New visitors to B2B sites are unlikely to convert immediately and make a purchase. They aren’t ready for that level of interaction with you.
Instead, ask for permission to continue the conversation. Your first conversion goal might be through a newsletter, a tutorial, or a free version of your service.
When visitors convert, you have permission to send them material on a regular basis that educates and that they find valuable.
Your subscribers are your potential leads, buyers that are continually being fed value that helps them to move forward on their journey.
So how do you optimize your site to increase the number of visitors who convert and give you permission to interact with them?
Jim Novo wrote a short piece on how to optimize for visitor conversion several years ago (2004). He explains how to help visitors move from your highest volume entry pages to a goal page where they can subscribe to ongoing communication.
1. Set a clear conversion goal
First, Jim says, decide on your conversion goal. If you “don’t have a clear conversion goal, you absolutely cannot optimize for it.”
2. Identify your high-volume entry pages
Look at the entry pages that get the highest volume of visitors. Now, which of these receive a high number of 1 Page Visits? These are pages where people enter your site, look at the page, and leave. What’s happening here? Why didn’t they continue to look at other pages on your site? Can you decrease the number of 1 Page visits for these high-volume entry pages?
Track your progress by monitoring a ratio: 1 Page Visits / Entry Visits for each entry page.
In the table above, the ratio of 1 Page Visits to Entry Visits on the high volume entry pages is very high. Time for this site to look at how to lower the ratio.
3. Make links in your Main Navigation clear and compelling
Don’t make it hard for visitors to decide where to go on your site. Make the choices in your Main Navigation simple and clear. Novo says “that “less is more” – the more you focus visitors by providing fewer link choices, the more likely it is they will click on what you want them to.”
Make it easy for visitors to go to your subscribe goal page. Put the link in your main navigation.
4. Examine the paths from your high-volume entry pages
Now that you’ve looked at your high volume entry pages and your main navigation, it’s time to turn to the path that visitors take from your high volume entry pages. Where do they go? What do they do? Is there anything you can do to help them get to the goal page more quickly? Are they getting confused and leaving your site?
Identify the goal page in your web analytics and the funnel that leads to the goal page. Look at where people are falling out of the funnel and optimize to improve the ratio.
You are already bringing people to your site via your marketing channels. Most of them will forget you exist after their first visit. Don’t let this happen!
When you optimize for visitor conversion:
- More visitors to your high-volume pages stay on your site.
- Your visitors find it easier to make choices and navigate where they want to go.
- A higher percentage of visitors arrive at your conversion goal page and give you permission to regularly communicate with them.