A B2B website will always take up a large part of any marketing budget – and for good reason. No business can survive without paying customers, so it’s crucial that adequate resources and investment are made into a site to ensure it successfully generates leads.
First impressions count and you will only have a 3-7 second window to capture the attention of any website visitor before they leave and potentially head straight to a competitor’s site.
To grab them, you need to immediately make it clear what products and services are being offered and how they add value. Also, bear in mind that website visitors won’t necessarily land on your homepage, they may come through to an interior page that relates to a search query. That means every page needs to be consistent in its design, features, and quality if you are to create a positive brand message.
Each page of the website should be aiming to increase the number of leads being generated and to maximise your B2B website ROI, by guiding visitors through a pre-designed sales funnel.
So, what’s the secret to building an engaging, lead generation focused website that really works?
Have a customer-centric website design
Take a good look at your website, its content and how easy it is to use. How customer-centric is it? Do you guide visitors from one step to the next focusing on their needs, or are you just talking about yourself? How easy is your website to use? How quickly can a visitor find the information they want? Also, if your website design is not ‘responsive’ (meaning it won’t automatically adapt to any screen size) then you won’t be found easily on search engines.
Top Tip 1: Write like a human. The days of sterile, corporate brochure talk are over.
Top Tip 2: Avoid using generic stock images. Invest in getting your own library of photos done by a professional photographer. Capture your own people at work.
Offer strategic, high quality content
Search engines are actively seeking new, compelling and engaging content. It is their aim to provide the most relevant search results for users. The best way for them to do this is to provide problem solving content relevant to the search query entered. Subsequently, search engines will reward websites who create content that attracts and engages visitors with a high page ranking.
While a big proportion of a marketing budget will be spent on creating content, it is important to make sure there is a strategy behind it and that methods of best practice are followed. This will ensure it is effective for your target markets. Content should be created to improve your chances of being seen by the right people, at the right time, offering the right information.
Content assets to consider producing include: blogs, SlideShare presentations, videos and white papers.
Be socially connected and active
Social media is a big deal nowadays and a vast number of your target prospects will be engaging with these types of networks regularly. That means that any B2B website needs to be fully integrated with social media if it’s to capitalise on this trend and help you build and maintain a relationship off-page. It’s important to make it easy for your visitors to share your content across their social profiles, as well as finding their way to your social posts.
Building an off-page relationship can help increase engagement, resulting in deeper brand recognition and eventually in more leads.
Use tried and tested calls to action
Calls to action (CTAs) are typically used to prompt a visitor to click through and continue down the sales funnel. They are an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy, especially as conversion rates can be clearly measured. As well as positioning your CTAs to balance a page well and be aesthetically pleasing, make sure you are testing variations of copy and page positioning. User testing such as heat maps or split tests will give you a much greater insight into the way prospects interact with your website. Learn from these tests as it could help dramatically improve your conversions.
Optimize landing pages
Landing pages are your bread and butter as a marketer. The secret to an effective landing page is optimization, which is key if they are to support your online lead generation efforts. Try out different approaches and track them, so you gain accurate data about which ones are working and which ones aren’t, plus the reasons that may be. Keep testing, reviewing and enhancing your offering to find the strongest and most effective combination.
Grab all potential leads
Make sure you have a plan in place for exactly what you’re going to do with all the leads coming into your website, to make sure you are making the most of every single one. 98% of website visitors won’t make contact with you, but they too present an opportunity. With IP tracking software such as Lead Forensics, you can see exactly who has visited your website and whether they’ve contacted you or not. You’ll also be able to see what referring site they came from and what they do when on your site, giving you a good indication of what they may be interested in.
Online lead generation can be a very valuable marketing tool and your website will sit at the heart of that. Look where you need to make improvements, regularly test and refine what you’re offering and how, and have a plan in the place to optimize how you capture leads and what you then do with them. Get it right and your site will soon be working hard for you.