10 Quick Fixes to Make Your Website Marketing More Effective

website marketingMost companies (including 90% plus of B2B companies, utilize website marketing as part of their lead-to-revenue (L2R) process. Whether you use your website for creating awareness, educating prospects, generating leads or selling directly (e.g. via eCommerce) – you need to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. At our company, we get to see and make recommendations about lots of websites. While a few need little or no attention, the vast majority can benefit from implementing one or more of the following strategies:

  1. Update your website to be responsive (mobile friendly). According to Hitwise – and backed up by Google’s own statistics – nearly 60 percent of searches are now conducted via mobile devices. The number is lower for B2B but still constitutes a major portion of search traffic. If your website is not optimized to be viewed and interacted with on mobile devices, you may be missing a bit chunk of your potential market.
  2. Add some fresh content. Website visitors love fresh content and so does the Google search algorithm. This is one of many reasons why you should consider adding a blog to your website infrastructure.
  3. Refresh your old content. Periodically go back and rewrite parts of static web pages. Likewise, update old blog posts with new links and a bit of new text. You can also do this with video and audio clips. This is a great way to get these pages ranked higher and also make them appear as fresh posts on your blog page/site.
  4. Create another conversion option.  Is there something of value you can give away in return for capturing contact data from your prospects? If so, create a new offer and landing page and make sure you provide links to the landing page from several different parts of your website. This step alone can go a long way towards increasing your website marketing effectiveness.
  5. Go deeper on some content. There are two ways to accomplish this. First, you can create content pages for specific (and often narrowly focused) keyword terms. Second, is to write long-form pages that go very deep into a particular keyword area. HubSpot calls these pages “pillar posts” and they can be as long as 8-10,000 words, or as long as 10-20 individual blog posts.
  6. Optimize a few pages for organic search.  You probably spent a fair amount of time and money to create your website – now you need to make sure you get found by implementing search engine optimization (SEO). Use tools like the Google Keyword Planner, ubersuggest.io, semrush.com and moz.com to figure out what Google thinks your site represents today and what your keywords should be going forward.
  7. Speed your page load time.  Slow page load times (e.g. over 2 seconds) cause user abandonment. Pingdom.com is an excellent free tool to test your load times and gives you grades in specific performance areas. If you have a problem (and you probably do) there are lots of things you can do like scaling and compressing your images. Here is an article from Kissmetrics that provides a good tutorial on the subject.
  8. Improve your calls to action (CTA). Lack of strong CTAs is one of my biggest website gripes. Make sure you put your CTAs where they are easily seen and state specifically what you want the visitor to do: download, submit, order, etc.
  9. Include good search capability. Web visitors are impatient and don’t want to struggle to locate content. Of course you want to make your stuff easy to find by proper menus and structure. Some visitors like to navigate but a significant minority like to search. You may benefit from including this feature on your website if you have a lot of content and/or a complex navigation structure. But one caveat: make sure you thoroughly test your search feature for accuracy. Bad search functionality is worse than none.
  10. Make your website more social media friendly. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh old blog posts, videos, etc., as mentioned in website fix two. You can also institute one-click instant sharing and perhaps the ability for users to sign-up with LinkedIn or Facebook login.

Some of these fixes can be implemented within a few hours while others may take several weeks. But the point is, the time to get started is now, so pick one item and get on the right path towards greater website marketing success.

Why You Need a Strong Web Presence to Meet Your Lead Objectives

marketing in b2b
When I talk to business executives about web presence, I get an interesting mix of responses:

  • What is a strong web presence and why do I care?
  • I sell a/an (infrastructure/sophisticated technology/enterprise/ services/ international) product to businesses. How do I know my customers are on the Internet?
  • We just spent $X on a website upgrade/replacement. Doesn’t that give us a strong web presence?
  • We just had an SEO/SEM firm optimize our site. We now have a top ten ranking for keywords X, Y and Z.

Let’s start with the first response: "Why do I care?" Whether you’re selling to business or consumers, you care because your customers and partners are active on the Internet. In fact, it’s getting very hard to find any business professionals that don’t use the Internet to find, learn, compare, evaluate, or select the products and services they want for their organization. After all, it’s faster and cheaper to build a short list of vendor candidates with a little online research than it is to orchestrate a long parade of outside sales reps and hold innumerable vendor meetings.

If the Internet is such a great resource and productivity enhancement for your buyer, then what does that do for you, the seller?

