Conversion 101 – Simple Steps for a More Effective Website

Podcast host

Phil Vallender

Phil Vallender


Episode summary

Generating leads that convert into sales pipeline and revenue is the main objective for most B2B websites. And with your website being the primary contact point for buyers, businesses are constantly seeking ways to boost website lead generation to hit their growth goals.

The good news is that even without huge investments in demand creation or acquiring mountains of new traffic, there are straightforward tactics you can use to turn more of your existing website visitors into high-quality, sales-ready leads.

In this episode of Websites Decoded, Phil outlines actionable strategies to help you maximise website conversions and get more value from the traffic you already have. 

Episode transcript

If you want to increase the conversion rate on your website and specifically increase the high intent conversions where buyers express their interest and go into your pipeline, then there's a whole range of things that you can do.

Work back from pipeline

But it probably makes sense to think about them starting from the things that are closest to the pipeline and pulling those levers first and then moving your way up the sort of customer journey, the buyer journey.

And for most business, this is the first thing that they can do.

1. Improve your website's commercial offer

And one of the biggest impact things they can do is look at the commercial offer that they present at the bottom of the funnel on their website.

Most B2B websites will have a key call to action in the navigation, and it's not unusual to see contact us. But if you increase the specificity and the sort of mutual benefit that's implied by the language of that call to action, you can dramatically increase the quantity of quality conversions.

You might not see a huge increase in quantity, but quantity on its own isn't worth anything. You want quality conversions that come from real buyers with real intent.

So, contact us is in my opinion, one of the least compelling commercial calls to offer that you can put on a website.

And general consensus or general understanding is that book a demo is more attractive to a buyer than talk to sales or have a consultation book a discovery, because they get more in return for less in their mind, but they've still got to give up their time. They've still got to open themselves up to the conversation with the sales rep that's giving them that demo, if they truly get a demo.

So, it's widely believed and understood that take a trial, where you're in control, you do it on your own without being opened up to the sales rep line of questioning is more attractive to your buyer than book a demo.

So, you've got this hierarchy of appeal.

The one that gets missed out, I think a lot, is the simple talk to sales type CTA, which for a buyer who's got a serious intent to purchase something in this category is more attractive, I think, than contact us or book a consultation. It cuts to the chase.

It's honest and it's specific about what's going to happen, and it's aligned to what they want to achieve, which is probably establish pricing and suitability and get to that quote.

It might in certain circumstances be more attractive to buyers than demos or trials. So it's a good idea to have both of them available on your website, I think, or to test the efficacy of those.

And then crucially, when it comes to those CTAs you've got to give what you say you will give.

So, when someone clicks book a demo, you enable them to book a demo. You don't take them to a page which is about booking a discovery or a consultation. And when you offer someone a trial, you don't take them through a funnel that is actually about getting on a call to have a demo with a sales rep.

So make those CTAs honest and specific and elevate how attractive they are to the buyer.

2. Add pricing to your website

Next you can start thinking about, well, how do I get more of my buyers to that part of my website? And there's a range of things that you can do there.

Pricing pages are considered to be very attractive to B2B buyers.

So a website with pricing where pricing is disclosed and it's easy to understand what a purchase will cost, will very likely convert higher than a website without pricing.

Now I know how challenging it can be for businesses to either be able to disclose their pricing or if they are able to be comfortable with it.

And I'm not the person that says it simply must be done. In all cases, I realise there are situations where it won't happen, but in a lot of situations, pricing pages on your website is going to be helpful for the buyer, it's going to increase the trust, it's going to reduce the friction and it's going to increase the number of people that, once comfortable with your price, go on and enquire.

And of course that they come with that level of qualification and quality, which is they've seen your pricing and therefore they're not going to be surprised when you tell them what it costs to do business with you.

3. Strategically use social proof on your website 

Elsewhere on your site, I think it's really important to think about proof. Social proof.

Maybe the phrase social proof is misleading. It doesn't have to be proof from social media. It's proof that customers are happy and successful using your product, service or solution.

So that can be applied in a range of ways. We all like to see logos of believable brands on key pages, home pages, potentially product pages. Also a really good idea to include some of those on your conversion pages as well. To back up the fact that this is a good move and a safe choice.

Customer logos, testimonials from those customers, really powerful case studies which you can potentially sort of abstract out onto key pages, but then have the full-blown copy available to read. No download required please.

Very powerful form of proof, let's face it, we all want to read about how other businesses have applied solutions that we're considering and then you can also use ratings reviews from places that confer trust on you.

I like seeing G2 reviews on sites, Trust Radius. There is some negativity around some of those mechanisms of getting those reviews about how those businesses have built their popularity and success.

But nevertheless, if you've got lots of people who are credible reviewing your offering, then it's a good social proof point to have on your site.

3. Optimise your website's navigation

So if you've got proof on your pages and you've written good, concise, convincing copy, you've got a site.

But visitors need to be able to navigate that site with ease and in intuitive, friendly ways.

And so a key element of conversion optimisation in B2B sites is navigation.

It's structuring the site and the content in a way that's logical.

It's structuring it in a way that lends itself to simple, easy-to-use navigation that doesn't force you or the user to look at enormous mega menus with hundreds of options.

You've got to make choices on behalf of visitors about what's key to them, which part of the journey, and present those options to them so that a visitor who's arrived on your site can find what they're looking for.

Discover the content that's critical to the purchase without additional unnecessary clicks.

So, hidden menus, burger menus on desktop, for example, big no no, and overly large inflated mega menus are counterproductive to the user's visit.

So, making the structure and choices about how they navigate is key.

You need internal links and signposts, of course, and it's a good idea to put key links in the footer, both for SEO and for the users when they get to the bottom of the page.

But do think about their experience when they're travelling through and across your site.

4. Ensure your message is clear

And before that even.

Of course, we've got to get people to the site in the first place and make them want to stay.

And that's a critical moment, the first visit, the first few seconds.

The blink test is a make or break moment in every visit, ultimately.

And so you've got to build your landing page, probably your home page in most cases, or your pages, with a view to getting a first time visitor to want to stay and not to want to leave.

And that is done with clear copywriting that conveys true meaning and value, not just fluffy buzzwords and empty statements.

Good image choice that supports the value proposition you're trying to communicate and in most cases, limited movement, avoiding things like sliders and really fast moving animation or background video is important.

5. Improve your website speed and performance

There's more to conversion optimization than the on page content things that we've discussed, although they play a really big role.

You do also need to think about the conversion impact of things like website speed and performance core web vitals scores in terms of how they're perceived by the user and how well the platform beneath your website supports you in delivering the necessary kind of experience.

So we know that websites that load quickly convert better, predominantly because they retain visitors better.

Whereas every second that you add to the page load beyond the first couple decreases the or increases the bounce rate that you experience, decreases the engagement that people see.

And then as those pages are loading, we know that layout shift and the time to interactivity, which are now central to core web vitals, impact the user experience in ways that if they're better, you get better engagement and you will get better conversion rate ultimately.

So yes, you need to look at the broad picture when you're thinking about conversion rate.

There's a lot you can do on your site and there's a lot you can do within the technology and development space to tackle it all.

You can put yourself in a really good position to attract, engage and convert more good-fit customers who have true intent and get them into your pipeline.