How B2B Websites Generate Leads
Ask any small business owner what they want from their website and the answer will invariably be, “sales leads”.
Sales leads mean different things to different businesses. Some want to grow their mailing list. Others want to meet active buyers. And some just want more conversations.
But at the end of the day, everyone wants potential buyers to take action on their website.
In this article we’ll look at some ways to supercharge your B2B website to get the most sales leads possible.
Know Your Audience
When you visit a B2B website it’s not always obvious who they want to work with.
Check out almost any professional services website. Are their services primarily aimed at Fortune 500 companies? Or do they work with 1 man companies? It’s often hard to tell.
Part of your b2b value proposition is having a clearly defined market segment that you serve. Make it clear who your target clients are.
Check out rollpark.us. There is absolutely NO ambiguity about what they do, or who they serve.
Start by asking who you want to take action. Is your focus too broad? Maybe you need to be more specific about your targeting?
Then ask yourself this question:
Will my desired buyers recognize themselves?
When we design a b2b website for a narrow audience it feels like we are excluding potential clients. And no one wants to feel like they are missing out on promising opportunities.
But in practice, being intentional about who you help, and how you help them works wonderfully. When the reader understands that your solution was designed with them in mind, they’re more likely to take action.
Imagine you are a corporate lawyer searching for a search engine optimization firm. Would you take action on a website that helps small businesses? Or on a website that helps lawyers? Probably the second one.
Niching down is scary, but when the right prospect comes along your focus means they’ll know you’re the right solution for them.
Speed Up Your Website
One of the easiest ways to generate more sales leads is to speed up your website loading times. When site visitors find themselves waiting for a page to load, they just leave. There is no shortage of info on the internet, so they’ll look elsewhere.
You can accelerate your load times by improving on-site and off-site elements. On-site you can reduce image sizes, compress CSS, and use Gzip for file compression. Off-site, you can switch to faster servers and use a CDN to deliver content.
GTmetrix is a great tool to find ways to check and improve your site speed. Just put in a URL and it’ll evaluate your page and offer suggestions to improve speed.
The thing about load times is that very small improvements have a huge impact.
Akamai interviewed 1048 online shoppers to determine their purchase habits. They found:
- 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- 47% of people expect pages to load in two seconds or less.
- 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with the website will go elsewhere next time.
Gomez (now Dynatrace) interviewed 1500 people and found similar results. Their research indicates that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Finally, a study by Aberdeen found that a one second delay in page-load can cause 11% fewer page views and a 7% loss in customer conversions.
Use Trust Signals
Your website visitors will arrive at lots of conclusions about your company based only on what they see on your website.
Is it fair? Absolutely not.
But it’s not going to change. So design your b2b website with trust signals in mind.
Consider two nearly identical consulting firms. One has a brochure website with 3 pages. And the contact page is just a form with no information.
The other website has an extensive blog. And includes information about the people in the company. Their phone number is in the header. And their address is on the contact page.
Between these two companies, which one would you contact? Probably the second one.
In fact, once on a website, 64% of visitors say they want to see the contact information.
Here are some trust signals to include on your website:
- Team photos instead of stock photos
- A phone number
- An address
- An active blog
- A social presence
- Case studies
- Media mentions
- Trust Seals
Be careful about what trust seals you use on your website. Research from Actual Insights (now Trust Signals) found that:
- Trustmarks matter for conversions. 48% of consumers don’t trust a site without a valid trust seal.
- Only a handful of trust seals are recognized by average web users. And 64% of those surveyed said unknown logos affected their level of trust.
- If your trust marks aren’t recognizable, then you may be better without them. In fact, 76% of survey respondents had not purchased something because they hadn’t recognized the logo.
So which Trust Seals are well recognized? Here’s the winners:
So be intentional about the trust signals you provide on your website. Your conversion rate depends on it!
Provide A Reason To Take Action
The number one reason people don’t take the desired action on a B2B website is there is no reason to do so.
Try a quick experiment. Visit 20 random small professional services websites. How many of them have “Contact Us For a Free Consultation” as the call to action (CTA).
A free consultation furthers YOUR goals. But it doesn’t address the needs of your site visitor. Everyone knows why YOU want them to fill in the form. But what do they get out of the deal? A discovery call isn’t as appealing as you might think.
Your site visitors are trying to solve a problem.
So, be EMPATHETIC.
Picture yourself as your prospective client. What information do you need to take the relationship further? What do you most want to achieve by visiting the site?
Make it easy for visitors to exchange their contact details for the information they want. If they want pricing information then add 1 or 2 fields to your capture form so you can send them an indicative quote.
If you aren’t sure what approach to take, try a hybrid approach. Instead of a hard lead or soft lead, offer an interactive approach – like a webinar.
When you offer your visitors something of value, they are more likely to act than if you request something that serves your purposes (ie a meeting).
Prove It Using Reviews & Testimonials
When was the last time you bought something online? You checked out the reviews, right? Everyone does. That’s because we inherently trust advice from 3rd party users. We know their unbiased experience is real and valuable.
