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Creating the best lead-gen website, step by step…

Before I graduated from the Art Center College of Design, Lynda Weinman was my teacher for web design. Yes, THAT Lynda — who created and sold it for $1.5 billion to LinkedIn (just to give you some perspective on where I’m coming from).

Back then, I was fortunate enough to be around creative geniuses tackling technology in new and innovative ways, which I only later found out was not the norm. Back then, we were focused on making a website look cool and on-brand, as well as delivering relevant messaging… but in this new day and age, the X-factor for websites includes the engineering of a seamless experience to make conversions as frictionless as possible through UX (user experience) and testing. The result? A multilayered experience around product-market fit that I like to call Brand-Response.

Brand-response doesn’t stem from techy, click-baiting tactics… rather it stems from something way more primal and strategic: storytelling. This is how you can turn your branding into something original and connected while also integrating the latest tools to enhance that story experience.

Let’s be clear: There are two modes of a website’s existence:

  1. Launching/Testing: This is when you are finding and proving the market. This can easily take months, or longer if need be. This is the essence of your brand, your story and your tribe.
  2. Scaling/Maintenance: This is when you have a thriving business and are beginning to scale or are already scaling. This is the essence of your brand and your tribe plus tech plus sales enablement tools.

I find many are confused about what mode they are in. If you’re not selling out from a ton of demand, then you should not be focusing on “Conversion Rate Optimization” — not by a long shot.

If you are still finding your audience, your tribe, then you need to focus on your brand promise(s) and story. You’re still in the launching/testing phase. Some call it the MVP (minimum viable product) phase, or if you will, the “good enough… for now” phase.

Here’s a statistic:

“The ‘right [creative] message’ accounts for 80 percent of the return path,” Andrew Robertson, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said at the AT&T Shape conference last year, and this figure has been confirmed by both Google North America data and Facebook data.