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Branding & PR

It Doesn't Work to Drive Leads to an Ugly Brand

While generating leads and inbound traffic is key to growth, what your customers do once they enter your brand's ecosystem is what really matters.

6 mins read time
Wendi Williams
Wendi Williams

Sep 15, 2020

Is your brand website a beauty or a beast? It’s a tale as old as time (or at least as old as the web). But when it comes to your brand, this story might not have a happy ending. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if your audience takes one look at your website and runs for the hills, it’s time to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

The fact is, ugly brands finish last, with one recent survey finding that 42 percent of visitors will not buy from an unattractive website. A majority of marketers say that lead generation is their biggest challenge, but if you don’t have a brand or website that dazzles, what’s the point of bringing visitors to it?

Luckily, your fairy brandmother has arrived! We’ll explain why some websites have a face only a founder could love, and walk you through the steps you need to take to give your brand and website site a glow-up that’s more than skin deep.


Are Your Leads Swiping Left When They See Your Site?

In this modern era of Tinder, we’ve been conditioned to make instantaneous judgment calls based entirely on appearance. Sure, it’s shallow, but once we’ve decided we like what’s on the outside, we can get to know what’s on the inside. When there’s substance beneath the flesh, that’s when you know you’ve got a winner. So, what’s keeping your leads from swiping right?

  • First Impressions. It takes a website visitor approximately half a second to form an opinion on your brand after setting eyes on your homepage. You wouldn’t expect a shopper to enter a storefront that’s crumbling, covered in graffiti, or barricaded with chains and bars. Consider your homepage your business’s front door. If it isn’t inviting customers in, it is actively turning them away.

  • Clutter. We get it; you’re excited about your brand. But if you bombard your visitors with conflicting CTAs, desperate promos, cheesy graphics, and pleading popups, you’ll likely end up turning them off by coming on too strong. Keep it simple, easy to navigate, and value-driven.

  • Confusion. Your milkshake might bring all the leads to the yard, but if you aren’t delivering an organic and easy user experience, they won’t be there for long. Our Brand Expert suggests making use of the five-second test. Does your homepage make it clear what you offer in five seconds or less? Does it support your brand visually, tonally, and emotionally? Does your design invite visitors in and make it apparent where they need to go to find what they’re looking for?

  • Inconsistency. Lead generation is an opportunity to build a new relationship, but if the messaging on your website doesn’t align with your brand, new visitors will cut and run. Make sure your brand voice is strong, your colors, fonts, and visuals complement one another, and the user experience is consistent and seamless.


Fractured Fairy Tale

It’s time to look at the flip side of the magic mirror. Even if you have the fairest website in the land, if there’s no substance to back it up, there’s no happily ever after. As a HubSpot partner agency, we look to them for guidance on all things inbound marketing. And they have some great advice on letting your brand’s inner beauty shine. Here are some of our key elements that will let your leads know you’re more than a pretty face.

  • Focus on the Funnel. To capture leads, you have to know where they are in their buyer’s journey. Make sure the intent paths on your website are clear, and that they speak to the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel visitors

  • Create Compelling Content. There’s no sense in paying to drive leads to your website if you aren’t providing them with something in return. Tighten up your blog strategy and measure your performance regularly, consider gating premium content, and be sure everything you’re offering aligns with your brand tone and voice.

  • Build Trust. Whatever your brand’s product or service is, be the authority in that subject. Implement trust signals that display your affiliation with industry watchdogs, accreditation, or customer guarantees. Make sure your visitors know they’re safe and protected when choosing to do business with you.

  • Optimize for Mobile. A majority of consumers believe your brand’s mobile site should be as visually appealing, or even more, than your desktop site. Responsive design allows you to scale to any device, making your site more accessible and more likely to reach leads when, where, and how they need you.

  • Search Out SEO Opportunities. If no one can find your site, it won’t matter if it’s a beauty or a beast. Including keywords in prominent spots, like H1 tags, tightening up metadata, seeking inbound links, and more in-depth SEO strategies are all ways to improve searchability and bring more leads to your site. 

  • Bring it Home. Conversion is the ultimate goal of bringing leads to your website. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) helps you move visitors closer to making a decision and closer to becoming a loyal customer. CRO is data and analytics-driven, while branding is centered around perceptions, emotion, and value, but the best practice is to find a balance between the two. 

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge a brand by its website. Give your leads a reason to keep coming back by showing them your brand has both looks and smarts. And if you need a little help, we're here, magic wand at the ready.


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Wendi Williams

After beginning her career in broadcast media, Wendi spent the next decade writing for clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, business and tech. She’s been writing since she was 8 years old, and more than 30 years later, doesn’t foresee slowing down anytime soon. Her passion is using words to bring brands to life, and telling their stories in unique and engaging ways. She shares a life of wonder, curiosity and exploration with her husband, two children and pet lizard.

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