How to Create & Optimize a Lead Generation Website

Learn the most effective strategies for creating and optimizing a lead generation website, and check out the top website examples for inspiration.

A lead generation website is a site designed to convert visitors into leads by piquing their interest in your business and then capturing their contact information. Across the site’s pages are lead magnets, web forms, and other features such as live chat that focus on getting the visitor to take your desired action — usually to submit their email or contact you directly. The purpose of a lead generation site is to increase the number of quality leads for your business.

How Lead Generation Websites Work

Lead generation sites are meant to attract and convert the visitors who arrive onto your various website pages from your traffic sources like SEO or online ads. To convert these visitors, you offer valuable, relevant lead magnets (gated content) across your site that your target audience can receive by submitting their contact information into a lead capture form on the site. 

Below is an illustration of how a lead generation website might attract and convert a lead: 

  1. Drive Online Traffic to the Site: Attract visitors to your webpages using SEO, online ads, social media marketing, or other methods. 
  2. Create Relevant Lead Magnets for Your Pages: Create relevant lead magnets for your home page, product page, blog page, and/or other high-traffic pages.
  3. Offer Lead Magnet via Opt-in Forms or Landing Pages: Create landing pages or forms that effectively promote your lead magnet and acquire contact info.
  4. Capture the Visitor’s Contact Information: Using the form or landing page, create fields the visitor must fill in to receive the lead magnet. 

To create or optimize your own lead generation website, first map your lead generation funnel and determine your traffic sources. Then identify key posts or pages that generate significant traffic and build a relevant lead magnet you can offer your visitors in return for a desired action like giving you their contact details. The best lead generation websites will have similar but unique strategies for generating online leads specific to your ideal customer.

All, lead generation websites serve as the catcher’s mitt in your online lead generation process, helping you collect lead contact information so you can nurture them using methods like email drip campaigns or direct outreach. However, creating and optimizing a lead generation website is only a step in the overall online lead generation process. If you want to learn that entire process, read our article on how to generate online leads.

How to Create & Optimize Your Lead Generation Website

Here we’ll give you some actionable ways to transform your website into a lead generating machine. Think of this as a chance to audit and improve your business’s website. After you enact these tactics, your website will capture more leads that you send to it. Feel free to use the below tactics independently or follow all of the actions we’ve laid out in the order they appear:

1. Map Your Lead Generation Funnel

Your lead generation funnel represents your average lead’s journey from brand awareness to qualification. As leads move through the funnel toward taking your desired action, like submitting their contact info, they’re considered more qualified. 

Here’s an example of a lead generation funnel: 

  • Top-of-Funnel (Awareness): A visitor finds an article on your blog through Google search and becomes aware of your brand. 
  • Middle-of-Funnel (Interest & Desire): The visitor reads 20 of your articles over the course of a month and begins to take an interest in your business and offerings. Eventually, they see a lead magnet they desire.
  • Bottom-of-Funnel (Action & Qualification): After seeing the lead magnet a few times, the visitor takes action and enters their email to download it. The marketing team scores the lead using demographics and online behavior and decides they're qualified.

Mapping your lead generation funnel is important when building a lead generation website because it helps you identify the actions and steps you want your leads to take as they move through the funnel. You can then put content in front of them and plan your own touchpoints to influence the actions.

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Additional Reading:

If you need help outlining your online funnel, read our guide on the lead generation funnel. There, you'll find the principles and steps necessary to create an effective lead funnel that drives online conversions.

2. Determine or Assess Your Traffic Sources

If you don’t have any traffic yet, determine how you want to get people from your target audience onto your website. You could pay for traffic through online ads, but that’s less sustainable than organic traffic methods like SEO. Once you build a blog, it continues attracting visitors passively. For paid ads, when you stop paying, the traffic stops with it. 

Here are some common traffic sources to consider: 

  • Organic Social Media: Visitors might click on a link in your social media post or ad that brings them to your website. 
  • Organic SEO/Content Marketing: People might find your website’s blog organically through a search engine.
  • Paid Online Advertising: Various ads like PPC ads or social media ads might bring people to your website.

After you have some traffic coming to your site, conduct an audit of your traffic using a tool like Google Analytics. Figure out where your visitors come from — is it SEO traffic, ad traffic, or something else? Also, assess where most visitors are landing — which pages are getting the most traffic? Once you know this, you can focus your lead generation optimization efforts on these high-traffic pages, filling them with lead magnets. 

For example, perhaps during your analysis, you find that 20% of your website traffic comes from SEO and lands on a specific high-performing blog post. It would then make sense to add a lead magnet to that post to capitalize on the high number of visitors.