Your Business Objectives

Whatever B2B product or service you provide, a predictable, growing revenue stream is likely a critical business objective. Just as the web increases productivity for your buyers, it’s also available to you to as a seller to improve your marketing and sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Here’s a short list of marketing and sales business objectives critical to almost any business.

  • Create better consistency and predictability in B2B lead generation
  • Build an increasing flow of qualified leads
  • Decrease the cost per lead
  • Shorten the sales cycle

Improving Marketing & Sales KPIs

Your website and web presence are critical to improving these KPIs. The goal is to elevate your website from an online brochure to a B2B lead generation machine. Online signage merely shows your prospects and customers that you exist and provides information about your products, solutions and company. Many times, that signage is presented with a compelling and striking visual graphic design. But is that enough?

Instead, our goal is to drive marketing and sales KPIs, improving revenue performance. A strong web presence with a lead generation machine website positively impacts these KPIs. Let’s revisit the previous four marketing and sales business objectives in the context of web presence and lead generation.

  • Create better consistency and predictability in B2B lead generation – The web offers a multitude of opportunities for building effective and measurable marketing campaigns. Even with small scale campaigns, one can identify tactics and program costs required to drive predictable lead flow. Using a blend of tactics, the new question becomes: What is the required number of leads required to meet revenue targets? You’ll find a great article covering this topic in more depth at How Many Sales Leads (Do You Really Need)?
  • Build an increasing flow of qualified leads – As you grow your web marketing, B2B visitor traffic and prospect inquiries will correspondingly increase. By refocusing the website on lead generation, we want to deploy tactics that convert website visitor traffic into actionable leads for your sales team. Increased website traffic and improving website conversion ratios is a key part of the recipe for more leads.
  • Decrease the cost per lead – Increased website-originated leads through pull marketing tactics result in an amazing pull marketing phenomenon. Prospects find your business and choose to engage with you. And the marketing program cost to attract those prospects is lower than the cost associated with push marketing in B2B (e.g. advertising). As online pull marketing tactics take effect, your blended cost per lead drops.
  • Shorten the sales cycle – One of the significant challenges facing a B2B organization is the constantly lengthening sales cycles. By adding pull marketing tactics, B2B prospects find you, often engaging at a point in their buying cycle when they’re sales-ready. Your website helps address the education, self qualification, and needs assessment portion at the top of your sales funnel. More prospects start engaging your sales teams further down the sales cycle. To learn more, here’s a recent blog post on How to Shorten the B2B Sales Cycle.

As a result, business objectives drive the need to achieve better, more cost effective lead generation. And a key pillar of better lead generation is an optimized website with strong web presence. Looking forward, we’ll delve deeper into specific characteristics of strong web presence and your website as a lead generation machine.

Winning Digital Marketing Strategies

I just had the opportuntity to participate in an interesting eBook project.  The DigitalMarketingOne.com folks (part of CustomerThink) brought 15 highly experienced authors together (including yours truly) to produce an eBook titled Strategic Roadmap for Digital Marketing in 2011: eBook for Marketing Execs.  The book covers three primary subject areas:
  1. Channels: advertising, search marketing, mobile marketing and social media marketing.
  2. Techniques: content marketing, lead management, revenue performance management and customer marketing.
  3. Optimization: accountability, ROI, management practices and technology strategy.

My chapter deals with the critically important subject of lead management.  Why, you may ask, is lead management so darned important?  Because generating leads is only part of the battle. To be successful in the end-to-end marketing and sales process, you have to manage your leads in such a way as to convert as many of them as possible into sales opportunities and then into new customers.  This means you have to capture leads, and offer the right content at the right time.  You need to apply nurturing techniques that make the prospect feel that he or she is buying in a way that is comfortable – as opposed to being sold.

Do yourself a favor and download the eBook to learn from some of the best digital marketing experts.  The price is right (free) and you don’t even have to give your contact information to receive a copy.  You can pick up your copy here.

Cheers,

Chris

Website Marketing – Do You Need to Tweak or Redo Your Site?

At Fusion Marketing Partners, we get the chance to talk to a lot of companies about their websites. Since we work with companies that depend on their website as an important part of their B2B marketing and sales strategy, our ability to diagnose and find areas for improvement is very important.  And we rarely find a website that can’t benefit from an upgrade. But the question is, What is the scope of the project – is it a major or minor effort to whip the website (and the company’s online presence), into shape?

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