#ConvCon NY: Optimizing Your B2B Website to Increase ROI

By Amanda Sides | Oct 19, 2011
More Articles by Amanda


A lot of people think that E-commerce isn’t really a big part of B2B transactions. Greg Ott (DamandBase) and Joe Rawlinson (National Instruments) aim to discuss  how it is.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • At some point in the B2B sales cycle, almost everyone touches your website.
  • One size fits all format for your site rarely ever works. You end up with low conversions, low engagement, and it’s hard to track effectiveness.
  • A lot of B2B marketers do a great job focusing on learning a lot about prospects, but not the reverse, helping your prospects learn more about you.

How is Web Conversion Unique to B2B?

1 | ROI is typically measured in leads. No real ad or e-retail monetization. This makes it harder to optimize.

2 | There’s typically no impulse buying buy visitors.  You aren’t just selling to one individual, you are selling to an entire account or company.

3 | Revenue is typically more low volume, but with high value. Be sure to segment the high value from the low value leads.

4 | Relevance is more identity based rather than behavioral. Look at your sales team, see how they segment prospects. You need to start thinking the same way for the structure of your site.

Website Conversion Optimization: There is typically a lot of focus on Landing Page Optimization, and not nearly enough on your entire site experience and website conversion optimization.

B2B Website Optimization path

1. Target Content to Increase Engagement.

Make your content more personal. This goes against the typical “one-size-fits-all” mentality a lot of B2B sites use today. Try to segment your audience from the get go, then direct them to the most relevant content. You can use IP address or cookies to determine industry, company, etc before the page even loads. As with landing pages, you’ll have more chance of conversion when you serve the most relevant content to the visitor in question.

  • Be sure to select high value areas to begin your optimization efforts, instead of going for the entire site at once.
  • Create and categorize content for high-value segments and profiles.
  • Use identity-based segmentation. Be sure you are correctly identifying your visitor, or creating categories to serve most relevant content for any anonymous visitors.

2. Optimize your website forms to streamline lead capture.

Similar to landing page optimization best practices, try to streamline and shorten your form. Do you really need all those fields? What do you need RIGHT NOW? You can get more leads, and get more data later if you need it. Adobe took one form that had 12 fields and cut it down to 8; this one revision resulted in a 33% lift in completion rate, and over a $1 Million increase in revenue.

3. Segment, Test, & Measure Your Results

One great point Greg touched on was you need to optimize your specific segments, not just the overall averages. You’re specific segments, when optimized separately, can result in huge incremental gains. Be sure to measure your performance by these different segments as well. It’ll be easier to figure out where optimization efforts need to be concerted.

If you are not continually striving to optimize your B2B site, you are losing business. You want to capitalize on every visitor that arrives on your site.

Joe Rawlinson then talked about simplifying your website and order process to acquire more leads/sales. 

How are the choices you give your visitors impacting your business?

  • Reduce complexity, narrow choices
  • Treat a visit to your site as a virtual sales visit

Joe brought up a great example of complexity vs. simplicity and how the results were impacted by each:

Experiment: JAMS ON A TABLE

The experiment involved a simple test of using a complex display with 24 different types of jam versus a simple display of only 6 varieties. The 24 jam display resulted in a higher volume of visitors, while the simplistic display with only 6 varieties resulted in a higher volume of sales.Think about it…Groupon: They give you clear, simple options, and have developed an extremely successful business model out of it. Simplify your offerings. Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your site:

  • How can you simplify the choices you give your visitors?
  • How can you show the visitor the result of what they are choosing? Show them the trade-offs if they went with another option.
  • Are you distracting them by offering too many options?
  • Are you giving them social proof? People tend to back something or buy something if they see that people within their trusted circles are also doing so. Use social media and recommendation/reviews to take advantage of this tendency.

While your site is your pride and joy, it can always be improved. Think about the tips and ideas above the next time you visit your website. There could be some simple revisions you could make today that could have a huge impact on your business.

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