Simply put, business to business (B2B) conversion rate optimization is the process of transforming leads into customers. In other words, customer rate optimization (CRO) is something that improves the chances that a visitor will complete the checkout process and accomplish your desired website goals.
Today, B2B conversion rate optimization can do everything a salesperson can do. Research reveals only 28% of companies are satisfied with their current conversion rate. One of the reasons why these companies are not happy with their conversion progress is that most of them don’t pay heed to the optimization opportunities they get while running a business.
We believe it’s not fair to blame them. B2B conversion rate optimization is a broad phenomenon. It’s easy to miss a few things. For your convenience, we have created this comprehensive B2B conversion rate optimization guide. It should help you improve your sales.
What is a B2B conversion rate optimization?
Selling to a business isn’t different from selling to a customer. The only difference is that the B2B buyers take their purchases very seriously. Forrester research highlights that the majority of B2B buyers prefer to conduct their research instead of relying on a sales rep for information.
That lends an opportunity for your business to persuade your buyers directly by just having a stable online presence. Here, it is crucial to understand that the process of conversion optimization is more than just adding colorful call to actions (CTAs). It is a step-by-step process of revising and improving each aspect of your digital marketing presence to boost the ratio of people who take the desired action on your website.
These actions are not necessarily limited to sales only. It could be anything. Filling out an interest form on your website. Subscribing to your email newsletter. Downloading your eBook.
The key benefits of B2B conversion optimization
The B2B conversion optimization is an evolving concept. While the main idea is to determine strategies that can generate more leads and attract sales, you have to keep tweaking your plan to witness great results.
Some of the benefits of using a B2B conversion optimization strategy includes:
You can better understand your customers. The more you work on your conversion strategy, the better you’d be able to know about your customer’s needs. What do they want? What are their pain points? When you test different aspects of your website, you’ll also find answers to these and many other similar questions.
Improved return on investment (ROI). Who doesn’t want more sales? Of course, we all do. It’s also one of the metrics that determine the growth and success of your online business. Invest a portion of your revenue back into the process and run paid ads based on the information you collected in the previous step.
Better user experience. The process of conversion rate optimization revolves around knowing your customer’s needs so that you can offer a better user experience. That goes without saying that a better customer experience will improve your brand’s reputation in front of your B2B buyers.
Lower customer acquisition costs. With CRO, your business will get a chance to increase the customer lifetime value. Acquiring new customers is a costly and tedious process. B2B conversion optimization enables you to lower customer acquisition costs by helping you retain a customer who already exists.
Increase customer’s lifetime value. There’s nothing more important for a B2B business than to retain an existing customer. There are many ways you can keep your current customers coming back for more. For instance, you can keep them notified about your current offers and deals through email marketing. You can engage them through social media. You can provide impeccable customer service to prove that you’re there for them.
Get quality leads for your business. CRO not only affects your sales, but the process also improves your lead generation results.
Improves trust and credibility. Consistent marketing builds trust and goodwill. When you invest your resources in making your customers happy, they’ll return.
7 proven ways to boost your B2B conversion rate
Now that you know that B2B conversion optimization is essential for the success and growth of your business, it’s time to see some of the proven ways you can follow to get immediate results.
1. Simplify customer experiences
The biggest mistake B2B marketers make is they over-complicate their conversion funnels and user experiences. This often-overlooked step is one of the reasons why potential customers switch to other websites for a better user experience.
That’s fine if you want to keep the look of your website edgy and unique. But what if your potential customers fail to find their desired products in your store? They end up leaving your website with an abandoned cart and an intention to never return to your store. According to research conducted by Baymard Institute, more than 26% of customers abandon their carts at the last minute just because they feel the checkout process is too complicated.
Seamless customer journey
When we talk about a seamless customer journey, there are many things involved.
Simplify your checkout process. Make the checkout process on your website simple so that buyers can complete their transactions without the hassle. Remove the number of forms available on your website and provide your customers with a guest account option so that they don’t have to sign up on your website.
Improve your load speed. Because there are hundreds of vendors working in the same niche as yours, you must implement every possible strategy that can improve the customer journey on your website. According to research, more than 50% of customers abandon a website that takes more than 3-seconds to load.
