The B2B marketing landscape is constantly changing. And sometimes, it can be quite the ride!
As strategies evolve, marketing leaders are eager to prove to executives that their marketing contributes to revenue. And marketing teams are working hard to make the case.
While showing revenue impact is pretty straightforward when it comes to marketing campaigns and programs, it can get a little tricky when you’re calculating the ROI for developing and maintaining your company’s website. But we’re here to make sure that journey is all smooth sailing.
Without further ado, here are three ways to make sure your company’s B2B website is making an impact:
1. Set measurable objectives and metrics
Without clear objectives keeping you on track, your website efforts can run astray. But all it takes is a little prioritization. By defining what measurable results you expect to generate through your website—just like you would for campaigns and programs—it’ll be easier to focus your resources on the right tasks, metrics, and results that lead to a healthy pipeline and the revenue impact you want.
When you hear website metrics, you’re probably thinking about number of visitors, time on site, pages per visit etc. While these metrics can help you figure out issues with your site, they don’t actually measure what’s impacting (or not impacting) pipeline or business value.
Push yourself beyond the metrics that usually come from web analytics tools. There’s no need to get fancy here, so let’s keep it simple. There are only four key pipeline metrics you need to worry about: visitors, prospects, MQLs, and SQLs. Based on your current pipeline, you’ll be able to know what metrics to prioritize first, whether it’s top-heavy, middle-heavy, or sparse all the way through.
Once you know what your website pipeline metrics are, take baseline measurements of how you’ve been performing so far (even if the numbers are low or zero). As much as you might want to compare them to an industry benchmark, the best comparison is over your own baseline. Then, set your goal to grow these numbers over every reporting period.
Now that you know what success looks like and how you’ll measure it, the next step is to make it all happen! One of the best ways is to take your visitor on a journey. Which brings us to our next tip.
2. Offer tiered CTAs and eliminate dead ends
Now that you know what goals and metrics are at the top of your list, take a look at your B2B website with an unbiased eye and look for areas of improvement. A good place to start is with the calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website. Make sure they’re eye-catching and optimized to accomplish your priorities. This means that any CTAs appearing in the prime digital real estate on your website should be doing most of the heavy lifting by driving your top priority metrics.
For example, if your top priority is converting site visitors to opted-in prospects to fill the top of your pipeline, make sure you have one or more highly visible offers and CTAs that’ll be like something shiny to a magpie—irresistible. Make these offers and CTAs relevant, valuable, and compelling to first-time visitors, and you’ll be golden.
Or let’s say your focus is on the middle of your pipeline. You want to re-engage with dormant prospects in your database and get them back on your website. Then you can triage those sales-ready leads for immediate follow-up. But what about those prospects that aren’t sales-ready?
Well, you can nurture them to improve segmentation and qualification for future outbound campaigns. With all of this variety of sales-readiness, this is a perfect opportunity to use your prime digital real estate to feature a variety of pathways that connect your buyer right where they are. Connect your CTAs with their needs and link that with what makes you unique; the products/services you offer that help solve their problems. Then add some sales-ready CTAs like requesting a custom demo or scheduling a meeting, and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded journey optimized for your pipeline priority.
Be mindful of your prospect’s journey across your website. If you want to maximize conversions, make that as easy as possible by limiting the number of clicks and required form fields. A good rule of thumb is to make sure whatever you’re offering equals the amount of effort (or information) to download it.
And whatever you do, don’t lead your visitor into a dead end that’ll make them bounce off your site! Have multiple choices or pathways on every page of your website: cross-link to other pages they might be interested in, feature related blog posts and resources, showcase customer success stories. Think of your website as their very own choose your own adventure book. And as you’re leading them along this journey, make sure you’re tracking this movement. Which brings us to the last tip:
3. Offer trackable user experiences that support your lead segmentation and qualification
Now that you have the right user experience pathways, offers, and CTAs in the right place, you can focus on learning more from the website data you’re collecting. Looking at engagement data is an excellent source of information that can help you build more targeted, relevant, and valuable offers and CTAs.
Your marketing automation platform has a treasure trove of activity history and behavioral data that you can use for different segments for targeting, testing, and customization that can then translate into email campaigns, dynamic content blocks, personalized offers, and more.
If you’ve organized your site navigation and content into sections based on your customer needs and pains, your aggregate site engagement data can let you know where you’re getting more or less traction with your messaging, value proposition, and content. This is a great starting point for continuous improvement. You now have the information you need to make informed decisions about refining what you’re saying and sharing, how you’re saying it and to whom.
For marketers that see their website as an extension of their marketing or sales collateral, all of these tips might seem complicated or difficult to implement.
If you need to look at your site through fresh eyes, try taking your buyers’ perspective! Scan your website for information that would be useful to their questions and that’ll help solve their problems. What you’ll typically find is that they’re not looking for a digital brochure about your company, your products and services, and how to contact you; they’re looking to define their problem, and to find someone who understands their challenges and can help guide them to the right solution.
Looking at your website through the eyes of your buyer can be a game-changer. You’ll start to see more opportunities to grab their attention in ways that are meaningful and useful to them. Plus, with clearly defined, measurable objectives, you’ll see your B2B website making the impact you’re looking for in your marketing and sales pipeline.
*A similar version of this article was originally published on the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) website by Nolin LeChasseur, Co-founder and CMO at Brainrider