Our agency is taking a sonic dive into the world of audio with our new podcast: The Crux.
The Crux is a monthly discussion on digital marketing and advertising strategies, challenges, success stories, and trends. The show offers candid advice and actionable tactics to help marketing professionals and business owners improve their online traffic, visibility, and leads.
In the first episode, Robbie Bolog and I introduced the podcast series and covered common issues with conversion rate optimization (CRO) for business-to-business websites. We’ve added the key points discussed in the podcast below, but you can hear the full conversion on CRO using the audio player or platforms listed above.
Getting Started with Conversion Rate Optimization
What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Conversion Rate Optimization is generally defined as the process of increasing the percentage of visitors that take a desired action (or convert in marketers’ terms) on your website. CRO involves the experimentation and alteration of website design, text, user experience, and conversion prompts (often called calls-to-action or CTAs) to improve the overall rate of conversions.
Measuring B2B Conversion Activity
To measure conversion rates, marketers should implement tracking over key conversion points or steps within conversion funnels. There are a number of analytics platforms that can achieve this, ranging from basic event tracking code snippets to comprehensive user behavior tracking and heat-mapping platforms. At Climb, we favor the metrics, data integrity, and ease of implementation of Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics – these platforms offer a convenient way to implement and analyze conversions for common B2B event types.
Rather than generating revenue and sales directly on the website property like eCommerce websites, B2B websites tend to lead users to initiate contact with a brand’s sales apparatus or will often place users in a marketing or sales funnel. Common B2B website conversions typically include form submissions, CTA clicks, email entries, or engagement with clickable phone numbers or email addresses. B2B forms tend to include general contact forms along with requests for quotes or consultations.
Common Issues with CRO for B2B Websites
- Generic or Convoluted Content
B2B product or service offerings are often very technical in nature, and this can make it tough to create website text that’s concise, compelling, and easy to understand. Some B2B brands will only offer customized solutions rather than a standardized product or service offering, making it difficult to describe the nature of the business in layman’s terms.
A lack of clarity about what products or services your business offers tends to hurt user engagement as a whole, including the likelihood of conversions. This not only applies to text, it also applies to images and multimedia – stock photos often won’t convey the unique offerings and qualities of your business. For CRO and your broader digital marketing strategy, it’s crucial to have concise, accurate, and compelling content about the products or services your business offers.
- A Lack of Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
A call-to-action, or CTA, is a term used by marketers to define prompts to direct users toward conversion points on a website. CTAs are typically set up as buttons, banners, or text link prompts.
It’s not enough just to have a single “Contact Us” link in your website’s main navigation menu. Marketers and website managers should get creative with adding CTAs to every landing page on a website to ensure that users are compelled to provide their contact information, advance to a new page, or further engage with your website.
- An Inability to Track Conversions
Implementing Google Analytics on its own usually isn’t enough to track conversions across your website, and you can’t tell whether you’ve improved your conversion rate if you don’t have a baseline on the current number and percentage of users that are taking desired actions on your website. While Google Analytics will give you an overview of user behavior, it’s not going to let you dive into conversion activity unless you’re solely looking at destination page traffic or behavior paths – but that data often isn’t particularly insightful.
We strongly recommend setting Google Analytics up within a Google Tag Manager workspace and implementing it on your website properties. Tag Manager makes event tracking for clicks (like CTA or phone number clicks) or form activity (like contact form submissions, newsletter sign-ups, or quote requests) relatively simple. You’ll typically only need to identify and submit information such as a link’s class, text, or desination URL for click-tracking and a form’s class, ID, or URL location for form submission events.
Quick Fixes to Improve CRO
- Limit Contact Forms to Essential Information
Every so often, contact forms are so excessive in length that users are intimidated or annoyed by the effort required to complete them. Almost no one wants to fill out a contact form with 20 fields, especially if they’re trying to do so on a mobile device.
Website managers should aim to limit contact form fields to information that’s essential to replying to the user or entering them into an email list or marketing automation workflow. Additional information can be gathered from follow-up calls or emails – your contact form doesn’t have to solicit all information required to make a sale. Request a quote or consultation forms typically require more information to provide an accurate estimate, but the same principle applies: limit forms to essential questions.
- Include Prominent, Clickable Phone Numbers
Recent studies suggest that website traffic from mobile devices totals to about 60% of all activity. If you’re not optimizing your website to make it easy for mobile users to call your business, you’re missing a major opportunity.
Not only should phone numbers be prominent, consider adding “tel:” hyperlinks to allow users to call you directly with a click. In B2B industries where products or services are particularly nuanced, prospective buyers and customers often want to speak to a company representative to ensure the company can meet their needs. For an added layer of data and insight, call-tracking platforms like CallRail can tie phone call activity back to the website session and acquisition source.
- Track your Conversion Rates
As we mentioned above, if you’re not tracking the conversion activity on your website, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to decide how to go about improving conversion rate. Before you take any steps to improve CRO, you should get event tracking in place for any conversion points on your website or steps within your conversion funnels. That typically involves setting up a measurement plan within Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, or another tracking platform.
We Want Your Feedback on Our Podcast!
Do you have any comments or questions for us about our discussion on CRO? Have any future topics you think we should cover on our podcast? You can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and your feedback will be featured on a future episode.
This was our first episode, so bear with us as we find our voices and discover ways to work more riveting conversation and witty banter into our show. If you enjoyed the episode, please consider subscribing or following The Crux on your preferred streaming platform. We’ll be back next month with our second episode!