There are many things you can do to improve your website’s load speed. For instance, you can remove unnecessary design elements from your website to improve your page load speed. Keep navigation on your website simple and smooth so that your buyers can quickly get whatever they’re looking for. In addition to the load speed, you must also make your website mobile-responsive so that your potential customers can easily order things using their smartphone devices.
2. Invest in a content marketing strategy
As mentioned above, B2B buyers are more interested in acquiring technical information than customers who’re buying from a dropshipping store. Invest in a foolproof content marketing strategy that can help you reach out to your potential customers without breaking your bank. The key is to create high-quality and optimized content that offers great value to your website visitors. Remember, if your content isn’t value-driven and people are not consuming it, you cannot expect improvement in your conversion rate.
Start by sending simple and interesting newsletters. You can create beginner’s guides for your new prospects and case studies for your loyal customers. Also, display testimonials on your website as they act as social evidence and help other visitors convert.
3. Combine PPC and SEO
Pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) are both critical for the success of online businesses. Both of these aspects, however, come with their pros and cons, making it tough for marketers to choose which one to focus on. SEO strategies are targeted towards driving organic traffic. But it is also a fact that its impact is slow and businesses have to wait for a reasonable amount of time to see any real-time results.
PPC, on the other hand, is quicker and result-driven. Yes, it is expensive. But, you do get noticeable conversions with paid ad campaigns. The good news is that you now don’t have to choose between SEO and PPC. You can use them together to improve your conversion rates. One of the simplest examples is using SEO-generated keywords to optimize your PPC campaigns.
4. Leverage the best retargeting practices
Instead of wasting your time and money on prospects who’re not interested in your offers, you can retarget those visitors or customers who have shown interest in your products at some point. Target them with ads promoting products they have previously shown interest in.
5. Optimize your landing pages
As discussed above, businesses that direct traffic to their landing pages instead of a generic homepage witness better results. But is this enough to boost your conversion rate? No. You need to optimize your landing pages by keeping their design and navigation simple and using compelling CTAs. Avoid distractions and test your pages for colors, design, and CTAs using A/B testing. Also, make sure that your landing pages are optimized for mobile and different types of web browsers.
6. Add trust badges to your website
B2B business models are more demanding in the sense that you have to deal with technical people instead of regular customers. Since these people are already aware of technicalities, you have to ensure that each and everything on your website reflects professionalism. Showcase trust seals on your website to let your website visitors know that their privacy and security are important for you.
Also, show quality assurance certificates (if you have any) to assure customers that your products are worth their money. For B2B businesses, it is critical to display an SSL certificate as it tells customers that their information is encrypted and safe.
7. Track Your Analytics and Engagement Stats
The total number of visits you get on your website doesn’t guarantee better conversions. Why? Because not every visitor you get on your website is a quality lead. Instead of having a generalized look at your website metrics, we’d suggest you take a more granular look at each page’s metrics.
Review the ‘most viewed pages’ metrics to determine the pages that need optimization. Similarly, if you’re having consistent traffic on one of your older blog posts, you can optimize that post for the right keywords and restructure it for improved readability.
Two bonus tips
Create a B2B conversion funnel. Creating a conversion funnel will help you weed out people that aren’t the right fit for your business. The idea is to pinpoint those prospects that move your business forward. There are 4 essentials of a B2B conversion funnel: attract, engage, nurture, and convert. The main idea is to filter through your prospects to find out leads that are worth your time and effort. Doing so will save you time and also helps reduce your customer acquisition cost.
Leverage online tools. Online tools make our life easy. There are many lead generation and heat mapping tools available online that you can use to nurture your sales. These tools work with your analytics and propose the best possible solutions you can implement to drive sales and conversions.
B2B conversion rate optimization is something that covers all aspects of your digital marketing strategy. By simplifying the user experience on your website, creating a foolproof content marketing strategy, and leveraging the best retargeting practices, you can boost your B2B conversion rate.
Many B2B businesses believe that once they create and launch a new website, it’s going to stay the same for many years to come. But, to create a website that truly converts, you have to ensure your website is in line with the trending B2B marketing practices. For this, you have to optimize your website consistently to increase your inbound leads and conversions.
This guest blog post was written by Ricky Hayes. He is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify, a free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs. Connect with him on LinkedIn.