The 12 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website by sitearchitects

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                               About Website Architects
Most website firms focus on either graphic design (the front-end of your website) or technical programming (back-end coding).

In contrast, we understand that website architecture is profoundly more important than good design on the front end and good
functionality on the back end. But almost no web designers know how to do it.

Architecture is how your website content is organized and
written. Itʼs based on tested web psychology. It pulls visitors              Our No-Risk, Money-Back Guarantee
in. Makes them click deeper and deeper. Answers their
questions. Cultivates their trust. Builds a relationship with them.             •   We'll completely finish your website in 45 days
Converts them into leads and sales on their terms.                                  or less.
                                                                                •   The design and writing will persuasively radiate
Donʼt just design or build your website. Hire Website Architects                    who you are and your message.
to architect it. We write your story and organize your content                  •   We'll architect it for optimal lead generation.
so well youʼll think we own your business.                                      •   You'll    enjoy        constant     communication
                                                                                    throughout the process.
Youʼll be amazed by how much your website can do for you.                       •   Your site will be incredibly easy to update—
                                                                                    even for non-geeks.
                                                                                •   You'll be proud to show it off.
           TheWebsiteArchitects.com
                (801) 208-2422                                               If you don't absolutely love it, we'll refund all your
                                                                             money. Every last cent. No questions asked.
        info@thewebsitearchitects.com
                                                                             Our money's resting on our mouth. Call us to get your
                                                                             website started today.
                                                                             	
  




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                                                                   Contents
About Website Architects ................................................................................................................................................... 2
Element #1: Persona-Based Architecture ......................................................................................................................... 6
Element #2: Credibility ...................................................................................................................................................... 10
Element #3: Permission Marketing Lead Capture .......................................................................................................... 11
Element #4: Free Download .............................................................................................................................................. 13
Element #5: Tell Your Story .............................................................................................................................................. 14
Element #6: Persuasive Copywriting ............................................................................................................................... 15
Element #7: Search Engine Optimization Copywriting .................................................................................................. 18
Element #8: Clear & Friction-Free Call-To-Action .......................................................................................................... 19
Element #9: Elements for Interaction & Education ........................................................................................................ 20
Element #10: Analytics ...................................................................................................................................................... 21
Element #11: Easy-To-Update Content Management System (CMS) ........................................................................... 22
Element #12: Clean & Professional Design .................................................................................................................... 23
Architect Your Site ............................................................................................................................................................ 24




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I      GNORANT MARKETERS RAVE that increasing your website traffic is the online marketing panacea. “Itʼs just a
       numbers game,” theyʼll tell you. “You just have to get enough people to see your site, then youʼll increase your
       business.”


Piffle and pooh. Website conversion is far more important than traffic. By conversion we mean a website visitor taking
an action on your site that engages with you in a meaningful way, such as:


       •   Purchasing a product online
       •   Submitting a contact/free quote/lead generation form
       •   Calling your business for more information
       •   Opting in to a newsletter
       •   Downloading whitepapers/e-books/resources


Think about it: Would you rather have 5,000 website visits per month with a 1% conversion rate (50 leads/month), or
2,000 visits per month with a 3% conversion rate (60 leads/month)?


Focusing on increasing your traffic while neglecting your conversion optimization is like desperately trying to fill a bucket
thatʼs full of holes, rather than plugging the holes first.




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This is why your website should be architected to optimize your
lead generation.


You can spend a lot of money on graphic design and/or technical
programming/coding,     but   without   the    right   architecture
(copywriting, content organization, page structure, calls to action,
reducing friction, etc.) youʼre pouring money down the drain.


With that said, here are the 12 essential elements of a lead-
generating (converting) website:


   1. Persona-Based Architecture                                      7. Search Engine Optimization Copywriting
   2. Credibility                                                     8. Clear & Friction-Free Call-To-Action
   3. Permission Marketing Lead Capture                               9. Elements for Interaction & Education
   4. Free Download                                                   10. Analytics
   5. Tell Your Story                                                 11. Easy-to-Update Content Management System
   6. Persuasive Copywriting                                          12. Clean & Professional Design




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Element	
  #1:	
  Persona-­‐Based	
  Architecture	
  

A      ccording to Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, personas are "modes of preferred behavior within the context of buying."


When you understand personas, you can consciously craft your marketing
messages and organize your website content to cater to each, resulting in
increased leads and sales and greater customer engagement. Rather than
steering them on your terms, you provide the means by which they navigate and
buy on their terms.


Based on the Myers-Briggs approach, there are four primary personas:
Competitive, Spontaneous, Methodical, and Humanist. When interacting with
marketing materials, companies, products, and/or services, each persona looks
for different things, asks specific questions, and resonates with certain words and
processes.


