Most B2B websites miss the mark when it comes to engaging visitors, boosting conversions and driving sales. Here are five major mistakes that cause many B2B websites to fail …
If you think of your marketing as a solar system, your website is your sun.
Most – if not all – of the content that you create orbits around your website. Your social posts and ads drive people to pages where they can opt in for your content. Prospects go to your website to learn about your products and contact sales reps. Your website contains your thought leadership and is a strong reflection of your brand.
So, why do so many B2B websites miss the mark?
Forrester identified 10 basic criteria for effective B2B websites. Then, it evaluated 30 companies against these criteria. Unfortunately, only four out of the 30 companies passed the test.
One major problem is that B2B websites don’t give visitors enough valuable content. A TechTarget report revealed that 65% of buyers download four to seven pieces of content before they create a vendor shortlist. So, if your website lacks useful content, you won’t get as many conversions, leads and sales.
Here are five more reasons why your B2B website may fail to engage customers:
1. You don’t have enough case studies on your site.
Today’s B2B buyers want proof that your products and services deliver results. When they need a new product, they are more likely to seek peer recommendations than sales content.
Case studies are an excellent way to provide buyers with social proof that your products and services deliver results. In fact, a hawkeye study found that between 71% and 77% of B2B buyers think case studies are the most influential type of content.
Displaying case studies prominently on your website can enhance your credibility and help you attract more high-quality leads. Telling stories from your customers’ perspective – not your sales team’s perspective – also makes your brand more relatable and human.
2. You talk about your company, not your customers.
As a marketer, you face a Catch-22. Other people in your company may push you to talk about your features, your news and how great you are. However, you know that customers don’t care about these things. Instead, they want to see that you understand their challenges.
“The biggest problem [with B2B websites] is that the majority of content talks about the company, what its products and services do, and how many awards they’ve won, but doesn’t speak to the issues their prospective buyers are trying to solve,” said Laura Ramos, VP-principal analyst at Forrester.
The more you focus on your customers, the better results you will achieve. Customers will be more willing to opt in for your content, buy your products and recommend you to others.
3. Your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for.
Take a step back from your website and look at it from a customer’s perspective. Is your key information easy to find?
The 2015 B2B Website Usability Report found that most vendor websites are lacking basic information – including their contact details and product information.
If customers can’t find what they’re looking for, your website might be too complicated. For example, you may have important information buried underneath layers of navigation. Or you might put information about Product X front and center, when your customers really want to learn more about Product Y.
Check your analytics to see how visitors are interacting with your website. What are they looking for? Where are they spending the most time? Where are they clicking away from your site?
4. You don’t have enough opt-in offers.
You likely have premium content that customers can opt in for, such as white papers or webinars. And you likely promote these offers on your blog and in ads throughout your site.
However, you can take your offers a step further to give your conversions a big boost. One way to do this is by creating content upgrades or “tie ins” for your blog posts.
For example, if you publish a blog post on network security, you can offer readers a checklist that helps them determine their level of risk. Since your readers are interested in the topic, they will likely want the additional resource.
Creating a content upgrade isn’t as involved as creating a white paper or ebook. Two-page documents, such as checklists, cheat sheets and tool recommendations are easy to create and useful for your readers.
However, it can become cumbersome to create a content upgrade for all of your blog posts. Start by creating upgrades for your top-performing posts. You can also plan a blog post series around a specific topic and reuse your upgrade on all of these posts.
Click here to download a Content Upgrade Checklist that takes you through the steps of creating these targeted resources.
5. You don’t tell stories.
Stories help you cut past the “sales speak” and connect with B2B buyers.
Yesware blogged about the psychology of storytelling for sales. According to the blog post, “A series of experiments performed by neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak found that stories that are highly engaging and contain key elements — including a climax and denouement – can elicit powerful empathic responses by triggering the release of oxytocin. Often referred to as the ‘trust hormone,’ this neurochemical promotes connection and encourages people to feel empathy. When released in the brain of your prospect it can help to build trust in your brand or product, and in doing so increase sales.”
Where do you have opportunities to use stories? How can you use them to connect with your ideal customers?
Most B2B websites are missing the mark when it comes to engaging customers.
According to Forrester, the first thing to check is whether your website talks about your company or talks about things that interest your customers. The better you align your website with what your customers want to know, the better results you will achieve.
3 Ways to Apply This Information Now
- Download the Content Upgrade Checklist: 9 Steps to Turbocharging Your List Building with Targeted Resources.
- Read “The Most Important Question That You’re Not Asking Your B2B Customers” for tips that will help you better engage your target audience.
- Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.