Optimize conversions for a B2B website

1. Account for micro-conversions in B2B conversion optimization.

In B2B you’re often dealing with fewer products, a longer consideration process, and a lower numerator in your conversion rate compared to other businesses. Thus, it helps to chunk out the user journey into impactful micro-conversion points where actions are taken to further the journey towards the macro conversion – the trial or sale. Answer questions like: Where in the buyer journey do customers typically convert? Do we get a higher lead value from those who fill out a form or those who contact sales?  What types of micro-conversions produce the highest lead values? To what points in the customer journey do they correspond? If you have enough data, you can run regressions to predict which events correlate with higher conversion value. For example, those who visit your Integrations directory may demonstrate a higher propensity for an eventual purchase.

2. Define your goals and decide how to track them across the purchasing journey.

Users could be at any stage of the purchasing journey when they come to your site: They might be looking to buy.  They may have been customers before.  They may be coming to research and see if it’s something they need.  They may have just stumbled across it accidentally. As a marketer, you’re focusing on compiling MQLs (marketing qualified leads). What this means depends on the company, but it can take into account different metrics like pathing, time on site, video engagement, company size, and role.

3. Gather data from customer interviews and surveys to build buyer personas.

To map out which personas you specifically should be targeting, ask yourself: Who is your ideal customer profile?  How do they buy? What content and information do they like?

4. Cross-reference the personas you’ve created with your historical customers and who you want to be your customers.

Analyze the top 10% of customers you’d like, figure out what they have in common, and don’t forget to look into your top referrers. Bear in mind that there may be multiple personas you need to address with different content. For example, you could have a variety of personas like in-house, agencies, employees, and managers, and you would need to employ a different strategy for each sale.

5. Optimize your content to align with your target personas and where they are in the customer journey - how ready are they to purchase?

Depending on your personas and sales process, your content could include a few different things: Long-form content has plenty of benefits, like thought leadership, SEO traffic, and authority-building pieces. Short-form content can also be good, especially for top-of-funnel content and concise product-based content. Webinars perform particularly well in a B2B context. You can also tease out more information from these, and better qualify leads for your sales team. Whitepapers are a classic. There are even new ways of optimizing and testing whitepaper content. Videos are great and often underplayed in the B2B context.

6. Optimize your call-to-action: What are you trying to sell? How many touchpoints do you need? Web-based sale or phone call?

The strategy you use to optimize your CTA depends on the type of sale you’re going for. For example, demos and free trials tend to work well for web-based sales. Make it as easy as possible and the demo or trial will practically sell itself. If you’re going for a phone-based or human-to-human sale, you’ll typically be targeting a more lucrative, higher-margin sale. For example, Dell computers used teaser items that were cheap to get someone called in and the stuff that got added to their shopping cart wasn’t so cheap, adding a lot of margin to their order. This wouldn’t really work with an online sale, however, as it’s easy for people to compare costs and strip all the margin out of orders. Make it clear that your offer is only available for customers who call in.

7. Don’t over-optimize for email list subscribers without qualifying the leads.

This doesn’t sound like a problem until your analyst goes in and tries to segment leads and quantify your marketing efforts. If you have a compelling offer for your email list, and you don’t require qualifying fields, you’ll tend to get many leads but a low ratio of qualified leads if you focus too much on optimizing for email list subscribers.

8. Use dynamic content to align your landing pages with your specific customer personas.

B2B customers tend to exhibit more heterogeneity than general consumers due to the issue of multiple buyers and roles. Your landing pages need to call out the exact issue users were searching for and fulfill the promise you dangled in the ad copy to reduce the chances of user abandonment. Use hyper-specific landing pages to connect with prospective customers and minimize their risk. This is especially important in B2B, where buyers tend to be specifically risk-averse and one wrong decision could have disastrous consequences on their careers. Consider the famous line, No one ever got fired for buying IBM.

9. Use progressive profiling and lead scoring to prioritize leads.

Collect additional information, piece by piece, each time your prospect fills out a new form, instead of using a single daunting form asking for everything all at once. Score leads to waste less time on the sales front and optimize your approach on your marketing front.