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B2B Conversion Rate Optimization for SMEs
B2B companies are moving away from traditional purchasing to more strategic procurement approaches. Buyers are increasingly seeking long-term relationships with suppliers. Therefore, the importance of identifying the right partners within the supply chain can be critical in today’s competitive global market.
When buyers identify potential suppliers on B2B portals, they naturally go to the supplier’s website to do further research. Due to extensive supplier information available online, buyers have the possibility of staying anonymous for a longer period during the procurement cycle. Thus, online conversion with potential leads visiting your company website is doubly important. In B2B business, a conversion can be classified as either a contact or product information request. Unfortunately, only ~ 1 % of visitors on B2B websites become potential leads.
Converting website visitors into leads
B2B websites are primarily used to serve as an “extended business card.” Increased online research in the initial identification phase of the B2B purchasing process online stresses the importance of optimizing the company website for potential customers. It is therefore important to differentiate between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and B2B Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
Search Engine Optimization is the task of optimizing a corporate website by improving those website elements which contribute to an algorithm which increases visibility on global search engines like Google and Chinese Baidu. However, marketers are struggling with yet another challenge: converting visitors into actual leads. This is where the conversion rate comes in.
The general purpose of B2B Conversion Rate Optimization on company websites is to encourage visitors to leave their contact information on your website. How can this be achieved?
Personalizing the user experience
To improve conversion rates of visitors from search engine ads, one has to meet specific needs following the clicking of the ad. Once a prospect responds to the advertisement of a certain product, he/she should be redirected to a corresponding product site, or landing page. It is highly irritating to be sent to the main page instead. Exporting SMEs usually have 3 – 5 main product groups. For SEA campaigns, B2B companies should create individual landing pages for each of their product groups.
Landing pages should look as follows:
- The structure should be simple. Header and footer navigation can be left out.
- Convincing contact elements on landing pages guide users.
- A visual in the upper range creates necessary emotions.
- A list of unique selling points should be seen right away and subconsciously convince the visitor of the merits of the product.
Clear user guidance
Visitors want to be guided on a website and to be informed about possible next steps. This idea is far more common in B2C website design than it is in B2B. However, it is just as important within the B2B world to show a visitor where and how to get in touch, as it is to display a “Buy now” button on B2C websites. Therefore, call to actions (CTAs), which redirect the visitor to another page, or open a contact form, should be placed at the bottom of every website and landing page.
Things to consider with CTAs for achieving an ideal conversion rate:
Provide an incentive to the visitor for clicking on the CTA, e.g. “Get your free 30-day trial,” as opposed to a simple ”Contact us”.
The CTA must be recognizable by its color. Choose a signal color and keep the CTA design consistent throughout the website.
A CTA should be placed after a product description or a detailed offer. In other words, where a visitor is inclined to make a decision.
Contact forms also have to follow certain guidelines in order to not scare a visitor off. Many B2B companies tend to ask for a lot of information in an effort to make the sales process easier. However, this considerably decreases conversion rate.
Hints for well-performing contact forms:
- Reduce the number of contact fields. Is it really necessary to get the prospect’s address and telephone number at this point? Leave out optional fields: they are optional, so one does not need them anyway
- Immediately mark an invalid entry, and not when the user is done.
- Consider adjusting fields for international business. (In China, contact forms usually have only one field for the name, unlike the US where there is one for first, last, and middle name.)
Adjust website elements depending on target country
Multilingual websites and landing pages are a must-have in export business. Small adjustments corresponding to the target country’s preference can already lead to a significant B2B Conversion Rate Optimization:
- Provide a local contact person for each target region, ideally with a photo to generate a positive image and trust. Contact information should include local address, email and telephone number. Local contact persons on websites ensure to the visitor that he/she will be understood if they decide to contact you.
- Consider local sales numbers when choosing a product photo for marketing purposes. Some products might arouse more interest in your company than others.
- If prices or delivery time-frames are displayed, it is invaluable to consider differences in currency, punctuation, and manners in which the date is written.
Final tip: Consider using external providers for data enrichment
Once you have received more client requests as a result of your B2B Conversion Rate Optimizations, they should be prioritized. International business can cause insecurities, due to a shortage of the availability of valid data. Many Chinese companies, for example, work with non-business-related email providers, such as QQ or 163, which makes it more difficult to find out who is contacting you. Contact requests also tend to be more informal. SMEs should not be discouraged by this, and should use external providers for data enrichment. They could also provide information about the business partner’s credit-worthiness and financial situation. This way, one is able to prioritize online-inquiries efficiently and contact the promising prospects more quickly.
Even small changes on your website can have a huge impact on your conversion rate and client acquisition.
Kyto happily assists you with your online marketing challenges. We optimize the global online presence of SMEs by managing their trade directory and market platform entries as well as offering individual search engine marketing. This is how it works.
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