crash course in conversion optimization

A Crash Course in Conversion Optimization, Part 2

Improving the Online Experience

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently completed the MarketMotive.com training course Conversion Optimization. Another key take-away from that course that applies to B2B marketing is the concept of improving your customer’s online experience.

According to the presenter Bryan Eisenberg, most sites don’’t have a traffic problem; they have a conversion problem.  The average conversion rate of online traffic is 2-3%, and the key to improving that conversion rate is improving the visitor’s experience.

Here are a few issues that can hinder customer experience, and are thus worthy of reviewing on your own site:

  • Relevance issues: What keywords did customers use to find you? Are those keywords consistent with the landing page? If people are coming to your site because of what you claimed, be sure your content is relevant and consistent with those promises &mdash’ especially on the landing page. And review the pages that get the least views; those pages may not be as relevant to customers, and thus may be deterring them from spending more time on the site.
  • Multiple customers: Remember, your customers are not the same. For example, if they’’re at varying places on their buying cycle, you’’ll want to have different information based upon that. This can be tricky to speak to different audiences within the same site, but figure out who you want to target most and do just that. You may have to play around with it and test it for usability, but if you want those audiences to stay, you have to have relevant content.
  • Communication issues: Be sure your copy is comprehensible. Eisenberg says most people in the U.S. read at a fifth- to eighth-grade level, so keep that in mind. And again, you may have multiple audiences, so you don’’t want all your technical information mixed together with more basic information unless it’’s clearly differentiated. Otherwise your visitors might get confused, think they’’re in the wrong place and leave.
  • Value issues: Why should your customers do business with you? What do you offer of value that others don’’t? State this clearly and obviously, because customers will not search for it. And if you have won awards and have other reviews or testimonials, don’’t just state them, – try and link to the applicable pages/stories/sites for further value and credibility.
  • Structural issues: Be sure your website is free of structural issues that could cause a prospect to leave. Does it open correctly in multiple browsers? Does it have consistent navigation and design? How is your momentum and download speed? All of these things are important for keeping customers on your site.

In the end, if you want to convert your prospects into customers or partners, you have to make it easy for them to find what they’’re looking for and understand it. Above are some issues that may get in the way, but test on your own B2B site to see what other issues you may have that need to be improved in order to enrich your own visitors’ experience.

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