14
Mar

Turning Web Visits Into Sales – 10 Essential Tips, Part 2

By Dale Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing

In business-to-business (B2B) web marketing, the #1 key to your success is converting web visitors into leads and sales.

Perhaps you’ve got plenty of web traffic. Great. But how’s your conversion rate? What percentage of your visitors is turning into leads – and customers? Unless it’s 100%, you can and must improve.

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts

Web marketing strategies that work with consumers often don’t work with B2B. That’s because B2B typically involves high-value, complex sales cycles. So your job is to convert visitors into leads – so your sales team can follow up and close deals.

In my most recent post, you discovered 5 strategies for turning web visitors into sales – sound, proven techniques to boost your leads and profit. In part 2 below, you’ll find 5 more.

6.            Create a Sense of Urgency

Website visitors have short attention spans. So you need to present compelling information and clear offers that create a sense of urgency. Use offers with limited time or availability to motivate visitors to take action now. In a case study, a time-sensitive call-to-action increased response rate by 46% compared with a call-to-action that wasn’t time sensitive.

7.            Continuously Test Calls-to-Action

Constantly try out different calls-to-action. In analytics, look at the navigation report for your top 10 pages and determine hot topics for calls-to-action.  And test different information formats – if a white paper isn’t working, try offering a short video or hosting a webinar on the topic. By seeking to engage your visitors in various ways, you’ll identify the calls-to-action that work best.

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts

 8.            Offer Choices to Boost Response Rate

Your visitors vary widely – and acknowledging that will help convert them into leads. Test various offers and assets, and empower visitors by giving them choices. In one test, providing two offers increased leads by 63% over a single call-to-action.

And your visitors’ needs will change over time. Prospects early in the buying process often prefer general market information. Those further along in their research appreciate comparison charts and independent reviews. Prospects who are ready to buy want information on options and pricing, and to make contact with a sales rep.

9.            Ensure Promises Are Accurate

Ensure promises are accurate and consistent. For example, a link sending visitors to a registration form should not read “download now”.  A more honest statement is “register for instant access. “Also make sure your website engagement process is straightforward and simple: make it easy for visitors to give and receive information.

10.          Regularly Review Analytics Data

Your analytics data – if set up properly – can be enlightening and profitable. It’s essential that you review your analytics data at least quarterly, preferably monthly, to ensure the code is intact and that you’re tracking the right information.  If your analytics data isn’t set up properly, your data will be inaccurate and you’ll be making decisions based on false information.

Conclusion: the key to your search marketing success is to test, test, test… and discover what landing pages and offers work best for your target audience. Focus on simplicity, compelling information, buyer benefits, and urgency to increase your qualified leads.

Take action on the tips above, and watch your leads – and profit – grow. Be sure to enjoy part 1 of this article, with 5 more valuable tips on How to Convert Your Web Visitors Into Leads

Limited time! FREE offer!  Turn more visits into sales when you request a complimentary Web Marketing Plan, custom-tailored for you by our experts

13
Feb

How to Convert More Web Visitors Into Profitable Leads – 10 Essential Tips, Part 1

by Dale Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing

In business-to-business (B2B) web marketing, your success depends on converting web visitors into qualified leads. Perhaps you have plenty of web traffic. Great. But how’s your conversion rate? What percentage of your visitors is turning into leads – and customers?

Unless it’s 100%, you can improve. So marketers like you need to continuously boost their efforts to convert more website visitors into profitable leads.

Boost your conversion rate when you request a complimentary Website Usability & Conversion Assessment, custom-tailored for you by our team of experts

As many B2B marketers have learned the hard way, web marketing strategies that work with consumers aren’t necessarily effective with B2B. That’s because B2B typically involves a high-value, complex sales cycle. So you need to convert visitors into qualified leads, who are added to your database or CRM so your sales team can follow up by email or phone.

The following 10 tips are sound, proven techniques that – when  implemented properly – will increase the quantity and quality of your leads and your web marketing profit.

 

1.  How to Find Out What Your Web Visitors Really Want

Start by analyzing which pages your visitors visit most – this reveals their areas of interest.

There are a number of analytics programs such as google analytics. I recommend focusing on your top 10 pages, then looking at two key reports: which pages visitors came from – and which pages they visited next. By understanding your visitors’ behavior and navigation, you’ll understand what they’re seeking.

Usually the home page is your most visited page, but where do visitors go next? An understanding of what pages they visit next is essential to identify what your visitors want. And once you know what information is important to them, you can gather or create effective marketing assets.

Do visitors click on your About Us page to learn more about your company? Or do they click on the Solutions/Services page to understand more about your offerings? If the Solutions page is the second-most visited page, look at the navigation summary to determine which page most visitors clicked on next. When on your solutions pages, what additional information are they seeking? Then create an asset that provides that information.

 

2.  Implement Clean, Clear Landing Pages

The design and verbiage of your websites, microsites or landing pages is critical to success. Through extensive testing, I’ve learned that clean, simple design usually performs best with B2B visitors. That’s in contrast with consumers who often prefer flashy, busy sites. While consumers usually enjoy being wowed or entertained, business buyers don’t have time for fluff and appreciate a simple, clear landing page.

The best web marketing copy also differs in B2B compared with B2C sites. In B2B, you should always present – as quickly and efficiently as possible – clear benefit statements, points of differentiation, and calls-to-action. You’re not writing to entertain – you’re writing to inform, quickly and efficiently.

 

3.  Focus on Visitor Benefits

Many marketers make the mistake of focusing on their products or services – and how awesome they are. But what business buyers really want to know is “what’s in it for me?” So focus your webpage content, calls-to-action and downloadable assets on benefits to the prospect.

