Small online businesses have a lot of decisions to make.
There are only so many resources to go around. Money and time.
Where you put your focus usually leads to growth in that area. But it’s almost always at the expense of another potential opportunity.
Typically, you have to look at that as just being a fact of life and business. You have to invest energy into something. It’ll probably work out. You will always miss out on something, but that’s okay.
One big area and a big question is with lead generation and conversion optimization.
Like most things…it depends on the state of your business on where your focus should perhaps go…
Lead Generation for Small Business Websites
Lead generation for a small business website is about traffic. Getting people to your website. Depending on how you do that there are going to be leads at all stages of your sales funnel. Some that have no idea who you are or what you sell. Others will know about you and want to buy right away.
Successful businesses often keep a close eye on their lead generation. Some call it pipeline or whatever. The focus is on keeping it flowing. If things start to slow, they investigate and see what’s wrong, if it can be fixed or if they should be focused on new sources of lead generations.
No business can really survive for very long without sources of leads. New businesses will struggle to find new customers. Even existing businesses can only tap existing customers for so long before the growth slows and eventually stops and begins to fade.
With that in mind, it’s almost always advisable for a small business to focus on lead generation for a website. There are a number of opportunities including advertising on search or social. There is organic search traffic from Google that you can get with long-term content marketing and brand building. You can invest in content creation on social media and build traffic that way.
It’s good to keep an eye on your pipeline of leads. Always leave room in your budget for experimentation. When something happens to the point where leads fall off, you can then go to your little experiments and usually find one that you can invest more effort into.
The iPod, for example, was a pretty small experiment at Apple in the early days. But when the company was seeing some progress and had room for growth, they looked internally and saw the potential in the early goings with the iPod and they put some effort behind it and it soon became a huge product.
One reason to avoid lead generation is if your company can’t handle growth at the moment. This can be odd, but it’s real. Southwest Airlines, for example, purposely slowed their growth in the ’80s and ’90s so they wouldn’t be forced into high debt for more airplanes and things like that. They weren’t looking for leads.
Conversion Optimization for Small Business Websites
Conversion optimization for a small business website is about converting the traffic and leads you are getting into paying customers. There is usually room for improvement in this area at all times. I like to think of a website as a living thing. Something you’re always tweaking to improve. You might keep the heart of the website the same, but most successful websites are always being tweaked.
I love golf and many golfers would rank Augusta National as the greatest golf course of all time. It doesn’t seem like it, but the course has actually gone through an innumerable number of changes over its history. Often small. Sometimes big. But the owners and managers are almost always tweaking it. They need to because the course is a living thing.
Investing in conversion optimization can lead to results early on, but it might not be the best place for investment if you aren’t getting a lot of people to your website. It’s usually better to focus on lead generation before you start digging into the data and figuring out conversion.
Conversion is great for when your lead pipeline is steady and growing.
The good thing is you could pick one of the two and see results. It may not be the “right” choice, but that’s life in the business world. Not making a decision is the one thing that will likely result in no change in your status quo. Hopefully the insight here helped steer you in the “right” direction. But the ultimate right direction is just picking one and putting some real focus on it.