Google.

Love them or hate them, the big ‘G’ make products that have become benchmarks for foolproof usability and effortless online experiences.

When it comes to website lead generation, ‘foolproof’ and ‘effortless’ correlate with healthier conversion rates.

Google’s 48-page UX Playbook for website lead generation is a tour de force of UX best-practice advice for businesses wanting to optimise website buyer journey to the highest levels.

Here we’ll unpack 3 powerful lessons from their brilliant PDF playbook wisdom.

What will you learn?

Marketers will learn to eliminate three unbelievably common UX mistakes that all impact website prospect conversion.


What We’ll Cover from Google’s UX Website Lead Generation Playbook

Lesson One

How to increase the information scent.

Lesson Two

CTAs to avoid and why to avoid them.

Lesson Three

How to avoid talking about youall the time.

Google’s UX Website Lead Generation Playbook
Source: Google UX Playbook for Lead Gen

Lesson One
From slide 2—
Great UX Website Lead Generation Is About: “Providing Just Enough Information”

Slide 2 of Google’s UX Playbook for Lead Generation essentially answers a simple question.

One question that marketers, CEOs and MDs need to be asking every single year when drawing up new strategies. Why every year? Because the answer changes with changing trends and audience habits.

‘How can your website win over more customers?’

Google’s answer:

By providing just enough information to convince users of the value prop so they choose to invest time filling out your form and giving you their personal information.

A snippet from Google's UX Lead Gen Playbook
From slide 2 of Google’s ‘UX Playbook for Lead Gen’

A typically tidy definition from Google.

There’s one key phrase here that ties nicely to a fundamental principle from UX—Providing just enough information.

Why is “providing just enough information” so important?

Hick’s Law

Providing just enough information’ is probably the easiest way of translating to the non UX-minded one of the basic laws of UX—Hick’s Law.

Hick’s Law in UX says that: the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.

From: Laws of UX | Hick’s Law

In other words

The more complexity your website throws in the path of potential customers, the more likely they are to suffer decision paralysis and simply abandon the website.

Websites that apply Hick’s Law consistently in how they design the customer journey, with only the core essential elements, will outperform those that ignore the hard science of UX psychology behind Hick
’s Law.

Take a look at The History of the Google Home Page (1998 – 2019), for example. Compared to the likes of Yahoo, it has obeyed Hick’s Law diligently over nearly two decades—and that’s partly why it has become the most universal search engine there is.

Website lead generation graphic

Lesson Two
From slide 8
—High Converting CTAs Are About: “Being Laser Specific”

Slide 8 of Google’s UX Playbook for Lead Gen reveals two crucial insight about calls-to-action that can actually negatively impact website lead generation.

Let’s break down the two bullet points.

You’ll be surprised how common these CTA errors are. Scan your website and update these two CTAs if you’re using them.

Google's website lead generation advice
From slide 8 of Google’s ‘UX Playbook for Lead Gen’

Point 1: “‘Get Started’ links are no better than login walls.”

Google rightly point out that:

CTAs such as ‘Learn More’ and ‘Get Started’ are too generic to stand on their own and can be interpreted in many ways.

If you see these two CTAs on competitor sites, promise us you won’t don’t copy them. Brand envy leads to the roll out of bad copy and UX mistakes.

Why are these two CTAs no good?

Learn More
is problematic as a CTA because it doesn’t state exactly what users should expect if they commit to the call to action you’re inviting them to.

Get Started
is far too ambiguous. Ultimately, it’s as high-friction as an actual ‘login wall’ because it may involve a step (like making payment) that you haven’t yet won enough trust to ask of the customer or user.

Think your CTAs might need work?
Let us know. We’ll provide you with a full website audit report that will reveal UX weak points you can quickly fix to solve conversion issues you may not even realise are lurking. Give us a call and we’ll discuss things.

Point 2: Increasing the CTA ‘information scent’ will increase conversion

Strong website lead generation and great CTAs are about increasing the ‘information scent’ and offering as many simple UX journey entry points as possible.

Google’s UX Website Lead Generation Playbook correctly points out that, by making CTAs more descriptive, links and CTAs “will be more enticing to users and potentially more persuasive.”

“Learn more” can become “Find out why we’re the most trusted provider of….”

Get Started” can become “Start Generating Leads With Free Beta Access.”

When you write CTAs, be brief and laser specific about what will happen, or what the user can expect when they click. Avoid copying generic CTAs from competitors.


Lesson Three
From slide 27
—Consider What Your Users WANT. Not What You Need Them to Do.

Slide 27 of Google’s UX Playbook nicely sums up what effective website lead generation is about.

Google's website lead generation advice
We couldn't have put it better!

“Consider what your users want and not what you need them to do.”

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

Yet so many websites and businesses are completely baffled as to why first-time website visitors come and go without breaking cover.

The answer is:

You’re probably not doing enough to build trust

On Slide 27 Google reference a study conducted by MarketingExperiments, who curate ‘the world’s largest library of research in optimisation’.

Customers were asked to explain reasons for dissatisfaction with brands and companies. The main reasons users identified were:

  • The company does not put my need above its own business goals.
  • The company does not make me feel like I have a relationship with them.
  • The company always tries to sell to me instead of providing value.

These reasons indicate a clear lack of trust building.

Strong UX is about building trust

What can marketers learn here?

It’s probably a lesson you already knew: you won’t get commitment from new customers without having gained their trust—that sounds simple enough.

The problem is,
it’s not always clear to understand how to actually gain that trust. The go-to gear when writing website copy or building landing pages can often be to simply push them toward an end goal through the hoops you want them to jump through.

How then can marketers make sure to signpost the website UX journey in a way that gradually builds buyer confidence.

Building trust is about knowing what customers WANT

And that requires thorough and frequent quantitative & qualitative UX research performed together.

Not one or the other, but BOTH.

The moment you try to communicate with potential customers without knowing them, you’ll talk only about ‘you’ and what you do.

You’ll isolate them, push them and annoy them, instead of making them feel understood and valued.

Getting to the core of what pains and emotions customers are feeling will help you signpost your website user journey in the right ways, build the right UX signals, and that’s when your website lead generation will really start to fly.

View Google’s UX Playbook for Lead Gen.

Thanks for reading.