 Boost your conversion rate when you request a complimentary Website Usability & Conversion Assessment, custom-tailored for you by our team of experts

Give business visitors something of value, something that will boost their knowledge or skills, and help them do their job better. Provide unique, helpful information, rather than a self-serving promotional piece about your company.

For example, studies on market research have a much higher conversion rate than marketing brochures. This is especially true if you promote the study by focusing on the benefits the reader will receive. So a good description for a white paper might be something like Find out how to increase your search marketing ROI or Case study on how 5 companies successfully used social media to generate leads.

 

4.  Create Unique, Compelling Calls-to-Action

You know what pages your visitors look at most, you have a clean landing page. At this point, your goal is simple: capture your visitors’ contact information. To do this, you need to identify the most effective calls-to-action (CTA).

Go back to your navigation summary report, and identify the navigation path.  For example, if your searchers are clicking through to your services page, you might create an asset for that page focusing on services in your industry, such as a guide, report, or white paper about your industry, and how to compare and contrast service providers.

The CTA – and the asset offered to your visitors – should vary from page to page, as you seek to align the asset offered with the information your searchers are seeking.

 

5.  Offer Value in Exchange for Contact Info

This is it, the goal of most B2B websites:  to capture contact information. In order to persuade your visitors to give up some privacy and give you their contact information, you need to provide something valuable in return.  Identifying the most attractive assets to offer will help convert more website visitors into qualified leads.

The more contact information you want (e.g. visitors’ phone numbers), the more valuable the asset needs to be. Reflect on your own experience – we tend to give out email addresses relatively easily (especially if we have a secondary email address), but we’re much more guarded about our phone number. If you want a phone number, you need to create something of great value that meets the visitors’ specific needs.

I hope you’ve profited from Part 1. Be sure to check out our March newsletter, which will feature How to Convert Your Web Visitors Into Leads – 10 Essential Tips – Part 2

Boost your conversion rate when you request a complimentary Website Usability & Conversion Assessment, custom-tailored for you by our team of experts

10
Jan

Web Marketing – 5 Need-to-Know Trends for 2012

The only thing that’s certain is change. And the only change that’s certain in web marketing is that every year will bring more and faster changes.

To compete in web marketing in 2012, it’s essential you have either a well-trained in-house team of experts – if you have the required resources – or hire a cost-effective, ROI-focused search marketing agency (the more cost effective option). That’s because search marketing is becoming more complex and diversified than ever before, as evidenced by these 5 key trends for 2012.

Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

Here are 5 important trends to watch in 2012:

  1. Increased Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic
  2. Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources
  3. The Rise of the Mobile Search Market
  4. Leveraging Google +1
  5. Google Sitelinks Opportunities

1.       Growing Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic

With the ongoing troubled economy, companies are watching the bottom line more than ever. One area coming under increasing scrutiny is web marketing. Traffic and rankings are a good story, but ultimately your job is conversion: turning visits into leads, customers and sales.  Your search marketing program must demonstrate measurable ROI.

Visibility and traffic are valid secondary metrics, but the ultimate success metric in search marketing is sales from search engine visitors.  Executives want ROI in terms of search-generated leads, customers and sales.

To ensure ROI-driven results, your search efforts and budget must include focus on post-click conversion and usability efforts.  Examples include

Robust landing page testing and improvement programs

Virtual website usability tests

A prioritized website improvement plan based on analytics data

2.       Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources

Is your company one of the many that puts too many eggs in too few baskets? Testing different traffic sources is essential, and can be one of the most profitable action items in web marketing. You’ve probably optimized your website, and are doing pay per click. But what about social media optimization, or testing paid advertising via alternate sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and more?

Ultimately the goal of any website is to find customers and grow sales, and one key to increasing sales is to test – and adjust – your traffic sources. Then increase focus and spending  on traffic that’s converting. For sources that aren’t, test changes such as different landing pages or calls-to-action. Sources that remain unprofitable should be scaled back or dropped.

 Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

3.       Rise of the Mobile Search Market

Increasingly business is no longer conducted solely during work hours at a desk.  According to a recent study by emarketer.com, 59% of business- to-business decision makers have used a smartphone to gather purchase information.

That means key decision makers are now researching on the go. They’re cutting deals while traveling, over lunch, or on the golf course.  So you need to

  • Update your SEO program to ensure you’re optimizing for smartphones and mobile devices
  • Test mobile PPC ads

This will help you stay in front of decision makers throughout the decision making cycle.

4.       Leveraging Google +1

Last year Google introduced +1 to enable people to recommend websites. It’s a democratization and socialization of the search process, with recommendations from real people like you.

Will Google +1 help search rankings or increase traffic? Only time will tell. But it’s likely to drive more traffic to your site since the more people recommend it, the more likely others will visit it. You can track Google +1 interactions via Google Analytics.

We recommend adding +1 to your web marketing immediately – you can always remove it later if the +1 button effort fails.

 5.       Google Sitelinks – Growing Opportunity

 The recent enhancement of Google Sitelinks provides a lot of opportunity for search marketers. Sitelinks now shows 12 interior pages in google results – up from 8. Also each interior page now includes a 1-line snippet which can help increase clicks.

Google is focusing on Sitelinks to help searchers directly access the most important pages on websites. This is a great opportunity for your business. Once set up, you get 13 opportunities (home page + 12 interior pages) rather than just 1. And while a site owner can’t decide which interior pages are displayed, with the right tools one can influence which pages are featured.

It’s a new year – and a great time to take a fresh perspective on the internet, the most powerful marketing tool in history. You’ll be better prepared and more successful when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan, custom-prepared for you and your market by our team of experts.