Your website is one of the most important lead-generation tools you have.

Yet often, my team at the Marketing Zen Group sees websites that are far from optimized for lead capture. They may be excellent websites in every other respect -- beautifully designed, rich with interesting content, and updated frequently -- but they're just not effectively converting visitors into customers.

That's because no matter how amazing your website may be, if your visitors can't find your newsletter signup or easily determine how to get in touch with you, you just won't get the results you want.

Considering how much time, money, and effort go into creating and maintaining a great website, you want to make sure that it's really working for you. Here are a few ways to start getting more high-quality leads from your site.

Clarify your call-to-action and make sure it's clearly visible.

Often, visitors don't sign up with their email addresses because they're not sure what they'll be getting. Is that the case with your call-to-action?

If your sign-up block says something like "Sign up for updates" or "Be in the know -- sign up here," then you may want to revamp your copy. Make it extremely clear what your visitors will get in return for their email address.

That's what we did at Marketing Zen when we redesigned our website:

mz website screenshot.png

We made our call to action as specific as possible -- every visitor knows that when they give us their email address, they'll immediately get a free chapter of my most recent book, Momentum, as well as a weekly collection of marketing advice.

We've seen sign-ups increase already. And this example brings us to my next point.

Give away something of value for free.

It's always a good idea to offer visitors a little extra something in return for their email address -- especially if you're in a B2B industry.

A book chapter, your most popular whitepaper, advance access to a webinar, a discount code for one of your trainings -- any of these things can be the determining factor that persuades a hesitant visitor to sign up. What's more, by giving them a free sample of your high-quality content, you make it more likely that your visitors will return to your site for more.

Make sure your social media campaigns are helping direct followers to your website.

Once you've optimized your website by beefing up your call-to-action and making your contact information clearly visible, you can start refining your social media efforts.

While it's true that social media is about more than lead generation, you have to remember that lead generation is one of social's primary goals. There's a reason you're expending time and money to develop a strong social presence, after all.

Review your most recent social campaigns. Did they effectively lead your followers to your website? Or did most of the action stay on Twitter, Facebook, or another platform?

This disconnect is something my team often sees -- while a brand may be running a great giveaway on their Facebook page, the organizers may not be promoting their actual website in any way. Sometimes they're not even collecting email addresses.

What brands should be doing, instead, is nurturing a seamless connection between their social media presence and their websites. Post your blog content on your social media pages. Run those giveaways and contests, but offer some extra incentive for people who sign up on your website.

Create responsive landing pages.

Landing pages are an excellent way to capture more and better leads. They're also essential for converting first-time site visitors into repeat visitors.

While you used to need wicked HTML skills or the services of a web designer to create special landing pages, today there are a number of online tools that offer easy landing page creation. HubSpot Marketing is one of my favorites, but there are many other options, too.

When you're creating your landing page, you want to prioritize three things:

  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Simplicity
  • Clarity

There's no point in creating a cluttered landing page that overwhelms your visitor. Instead, keep it very simple:

Enter X contest to win X prize.

Sign up with your email address to download our e-book.

Sign up for your free account.

Landing pages have only one purpose: to capture leads. To do that, they must be sleek, attractive, and above all, easy for visitors to read and understand in one or two seconds.

Generating high-quality leads is the only way to sustain and expand your business. For more tactics for growing your business, read "3 Surefire Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Market."