3. Add Email Capture Forms to Your Home Page

It’s crucial to use your home page strategically to generate leads or build your email list. This list enables you to actively market to individuals, who might have otherwise visited and left. Do this by adding a lead magnet offering to your home page and attaching a lead capture form to it.

Here are some home page offers that tend to perform well: 

  • Free Trial: Offer a free test of your product or service. This is common for software companies. 
  • Newsletter Subscription: Visitors can opt in to receive emails about industry trends, product updates, or information your target audience may crave. 
  • Product or Service Discount: If you run an online store, perhaps give a 10% discount. The cost is worth it to capture their email address.

As for how to add this form, your content management system (CMS) likely gives you the option to embed it on your home page, and you can also use lead capture software to add the form. Make the form obvious and upfront to the visitor. Ideally, it should be the first thing they see. Also, clearly explain the value they’ll receive. Here’s an example of our email capture form:

embedded email form example
Embedded form home page example

Also, consider using pop-ups or slide-ins — small windows that appear on the page after a certain time period. These direct the visitor’s attention to your lead magnet, the form, and the CTA button. They can therefore be more effective than relying on visitors to locate the form themselves on a busy home page. Here’s an example of a pop-up email form done right:

example home page pop up form
Example home page pop up

4. Create Relevant Lead Magnets for Posts & Pages

In addition to your home page, it’s important to put lead magnets on your most visited blog posts and pages (hence why a traffic audit is so crucial). Ensure that these magnets are relevant to the page offering them, and therefore to the current needs and interests of the visitor. This increases the chances they’ll click on it. 

Here are some examples of lead magnets and where you’d offer them: 

  • Free Trial: Offer this on your product page. 
  • Free Quote: Put this on your services page. 
  • Newsletter Subscription: Add this to your home page. 
  • Product Discount: List this at the top of your online store’s home page.
  • Free Course: Promote this on blog posts that are directly related to the course topic. 
  • Free Ebook: Offer this within all of your blog posts about the same topic as the ebook. 

It pays to create and multiple lead magnets so you have ones that are relevant to each page. You also need to direct a visitor’s attention to the lead magnet. You don’t want them to skim past it. So make it distinct from its surrounding environment using colors, arrows, or a pop-up feature.

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Additional Reading:

For information on the top types of lead magnets and how to create them, check out our article on lead magnets. There, you'll find information on offerings such as free trials, content upgrades, or webinars.

5. Offer Lead Magnets Using In-Line Lead Forms

With your relevant lead magnets created, the first place to offer them in return for your website visitor's contact information is directly on the post or page. To do so, use lead capture software native to your web builder or via a third-party app that lets you embed lead capture forms directly in the content, or as a popup that fires based on user interaction like a click-trigger. This reduces the number of steps needed to have the lead take your desired action, like this example:

example lead magnet offering
Example lead magnet in article

The two ways to offer your lead magnet on the post or page itself:

  • Embedded Lead Capture Forms: Embedded forms on your posts or pages work similarly to the forms on your homepage, explained above. They offer your lead a chance to sign up directly in the post with things like built-in email capture forms that look native within the content.
  • Popup Lead Capture Forms: Unlike embedded forms that allow the lead to submit their contact infromation directly, lead capture pop ups are hidden forms that display based on an action you choose. Common actions include a click trigger, which fires the popup when a link is clicked, or exit intent, which fires the popup when someone goes to exit out of the browser tab.

The value of in-line lead capture is that it reduces friction for the lead and may increase the chances of conversion. The downside, however, is that space is smaller than with a full-blown landing page, meaning you have less room for marketing or sales copy to sell the lead on your free offering.

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Additional Reading:

For more information the best lead forms to use, check out our article on lead capture software. There, you'll find our ranking of the top options and which one is right for your specific needs.

6. Build Landing Pages for Relevant Lead Magnets

When a visitor clicks a lead magnet in your PPC ad, your social media post, or even within a post or page, they can also be led to a landing page to claim the lead magnet. Your landing page should advertise the lead magnet the visitor saw, while also making it easy for them to grab it. There are four parts of a landing page that you need to optimize — the headline, the benefits, the form, and the CTA button — all of which you’ll see in the example below:

landing page example
Example landing page

Here’s how to optimize the four components of a lead magnet landing page:

  1. Write an Engaging Headline: Tell the reader exactly what they’ll receive to avoid confusion. Example: “The B2B SaaS Sales Ultimate Guide.” 
  2. Explain the Value of the Lead Magnet: Below your headline, briefly describe the value proposition of the lead magnet. How will it improve the recipient’s life? 
  3. Make the Form Easy to Fill Out: Prioritize capturing an email address. Fewer fields mean more conversions. Also, avoid asking for sensitive information that would deter the visitor. 
  4. Create an Action-Inducing CTA Button: The button that visitors click to submit their information should be vibrant on the screen. Also, consider using value-packed language like “get your free copy” instead of bland language like “download now.” 

