By Gabriela Damaceno

The average internet user now spends more than 6.5 hours online each day, according to the Digital Report 2019. We can all say that clients are the most important part of any business. Without customers, there is no business. If your potential client is spending this amount of time on the internet, looking for services, products and content that will make their life easier, that is where you should be too.

Regardless of your budget, taste, or level of expertise, it is crucial to invest to gain more leads, so your business can increase revenue and grow. Here are five proven strategies for small business to generate more leads (and convert them into sales!).

1. Create and Maintain a Modern Website

A website is like a business card for any company. The site should give to the visitors a clear who, what, where, and why answer about your organization. If I would mention three aspects that any business, no matter size, industry or budget, should pay attention when creating a website, they would be easy navigation, mobile-friendly and a fast page load.

Sounds very simple but here are the reasons why. If the website is messy, users will not be able to find the information they are looking for, so they will exit the site.  Ultimately, the average website takes 9.3 seconds to load on a desktop and 15.3 on mobile devices, according to with Google page load time study. The longer your page takes to load, the more time you give to your visitor to leave the website.

Remember: Building a website isn’t something you do once and then forget about. After you’ve established your digital footprint, you’re in a relationship with it for good if you want to make a profit.

2. Push SEO Efforts

With over 1 billion sites on the internet, how will your website be found? Here is where search engine optimization (SEO) takes place. In this first stage, comprehensive keyword research is where to start. Normally, small businesses have a limited budget, so you will not succeed if your website tries to rank for the same search terms as big companies. Think out of the box and put yourself into your customer shoes to choose the best keywords for your website, including anchor phrases and content.

There are other factors that are able to assist your rankings, such as backlinks, time the user spends your website and bounce rate. When considering put effort in SEO, have in mind that it is a longer-term investment which will bring leads in the long term, organically. In addition, a Google Ad which has the landing page a website optimized for search engine cost less, what we will cover below.

3. Develop and Optimize Relevant Content

As soon as the user lands on your website, you want them to take some action. Depending on the search term used to find your site, the potential customer may not be ready to purchase, call or visit your venue. That is why you need to have engaging and useful content for your visitors. We call it “content-based lead generation strategy.”

Create high-quality content requires commitment and consistency but it will make your business stand out from competitors. You can use it to tell users your unique selling points, show your expertise and the personality behind your business. There are a variety of formats that you can use, such as blog posts, e-books, videos, infographics, user-generated content and webinars, just to name a few.

4. Boost Your Leads List Using Ads

Google Ads can be a great way of generating leads, especially in the early stages if you are looking for fast results. After creating high-quality content, like an e-book or a webinar, you can promote it using an ad. The idea is to offer free comprehensive content that will provide a solution to your lead and in return, they give you their e-mail.

Some small businesses owners that are running Google Ads campaigns normally forget two crucial aspects. In an online advertising campaign,  the landing page plays a fundamental role. It needs to load fast (I recommend you to use HTML), have a clear offer with a compelling call-to-action.

Another aspect to consider is the search terms of your campaign. The choice of keywords and negative keywords can determine the success or failure of your campaign. In this point, I strongly recommend choosing the right people to manage it for you.

5. Build a Relationship

In this stage, after following the steps below, you should have some leads. Effective marketing strategies should incorporate both acquisition and customer retention simultaneously. Don’t abandon your leads after they subscribed your newsletter or downloaded an e-book on your website. You can use e-mail marketing and social media to reminding your customers of upcoming events and seasonal tips and maintain your brand fresh in your customer mind.

The most important on this stage is to create a consistent communication and offer new value to your clients. Moreover, part of the relationship is not just content but discounts or a loyalty program. Bringing in a new customer is 5x more expensive than maintaining an existing one.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos