Websites play a central role in the sales cycle for B2B companies, providing a brand’s most prominent source of on-demand information. Here are five key ways to make sure your website is working as hard as it can to attract prospects and then convert them into opportunities for your sales team.
1. Optimize for search
Given that Google handled 1.2 trillion searches in 2018 – which translates into 3.5 billion per day – optimizing your B2B website for search is an absolute imperative. SEO efforts should focus on two key areas: technical performance and high-quality content.
Google favors websites with easy-to-read content that is highly relevant to users and their search terms. This means your B2B company needs to strip its site of any technical jargon and replace it with clear, concise copy that conveys the benefits of your product or service to your buyers.
Updating your site regularly also improves search results. New content like blog posts videos, infographics, tip sheets and more that directly address user search queries can majorly boost your company’s search engine performance.
In terms of technical performance, Google has a very strong preference for sites with fast page load times. You can easily test your site’s page load performance using Google’s Test My Site Tool. If your pages take more than 3-4 seconds to load on 4G mobile connections, it’s time to fine-tune your website’s technical performance. A wealth of additional techniques, from proper code semantics to strategic URL structure to effective canonicalization, can all be used to improve your site’s overall performance.
2. Design for conversion
All too often, B2B companies execute demand generation campaigns that drive marketing-qualified leads to their website, but those prospects never successfully convert into sales-qualified leads. If visitors are confused by your site or unimpressed by your overall user experience (UX), they will quickly go elsewhere. Make sure your website delivers an optimal user experience before you turn on your demand generation program.
Fortunately, there are numerous design techniques that significantly increase conversions. Some are as straightforward as simplifying navigation menus, ensuring your forms are above the fold and requiring users to input a minimal amount of information.
A website’s user interface (UI), or its overall look and feel, also contributes significantly to conversion rates. Several studies show that a brand’s aesthetic is one of the top subconscious cues buyers use to assess quality and credibility. The best designers use color and contrast to draw the eye and effectively guide users around your site.
3. Ensure your site is secure
In the wake of massive-scale data breaches at companies like Facebook, Orbitz, T-Mobile and Marriott in recent months, consumers are more concerned than ever about security. Given this heightened wariness, you definitely don’t want a prospect to land on your site and receive a “not secure” message. Google Chrome began displaying this message in July on sites without secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. The company also gives SSL encrypted sites a little boost in search results, so make sure your SSL certificate is up-to-date and provided by a trustworthy authority. (For example, certificates from Symantec will be distrusted by the Chrome browser after version 70 and will therefore show the “not secure” label.)
4. Clearly define your brand positioning
Ogilvy & Mather Founder David Ogilvy’s straightforward definition of brand positioning is still my favorite: “What is this product, and who is it for?” But it is surprisingly hard to answer these two simple questions about many B2B companies, even after spending several minutes on their website — a major problem that causes prospects to abandon ship. To minimize bounce rates, your website’s landing page needs to quickly and clearly engage visitors while also offering intuitive navigation that mirrors the buyer’s journey for each of your product, service and target audience.
5. Use data to identify your target audience
Often a company’s target personas are outdated and based on the “gut hunch” of someone in marketing or sales. If this sounds like your company, it’s time to mine your data. By analyzing Salesforce data and Google Analytics, you can identify the type of prospects that deliver your highest win rates and greatest profitability. Armed with these insights, it’s time to develop highly tailored messaging to turn those prospects into opportunities. A/B testing landing page content and LinkedIn ad campaigns can further increase engagement and decrease your bounce rates.
Following these five website optimization principles will put your company well on its way to maximizing the value of its B2B website. To learn more about how Walker Sands can fine-tune your website and help you achieve your marketing and sales goals, contact us here.