become customers.

You get all these tools in one place from Adobe Business Catalyst
The content tools for lead generation if you use WordPress

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Following up on sales leads

Once the user has completed the website form or acted on the web page offer, the next stage is the follow up.

The length of time between a sales lead and a customer varies from short to long depending on the customer, product and industry.

A car mechanic gets an enquiry from a car owner and only has to reply with the time they will do the car repair.

The restaurant owner may reply once when an enquirer asks about gluten free items on the Christmas menu.

Then a second email promoting limited table availability during the festive period turns the enquiry into a customer.

Follow up leads using Adobe Business Catalyst

A £600 sporting service may take 12-18 months of education and follow up emails to turn a prospect or sales lead into a paying customer.

When someone contacts us from our website, we mark the prospect as a sales opportunity in our CRM as a new business opportunity.

The user is also added to a marketing list and can be sent a series of follow up emails that educate them about our service.

Blog posts contain a bonus offer to download and users who subscribe are also added to a unique marketing list to follow up.

Following up on leads with WordPress and GetDrip

We use the WordPress Content Upgrade plugin to offer users a bonus download in exchange for their email address.

The email address of the sales lead is captured and added to GetDrip and given a tag to identify the page they subscribed from.

With GetDrip you can schedule a unique workflow to follow up on sales leads.

If the lead becomes a customer, you can remove them from a prospect workflow and put them into a customer workflow and schedule completely different customer communication.

Get Drip email marketing automation software
Content Upgrade for WordPress
Adobe Business Catalyst free CRM tutorial

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How to improve a lead generation website

Google Analytics, Get Drip and Adobe Business Catalyst will tell you traffic to your website, from which source, how many sales leads you get and your sales lead conversion rates; if installed correctly.

You use these metrics to compare your performance with the goals initially established for your website.

If the website traffic, content or conversion rate is under performing, you improve it.

Use these examples to see the effect on sales leads if you improve the traffic or website conversion.

10% website conversion

5% website conversion

2% website conversion

Look at the 3 examples above.

They all generate the same quantity of sales leads each month but have different traffic levels and website conversions.

Then look below how the number of sales leads increases 400% (from 50 to 250 leads) when you increase your website conversion from 2% to 10%.

10% website conversion with more traffic

Tools to Improve your website

Hotjar is software to help you understand user behaviour on your website; where they click, where they scroll, where they drop out your website and how user interact with your web forms.

WebTextTool does a very good job of examining your page content and provides recommendations on how to improve your page position in Google.

Ahrefs has a content gap tool that shows you the pages and content your competitors have that you are missing.

Hotjar software
Webtexttool to examine page content
Ahrefs to identify content gaps

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Lead Generation Website Case Studies

Client confidentiality prevents us from sharing our client results but here some case studies to learn from.

A real estate lead generation case study

Download my guide to generating sales leads through your website

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