The B2B sales pipeline and buyer journey can be a long one. Getting potential customers to return to your website, ie maximizing visitor retention, can make sure they engage with your brand through the cycle. From generating awareness, converting to a lead, nurturing, and through the buying decision, the more exposure they have, the better your odds of converting.
The sales cycle takes longer than ever before. There are multiple decision-makers to factor into the strategy. In fact, Gartner research shows that there are typically 6-10 members of the buying group. Higher priced products and services get more scrutiny by these buyers. That lengthens the time it takes for buyers to research and come to an agreement. The awareness and nurturing phases are drawn out. That’s why it’s so important to keep new leads engaged with your content to drive them from prospect to lead to paying customer.
To make things more complex, the buying journey no longer takes place in a predictable and linear pattern. Customers don’t move through the traditional buying funnel the way they did in the past. They now seek information throughout the process and loop back through stages. That’s why it crucial to provide B2B content marketing that delivers at each stage.
Here are some visitor retention strategies to apply to your B2B website which are surprisingly overlooked.
1. Give Them What They Want
Visitors want quick answers to their questions. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re searching for when they visit.
- Build accessible brochures and fact sheets
- Make your case studies and customer success stories easily accessible
- Have an FAQ about your services
- Pricing: If you can’t share the price, share what your process is in working with them on identifying this.
77% of B2B buyers report their last purchase was complex or difficult. They struggle to make decisions and often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information online. Creating content that provides the information buyers need can make a significant difference. When it’s done in a way that’s easy for customers, the likelihood they make may a purchase increase 2.8X. They are three times more like to buy a bigger deal and have less regret.
2. Keep Them Engaged While They Are There
It’s especially important to keep users engaged while on site. The higher your bounce rate and churn rate, the lower your retention will be.
- Include video and other forms of interactive content to ramp up on-page time
- If applicable, include Apps, estimators, or calculators
- Add Live chat capabilities if possible
Consider adding Chatbots. These provide 24/7 responses and can help if you have limited staffing resources. By hiring someone to program a Chatbot for customized delivery of helpful content, you can increase positive interactions. Chatbots work especially well for Software as a Service (SaaS), Tech markets, or for products that have a high education cycle in sales.
3. Keep Them Coming Back For More
Create a conversion opportunity on every page of your website to continue to drive them along the buying journey and interacting with your content.
- Downloadable eBooks, White Papers, or Data Sheets
- Newsletter subscriptions with automated notification of new content you publish. This can be done for free via services like Hubspot or Mailchimp.
- Provide relevant links to additional information
- Lead generation forms
- Product demo and “How To” Videos
Build these into your website as educational content for nurturing and contacts.
B2B buyers do their homework online before reaching out to a sales rep. B2B buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before ever connecting with sales.
When they visit your website, if they’re not ready to speak to sales, they may not return unless you give them an incentive to come back. It’s OK to ask for the sale, but if you aren’t providing additional value or reasons to re-engage, you may lose the opportunity forever.
4. Get Them to Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
Throughout the process, you need to continue to find a way to keep your brand top of mind. One of your key goals of website visits should be to provide incentives to capture email addresses. Once you do that, it opens up all sorts of other marketing opportunities to engage B2B buyers and get them to interact with your brand. Email lead nurturing campaigns allow you to drip-feed educational and information content using key segmented lists
If they aren’t on your website, give them reasons to find you and return.
- Implement remarketing ads that drive potential customers to your educational offers
- Utilize social media for targeted B2B messaging
- Create guest posts for trade journals and industry websites
At each stage, you must provide valuable content. Anything that smacks of an order sales pitch will be rejected. B2B buyers are looking for information to help them make an unbiased opening.
Developing Your Website Inventory
Take inventory of what’s on your website now and think about what prospects are looking for. Analyze search patterns and keyword queries.
- Do you have content that answers the most common questions B2B buyers ask?
- If they are unable to find it quickly, do you have an easy way for them to connect with you to get it?
- Can you track visitor flow through your website to determine where they arrive, where they go, and when they leave
Analyze Your Website Content
Analyze the content that’s already on your website and make sure it is optimized for SEO and keywords. Since the majority of B2B buyer research starts with simple terms on search engines, it’s crucial that your content ranks organically. Also, make sure your website and content are optimized for mobile. By 2020, it’s expected that 70% of all B2B search queries start on smartphones.
Examine your navigation closely. You need to make it easy for visitors to find what they want in a click or two. No matter how good your content is, if the user experience is poor or they can’t find it quickly, they may never return.
If you’re using off-site content to drive visits, you want to ensure that when someone clicks, they go directly to the content they are seeking. Use customized landing pages or targeted content pages for links instead of your home page.
Probe For Content Gaps
Look for gaps in informational content that’s on your website that you need to create to take advantage of B2B buyer queries.
It may help to talk to current and new clients to discover the journey they took before deciding to purchase your products or services. If you can identify the steps they took, it can help you understand the content you need to add.
Maximize Your Return Across Marketing Channels
87% of B2B buyers maintain that online content has a significant impact on their buying decision. If the information they are looking for is not on your website, they are going to find it somewhere else. Once you have created it, however, it can pay dividends over time. It sells your brand and products 24/7 and is available to new prospects and repeat visitors.
By adopting the Inbound Marketing Methodology to your B2B Marketing and event outbound marketing campaigns, you ensure you have the necessary lead capturing incentives to generate new leads at every stage of the funnel.
Maximizing return across marketing channels increases the net effect.