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Obility’s Austin Peachey joins us once again to discuss conversion rate optimization (CRO) — specifically for B2B companies.
B2B SEOs know that, compared to B2C businesses, the sales cycle in B2B means multiple visits from potential customers before they make their final purchase. To help you encourage conversion, Austin covers four areas for optimization.
Hey there, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Austin Peachey, an SEO manager at Obility, a B2B-focused digital marketing agency based in Portland, Oregon. Today, I’d like to talk to you about conversion rate optimization, specifically optimizing sites for B2B organizations.
When compared to the offerings of a typical B2C business, the sales cycle in B2B means that users will be visiting your site multiple times throughout their sales cycle before making a final purchase, and it’s necessary that you are reaching them at different stages in their journey.
The earliest and sometimes overlooked step in conversion rate optimization is actually click-through rate optimization.
Increasing the traffic to your site from Google search results can help grow your potential pipeline and increase total leads. Google Search Console is a fantastic tool to review and optimize your listings on search page results. Audit your queries and pages and find out which are the lowest performing. For example, pull in a report of all things that have a click-through rate of less than 1%.
Once you’ve targeted your underperformers, review the title tags and meta descriptions. Start out with the easy things, like are they getting truncated and your full message isn’t showing up. But go beyond that and actually evaluate the language being used. Are you providing incentive for them to click on you versus a competitor? Is there a CTA? If not, try adding one. It can also be helpful to look at the pages that do have a high click-through rate and see what is written for their title and their description.
What’s different and what could be moved from a high performer to a low performer to try to replicate those results?
Know your audience
The next step in conversion rate optimization is to know your audience. This is especially important when it comes to B2B businesses as you have individuals from many different roles exploring your site, providing input and ultimately making critical decisions.
Don’t make assumptions and let the data help you along the way. Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and heat mapping tools, like Hotjar and Crazy Egg, can provide valuable insights to your customers and how they interact with your website. When using a heat mapping tool, you can see how far users are typically scrolling down your page, and from that you can get a lot of different insights.
For example, if they don’t get very far down your page, but all your CTAs are in the footer, try moving a second CTA mid-page that might capture more of the audience that isn’t getting all the way to the bottom. You can also use heat mapping tools to see where users usually click on the site. If they continuously click on a piece of content that doesn’t have a link, that continuous click most likely means that they want to click there and read more about it.
So you can improve the user experience by going in and adding one to the relevant content. Follow your user’s journey with Google Analytics and see where in the funnel they might commonly drop off and is there an opportunity to shorten the time from entry to the site to where your site’s conversion points are. A key point of knowing your audience is to be mindful of where they are in the buying process.
Take a look at the keywords that are driving traffic to that page using a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer. If they are using long tail keywords, they’re more likely a more seasoned user and are ready for a gated asset, like a white paper or a case study. But if it’s short tail keywords, they’re probably still in the discovery phase and just want to read a blog post or a recent article. Try not to think of things as a marketer, but instead put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers.
Figure out what they want and not what you want them to want.
Solve for poor UX
Now that you know your audience, the next step is to solve for poor user experience on the website. User experience tip number one, please remove the pop-up from your website. No one wants to go to a page and immediately have a big ad block the content they’re trying to see.
They’re going to that page for a reason, and it’s not to have them be redirected somewhere else on the site. Once you have gotten rid of all of the pop-ups, the next step is to optimize your top navigation of your site. Make sure it’s easy to access all the different areas of your site’s content and make sure that you have a CTA available in the header to easily send them to conversion points.
To help optimize your navigation, track what people are searching for using site search in Google Analytics and make sure the topics that they are searching for on a regular basis are easy enough to find. Next step is to review your content and add internal links to relevant pieces of content that may help the user with their decision-making process.
Technical health is also important. Make sure that your site loads quickly and users aren’t running into broken links all the time that will then hinder them on their process of discovery and learning more about your product. The last thing I’d like to discuss, when it comes to user experience, are contact forms.
As mentioned before, you could have anyone from a small team manager to a C-suite executive looking through your site, and they want a form that’s going to be quick and easy to use. Only collect the data that is needed to get the conversion and don’t bog them down with extra form fields that don’t mean anything. Now I wouldn’t be talking about conversion rate optimization if I didn’t mention optimizing your CTAs.
When it comes to CTAs, you want to make sure that they’re unique and relevant to the content of the page. Skip out on the Contact Us and Learn More that’s on every single site and really try and tailor it to what’s happening. If your content is about the benefits of your software, say something like, “Don’t believe the hype and try a demo to see for yourself.” It’s really going to push them to make that conversion more than just learn more.
The final thing, when it comes to conversion rate optimization, is testing. Test everything. There’s so much data being collected and analyzed, so there’s no reason that you need to be making all of your changes just based on hunches. If you see something underperforming on your site, set up an A/B test or a multivariate test to gather information on what really works best for your users.
Software like Google Optimize or Optimizely let you easily conduct these tests and make strong, data-driven changes to your site. There are so many potential things you can test. Try different ways of saying things, different colors of buttons or components, or even entire layouts completely. But just as you’re doing the testing, remember to go through the five phases of testing something.
One is the research phase. What can you learn from your data as it is right now? Two, the hypothesis phase, what educated ideas can you think of to potentially test? Three, the prioritization phase, what changes are going to have the biggest impact on your site and make sure you’re doing those first to drive further conversions in the future.
Four, the testing phase, run and collect your data, whether it’s an A/B test or a multivariate test, and make sure you can get some substantial evidence to make a permanent change on your site. Then five, the learning phase, what can you learn from these tests to make other further improvements in the future? Remember, the only failed test is one where you don’t learn anything.
Well, that’s it, everybody. That is our best tips for conversion rate optimization. Thank you for listening and I hope you all have a great day.