A common problem that business to business (B2B) companies have with their online inbound marketing campaigns is increasing their conversion rates. It can be difficult enough to get the businesses representatives you want to come to your site, but securing those leads and converting them into customers is a whole new challenge.
Make Offers that Make Sense
Here’s something that we’re all quite familiar with: we hop onto Google, type something into search, then click on one of the first few search result links. That website may answer our query (if we are lucky!), but many of these websites also have inappropriate offers, or “calls to action” (CTAs) on the page that deliver no value to the visitor.
For example, if you’re trying to troubleshoot how to fix your clogged sink, you likely wouldn’t click on a CTA that offers 10% off that website’s plumbing services. What you may click on, however, would be an offer for a free white paper or eBook that takes someone, step by step, through the process of properly getting rid of a clog in the sink.
Other CTA tips:
- When creating a CTA, try having two offers presented at the same time. This can increase your lead conversion rate by 63% (Search Engine Land, 2011)
- Avoid vague language and insinuations. Be direct and tell people exactly what they should do.
- Consider creating offers that are time sensitive. Having a sense of urgency can boost your lead volume by as much as 46% (Search Engine Land, 2011)
- Use images thoughtfully. For example, having a picture of a human face that’s looking towards the CTA can help direct a visitor’s eyes to that converting offer
Plan Your Pages According to the Buying Cycle
It’s well worth any business’ time to do an audit of their website to determine what web pages are most visited by different businesses (and what specific industry or niche they’re in) and then what stage of the buying cycle they’re in.
Once you have quality CMS software and analytics in place, you’ll be able to start seeing who’s visiting your pages and at what phase of the buying cycle. When you have that information, you can then begin to place offers on those pages that are most appropriate for those visitors. This will significantly show an improvement in your lead conversion rate and, as a result, in customer conversion rates down the track.
Fine Tune your Landing Pages
The above also applies to your landing pages. The offers that you present have to make sense according to where the majority of visitors to that landing page are in the buying cycle. The best way to measure the results of your landing pages is to conduct regular A/B (split) testing. You can test a number of variables on each page to determine what elements are the most successful in terms of conversions, such as:
- CTA placement
- Button sizes
Over time you’ll be able to see what works, what doesn’t, and how you can really optimize your online marketing campaigns.
Shorten your Forms
Step 1 of getting anyone to convert is obtaining their contact information. The easiest and most likely way that B2Bs do this is through forms. You may be surprised to learn that a lot of visitors click on your offer, but as soon as they see the information that your form is asking for them to provide, they back out. Why? Primarily this happens for one of two reasons:
- The form is too long and too time consuming; or
- The form asks for information that they feel is too intrusive to reveal to a company with which they are unfamiliar
All you need to initially ask for is a first name and email address, and perhaps a company name. Once a lead then progresses through the buying cycle, you can ask for more detailed information, such as their last name, phone number, address, or what country they live in. When they begin to trust you more, they’ll be more likely to reveal more about themselves.
TIP: To really boost form conversions, always place the forms ‘above the fold’ on your website and landing pages.
Provide Social Proof
Did you know that 52% of consumers trust what they consider to be “authentic” online reviews just as much as they do any recommendations made to them by their friends and family members (Search Engine Land, 2012)? Bazaarvoice’s 2012 survey provided similar results, revealing that more than 8 out of 10 people are influenced to buy things based on recommendations made by strangers. Even more interesting was the fact that 51% of the same respondents said that they trusted the opinions of people they didn’t know over those that they did know.
What it really comes down to is this: if people see other people “doing” something, they figure that it must be trustworthy. Otherwise, why would those people be doing it? This type of validation can be incredibly important in terms of purchase motivation, as we can see from the two survey results above. You can add “social proof” to your website by including things like testimonials and reviews to your site, blog, and social media, or by adding a “number of downloads” or “number of attendees” counter along with any eBook, white paper, webinar or any other offer you present online.