B2B company websites can be powerful tools for prospect generation… if you know what you’re doing. As a fractional CMO team, Gladiator has improved dozens of websites. These are the top issues we come across again and again no matter the industry:
- Designed with no user journey in mind
- Lack of transparency for sales process
- Insufficient thought leadership planning
- Poor brand implementation
- No SEO strategy
No User Journey In Mind
The first step for website content development is outlining what the user journey will be. Who is the website for and what actions should they take? Simple user paths with easy to follow next steps are crucial to convert a quick visitor into a client.
User Journey Test
Go to your website home page and pretend you have never visited your website before. Now choose an action that you would want this new user to take.
It could be:
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Submit a contact form
- Schedule a consultation/demo
Now complete the action while counting how many clicks you have to go through. It shouldn’t take a potential client more than 3 clicks to provide their information—the fewer, the better.
If you can’t complete the action in the first place because it’s not set up on your website, that is also a common problem. Many companies have beautiful websites that don’t convert because they don’t give potential clients a way to interact with their website and indicate their interest in the company.
No Seamless Sales Process
Your company website should be a reflection of the company’s sales process. Before a company hires someone to design their website, they need to write down their sales process. This documented process will then be implemented into the website. It is very obvious when a company builds the website first and then implements the sales process as an afterthought.
Sales Process Test
The way a sales process is implemented on a website varies from industry to industry but they all include aspects outlined below. Remember, the point of having a sales process is to collect prospects to send into a sales funnel.
- Initial Offering
This is the hook that makes people bite, and by bite we mean give you their contact information.
- Contact Form
This is how people provide their information. Contact forms should require minimal effort on the part of the prospect and include basic information fields as well as a self-identifying option so that they can be sorted. This could be as simple as a drop-down menu with an option for the person to identify what services they are interested in. They should also be easy to locate, whether as a button in the menu, pop-up or messenger option.
- Follow Up Channels
Once you get the potential clients’ information the most important step you can take is to follow through. What is the next step you want the prospect to take? Communication can be done through automated emails, regularly scheduled newsletters, follow up calls, automated text messages, and much more. It takes about 7 touch points with a prospect to land a contract.
Now look at the simplified steps above and consider what step most of your prospects are at. Do you have an interesting initial offering?
Is your contact form difficult to use? Do you have follow up processes in place?
Not Leveraging Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is how you set your company apart from your competitors. A strong content strategy can take your website to the next level and position the company as an industry leader. But many companies fail in this area because they don’t have a blog, white papers, case studies or other resources on their website. Additionally, many companies don’t properly leverage these materials when they do exist.
Thought Leadership Test
As a company you have done the work to put together case studies and the blog is updated regularly. However, having content doesn’t do much for prospect generation if you don’t strategically utilize the content.
- Do you align a social media campaign for each piece of content?
- Does each piece of content have a tailored call to action?
- Is each piece optimized for search engines? (We’ll touch more on this later.)
- Are there email campaigns created for each item?
There are many ways to use thought leadership to attract high quality prospects, even outside of your website.
Poor Brand Implementation
A brand is a representation of the values and offering of a company. It’s how you build a reputation and is a great way to leverage recognition, starting with your website. Visually stunning design coupled with strong brand messaging can propel you past your competitors and take your company to the next level.
A brand is more than just a logo, but a logo is a great starting point. Powerful logos come from a strong sense of understanding your audience and how they relate to your company.
- Are people unsure about what your company does?
- Can people easily find your company on platforms across the internet?
- Does your brand establish you as an industry expert?
- Are all the brand elements cohesive (logo, color palette, font, etc.)?
A website should be the next step after creating a strong brand with concise messaging. Creating a website before taking this step means you will have to redesign the website later.
No SEO Strategy
A beautiful website is a beautiful website but not much else if search engines can’t read it. With a tiny bit of attention to detail search engines can help people find your company and your website more easily. This means more eyes on your website, more businesses knowing about your offering and, ultimately, more sales.
SEO gets a bad rap because many companies picture SEO as keyword stuffing, or adding a keyword phrase on a web page, which is not what we are advocating. As with many things, there are levels to SEO. We’ll just cover the basics in the test below.
SEO Strategy Test
If someone who has never met you and knows nothing about your company visits your homepage, will they know what your company offers in 10 seconds or less? If not, then how are search engines expected to know?
“Do you know your keyword phrases?”
Pretend you are a prospect looking for a company like yours. What would they search in Google? The phrases that popped into your head are the phrases that you should be focusing on. There are additional, more analytical ways to go about this and dashboards you can use to track them but this is where you start.
B2B websites should be created with sales in mind. They should guide users through the service offerings and sales process and portray your business as an industry leader. Conversions are the result of an overall strategy using a combination of content, design and SEO leveraged with the audience for your business in mind.
Are you interested in a free website review?
If you’re worried your company website isn’t converting as well as it could be (or at all) we’re offering a free website review where we’ll tell you what needs to change. If you like what we have to say, we can also help you make those changes.
Sam Branson, is one of our Marketing Managers. She loves problem solving, both internally for the team and externally for our amazing clients. Years of digital marketing and project management experience give her the ability to take marketing goals and turn them into measurable success within budget and scope. She enjoys helping clients take big dreams and ideas and turn them into reality.