Spark Announces Latest Website Launch for Lyceum Business Services

We are pleased to announce the launch of our latest website for a new client, Lyceum Business Services.  The website is designed to showcase Lyceum’s powerful payroll and HR platform, and it highlights the company’s new pre-tailored payroll packages.

The website is built on a robust, custom CMS platform that features rich content, custom interactivity, a product tour, and a pricing request feature. Additionally, the site provides secure access for Lyceum customers to reach their payroll accounts.  The Spark team was responsible for website strategy, content writing, design, and website development work.

True to Spark’s inbound marketing agency philosophy, the Lyceum site is built to be content-rich and search-engine friendly. We invite you to visit the interactive site for yourself at

website design

Lyceum home page

custom website

Lyceum Packages

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Lyceum form page

subpage design

Lyceum Subpage

Make Every Page a Launching Pad

Beginning at the beginning, every website page, every blog post or article, every Facebook page or Slideshare is an opportunity to engage your prospects and customers in a positive way. Every one of these is a launching pad to the next step in the process that converts a browser into a lead into a sale. Getting to the point where your whole Internet platform is humming as a lead generator starts with your content plan and the relationships among your pages and posts.

Every Page Has a Job to Do

We need to understand the buying process in our market and design our online campaigns around that.  Too often, we see websites or pages that are reflections of what a company thinks of itself or what it wants visitors to do to help the company. In reality, campaigns like this underperform, usually with wasted pages that do not help the visitor get what SHE wants out of the relationship.

Your website and supporting online tools should be designed and organized so the visitor finds the information and opportunities she wants at each step of the buying process, leading her naturally to the next stage. This means that every page has to answer the questions posed at that stage, and offer clear exit points to the next steps when the visitor is ready.

Page Functions in the Buying Cycle

True, there is no one “buying cycle”. We understand that your industry differs in important ways from others. That’s why you need to analyze your markets carefully and take those lessons into the layout and content design sequence.  But for our purposes, we can illustrate the importance of making each page a launching pad with a generalized buying cycle.

Awareness. The first requirement is to make your company an authority in its market niche. It may seem blatantly obvious to you that your world class service has a compelling offer (a benefit set), but you have to say it clearly to your visitor.  This stage goes to your basic messaging about the benefits you offer and why your company is distinctive.  Your home page especially, but also every other page or post you publish, have to reinforce this basic message to some degree.

Information. Visitors who understand what you offer and are seeking that kind of solution will need to know why your company stands out above the clutter. They will be evaluating you based on how well you describe the way your product or service provides the benefits they seek in comparison to other vendors. These information pages are often interior pages, articles, or online slideshows or videos, and they can be very specific to the issues in your market. They are where your comparative advantage has to be crystal clear.

Interest. Once you have survived the culling process, the visitor needs to see your offer pared down to its most important elements: cost, promotions, quality, timing, delivery, and guarantee.  This crucial page will convert your visitor to a solid lead (or sale), or not. “Landing pages” are often included in this stage with their pared down, focused content and limited options for exit. But this kind of page should also be part of your basic web design to continue the visitor’s path through your website.

Purchase. If your offer can be purchased online, the shopping cart is a specialized page whose complex functions can not only make it easy for the visitor to complete the purchase, but also to expand your relationship with her.  Cross-selling is a common response to this opportunity, but it’s often about the company as much as it is about the customer.  What else would the customer want to know at this point?  Is there a loyalty program? Is there a sale on those other items in your cross-selling offer? Is there a newsletter or Facebook page where she might find future specials?

Acquisition. Even after your visitor submits a form or completes a sale, they are still on your website (a thank you page, perhaps) and you still have an opportunity to solidify a relationship. Again, make sure this page offers engagement with your social network invitations or newsletter.

Every Page is a Lead Generator

It’s not too much of a stretch to say effective lead generation is the only topic there is in Internet marketing, but that’s why we have to break it down into parts we can execute. In this post, we started with the basics of page and post purpose, and in future posts we’ll cover more detailed topics like calls to action, landing page layout, relationship building, and publication strategies.

