Wondering how to convert traffic into leads? It’s not complicated or difficult. Just follow a basic recipe that contains three essential ingredients.

1. The Landing Page

The first ingredient is the landing page. A landing page is a web page where visitors “land” – where they arrive – from other corners of the internet. In general, a landing page serves one purpose: capturing the visitor.

You only have a few seconds, or even less, to capture the visitor’s attention with your message. So make sure your content answers their question or solves their problem.

Here are the basic criteria you want to shoot for when designing content for your landing page.

  • Clarity – Fancy wording often gets in the way of your message. Straightforward, simple language is often best. Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Relevance – Make sure everything on the page is directly connected to the problem that brought visitors to your page. Anecdotal stories, heaps of data, or long-winded paragraphs only exhaust visitors’ patience.
  • Immediacy – Immediacy refers to the idea that people want something now. As the internet gets faster and faster, and as people’s schedules get busier and busier, website visitors have shorter and shorter attention spans. Answer their questions right off the bat.
  • Benefits and Features – The best way to provide immediately relevant content that answers their questions is by explaining the benefits and features of your product or service. In short, benefits are what people will gain from your product – such as free time or a vibrant hair color that inspires jealousy – while features describe the facts about what your product does or has.

2. The Opt-In Form

Communicating all of the above information as persuasively as possible should create a desire in the visitor. If you are convincing enough, they will want to perform an action, such as purchase a product or sign up for an email newsletter.

The opt-in form is the form where users sign on to become leads. It can be a simple blank box or a fancy form with pictures and buttons. Design a form that fits with your site and test variations to see which ones work best.

In general, you want at least one per page, but probably two or three. Here are the most common opt-in forms:

  • Pop-Ups and Floaters – Pop-ups are those light boxes that appear on your screen when you visit a website for the first time. Though some people consider them annoying, they are very effective in terms of acquiring new leads. Floaters – the boxes that follow your screen as you scroll through an article – are nearly as effective, and can arguably deliver higher quality leads, since only the most interested users will fill them out.
  • Header Bars and Headers – Header bars are stuck at the top of your screen, with an opt-in box and a call-to-action (see below). And the header itself is the top of the website. Both are excellent, prominent places for an opt-in form.
  • Sidebars and Footers – Also consider placing forms on the right side of your site and at the bottom of the site, or even at the bottom of each individual post.

Don’t be afraid to have several opt-in forms on one page. Visit some of the most successful marketing blogs and see how they do it.

3. The Call-to-Action

The call-to-action is the phrase or sentence you use to compel visitors to opt in and become leads. For instance: “Click here” would be one call-to-action, as would, “Sign up for our free newsletter!” or “Become a VIP today and gain instant access to premium material.”

Of those three, which are most compelling to you? Here are a few ways to make your calls-to-action convert more effectively:

  • Specific Benefits – What will people get if they sign up? If they will receive a free ebook, say so. Reminding them what benefit they’ll receive by signing up is much more powerful than a call-to-action that leaves that information out.
  • Requested Action – Again, be specific with what you want them to do. “Enter your name and email” is a little better than “Submit.”
  • Contextualization – Ensure that the rest of your landing page leads up to the opt-in and the call-to-action. Personalize both by using powerful copywriting terms such as “you” and “free.” The more cohesive the landing page, the better a call-to-action will convert.

These three ingredients are the basic essentials to creating an effective lead generation web page. Lead generation, however, is just one part of your overall marketing strategy