How to deal with a lack of B2B buyers converting on your website.
Many B2B companies are being lulled into thinking they’re already doing everything right because visitor traffic is high. But the problem is not the volume of traffic it is a lack of conversion from visitors to leads and ultimately to sales.
8x Ways to improve B2B conversions on your website.
Visitors to a website will probably give you at most three seconds, and by then they will have either worked out whether to stay and explore or feel like they are in the wrong place and jump off never to return.
Bad news for sales potential, but the jumping off actions can also have a negative impact on your Google ranking authority.
Google considers a visitors search behaviour, returning to do another search further as being disappointed with what Google served up as the initial search result – and those actions are then seen and incorporated into the algorithm for similar searches.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) & SEM (Search Engine Marketing) will help generate and grow traffic. But there is a risk, apart from mounting costs chasing those elusive keywords you could also end up with traffic that is not really qualified or at a stage in their buying cycle where they are ready to hear your sales pitch.
Many marketers debate whether SEM is better than SEO. As an inbound marketer, I would argue that organic SEO is the target.
Although organic SEO takes longer to show results, in the end it will be less costly and you will establish search credibility and authority. Typically as soon as you stop paid advertising it tends to turn the tap for visitor traffic from a flow to a drip.
There are situations however where pay per click makes more sense than SEO. For example, if you are launching a new website and you want immediate visibility, it is a good idea to create a PPC campaign because it takes less time than SEO.
We have put together eight thoughts that we hope will get you thinking about how you can get more traffic, leads and sales from your B2B customers – keeping pace with the way that they are changing how they buy.
1.) Doing B2B Business Has Changed – Have You?
As a business you need to understand where customer pain aligns with the solutions your business provides. And you need to work out how you’re going to create and distribute content that will be found online by your target audience.
Creating a buyer persona is a key step in preparing for an inbound program, it digs deep into how your ideal buyer behaves and their digital interaction preferences – so you know the format and where to distribute your content marketing.
Instead of focusing on your own needs to close a sale, focus instead on the buyer’s desire to get a problem solved.
So talk about the problem. Start conversations around the buyer’s plans, goals and challenges. Lead with a message targeted to the buyer’s context, what is their pain, what options do they have, what are the consequences if they fail?
2.) No Gain Without Pain!
Defining your buyer personas is essential to personalising the sales process for today’s empowered buyer.
Without knowing who your ideal customers are, their backgrounds, goals, pain and how your product or service will benefit them it’s very difficult to create content to attract leads.
3.) The SEO Factor In Growth Plans
We always integrate SEO into our clients inbound marketing programs to ensure that their websites are found organically, that visitors are converted and leads nurtured toward a sale.
SEO is about visibility and helping you to attract and keep visitors on your website through your On-Page and Off-Page activities
- SEO forces you to use proper heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to help keep things clear and simple for the search engine and visitors
- SEO says that you need to have clear and focused headlines that give structure to your content, and make it easy to follow or scan
- SEO asks that you focus your webpages on one particular topic – making sure your headline matches the content
- Search engines also read content in context so focusing on writing quality and relevance to the search query – means better results for optimisation and conversion
- How frequently you update your content matters for both SEO and keeping your site “sticky”
SEM involves increasing your sites visibility in search engine results pages (SERPS) through optimisation and paid search such as pay per click (PPC) listings, SMM (social media marketing), etc.
Search queries are the words typed into the search engine query box and they tend to be:
- I want to do something? (do – transactional queries)
- I need to go to? (go – navigational queries)
- I need to know how to do this! (know – informational queries)
4.) The Key To Great SEO: Write For Humans Not Robots 🙂
It is easy to forget that the person on the other side of the computer screen reading and digesting your content is human – and not a robot.
So when you toil over your content marketing make sure you are focusing on the person and their needs and not writing for search ranking and what you think will help elevate you.
- By creating content that is high quality, compelling, and relevant, you can engage your site’s visitors in a meaningful way and build trust and authority
- When content resonates with someone, it feels personal and authentic – hopefully to be shared, linked to and commented on
- Adding proper structure to your content is essential to SEO (how it all fits together) and so does understanding the limitations of search engines so that you build and format content effectively
5.) How Do I Know If I Have A Problem?
Normally if you are going through a patch of inconsistency in terms of sales, not being able to generate leads or losing out to your competitors then you are probably experiencing the following:
- Over reliance on cold calling for new business development
- Losing a top of mind position with your prospects or existing customers – because you sell rather than educate, building resistance rather than a level of trust
- Not knowing how to connect with leads who aren’t ready to buy yet – and a lack of knowledge on how to turn this into an opportunity to advise
- Knowing how to nurture leads that are just starting their buying process – resisting the desire to go for the sale as soon as they do something remotely interesting
6.) Changing “all about me” To A Buyer-Centric Mindset
One of the biggest shifts are B2B vendors changing the way they sell to the way the customers wants to buy.
Sounds easy, but we are know that there is a major change in mindset – where the buyer-seller relationship has been turned completely upside down with “seller beware” front of mind as the balance of power has changed.
- Use content to educate prospects, build trust and your authority
- Set up lead scoring and workflows to ensure that you work on the best opportunities, ones that fit you as a business and are at the right stage in the buying cycle
- Become a trusted “expert” by sharing insights and offering advice for free
- Ask questions and learn about your buyers needs
- Learn how to recognise when prospects are open to engage and interact
- Implement and use a sales CRM tool to manage and record your actions and the reactions of your customers
- And think of sales as relationship building, people rather than decision makers and offering advice rather than closing a sale
7.) How Do I Know Where To Focus My Attention?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you creating a sufficient number of leads for your B2B sales pipeline today?
- Does your industry have a long and complex sales cycle that seems to be getting even more complicated?
- Are you using your customer data to direct your sales and marketing actions?
- What resources do you have to create content to lead the buyer along your sales funnel?
- Can your resources support a lead generation and nurturing programme?
- Are you able to track effectively the lead-to-deal-process from start to finish?
- Do your sales and marketing teams work together?
- Are you still focusing on traditional sales and marketing methods?
8.) So What More Can You Do?
Below are a few more areas that you can look at to see how you can be more effective with your time and resources:
- Pinpoint opportunities to engage more effectively with prospects across their buying journey
- Identify new customer segments and opportunities within your market place
- Identify the basic “triggers” for what customers need and value to address their “pain”
- Target and personalise your approach to buyers
- Track customer trends and key performance indicators to keep on top of what is happening
- Tweak customer experience across your digital touch points to help conversion further along the sales funnel
Marketers and salespeople always aim to fill their sales funnel as quickly as possible – but resist buying leads as opposed to generating them organically.
If you’re producing a steady flow of inbound marketing content and generating organic leads, may be now is the time to scale your efforts and look at a marketing automation strategy that will help you to nurture more of your leads into customers.
Let me know if you want to talk through your plans for the rest of the year, and how you are looking to focus on next year.