Your professional services firm's website is often the centerpiece of your marketing and business development strategies.
- It houses your educational content.
- It communicates your expertise and capabilities.
- It showcases past client successes.
- It's where prospects go to learn about you.
- It tells prospects how to get in touch with you.
And to encourage your firm's website visitors to deepen their engagement with you and move through the buying journey, you need a variety of calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your site. Each offer should cater to prospects at different stages of the sales cycle, serving as guideposts along the conversion path.
The Importance of CTAs for Early Stage Prospects
It's human nature to want to go straight for the sale. As a result, many firms tend to have too few CTAs for early stage prospects. However, the buying cycle in professional services tends to be longer and the vast majority of your website's visitors will not be ready to convert when they first visit. That's why these early stage CTAs are critical. To put this in perspective, a study by WordStream discovered the median conversion rate for B2B sites was 2.35%.
This means that without some offers targeted to early stage prospects, most of your website visitors could leave your site without a trace. Once you've captured their email addresses or added them to your social media following, you can nurture the relationship with them until they are ready to buy.
SEE ALSO: 5 Lead Generating B2B Website Trends
Below are some recommended CTAs for each stage of the sales cycle.
1. CTAs for Early Stage Prospects
In the early stage, prospects are looking for information that can address their challenges and are just becoming aware of their options for potential providers. You can build their awareness of your expertise and service offerings using the following CTAs:
Email List or Newsletter Sign Up. When your visitors sign up for your email list or newsletter, they are signaling their interest in learning more. By sending regular drip email campaigns to subscribers, you can draw them deeper into your sales funnel and have the opportunity to convert some of them into new clients.
Blog Subscription. A visitor that signs up for your blog will receive content from you as frequently as you post it (or at a different frequency that you decide on), thus building their awareness of your firm and establishing trust.
Related Content Offers. Every blog post and many of your web pages provide an opportunity to include a CTA for related content, such as a tip sheet or e-book. Review all your website's pages and posts to determine what content you can offer that adds value to readers. It's simple to draw attention to these offers by placing CTAs in the sidebars or at the bottom of pages and posts.
Buttons to Your Social Media Pages. If your firm is active on social media, which is essential to promoting your thought leadership, you want to grow your following. Include buttons on your website pages that direct visitors to your social media profiles. This makes it easy for your prospects to follow your firm and converse online with your Visible Experts℠
Social Media Sharing Buttons. Social media signals, such as when someone shares content, are essential to building visibility online. After all, if someone shares your content, it's proof that your firm is providing valuable information. Thus, social media shares help people to find your website not only on social media platforms, but also through Google searches.
Make it simple for a prospect to spread your word on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ by placing social media sharing buttons on your blog posts and other pages that include shareable content.
2. CTAs for Middle Stage Prospects
In the middle stage, prospects are considering various options and need more in-depth information. They'll be more willing to exchange their contact information for educational content and willing to invest more of their time. This is the perfect opportunity to deepen their engagement with your firm.
Once again, you can boost your firm's ability to move them through the buying journey with CTAs that offer content. During this phase, registration for webinars and online events, or downloads for guides and research studies work well.
3. CTAs for Late Stage Prospects
In the late stage, prospects may want to talk with you directly or receive a tailored proposal. For these buyers, your call-to-action could be a "Contact Us" form, a request for a proposal (RFP), or a complimentary consultation related to your services.
By creating CTAs for every sales stage, you sow the seeds for a steady influx of new clients. If on the other hand, like many firms, you only have CTAs for late stage prospects, you'll be unlikely to maximize your firm's sales potential.
- Our Lead Generating Website Guide details how your firm can generate qualified leads with its website.
- Learn about the most effective online marketing strategies to generate leads in our Online Marketing for Professional Services book.
- Join us on LinkedIn and Twitter for more marketing tips and strategies.
How Hinge Can Help
Need help capturing and converting leads? Our High Performance Website Program helps firms drive online engagement and leads through valuable content. Hinge can create the right website strategy and design to take your firm to the next level.