The benefit of a landing page versus offering your lead magnet using in-line lead capture is that there is more room to sell your lead on the offering. The downside, however, is that it can add an additional step the lead must take to give you their contact information, meaning more visitors may drop off before getting the lead magnet.

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Additional Reading:

Now, you’re going to want to make landing pages for each lead magnet, of which you may have many. To do so, check out our guide on the best landing page builders, where we assess the top options on categories like cost and features and we share their primary use cases.

7. Optimize Your CTAs & Marketing Copy

A CTA consists of messaging telling the visitor to take an action and the digital element they must click to take it. It gives visitors instructions on how to get their lead magnet. Typically, the messaging is superimposed on a button, but CTA elements can also be hyperlinks. Either way, the CTA should be direct and simple to follow. Use strong action words to do this. 

Here are some examples of action words in CTAs categorized by purpose: 

  • Newsletter: "Subscribe now,” “join the team,” “sign up for our newsletter.” 
  • Free Demo: "Check out {product name}," “see it in action,” “schedule your free demo.” 
  • Giveaway: “Grab your free course,” “claim your webinar spot,” “download the ebook.” 

As you’ll notice, many of the action verbs are followed by the actual item the visitor will receive. Your marketing copy around the CTA buttons should serve the purpose of building excitement around your offer so that when you make your ask, they’re warmed up and ready to click. 

To create this excitement with your landing page copy, focus on talking about relevant benefits that your target audience wants. Write this in short, punchy sentences. Also, try including some testimonials on your landing pages to make the visitors trust you more.

Pro Tip:

Some businesses personalize their CTAs with dynamic content so that certain visitors have a different experience. For example, a landing page for an ebook might have the dynamic field “name,” so someone named Sam would see “Sam, claim your free ebook!” when they arrived on the page. This personal touch can increase conversion rates.

8. Offer Live Chat Features for Website Visitors

Live chat widgets allow you to directly communicate with visitors, answering their questions and pointing them in the right direction. Plus, you can make it so users must submit their email addresses to enter live chat. It’s most effective on pages where visitors spend a lot of time browsing and likely have questions, such as on home or product pages. For example, see the live chat window in the bottom right corner of the site below:

live chat widget example
Example live chat widget

Live chat is easy to set up thanks to the availability of live chat software. You can learn about what live chat software can do and how it can benefit your website by reading you can use it by reading Neongoldfish's article on the benefits of using chatbots on your website. If it sounds like a good ideal, check out some of the top live chat widget options to consider:

  • ChatBot: Easily create conversational pathways using its drag and drop interface and reap the benefits of an AI-driven chatbot tool. 
  • Chatra: Great for businesses who want to understand more about their visitors’ behaviors and histories. 
  • Intercom: Offers a free option that lets your team members chat with customers in real time.

Larger companies with heavy traffic might have customer service employees dedicated to fielding visitor queries. Most small businesses give this responsibility to a few sales reps, who reply to the most promising messages. Because of the workload, some companies use chatbots, which automate the chat with programmed responses to qualify visitors before involving a rep.

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Additional Reading:

For more information, check out our editorial review of the best live chat software options. There, you'll find our rankings of the top options, including their use cases, key features, and more.

9. Add a "Subscribe" Page to Your Website

Another way to capture website leads outside of your home page and other pages or posts is to create a dedicated subscribe page with the same or similar offering as your home page. Ideally, this is a recurring offering such as an industry-relevant newsletter. Add your subscribe page to your website navigation like we've done below:

example subscribe page
Example subscribe page

10. Optimize Your Website for SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it plays a big role in determining how many people come to your site. Websites that are SEO-optimized will have pages that rank higher in search engines like Google, so more people will see the website’s pages in the search results and click on them. There are countless techniques for improving your website’s SEO.

Here are five highest-ROI ways to improve your lead generation website’s SEO: 

  • Appropriately Use Pop-ups: Google penalizes sites that use pop-ups too invasively. So keep them small, have them appear only 60 seconds after the person enters the site, and don't black out the rest of the screen. 
  • Have SEO-Optimized Blog Content: Include keywords, format content correctly, and be sure to answer specific search queries as best you can. 
  • Get Backlinks: Get other reputable sites to link out to your pages in their posts. This builds site authority and your ranking. Use Backlinko’s guide on how to get backlinks.
  • Employ Local SEO Strategies: If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, get listed on local ranking sites like Google My Business or Yelp, and start accumulating good reviews that will help you generate local leads

SEO can expand your brand’s visibility and reach and bring more potential leads to your website. Besides the strategies like creating a blog or getting backlinks, you should also ensure everything is technically sound on your website.