Hereʼs a brief overview of each:




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Competitive
Competitive types thrive on competence and control. They appreciate challenges and are driven by curiosity. They are
highly motivated, success- and goal-oriented, hard-working, and persuasive. They like getting their own way and they
can't stand inefficiency.


Questions Competitives Ask:                                                  1. Who are we trying to
       •   What are your competitive advantages?                             persuade to take the action?
       •   Why are you a superior choice?
       •   Are you a credible company?                                       2. What is the action we want
       •   How can you help me be more productive?
                                                                             someone to take?
       •   How can you help me look cutting edge?
                                                                             3. What does that person
       •   What are your credentials?
                                                                             need in order to feel
       •   What is your research?
                                                                             confident taking that action?
       •   How can you help me achieve my goals?
                                                                             	
  

Spontaneous
Spontaneous types live in the moment. They are poised, flexible, and action-oriented. They like the "new" and "exciting"
and anything that helps them enjoy life more. They dislike details and reach decisions quickly.




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Questions Spontaneous Types Ask:
       •   How can you get me to what I need quickly?               •   How quickly can I take action and achieve my
       •   Do you offer superior service?                               goals?
       •   Can I customize your product or service?                 •   How will this let me enjoy life more?
       •   Can you help me narrow down my choices?


Methodical
Methodical types are detailed, logical thinkers. They appreciate hard data, facts, organization, and logical, step-by-step
processes. They don't like surprises and they abhor irresponsibility. They have a businesslike, detail-oriented attitude and
they resonate with companies that provide hard evidence and superior service.


Questions Methodicals Ask:
       •   What are the details?                                    •   How can I plan ahead?
       •   What's the fine print?                                   •   What are the product specs?
       •   How does this work?                                      •   What proof do you have?
       •   What's the process you use?                              •   Can you guarantee that?
       •   Can you take me through this step-by-step?




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Humanist
Humanist types are personable and love building and strengthening relationships. They are sympathetic listeners and
enjoy serving others. They value acceptance and personal freedom. They fear separation. They want to see testimonials
and appreciate incentives, which make them feel valued.


Questions Humanists Ask:
       •   How will your product or service make me feel?              •   What experience have others had with you?
       •   Who uses your products/service?                             •   Can I trust you?
       •   Who are you? Tell me who is on your staff, and let          •   What are your values?
           me see bios.                                                •   How will this help me strengthen relationships?
       •   What will it feel like to work with you?


By anticipating their questions, you can write your content and organize your pages to pull each persona through your
website on their terms. Of course, thereʼs much greater depth to this process than weʼve provided here. On every website
we architect we identify real customers of the business who match each persona. This means weʼre dealing with real
people, not just theory.




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Element	
  #2:	
  Credibility

Y      ou may have noticed that by anticipating and answering the questions of the four personas, you should naturally
       address credibility. Yet this is so often overlooked that we stress it as a stand-alone element.


                                               You need two things to persuade prospects: relevance and credibility.
                                               Relevance is assumed by the fact that theyʼve made it to your site through a
                                               search engine. Now you must prove why youʼre credible—that you can
                                               actually deliver what theyʼre looking for and what you promise.


                                               Credibility can come in the form of endorsements, testimonials,
                                               credentials, education, qualifications, awards, media appearances,
                                               official designations, experience, trust symbols, and others. It can apply
                                               to individuals within your company and/or your company as a whole.


Any and all of these elements should be strategically highlighted throughout your site. Sometimes this means individual
pages for specific elements, and other times itʼs integrated into your copy throughout.




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Element	
  #3:	
  Permission	
  Marketing	
  Lead	
  Capture

A      permission database is list of individuals who have given you permission to market to them. They land on your
       website, like what you have to offer, and subscribe to receive information from you by giving you their personal
information, most importantly their name and email address.


Their data is captured by webforms created by customer relationship management
(CRM) or email marketing software. At the most basic level, this can mean they
subscribe to receive your monthly newsletter. You then cultivate them over time
by giving them relevant, valuable, educational content.


Building a database should be one of the primary goals of your company strategy.
A database is a ready-built audience that can be leveraged to generate traffic and
revenues—regardless of how much new traffic youʼre receiving. Without it, youʼll be
dependent on the hamster wheel of constantly driving new traffic to your business.


So how do you keep people coming around? How do you keep them engaged?
How can you capture an audience of recurring visitors on the web, rather than relying on driving more traffic? You build a
database of information from people who give you permission to stay connected with them through technology.


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Below are two screenshots of websites we built with arrows that show the permission marketing lead capture. Click on
each image to view the live site.