In fact, a study by Reevoo found that 88% of customers consult reviews before making a purchase.
B2B is different from retail ecommerce, but the same principle applies. So on your website, offer visitors ways to experience your outcomes through others’ unbiased experience.
The first (and easiest) way to do this is to provide testimonials. Just be sure to make it authentic! Random quotes from unknown people have NO impact. Use face pictures and company names to make your testimonials come to life.
Also consider using video testimonials. A video testimonial introduces your prospect to an existing client. In the interview the customer walks the viewer through their frustrations and how you helped. Video is a very powerful medium and you’ll find visitors stay on your site longer to consume this type of content.
Use Numbers To Make Your Outcomes Real
Reviews and testimonials are effective because they make the intended outcome feel more real.
You can achieve a similar effect in other ways, too.
For example, you can use numbers to describe the outcome the visitor will enjoy. Numbers make your benefit feel tangible. Consider these two statements:
‘Reduce your diesel costs with our fuel additive’
‘Our customers save on average of 8% on diesel fuel costs’
The first statement is interesting, but hard to quantify. Visitors want to save on fuel costs. But they have no way of knowing whether the amount saved is big enough to care.
In the second statement the benefit is quantified. The visitor knows that if they spend $200K a year on diesel fuel then they can expect to save $16K. And that’s a savings worth exploring.
PublishThis does an excellent job of using numbers to paint a picture of a compelling benefit.
Their stats suggest impressive benefits and immediately peak interest. It’s more than enough to check out their offering and pricing page in more detail.
And.co takes a slightly different approach. They use numbers to create social proof. When you look at their home page in the ‘hero’ area and the navigation menu they highlight that over 250,000 people have used their solution.
Kinda makes you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t give them a try!
Be Intentional About Content
It’s tempting to think that high traffic will generate lots of sales leads. After all, the more visits you get from people in your core audience, the more conversions you’ll receive. Right?
While the math on that is hard to dispute, it’s less true than you might think.
The reality is that some topics are going to be better for lead conversion than others. Hubspot has more than 6000 articles on their website. They found that 46% of their blog leads came from just 0.5% of their blog content. Wow!
With this in mind, you should write about topics that relate closely with your core solutions. Conversions flow easier when the visitor’s reason to visit your site matches closely with the outcomes promised by your CTA.
Similarly, at Sales Higher we’ve found that article topics like how to make a b2b email list enjoy much higher conversion rates than articles that don’t directly relate to our core sales lead development solutions.
Think of it this way, plumbers and roofers share an identical audience – they both want to meet homeowners. But if someone searching for roofing resources ends up at a plumber’s website, they won’t convert. The plumbing services on offer don’t match the roofing issues they are currently looking to solve.
When you focus on topics that directly relate to issues your best prospects face you’ll get much better conversion rates. Remember, conversions pay the bills, not site traffic.
When was the last time you visited a website and signed up for their newsletter? I’m guessing it’s been a while!
Go to many websites and you’ll find an invitation to join their newsletter. But there’s usually no reason to take action. They seem to have forgotten that no one wants more messages in their inbox! A vague CTA like “Join Our Monthly Newsletter” just isn’t compelling because it doesn’t articulate how the user will benefit by taking the desired action.
Instead of creating a CTA with an ill defined value, do the opposite. Make your value proposition crystal clear and undeniably valuable. Offer something that will help them do their job and is hard to pass up.
But what if your visitors STILL don’t take action?
In that case, try value stacking. And keep adding value to your offer until people CAN’T say no. “Join Our Newsletter” becomes:
When You Join Our Newsletter You Also Get
- 3 proven templates that DOUBLED our business
- 4 case studies – see how one founders grew 540% in 1 year
- 8 private ‘how to’ videos with step by step instructions
- A free PRO account for 3 months
- Weekly insights from the top minds in our industry
- Priority access to industry events
- And more…
Saying no to a newsletter is easy. But it’s a lot harder to turn down a whole suite of tools and resources that’ll help achieve a target outcome.
Test Your Copy With PPC
The challenge for site owners is they don’t have enough traffic to test how different copy ideas affect conversions.
Imagine you only get 100 site visitors a month (which is very common). It might take years before your site gets enough traffic that you can declare with confidence that 1 version of your copy gets better results than a previous iteration. This is a real problem for companies.
There’s no perfect solution to this problem. But one way to test the effectiveness of different copy ideas is to use paid ads like Google search or display ads.
Write your ads in a way that’s similar to your website copy. And then run different copy variations on the ad network. Every click on one of your ads is a “vote” for one version of your copy.
Paid ads can be a bit expensive. But they’re a fantastic way to compare how different ideas perform over time. And with enough clicks you’ll have confidence you can get the best outcomes possible from your copy.
Strategic B2B Website Copy
Getting conversions is the goal of every website. To get them, design and copy need to work together for optimal results.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.