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Additional Reading:

For more information on optimizing your website for SEO, check out our article on SEO lead generation. There, we explain the technical and nontechnical aspects of improving your website's search rankings for relevant leads.

11. Optimize Your Website for Performance

A website that’s optimized for speed, stability, and structure is more effective at keeping your visitors engaged and moving through your site.

Methods for helping your site load faster are technical in nature, so we read SEO Sherpa's guide on the top ways to improve page speed, which explains tactics like file combination and browser caching. Also use tools like PageSpeed Insights and Core Web Vitals to measure speed and stability, and ensure your web host is reliable. Fix broken links, delete unused plug-ins, then clean your database, compress your images, and cache your site with a plug-in like WP-Optimize.

You should also optimize your site’s performance by using a site structure that gives visitors the best experience possible. Do this by creating a logical organization of your website’s content by defining topic categories and their subcategories in your CMS. This allows visitors to easily navigate your site and find the information they’re looking for. It also helps your SEO by enabling Google to more easily crawl your site. Read Yoast's ultimate guide on site structure for more.

And remember to optimize your site for mobile. Using a mobile-responsive site theme is a good place to start, but there are some other more sophisticated tactics, such as button placement to make it easy for readers to reach your CTA buttons. For more specifics, check out DreamHost’s article on optimizing your site for mobile.

12. A/B Test Your Lead Generation Website

Consistently A/B test different components of your lead generation website, from your traffic sources and CTAs to your landing page layout. Lead generation website A/B testing is when you split your audience into two and give them each different experiences on a part of your website. A simplistic example would be half of the visitors seeing a red CTA button and the other half seeing a yellow one. Holding all else constant, you’d check which led to more conversions.

Here are five of the most crucial things to test on your website: 

  • Number of Fields in Forms: Do tests like three fields against four to see if one produces a higher conversion rate. Typically, fewer fields lead to higher conversion. 
  • Your Page’s Title Language: Test the title of your homepage and landing pages to ensure you’re grabbing their attention most effectively. 
  • Trust Signals: These include testimonials, rankings, or membership trust signals like “Trusted Facebook Partner” that you might include on a landing page. Different trust signals might have different effects on lead conversion rates. 
  • Landing Page Layout: Test different ways in which elements like testimonials, pictures, and forms are arranged on your landing page. 
  • Online Traffic Sources: Are you focusing on the right platforms for generating website traffic? Test different mediums such as social and search to see where the highest quality leads are coming from. 

Testing will help you slowly approach optimization. For example, you might test the current phrasing of your home page’s email capture form of “get a free demo” against “see it in action.” If you find that compliance is higher with the second, you can change your phrasing and enjoy the higher conversion rate. However, A/B testing can be tricky, and you don’t want to draw false conclusions. So, to learn to do it well, check out HubSpot’s guide for A/B testing.

Top 3 Lead Generation Website Examples

It’s helpful to see recommendations for optimizing a lead generation website put into practice. So, we’ve found three websites that are following many of the above best practices for generating leads with their pages and posts. We’ll tell you what we like about them so that you can take these tactics and use them on your own website.

Shopify

Shopify’s home page is ideal for SaaS companies generating new leads. Its marketing copy is clean and focuses on trust signals like “a million brands trust Shopify.” These can improve conversion rates. It also has an easy opt-in form for the free trial lead magnet.

Even better, below the email address field, it answers other common questions a potential lead might have before complying with the CTA — namely, how long is the trial and will I need to plug in credit card information? The answers: 14 days and no credit card needed, which is always a plus.

shopify lead generation website example
Shopify example

HubSpot

The first thing a visitor sees when entering HubSpot's home page is the big orange CTA for a free demo lead magnet. Free demos are great because they separate the buying-intent visitors from the mere browsers. Someone who clicks on the button and then submits their contact info on the landing page can be considered at least somewhat qualified.

Because HubSpot has a lot of different software platforms for sale in addition to the CRM they advertise on their home page, they also include a chatbot feature on the right side of the page that answers questions about pricing and products for visitors.

hubspot lead generation website example
HubSpot Example

Elna Cain

The Elna Cain home page’s use of white space makes the page feel clean and neat, and it directs the eye to the most important parts of the page. The page also does a great job of building trust with the reader by including recognizable brand names at the bottom, a picture of the owner, and the fact that 20,000 people have taken the advertised course. Highlighting the phrase “insanely valuable FREE course” snags the visitor’s attention.

elna cain lead generation website example
Elna Cain example

Bottom Line: Lead Generation Website

A website optimized for generating leads can help you reduce your cost per lead and increase the number of leads your business earns. Common tactics for this optimization include following SEO practices, creating landing pages, and offering relevant lead magnets all over the site. Now that you know the strategies, start upgrading your website and enjoy the rise in conversion rates.

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