A website is among the top three most effective B2B lead generation tactics, according to IDG’s B2B Lead Generation Marketing Trends survey. In fact, almost 40% of respondents said their website was “very effective” in generating new leads. Is yours? Let’s talk about website audits, through the lens of lead gen and conversion best practices.
Why the website?
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or new in your role as marketing leader or CMO, it’s important to audit your website. This should be a regular practice. After all, most of your calls to action drive people to your website. If it’s not optimized for lead generation and conversion, you’re missing a crucial piece of your foundation.
The reality is that most organizations are well overdue for an audit and assessment. We recently had Jennifer Wong, former head of marketing and current head of sustainability at Convoy, on our Catalyst podcast. She explained that one of her first actions was to review website performance. Jennifer also talked about ensuring your website is not just informational, but rather has a clear purpose in your lead generation and conversion. To hear more about how she tackled this at Convoy, check out the podcast here.
Do the Two-Step(s)
The first step in a website audit is to check your lead generation. Are you getting people to your website? The second step is to look at conversion. Are the people who get to your site doing what you want them to do once there? Too often, one of these parts of the equation is off.
Of course, if you follow an ABM strategy, the people who get to your site are the people you theoretically care most about. You’ve run display ads, social ads, handled content syndication and emailed them, so you should know who they are. At this point, you might let your content do the talking and allow your visitors to roam free before taking the next step. Or, you might take the opposite approach and alert your sales team, so they can start working to move them through your flipped funnel. Either is fine, as long as it’s predetermined and strategic.
If you follow a demand generation strategy, you have to figure out your goal in a different way. If you’re simply generating leads and demand, try to at least get visitors’ email addresses so you can continue the conversation with them in different channels. We also recommend using a technology like Drift, which helps you engage with leads in conversational marketing. Again, whatever your conversion plan is, make sure you have one. Here are some more tips…
Now it’s time to dig into the details.
Website Form Audit
- How many forms do you have?
- How many fields are on each form? i.e. what fields can you remove? The more fields, the less conversions, so be smart here.
- Are they above the fold of each page, or does a visitor have to scroll down past a sea of copy and images in order to find one?
Website CTA Audit
Next, consider your calls to action (CTAs).
Are they aligned with what matters to your ideal customers? If you’re inviting site visitors to sign up for a costly workshop, but you know one of your persona’s pain points is a lack of budget, start with a more accessible CTA. Maybe you can offer a free assessment or a cost-effective personalized recommendation, to keep the barrier to requesting it low and the value high.
Website UI/UX Audit
Sure, it’d be nice to have a designer or an experienced user experience pro review your site. They’d dig into the motivations of visitors and analyze heatmaps. But, if you’re doing the quick and dirty version of an audit, you can still get pretty far by asking some basic questions:
- Is it easy for new visitors to find what they’re looking for?
- What question are they coming to your site to answer? Are you answering it well?
- Are the navigation titles straightforward?
- Does the messaging make it clear what you do and what problems you solve?
If the answer is no to any of this, you need to make some changes.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
Once you’ve audited the nuts and bolts of your website, review the following:
- Contact information – At a bare minimum, you must include a phone number and an email address where customers can reach you. But many consumers now expect to also have a chat option available, which is quickly becoming a preferable way to get questions answered fast. The more readily potential customers can reach you, the more trust they have in you – and the more likely they’ll continue down the path you want them to.
- Content – Do you have a blog? If so, what kind of content is on there? To be effective with lead generation, your blog posts should provide value and encourage readers to take action on your CTAs. Additionally, review how much content on your website (including your blog) is promotional versus actionable (or otherwise valuable). There should be a good mix, with quality and substance outweighing quantity and sales messages by a significant margin. The mix should also include copy-driven content, images, videos and infographics so there’s variety and appeal.
- Credibility – People only become leads when they start to feel convinced you have something they want and they can trust you. To increase trust, use photos, testimonials and case studies. You can also use customer logos (with permission), which always goes a long way in showing you’re worth your salt.
Put it to the Test
Once you’ve taken these steps and viewed your website through the lens of lead generation, it’s time to test. If you have benchmarks for your original site, make a few changes and then measure against those at regular intervals. Tools like CrazyEgg or Adobe Analytics help create heatmaps and better visualizations for what’s working and not, but good ole Google Analytics will still get you pretty far.
Then, make more changes and measure again. Repeat the process until you’re confident your website is positioned for optimal lead generation, which you’ll know because the metrics (and sales) will tell you so.
A website is more than a hub of information for B2B businesses; it’s your headquarters for lead generation and conversion. Do you have questions about adjusting your website for these purposes? Give us a call.
Meet Andrea Lechner-Becker
Andrea Lechner-Becker’s bio reads like someone who filled out a what-should-I-be-when-I-grow-up quiz and decided to try every option. Fueled by endless curiosity, Andrea has never met a problem she didn’t want to solve. This led her to managing sales and marketing at an art gallery, then loyalty and email marketing strategy for an NBA team and arena, then the delivery team at LeadMD, followed by a stint as a novelist and culminating with her current role as CMO of LeadMD. With a decade of experience in dynamic marketing roles, Andrea has had the opportunity to work with the most brilliant marketing minds at the best companies in the world. #hugemarketingdork