Conversion optimization is the art and science of updating a website’s content, navigation, and technical aspects to increase engagement and inquiries (or “conversions”). Most of the articles on the web on conversion optimization cover e-commerce, but for this post, we’ll focus on B2B.
Many B2B websites aren’t designed well for email capture for a specific product or service. Sites should attempt to capture email addresses (or calls) in a number of ways:
- The dreaded Contact Us menu item. This is a soft conversion form that typically reaches bottom funnel prospects, and you have to convince these prospects that your firm is one they want to do business with. That means your website story needs to be convincing; the content and proof points must be relevant to the prospect.
- Newsletters. Newsletter leads are good. You’ll capture them if blogs and content are thought-provoking and address business problems. These prospects are not ready to buy yet but are actively interested in what you have to say. You can send newsletter campaigns via marketing automation but watch for prospects who click and visit your site often. You need to follow-up on them.
- Gated White Papers, eBooks, and Guides. Gated content is always a controversial issue. With gates, you’ll capture leads. Without gates, you’ll get more downloads, but you won’t know who is downloading your content unless your marketing automation system has tracked them with cookies. These top-funnel leads should go into marketing automation workflows for nurturing. Best practice — limit the gates to very few assets. You can always retarget visitors who downloaded without being captured with display banners (a topic for another day).
- Offers. These are a mix of various promotions: assessments, demos, trials, free consultations, free evaluations, webinars and more. You’ll see many of these promotions featured in pop-up boxes (as they can be tested for lead capture). Testing is critical here; not just the offer, but the box look and feel, and when it opens. You want to ensure it’s not too intrusive.
- Quotes. More for industrial or product-based B2B firms, offers to provide quotes obviously capture bottom funnel leads ready to buy. The cart-to-purchase process is something us conversion optimizers look at carefully with a fine tooth comb via analytics.
Everything on a website contributes to persuading someone to deepen his or her relationship with a company. Depending on whether the site visitor is new or returning, you’re convincing someone new to read further, visit multiple pages, and give them a reason to sign up for something. For returning visitors, your content should offer reassurance. The prospect was intrigued to get to your site; now the case studies and your value proposition must be compelling to convince them to exchange an email address with you for something of value.
We do conversion assessments here at NuSpark, for B2B and e-commerce. For B2B this includes:
Google Analytics Insights: a look at the key performance indicators (KPI) for website traffic. We’ll look at the performance of critical pages. This includes a review of bounce rates, exit rates, time-on-site, user flows, traffic sources and page navigation summaries. It’s important to compare various audience segments when evaluating metrics to identify opportunities.
Content Analysis: a critique of your website content; does it tell a story, and is it convincing enough to drive leads? It’s critical that your content helps solve problems, be easy to digest and written in the prospect’s language. People scan and browse, so we look at how each key page is organized for scanners.
Website Design: a quick critique of the site organization, navigation elements, and UX, with high-level recommendations. We’ll review menu items, call-to-action elements and form fields, heat maps, click recordings and more to determine how your visitors are using your site. Also, we’ll ensure the pages flow in an organized manner.
Lead Capture Offers: a review of your site offers, pricing, gated downloads, and other opportunities that can increase conversions and sales. We’ll assess the conversion rates of existing offers, and make strategic recommendations on new offers.
Much goes into a conversion assessment of website; we just mentioned a few considerations. It really is a process, but worth the effort and expense. You can imagine how many additional leads and how much revenue you can gain by optimizing your website for lead capture. Yes, you can spend on advertising, search, SEO, social media, long-form content, and lead nurturing email, but if your website (and landing pages for that matter) do not convert as well as they should, your investments will not deliver an optimal return.
If you’d like to learn more about conversion optimization, download our conversion eBook.