For B2B marketers, conversion rate optimization should be one of their biggest focus points. In this article we share a Guide for B2B Marketers: Conversion Optimisation (CRO) [And How To Avoid Most Common Mistakes]
After all, increasing your conversion rate means that your customers are doing exactly what they want them to do. What’s more, it can mean that they’re taking the necessary steps on the customer journey towards more purchases – which, for you, means more sales.
But what is conversion rate optimization and what are the biggest mistakes B2B marketers are making today? Is there anything you should do to overcome them?
In this article, we’ll be answering all three questions in-depth to help you boost your conversions.
What is Conversion Rate and Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Let’s define conversion rate first.
In a nutshell, the conversion rate is the rate (measured in percentages) at which customers take the desired action. Or, in other words, the rate at which they convert.
The desired action might be something as simple as clicking a link in an email, or it might be something much more impactful, such as making a purchase. It could even be turning website visitors into qualified leads (note, conversions are not the same thing as leads).
Whatever it is, failing to monitor your conversion rate and looking at where you can improve it means that you’re not paying enough attention to the customer journey. And when you don’t care enough about it you won’t understand what it is that made your customers drop off during their journey.
They might convert once or twice, or even three times, but it still might not be enough to turn them into returning customers.
Conversion rate optimization, on the other hand, is the practice of improving your conversion rate by making general and specific tweaks to factors like:
- Your drivers (what brings someone to your site?)
- Your barriers (what makes someone leave your site?)
- Your hooks (what is it that convinces someone to convert?)
Common Conversion Rate Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)
If you don’t nail your drivers, your barriers, and your hooks, you will miss out on a huge chunk of potential customers. All it can take is one or two tweaks to improve your baseline numbers and persuade a hesitant customer to take action.
Let’s take a look at the six most common mistakes B2B marketers are making – and how you can avoid them.
1. Not Defining Their Goals
A big mistake any B2B marketer can make is not defining their conversion goals. If they don’t define their goals, anything can be a conversion. Worse still, they could end up counting conversions that are completely meaningless.
Using an analogy, an NBA team might have racked up 10 three-pointers in the final quarter of the game. But while that looks great on the outside, imagine if they were already trailing by 40 points at the start of the final quarter, and the game was already dead? In such a scenario, the stats lose their meaning.
B2B marketers, therefore, need to define what matters to them. Which conversions will be a reliable indicator that your customer journey is working?
Good markers might be:
- Number of subscriptions
- Number of leads captured from the lead generation form
- Number of downloads
- Number of ‘trailing users’ (prospects that haven’t turned into customers yet)
- Churn rate
and others, depending on your preferences and needs.
Work out your goals and then you can measure them.
2. Not Gathering Enough Information in a Lead Capture Form
For B2B marketers, qualifying leads and getting their data is essential for segmentation.
Why is segmentation so important?
Because it means you can then start to present highly targeted offers to the right customers who are at specific points in the buying journey. So before you do anything else, it’s super important that you ask the right questions in the forms that you then add to your landing page.
The questions you need to ask depend on your niche and your target audience. Only once you intimately understand your target audience can you start asking the right questions which will, in turn, ensure you extract the right data. Then you can segment your leads.
3. Poor Design
Okay, so you’ve sent out an email to your leads. Or maybe customers have arrived on your landing page. What happens next?
A lot hinges on your design.
After all, if your design is weak (or, worse still, confusing), any value that was on there, and which would have helped you to build a relationship with your prospects, will be lost.
First impressions matter a lot. If a prospect arrives on your page or opens an email and can’t immediately see what’s in it for them (or why they should stick around), they will exit the website or close the email.
Indeed, the average page per session is just two seconds. This is woeful stuff that can be boosted by a few improvements to your design.
The smartest thing to do is to streamline your design so that anything that’s irrelevant or adds zero value is removed.
The ultimate aim should be to convey as much value as possible.
For instance, you can remove clutter by removing design elements that, while they might look good, will only distract the end user.
You should also keep your CTA’s to as few as possible – preferably just one per landing page or email. When you make your CTA, make sure its colours contrast with the rest of your page so that it stands out.
For example, on a landing page, you could use an orange CTA button that’s contrasted with a blue background.
4. A Confusing Call to Action
Your Call to Action isn’t quite the end-game when it comes to sales – but it goes a long way in making or breaking your conversion rate.
The CTA has only one goal: To tell people exactly what it is that they need to do next. For this reason, it must use simple, direct, and clear language, and it must be easy to find.
It also needs to employ strong action words, such as “Buy Now,” and – if possible – it should create a sense of ownership in the mind of the prospect.
For instance, by adding the words “Get YOUR free copy now,” you’re indicating to the prospect that the copy is already theirs. They just need to click the button. It’s also a smart idea to make it a low-risk offer, while at the same time creating a sense of urgency – for example, “limited time offer” always works.
The CTA should ideally be located at the end of your body copy, although you can get away with adding it into the middle of your text and at the end, too.
Perform a split test to see what works best. Here is a great case study showing the results of effectively A/B testing CTA button text in order to improve conversion rates. In this A/B test, Wisevu found an increase from 2.07% to 2.31% in click through rates (CTR) rates when they changed the CTA text from “Get a Quote” to “Free Quote”.
5. Lack of Customer Support
Poor customer service can drive a nail into the coffin of your conversion rates.
Too many B2B marketers focus exclusively on their website being the key touchpoint in the customer journey. And while it is a key touchpoint, there will be times when the information on your website isn’t enough to persuade someone to convert. Instead, they will seek out more answers – and this is where your customer support plays a role.
Naturally, you can employ an Artificial Intelligence-driven chatbot that provides some answers to the most basic queries. All the best marketers are doing this these days, and indeed chatbots have been shown to improve conversion rates.
So: yes, adding chatbots to your overall customer support is a sound idea. They’re “always on,” and with each conversation, they learn more information about their customers, and their needs and wants.
But chatbots can only do so much, especially in the B2B world, where human contact is important. Sometimes, and maybe even often, you will need a human agent to step in and nudge your customers over the line.
There will be times when a chatbot can’t answer a customer’s query. At this point, they need to be able to pass the lead over to your team (or even you directly).
Other times, a customer will arrive on your website flummoxed and will want to contact a human agent straight away (skipping the chatbot). As such, it’s super important that you make it clear on your website how people can reach you. Add your customer support contact details and consider adding an in-depth FAQ page to your website, too.
Here’s the thing, though: a major barrier to conversion is leaving customers waiting for a response for too long. You’ll want to slash your response time and make it easy and fast for customers to go from needing to contact you, to having a conversation with you.
6. False Ad Promises
Let’s imagine you’ve created an ad that directs leads to your landing page.
The problem is that your ad is promising one thing, while your landing page is offering something else. This can happen, and it’s another common mistake to deliver a hammer blow to conversion rates.
Site visitors don’t want to be confused. They want and need consistency. When creating your ads, make sure that whatever you promise matches what is on your landing page. Don’t surprise them.
There are a variety of mistakes B2B marketers make that really kill their conversion rates. Ultimately, rectifying things starts and ends with understanding your conversion goals.
Then, use the rest of the tips in this article to build a strong relationship with your prospects at every stage of their customer journey so that barriers get removed, trust increases – and then so do conversions.
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Matija is a marketing and tech enthusiast, both on and off work. You can never bother Matija with “just one more question” when it comes to marketing. He likes to get scientific about marketing, performing research on various related topics – sharing his insights and interpretations with like-minded enthusiasts.