In the meantime, what kind of content strategies do you use to help your customers get what they need?

We create content that launches our clients businesses forward.  Check out our web content development services.   And when you’re ready to create a comprehensive inbound marketing plan, let’s talk.  Request a meeting >

7 Tips to Generate More Leads from Your Website

Your website is the hub of all of your marketing efforts, whether you intend it or not.  Print advertising, email marketing, direct mail, public speaking, search marketing, and just about any other marketing tactic naturally or overtly leads people to your website.

So what happens when prospects come to your web site?  Are they compelled to tell you who they are? Or do they vanish without a trace?

When it comes to turning your website into a lead-generation machine, here are 7 tips:
1.    Create Compelling Content

Give your prospects a reason to stay on board with your website. Interesting and compelling content lends credibility, trust, and authority to your company – not to mention it’s often what gets people to your site to begin with!  The importance of content simply cannot be understated. If you’re having trouble creating the great content you need to make your lead generation dreams a reality, look into hiring a content writing service (there’s a link to ours).

2.    Make it Easy

Make it easy for your prospects to become a customer or at least, to tell you who they are.  It’s amazing how many websites we visit that literally make it HARD to become a customer.  Make sure your key conversion links are easy to find.  Build your website so that it’s easy for people to find their way around.  Every page should be just a click away.  Finally, use headers to draw people into the content of each page and use bullets, subheads, and shorter paragraphs to make your content easy to digest.

3.    Develop Great Offers

Website lead generation is all about giving people a reason to raise their hands and tell you who they are.  So why would someone want to communicate with you instead of navigating anonymously around your website?   Because you have offered them something that is so compelling, valuable, and interesting that they are happy to exchange their anonymity for it.  Your offer could be a free trial, a free whitepaper, a free webinar, a free consultation, or any number of other offers.  Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and ask yourself what would make you respond.

4.    Promote Your Great Offers

Coming up with an offer is great, but you’ve got to promote the offer on your website in a way that grabs attention.  Create an ad and place it on your website in a conspicuous place.  Also, mention your offers alongside relevant content within your website (this can include your blog).  Test the placement and wording of your offer to ensure you’re maximizing your lead generation potential.

5.    Stay above the Fold

Make it easy for your customers to complete your lead generation goal by keeping response forms, offers, and primary calls-to-action above the fold so the user won’t have to scroll down to find them.  This is a little thing that can make a big difference in your lead generation response.

6.    Use Landing Pages & Conversion Forms

When you create an offer, you’ll want to link that offer to a landing page where the actual lead conversion will occur.  A typical landing page contains details about the offer and a “conversion” form (response form) that your visitors will complete before receiving whatever it is you’ve offered.  For example, if your offer is a free trial, your visitors will go to a landing page where they’ll learn more about the free trial, submit their contact information through a conversion form, and then gain access to the free trial itself.  Landing pages are designed to maximize conversions by stripping away “exit paths” and keeping your visitor focused on completing your desired goal.  Here’s an example of a landing page that promotes our Free SEO Guide.

7.    Integrate Lead Tracking & Intelligence Tools

What good is all this lead generation stuff without a mechanism to gain useful information about individual leads and track them as they turn into actual customers?  There are so many great lead tracking and intelligence tools out there.  The most popular tool for inbound marketers is HubSpot’s inbound marketing software.  With HubSpot, you can measure your website traffic, capture and manage leads, and tie lead generation efforts directly to sales outcomes.

Any discussion of lead generation must also include a reference to lead nurturing, which is what happens AFTER your leads are captured.  Through lead nurturing you are staying in front of your leads with interesting and relevant content, tied to compelling offers, that helps move your lead along the purchase path toward your products or services.   We’ll be talking about lead nurturing a lot as this blog grows, so stay tuned.

And hey, don’t forget: a lead-generating website is just one of the many inbound marketing success components.  Learn more about inbound marketing by downloading our Free Guide: “The Power of In: Inbound Marketing for Success.” If you want to talk specifics, please request a free marketing consultation.