You're a Sales Manager at a manufacturing company that designs and builds products for a highly competitive industry (sound familiar?). The product your company manufactures is, in fact, a meticulously-designed, bullet-proof piece of engineering genius - nay, art.
However, for whatever reason, sales are stagnant. Even though leads are coming in, you know your product hasn't been receiving the attention it deserves. You pop open your website analytics tool to do some digging and, unsurprisingly, see this staring back at you:
A monotonous, soul-sucking conversion report. You dig a little deeper into your website's performance and find that - compared to industry standards - bounce rates are oddly high (users who land on a page, then leave without clicking deeper into your site), session duration (the amount of time users are spending on your site) are uncomfortably low, and repeat visitors barely comprise a slice of the pie - more like a crumb.
Dazed and confused, you find yourself asking: Why is traffic stagnant? How has there been no growth over the past two years? What is the marketing team doing? Or worse, not doing? Three (and a half) very fair questions.
If this is you, don't panic; you're not alone.
Any number of conclusions can be drawn from this information, ranging from an undiversified traffic portfolio to an incorrect understanding of your target audience. However, for the purpose of this blog, we'll assume neither are issues.
So where are all the leads? Another fair question. And a problem this blog can help solve.
Give the People What They Want
Revisiting the website performance information we garnered earlier (high bounce rate, low session duration, etc.), we can arrive at another conclusion: Your website users aren't happy with the information they're finding on the pages they're landing on. Their questions aren't being answered which means they probably assume their expectations won't be met. Ultimately, they're jumping ship and swimming over to a competitor.
In short, your site's "dwell time" is low, and it's hurting your website's SEO.
Grim picture, right? How do you avoid it? Simple: Give the people what they want.
We've all heard it a million times
, but it needs to be said to lay the foundation: Give users rich information that answers their questions, anticipates their needs, appeases their fears and, ultimately, keeps them from moving on to a competitor (there, we said it...moving on).
The following sections of this blog will arm you with the knowledge you'll need to:
1) Obtain and harness that all-important, conversion-centric information your users are looking for
2) Set your website up for success by increasing click-through-rates, time on site and rankings, while reducing bounce rates
3) Achieve the level of lead generation your product or service deserves
Obtain Information from Internal Teams & Customers
Performance starts with knowing what information your potential customers want and integrating it into the most important bottom-funnel pages of your website - those landing pages built for the sole purpose of converting users (whether it be a pdf download, RFQ form submission, Contact Us form, etc.).
Believe it or not, the best way to garner such information is to simply ask for it. More notably, ask the two groups of people who know your target audience better than anyone else: your internal teams (customer service, sales, field technicians, etc.) and your customers themselves.
How to Obtain Feedback on Site Content
Obtaining feedback and reviews from audiences is tough in the B2B realm. B2B professionals usually don't have much time or simply don't want to leave feedback. But this insight straight from the source can be invaluable.
A few approaches that may work for your business when soliciting feedback:
1. Right on your website
Use apps like Get5Stars (or these) to integrate a review platform directly into your site to capture. This can help capture some details on the "low hanging fruit" from those few people willing to leave feedback without being directly asked.
These apps come with powerful tools that, in addition to automatically publishing the reviews and testimonials directly on your site, can push content out to third-party review sites like Yelp and Google's review platform as well. What's more, some even offer email templates so you can easily run an email campaign around review acquisition. More on how to harness these reviews later.
2. Email surveys
You can use tools like SurveyMonkey to create a short follow up survey after a sale.
3. Phone interviews
Again, as a polite follow up after a sale.
4. In-person interviews
Solicit feedback at industry events (like trade shows) as well as sales follow ups.
Some specialists say not to do interviews at tradeshows because nobody wants to do it at that time and want a more private area to give feedback. It really depends on industry.
If you do decide this is a good route, then offer incentives for their feedback (like a $25 gift card or a small discount on their products/services). Also tell them you won't take too much of their time (give a limit of 5 min to a half hour).
Once You've Got a Willing Audience - What Questions to Ask
Rand Fishkin recently conducted a Whiteboard Friday episode on what questions to ask your target audience in order to increase conversion rates on your website's landing pages. The following are some important points pulled from that episode along with some additional questions to consider:
Group 1: Potential customers who have heard of you, but haven't yet purchased from you.
Find these people at a trade shows or other industry events.
* What have you heard about us?
* What would make you want to try?
* What objections do you currently have?
Group 2: Potential customers who have tried your product/service, but decided against purchasing.
People who have tried free trials, signed up for emails, etc. but haven't yet purchased.
* What initially made you interested?
* What objections did you have?
* What made you change your mind?
* What were your expectations?
Group 3: Customers who love your product/service.
Repeat customers who will gladly provide feedback.
* What got you interested?
* What objections and how did you (we help) you overcome them?
* What's made you stick with us?
* What factors do you consider when choosing a supplier?
* What differentiates us from competitors?
* Will you buy again? Why?
* Can we share your story?
All the information garnered can be used to improve the value of your landing pages.
Strategically Harness the Feedback at Your Disposal
So, now that you have truckloads of rich information, what now?
It's time to start adding this information to enrich key landing pages including applications of the products, benefits, capacities and limitations, testimonials and any other supplementary information your audience has indicated they want to see.
Do potential customers constantly ask what sizes your product comes in? Add a table that clearly illustrates sizing options.
Do they frequently inquire about its electrical tolerance? Add a section that describes voltage capacities.
Are they worried about the product's durability? Include a positive review (after obtaining consent from the customer, of course!) from the database of reviews you now have from Get5Stars (or whichever review acquisition tool you use).
You get the idea.
In Conclusion: Increased "Dwell Time" for Improved SEO
So what results can you expect? Ideally, people will begin to:
* Click on your pages in search results more often
* Find useful product and service information on those landing pages
* Stay on that page longer because all their questions are being answered
* Not "bounce" back to the search results page
* (Hopefully) convert
* Explore more of what your site has to offer, further increasing dwell time
If the above is accomplished, search engines will look upon your site favorably, rewarding it with increase rankings.
In tandem with other important SEO initiatives, speaking with stakeholders to optimize landing pages can have powerful effects. Along with increased click-through and conversion rates, session durations and rankings, it also works wonderfully as a way to uncover unique selling propositions, as well as understand how the market views your product.