B2B Conversion Optimization: The Other Half of the Marketing Equation
Industrial companies are notorious skeptics of online marketing, despite the fact that 90% of all B2B purchases today begin with an online search.
The truth is, many industrial businesses have tried in the past but failed to see any results. However, as more industrial companies continue to invest in online marketing technology, clearly many are finding success. So why the skepticism from the rest?
Part of the reason for this is a failure to address the entire buying process. We’re firm believers that tools such as pay-per-click ads and SEO are important for driving interested buyers towards industrial websites. But what happens once visitors arrive? Too often industrial companies invest in marketing efforts that attract the right traffic, but without any way to identify or nurture those visitors, those efforts are wasted.
No wonder they haven’t seen results.
If it seems simple, it’s because it is. While traffic is an important part of online marketing for industrial companies, it is only half of the equation. The other half, which is often overlooked is converting that traffic into useable sales leads for the sales team.
An online conversion for industrial companies, occurs anytime a website visitor provides their contact information. In longer B2B sales cycles, it is important to identify interested prospects early and help guide them through the buying cycle.
An easy place to start any B2B conversion optimization is by simply making opportunities available for visitors to provide their information. It goes beyond just having a contact page or a form in the footer of a website. Visitors may get lost or be unwilling to look for contact details. It is important to make things as easy as possible. Place forms beside key information on product and service pages. If prospects have questions, need more information, or simply want to speak with a company representative, it’s easy for them to reach out.
The easier it is for visitors to perform an action, the more likely they are to do so.
It’s also important to tailor these forms specifically to the content they relate to. Visitors are more willing to list their name and contact information if they know exactly what they are signing up for.
For example, a form which says “Request More Information,” might collect some fills. However, prospects feel more confident filling out a form with a specific title such as “Learn More about the C200 Series Pump.”
Forms with specific calls to action generally collect better quality leads, as well as generate more leads for sales teams.
Another simple B2B conversion optimization tool is to offer valuable content as a download and gate it. Gated forms ask visitors to provide their name and contact information in exchange for access to a piece of information. For things such as spec sheets, case studies, or product comparisons, which provide useful information to buyers, gating is a quick way to identify website visitors.
Buyers that are interested in this type of information are willing to provide their contact details for access and are generally qualified leads.
Just be careful not to gate information that first-time visitors to a website will need in order to learn the basics of your products or services, as it may turn them away.
Finally, one of the most obvious B2B conversion optimization techniques is establishing trust. Website visitors want to feel confident that their information is ending up in the right hands and will not lead to years of spam emails flooding their inbox. To do this, at the very least, websites must be visually credible. We’re not suggesting that every business needs an expensive new website designed (In fact, in many cases, you don’t need a new website at all). However, at a minimum, websites should be clean and easy to navigate.
Websites that are cluttered, were built in the 90’s, or look like they were designed by an employees’ son/daughter will not inspire confidence and are unlikely to collect any contact information.
References to any industry associations, memberships, or certifications that visitors will recognize can also contribute to a website’s credibility.
With complex products, custom solutions, and longer buying cycles, industrial visitors are very unlikely to make a purchase on their first visit to a website. Therefore, websites must be set up to provide the information buyers need to generate interest, while making it easy for them to reach out when they are ready to learn more. Proper B2B conversion optimization ensures industrial companies identify the most interested visitors on a website and proves the effectiveness of PPC advertising and SEO efforts for attracting the right traffic.
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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.