	
                          	
  
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Element	
  #4:	
  Free	
  Download	
  

T      he easiest way to motivate people to get into your database is to give them a valuable download. This can be an e-
       book, white paper, video or video series, audio recording, recorded webinar, podcast—the possibilities are endless.


Donʼt be afraid to give away your best content. A person in your database that you can cultivate with multiple offers
over time is more valuable to you than a one-time, small purchase.


For example, Kris Krohn spent a lot of money producing his book, The Strait Path to Real Estate Wealth. Yet on his
website youʼll notice that you can download the entire digital version for free. We do the same thing for our book, Hub
Mentality. Financial advisors Tom Hamlin and Devin Larkins give away e-books. Life success coach Heather Hayward
gives away an MP3 download.




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Element	
  #5:	
  Tell	
  Your	
  Story	
  

S          trangely, very few business websites really tell the story of the business. The content is the bare-bones essentials. It
           doesnʼt highlight their most important messages or competitive advantages. It doesnʼt share the interesting, obscure
details that make their business unique.


Essentially, your story is:


       •    Who you are
       •    What you do for your customers
       •    Why youʼre different and special
       •    Your philosophy, principles, and values


Itʼs how you want your brand to be perceived and remembered.


Everyone has a difficult time telling their own story; itʼs hard to read the
label when youʼre inside the bottle. The best way to flesh out and tell
your story is to hire an outside consultant who isnʼt in your box.




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Element	
  #6:	
  Persuasive	
  Copywriting	
  

O      f course, itʼs not enough to just tell your story—you must also use the art and science of persuasion to move
       website visitors to take action. This includes using knowledge of psychology, the differences between the left
and right hemispheres of the brain and how to cater to each, the three levels of memory, how to surprise and delight
Brocaʼs area of the brain, the power of details, how to tap into emotions, etc.


Countless books have been written on the subject, and it would be
impossible for us to detail all the knowledge and techniques we employ.
However, here are a few basic techniques:


The “WIFM” Rule
Your visitors enter your radar asking the question, “Whatʼs in it for me?”
Most websites are written about the person/business that the site is
designed to tell about. Yes, you build a site to tell people about you, but it
must be written to be about your visitor. How do you meet their needs?
Whatʼs in it for them if they use you? How do you make their life better? The
home page especially needs to illuminate the benefits to your readers.




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Future Now, Inc., an elite New York-based company specializing in website conversion, offers a free tool, the We-We
Monitor, that reveals how well your website focuses on your customers, as opposed to yourself. Try it out on your website
now — the result may surprise you.


Translate Features Into Benefits
Features of a MacBook Pro laptop computer include the 15″ monitor, 2.4 GHz Intel Duo Core processor, and 4 GB of
memory with 1067 MHz of RAM. You probably donʼt have a clue what most of those mean. But hereʼs how they translate:
The computer is fast. It can process a lot of information and run a lot of programs simultaneously. It loves to digest
pictures and videos. In other words, you donʼt care about the features; you care about the benefits that those features
provide. And so do your customers.


If youʼre a graphic designer, a feature is that youʼre proficient in Flash. The benefit to your customers is that you make
their website come alive with excitement. If youʼre a hair stylist, a feature is that you use Redken salon products. The
benefit is that your customerʼs hair will shimmer like the night sky. If you sell Jeep Wranglers, a feature is the 202 hp 3.8
liter V6 engine; the benefit is that drivers will be flabbergasted as they crawl up a boulder-littered incline like it was childʼs
play.




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Instill the Vision
Itʼs proven that people will not — in fact cannot — take any action that they have not already envisioned in their mind.
Does your copy instill the vision of what it will feel like for potential customers to interact with your business? Does the
vision inspire each of their senses? The more clearly a person can envision taking a particular action the more likely they
are to take that action in reality.


Exploit Verbs
Verbs explode your copy, transforming passive content into active
content that leaps from the page and into the mind.


Predictability is enemy #1 in the Information Age, and mastering
the use of verbs is half the battle of delighting readers with
unpredictability.




	
                                                                                              	
  


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Element	
  #7:	
  Search	
  Engine	
  Optimization	
  Copywriting	
  

Y      ou canʼt persuade and convert if you canʼt get found. Your website content must be written to both humans and
       search engines alike. Not only does this help increase your organic search engine rankings, but it also ensures
that visitors will stay longer on your site—assuming your site is relevant to their search.


                                            The first place to start is to do keyword research, for which many online tools
                                            abound. These help you identify what real people search for when they want to
                                            find your product, service, or solution. They also rank them according to
                                            competitiveness, so you can see which search terms would be easiest for you
                                            to pursue.


