Sure it may be pretty but it’s probably not effective.

Most businesspeople naturally understand that the only purpose of their website is to bring in new customers, clients, or accounts.

Unfortunately, they all seem to be listening to the wrong people when it comes to creating a website that actually does that.

You’re probably one of them, so please forgive me for speaking frankly.

It’s just a little disheartening to see so many fine businesses (including some of the top firms in Australia) missing out on the business-building power of the internet and sometimes even losing market share to their smaller, more nimble and web savvy competitors.

So, if you do believe that the main purpose of your website is to bring in new customers, clients, or accounts, read on and I’ll tell you in plain, easy-to-understand English exactly how to do it.

OK, first of all, you’re probably listening to a designer or advertising agency about your website. In fact, they’ve probably convinced you to let them oversee the entire design and building of the whole thing. That’s what I meant by listening to the wrong people.

Your designer/agency guys are great at helping you create and maintain the image you want. They may even be pretty good creating expensive TV and radio spots and glitzy magazine and newspaper ads. But what they’re best at is spending your money on media and hosting to promote your brand for which they reap huge, ongoing commissions and site management fees.

Sorry. I couldn’t help that.

Listen. Branding and image building are important-especially for big corporates like a bank, insurance company, or stock brokerage. They deal with people’s hard-earned money, so they’ve got to build and maintain an image that conveys trust and reliability.

However, an image, even a great one, without a compelling message is like an empty shell. Whereas it is important for a potential client to trust you it is even more to give them a compelling reason to do business with you.

And that’s one of the things your website must do for you.

In fact, your website really only has to do two things and two things only…

One is to create a steady flow of people coming to the site. I’m talking about an absolute flood, not the little trickle of traffic you’re probably getting now…

And the other is to present a message that in form and substance forces them to stop and realize that they absolutely need what you’re offering and they’re not getting it from any other company with whom they may be trading.

It’s only when your website does both of the above that it can finally become the powerful business weapon it should be. Of course, your investment in branding and image creation can be incorporated into this, but as a partner to the message, not superior to it.

Here’s why. Remember, there are two things your website has to do to make you a raging river of profits.

The first is to create laser targeted lead generation traffic.

Suppose I could deliver a steady flow of people into all your locations. I’m talking people by the busloads lining up to talk to you, your account reps, business development or sales people.

You’d be pretty happy, wouldn’t you?

But look a little closer. What if all these people had no money, no credit, and no prospects? What if they had no capacity to buy whatever it is you sell or to take advantage of whatever services you offer?

You wouldn’t be very happy then, would you?

Let’s modify our first requirement for our website just a bit. It’s got to create a steady flow of qualified people coming to the site. It has to perform a laser targeted lead generation function for you.

So you see, which people go to your website and how they get there makes a difference.

There are only four reasons people go to your website:

Obviously the first group is good quality lead generation traffic, but relatively speaking there just aren’t that many new prospects there.

The second group has tons of lead generation potential, but going back to my busloads analogy, what if I told them you were giving out free money to get them on the bus. They’re still not very qualified, are they?

But, if a third party gave them a true and accurate reason to visit your website, these people could be some of the most valuable lead generation traffic you’ll ever get.

This is why SOCIAL MEDIA can be such a powerful lead generation force for you.

Social media marketing is kind of a specialty within a specialty (and one of my favorites). Unfortunately, most people who claim to be social media marketing experts think they know a lot more about it than they really do. You know the kind of people I mean. So be careful if you go to hire one of them.

Obviously the third group above, are not the people you want, so let’s just forget about them right now.

This brings us to the fourth group-the people who used Google Search Engine or one of the other major engines.

These are the people who can make all the difference between a B2B Lead Generation laser targeted website that generates more business for you than if you cloned an army of your best sales rep, and one that sees less traffic than a ghost town.

Search engine marketing is the most powerful lead generation of all!

But alas, search engine marketing is another one of those specialties within a specialty that seems to attract a lot of incompetence. So you’ve also got to be very careful when hiring someone to do laser targeted lead generation research for you. Often someone (like myself), who specializes in social media marketing also specializes in search engine marketing. They’re closely related.

By the way, when it comes to both Social Media Marketing and search engine marketing, the big agencies say they’ve got experts on staff, but I haven’t seen much evidence of it.

This is serious results laser targeted lead generation oriented marketing, and it’s a far cry from the branding and image marketing arena those web designers or big agencies specialize in.

As I said at the beginning of this article, branding and image are important, but…

… search engines don’t see your branding and they don’t care about your image.

They only care about relevance. And only then it’s relevance that fits into their particular algorithm or formula.

That’s what search engine marketing is all about-creating your lead generation website in such a way that when someone searches for a specific key word or search term you’ve laser targeted, the search engine, whether it’s Google, Bing, or one of the others, notices and lists your website first.

So what makes Google, Bing, and the other search engines see your website first?

Simple.

Content-content-content!

But not just any content. It’s got to be written content.

The search engines aren’t smart enough to evaluate pictures or videos, they can only read words.

So here’s the final piece of the puzzle.

You’ve got to write your website so that the content attracts the search engines as if it had bright red blinking lights, sirens, and a marching band to get the top listing.

That’s what generates that flood of laser targeted lead generation qualified traffic that you want.

But it also has to present that content in a way that furthers your brand and projects your image while presenting an attractive and compelling offer to turn visitors into customers, clients, and accounts.

We’ll talk more about the details in another post, but let’s recap where we are now.

Watch for my next installment on creating laser targeted lead generation websites that flood your business with new customers while your competitors cry about their lost market share.