Five Things You’re Doing to Stifle Sales Leads


Business websites have existed since the early 1990s. Since that time, the basic structure and content components of a typical site have remained largely unchanged.

For example, most websites expect users to curate their own paths through the site. However, many engagement metrics suggest visitors don’t explore site layers all that thoroughly and don’t engage all that intimately with dense layers of generic information.

In the modern world, we’re constantly bombarded with information. As such, businesses only have a few moments to connect with a prospect. Prospects often become distracted or disinterested and quickly exit sites before they’ve digested relevant information or engaged with calls-to-action. Altering your business website so it serves targeted information to ideal customer types will help create superior user experiences and convert more prospects into leads.

Here’s a list of five things business websites commonly do to stifle sales leads.

1. Burying Calls to Action (CTA’s)

Your call-to-action buttons are buried deep within your website. Call-to-action buttons are essential tools for turning prospects into leads. Traditional business websites place few, if any, call-to-action mechanisms on the homepage. Rather, call-to-action marketing is often buried in secondary content layers.

How often, in your own web browsing, are you unable to find what you’re looking for in the first few seconds? Like other visitors, you then leave the site you’re on, return to Google, and attempt to find the same information on a different, more neatly-structured site.

Clear, relevant calls-to-action on the homepage offer businesses a win-win: They allow prospects to find what they’re looking for in a timely manner and give your sales team a reliable source of new leads.

2. Offering One-Size-Fits-All Content and User Experiences

Your website offers prospects a one-size-fits-all visitor experience. No matter who your prospect is and no matter what s/he is looking for, most websites offer visitors generic, one-size-fits-all sets of information. If “Generic Joe” is your ideal buyer persona, this will work fine. However, if you’re trying to reach, engage, and convert a range of buyers and customers, you’ll want to use specific kinds of content to “speak” to each customer type.

This blog article discusses ways to create tailored, lead-nurturing content that will help you to establish meaningful, relevant conversations with visitors and communicate targeted value propositions that address their specific needs.

3. Assuming everyone learns the same way

Your business website assumes prospects consume information the same way. Text, images, video, live chat — different types of people learn and consume information in different ways.

Most sites have a 70/30 text-to-image ratio. If a site offers video, the collateral ratio is generally ~10/60/30 (video/text/image). These ratios privilege visitors who prefer to consume information via text and alienate visitors who prefer to consume information aurally, visually, and conversationally.

Paradoxically, while online video is arguably the most powerful form of media currently circulating in the world, it’s one of the most under-used forms of collateral on business websites. Creating a range of high-quality website videos can help increase conversion rates and maximize exposure to a number of important visitor connection opportunities.

Using a 30/40/30 video/text/image ratio on your business’ website will help tailor your site’s content to a variety of learning styles and information-consumption preferences.

4. Overvaluing CTR metrics

You rely on generic, mostly anonymous click-through-rates and other top-of-the-funnel metrics to measure success. CTR metrics are fairly limited indicators of a campaign’s success. Conversion rates and other mid-funnel, lead-focused metrics are much stronger.

If your online resources have high CTR’s, but low conversion rates, that campaign, website, web page, or piece of collateral probably isn’t connecting with its intended audience. CTA’s may be buried or otherwise misplaced, and your content might be too generic and one-size-fits-all.

If, for some reason, CTR’s are especially important to your business (or your bosses), good news: Using targeted content and improved, progressive information architectures will likely increase both conversion rates and CTR’s.

5. Integrating lead forms into secondary site layers

Your lead-generation forms are not on your homepage. Lead forms are excellent tools for connecting with potential customers and expanding your business’ sales efforts. If prospects can’t find relevant lead forms — because they’re buried in your site or visitors land on an unconnected page — your site is neutralizing important opportunities.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in learning more, download our eBook and infographic. We created them to help website developers, managers, and online marketers amp up lead generation, create targeted user experiences, and otherwise make more meaningful connections with website visitors.

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Whitney Allison

Marketing Director

Whitney served as SH's marketing director from 2014-16. She studied Marketing with a minor in Management Information Systems at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the co-founder of Peritus Coffee: a craft coffee roaster in Fort Collins, CO.