If you don’t give visitors many easy, attractive opportunities to convert on your website, content marketing won’t generate leads for you.

I’ve been noticing a trend lately that I wanted to share.

We talk with a lot of supply chain and logistics companies who are interested in the idea of content marketing. They’re catching on to the benefits, particular those involving lead generation. They know that creating high-quality, original content on a regular basis — mostly, timely blog posts on a weekly (or more frequent) basis — can drive organic traffic to their websites. And a lot of that traffic will be marketing- or sales-qualified leads.

Content marketing won't generate leads if you're driving visitors to a website that stinks. Click To Tweet

That’s great! I’m glad supply chain and logistics companies are increasingly interested in content marketing. But there’s one problem: Some aren’t willing to take a holistic approach to this solution. Mostly, they aren’t willing to improve their websites.

I totally get it: Websites are a major investment — both financially and temporally. But so is content marketing. And you would be wasting a lot of time and money investing in a content marketing program if all the leads you’re going to drive to your website don’t convert or end up with mixed messaging about your business.

When content marketing won’t generate leads

Content marketing won’t generate leads if you’re driving visitors to a website that stinks. How do you know if your website stinks? Here are a few examples:

Your content is disorganized, unclear, or filled with jargon.

I see this most often. Companies create websites without considering a larger content strategy. Their company or products/services have evolved over time, but the website has not evolved with it (or someone quickly threw up a couple of extra pages without considering the site map as a whole). And, worst of all, web pages become filled with jargon and corporate speak because companies don’t take the time to strategize web page creation as part of that larger content strategy.

Messaging on your website pages serves internal purposes rather than helping customers.

So many businesses create their websites and fill pages with information about their company. “Wait, isn’t that what a website is for?” you might be asking.

No, I would argue. Your website, like your content, should service the customer first. You should design it with the user in mind, helping that prospect find the information they’re seeking and move seamlessly down the sales funnel.

Sure, you should include information about your company on your website. But too many times I see organizations forget about their customers in the creation of their sites. And when prospects visit, they’re caught in a web of the company’s self-promotion — an no closer to making a purchase than before.

There are no opportunities for conversion.

This one seems obvious. But, for some reason, companies frequently create websites hoping to generate leads but give visitors few (or hidden!) opportunities for conversion. If each page doesn’t have a clear call-to-action, specific to the page’s content, with the opportunity to submit contact information, how do you suppose visitors are going to become leads? I’ll say from experience, very few, if any, will proactively reach out and ask to join your email list.

Get it together

If you’re going to make the significant investment in content marketing — and lead generation is your primary goal — you have to think about your website, too. Otherwise, the traffic you’re driving to your site will never convert. And you’ll have wasted your time and money.

Want to make your website an effective lead-generating machine? Stay tuned for part 2 of this post tomorrow: 5 Tips to Generate More Leads on Your Website.

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