                                            You then place your carefully-selected keywords into titles, headings, tags,
                                            intra-site links, and external links so that both search engines and humans find
                                            the right things, come to the right conclusions, and make the right decisions.




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Element	
  #8:	
  Clear	
  &	
  Friction-­‐Free	
  Call-­‐To-­‐Action	
  

H          ow do people engage with you? Whatʼs the first step for them to get started working with you on the web? Your
           call-to-action could include any of the following and more:


       •   Free trial                                                    •   Register for an event
       •   Free quote                                                    •   Product purchase
       •   Free consultation                                             •   Learn more
       •   Download content


Whatever it is, it needs to be clearly-defined and made prominent in strategic
places throughout your site using buttons, hyperlinks, and forms.


It also must be as frictionless as possible. For example, if youʼre a financial
advisor offering free consultations, donʼt make visitors complete a long form
that asks for all their personal financial data. You can collect those details on
your call or visit with them. Your website goal is to simply generate as many
leads as possible. As a general rule, the less data required in your webforms, the higher your conversion rate. If you have
an e-commerce site, you must ensure that your checkout process are smooth and hassle-free.


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Element	
  #9:	
  Elements	
  for	
  Interaction	
  &	
  Education	
  
If your site feels like a ghost town, your conversion rate will drop. Visitors want to feel like theyʼre dealing with real people
with whom they can interact on a personal and intimate level. They also appreciate companies who become educational
resources for them, rather than simply product-pushers.


The most important elements here are a blog with an
RSS feed and social media icons (which, of course, is
predicated upon you actually being active in social
media channels). Read The Beginning Bloggerʼs Bible
to learn why an active blog is essential for most
business websites.


The more content you provide and the more
prospects interact with you, the greater likelihood that
theyʼll convert into leads and sales.




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Element	
  #10:	
  Analytics	
  

B      uilding a website is just half the battle of converting. After building and launching your site, the next step is to
       continue optimizing your site to increase your conversion rate over time. You can fine-tune any and all elements to
see which versions convert the best.


                                              Installing analytics software, such as Google analytics, allows you to do that.
                                              Analytics track massive amounts of website visitor patterns and data and tell
                                              you how people are interacting with your site, where theyʼre spending time,
                                              where theyʼre losing interest and leaving, places where theyʼre experiencing
                                              friction, etc.


                                              Fine-tuning your website is a process, not a destination. Build the best
                                              website that you can. Get as much feedback as possible before launching.
                                              But ultimately, it is your visitors that have the final say on whether or not
                                              your site is effective. Let them tell you what they like and donʼt like about the
                                              site by paying attention to your analytics. Then, keep changing elements and
                                              testing to improve your site continually.




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Element	
  #11:	
  Easy-­‐To-­‐Update	
  Content	
  Management	
  
System	
  (CMS)	
  

I      n the early days of web design, you would determine your needs then have someone custom design and code the
       entire site from scratch. If you wanted to update it, you would either need to be a geek or have a geek on staff.


                                               The   proliferation          of   Content   Management   Systems   (CMS),   including
                                               Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal to name a few, has drastically changed this
                                               model. A good CMS makes it simple for anyone to update a website, whether
                                               theyʼre technically-inclined or not.


                                               Weʼre raving fans of Wordpress. Itʼs the most user-friendly CMS on the market,
                                               and itʼs robust and flexible enough to work for virtually any functionality
                                               requirements.


Building your site on a user-friendly CMS is critical because of the need for constant testing to optimize your conversion
rate. It allows you to be lean and quick and make changes on the fly.




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Element	
  #12:	
  Clean	
  &	
  Professional	
  Design	
  

F      inally, your site must look and feel good. If it looks like something your brother-in-law threw together over a weekend,
       well, your visitors will treat you accordingly. People wonʼt invest in you if youʼre not willing to invest in yourself.


Notice, however, that we include this element last. The previous 11
elements are more important than fancy graphic design when it comes
to converting visitors and generating leads.


This is a critical mistake made by tons of businesses: They invest in
high-quality graphic design, but neglect complete architecture. Their
site looks good visually, but it doesnʼt convert.


Still, this shouldnʼt be an either/or choice. Build your website right with
both quality graphic design and conversion architecture.




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                             Architect	
  Your	
  Site	
  Now	
  
                      Your site shouldnʼt just look good. It should actually get you results. Hire Website Architects
                      now to architect your site for optimal conversion and lead generation.


                      Remember: If you donʼt absolutely love your site, weʼll give you your money back. No
                      questions asked, no hassle, no stress, no risk.




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12 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website

								
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