Your online marketing efforts are delivering qualified traffic to your industrial website.
However, the work is only just beginning. Website traffic is a key component of any industrial marketing system, but the real goal is conversion optimization, to encourage website visitors to engage with actions that interest them on a website.
Conversion optimization for manufacturers, industrial service providers, and distributors offers a few key differences when compared to B2C conversion. Consider the following guidelines for establishing effective conversion paths on industrial websites:
B2B sales cycles are longer than traditional B2C sales and it is important for conversion elements to acknowledge this. The majority of website visitors will not be ready to buy yet, and there should be conversion elements in place that appeal their needs. Offers for free quotes and free trials do little for those still in the browsing stage. Instead, offers to subscribe to informational newsletters, blogs, or nurture campaigns will offer visitors an opportunity to learn more about your product or service, without any commitment.
Industrial buyers are detail focused. Visitors are often hesitant to provide their contact information simply because they aren’t sure what they are signing up for. Nobody wants to end up on a list that will spam their inbox or is irrelevant.
Visitors are more likely to convert if they know exactly what to expect. Make it clear that information will not be shared with anyone and outline how often they can expect to be contacted. For example, a blog subscription form could ask visitors to subscribe to a once a month blog update which summarizes the most important articles. Showcasing a sample of what the visitor will get, and how often, gives people a much better idea of what to expect – and what they will or won’t be getting.
In our article on content gating, we discuss how increasing the amount of effort needed to fill out a form leads to fewer downloads. Consider the goals you have for each conversion element and only ask for the details needed to reach that goal.
For example, if you want to add a visitor to an email nurture campaign, then name, company, and email address is enough information. Don’t complicate things by asking for a phone number or job title. This is more work for the visitor and is information you can get later as a lead progresses through the sales funnel.
Would you give your information to a business you didn’t trust? Neither will your website visitors. The layout and appearance of a website has an important impact on the likely hood of a visitor to convert. It begins with the overall appearance. Websites which are dated or poorly designed are seen as less trustworthy. Professional and modern sites have higher success rates for both conversion and brand trust.
It is also important to make your company contact information clear and easy to find.
Businesses which hide their information are immediately deemed suspicious by visitors. If you expect visitors to provide their contact information to you, you should make it easy for them to find yours.
Another technique for establishing trust, especially in small to medium sized businesses, is adding a human element to your website. Providing photos and bios for key members of your team shows visitors how experienced your business is, but also puts a face to the company. Establishing a human connection increases willingness to convert.
B2B sales are all about generating business value. Too often conversion elements simply ask website visitors to complete an action without providing any reason why it will benefit them.
Always ask yourself why someone would want to perform an action, and list that reason as a part of the conversion piece. For example, asking visitors to subscribe to your newsletter is not enough. Instead, let visitors know that subscribing to your newsletter will keep them up to date with the most recent advances in the industry.
In the sample below, Western Farm Press used several best practices together – they describe the newsletter, indicate how often you will receive it, what’s in it, and provide a sample of what you’ll get. They also kept their subscription form short and simple to fill out.
About Samuel Fordham
Samuel brings energy and enthusiasm to the marketing team at ActiveConversion. With a background in communications and digital journalism, Samuel focuses marketing efforts towards the goal of increasing opportunities for business growth.
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