Whether B2C businesses have used a website builder or a CMS to create their business site, they still spend considerable time, money, and effort afterwards improving it to increase conversions. This is especially true for ecommerce businesses where the link between profit and conversions is easy to see.
Yet B2B businesses can also benefit just as much from improving their conversion rates. It can help them make direct sales, increase high-value leads and create a steady stream of opportunities.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of B2B conversion rate optimization. We’ll offer you insight into how this differs slightly from B2C, key strategies you can use to improve your rates, and some top tips for optimizing your website for success.
Before we dive into the details of B2B Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), let’s first break down exactly what we mean by the term.
- B2B = Business to business. This is used to describe businesses that sell directly to other businesses, rather than to the end consumer.
- Conversion = A valuable action on your website such as a direct sale, a form being submitted, or a meeting being booked.
- Rate = The percentage of people that visit your website that undertake the desired conversion.
- Optimization = Making changes to your website in order to increase your conversion rate.
CRO is common in both B2B and B2C, but each sector requires a slightly different approach.
The most common B2C conversion is a direct sale (such as an online order), although this can vary depending on the nature of the business. In contrast, the most common B2B conversions are actions such as filling out a contact form or booking a call.
However, that’s not to say that B2B conversions can’t be sales. Businesses that sell B2B software or office supplies often have to work hard to optimize their checkout pages in order to make the maximum number of sales!
The main difference between B2C and B2B sales is primarily due to slightly different buying processes. Most B2C purchases are made based on emotion and desire, whereas B2B purchases often require an extended research period.
Still, the benefits of B2B CRO remain the same. Optimizing for conversions in B2B helps you to move potential customers through the funnel and closer to whatever desired action you wish them to take.
In this section, we’ll highlight some of the best tried-and-tested strategies for improving your conversion rate.
1. Craft compelling value propositions by telling website visitors exactly what they get when they complete a conversion.
2. Optimize website design and user experience (UX). Keep your designs simple and easy to navigate and utilize white space to make your crucial messaging stand out.
3. Implement effective call-to-action (CTA) strategies. This may include using engaging wording to drive results or creating graphics that compel action.
4. Leverage social proof and testimonials to build trust and as evidence for the claims you make about your products and services.
5. Use persuasive copywriting techniques to engage your audience and lead them on a journey towards undertaking your desired action.
6. Incorporate video and multimedia content in your web pages to increase engagement to make it easy to describe your product benefits and features.
7. Implement A/B testing and experimentation to find which website changes have the biggest impact on your conversion rates.
The conversion funnel is broken into three simple stages:
- Awareness – where a potential customer becomes aware of your brand/product/service
- Consideration – where they consider whether your offering really meets their wants/needs
- Decision – when they make a decision to buy or not
Mapping out your conversion funnel will help you identify where potential customers are stopping their journey. A simplistic example of this may look something like:
Awareness: Google and Facebook Ads
Consideration: The landing page
Decision: Add-to-cart button
So, if you identify that a large percentage of people who click on your Google Ads are then leaving your landing page without making a conversion, you’ll have identified where there might be a potential issue. There may be several reasons for this. For example, your ads haven’t delivered on the promise that’s been made, or your product pages are clunky.
Top Tip: You can utilize marketing automation in order to optimize your conversion funnel. For example, you may implement remarketing or retargeting strategies in order to re-engage website visitors who’ve left your website without making a conversion. This is a powerful technique as it allows you to target people who you know have at least some level of interest in your products and services.
Testing your options for improving your conversions is a smart approach to finding those which will work best for you.
There are two approaches you can take here. The first is A/B testing where you test two variations of one aspect. For example, you may choose two different images to feature on your landing page, and then serve those two pages to similar groups of potential customers in order to determine which one performs best.
Another approach is multivariate testing. This is similar to A/B testing except you test multiple variations rather than just two. For example, you may test 5 different page layouts in order to see which one performs the best. This can be helpful when getting started, as it lets you gain insight into multiple options at once, helping you quickly find a good option.
The data you gain from your testing will help you identify which variations have the biggest and most positive impact on your results. It’s important that you adopt this data in informing and refining your B2B CRO strategies.
As your business grows and you drive more traffic to your website, it’s essential to continuously test and improve your site in order to convert that traffic into valuable conversions.
Start by developing a systematic approach to CRO. This includes consistent testing of the most crucial elements of your website. Not only will this help you find the best options, but it will also ensure that you stay reactive to changes in buyer behavior.
Taking a collaborative approach to CRO can also pay dividends. This may include working with multiple teams and stakeholders across the business such as finance, web design, marketing, sales, and product in order to make the changes necessary for better conversion rates.
So, what does good B2B conversion rate optimization look like in practice? Take a look at these three great examples:
HubSpot is a leading B2B software provider, offering software for everything from CRM to social media management and email marketing. They use their online academy to help educate their customers and collect data.
The HubSpot Academy itself is an important CRO tool, helping to increase brand familiarity and developing trust by positioning itself as a thought leader in the industry. Its course landing page uses tools such as videos to drive greater engagement and offers potential participants insight into the value it can offer them.
Salesforce is another example of a global leading B2B software company. Its homepage offers a great example of a website that is optimized for CRO.
For example, right in the header section, you can see that it offers visitors an opportunity to start a free trial or watch a demo of the platform. These are both valuable conversions as they help inform the decision-making process. In order to drive clicks, Salesforce uses copy to demonstrate the value of taking the desired action (more sales and happier customers).
Gini Talent is a leading staffing and recruitment company. Its website is well-optimized to drive conversions. One way in which it does this is by leveraging social proof. This takes the form of client success stories.
Gini Talent also uses a star system to quickly show visitors how its services are perceived by existing customers.
Find Out More
Looking for more examples? Check out our list of the Best B2B Websites for more inspiration!
We can see that conversion rates are just as important for B2B businesses as they are for B2C businesses. In this guide, we’ve walked you through everything you need to know about optimizing your conversion rates in order to generate better success.
By using the CRO tips and strategies we’ve outlined, you, too, can improve your conversion rates in order to drive more profit. Which strategies are best for you will depend on several factors such as your business, your audience, and which aspects of your conversion funnel are already well-optimized. So, it’s best to pick each strategy based on your understanding of your own business before testing and measuring the results to see just how well they work.
Good luck, and don’t forget to let us know which strategies worked best for you in the comments below!