Can a B2B company really generate new business leads through their website? Absolutely! Your website has the potential to generate massive amounts of new business, but you have to unlock that potential. Because your website is always available, it has the potential to be your top sales person.
Want to know how to generate leads from your website? Sometimes it's helpful to know what not to do.
Let's look at the top 10 reasons why B2B companies leave money on the table by having websites that don't generate leads.
1. You haven't properly defined your target audience.
A website is just like any other form of sales or marketing -- you have to know who you're speaking to in order to craft your message. You don’t just drop tens of thousands of dollars on a trade show without knowledge that your prospect might be there, do you? You likely look for a trade show in a specific industry.
Your website should speak to those in your target market(s), speak their language, and be full of benefits for them.
Defining a target audience is more complex than just naming an industry. We walk clients through detailed customer personas that get at not just industries that your potential customers are in, but also the types of people that you’ll deal with during the business transaction and their main concerns.
2. Your website looks like it was designed in 2008.
We've noticed that many B2B companies, especially manufacturers, have let their online presence slip. Many put a website up years ago because their competitor did, then never took the time to update it. Keeping your website fresh and up to date is important for search engine visibility and for lead generation.
It’s never acceptable to have a “cookie cutter” website. If your website is on Wordpress, take this one to heart. If you buy a cheap Wordpress theme and use that as your website, your website will look like hundreds of others. It isn’t getting you any business because you haven’t invested the time to make it “yours.”
Times change. Technologies change. There are inherent benefits in overhauling your website every 2-3 years, and updating it much more frequently.
3. There's no helpful, in-depth information on your website.
A blog is the best way to publish short-form information that your potential customer is looking for. You can also write whitepapers and guides that your prospects can download during their research. Just one whitepaper or guide can net you hundreds of qualified sales leads if promoted properly.In order to establish authority with search engines, your website has to be a resource that people find interesting and helpful. You can make your website a go-to, trusted resource to generate more new business.
4. You aren't blogging.
Have you heard that B2B companies don’t need a blog? That’s an outright lie in today’s marketplace. If you want to attract more potential customers to your website, you need a blog. A blog “meets” your customer where they are as they research problems and solutions using search engines.
There are several reasons to start a blog on your B2B company website, but the top among them is getting more prospects to your website where you can show industry depth and thought leadership.
You wouldn’t miss that all-too-important trade show, so don’t miss out on the hundreds or thousands that are searching online for solutions your company could provide.
5. There are no calls to action on your website.
As obvious as this sounds, you need to show people "the next step" and give them a prominent link to it. So why do so many B2B websites lack calls to action?
A call to action is a link or graphic that takes people to more information about a topic, usually through a landing page or conversion page. For an example of a call to action, see the bottom of this blog post, or read about how to create a good call to action.
6. Your website doesn't have any landing pages (or "conversion pages").
Landing pages, or “conversion pages,” are the bread and butter of a lead-generating website. Landing pages allow people to download whitepapers, guides, product catalogs, etc. from your website by providing some information in a lead form.
Want to learn to create these pages on your website? See some tips to improve landing page performance.
Almost every lead that we see from our website or our clients’ websites come as the result of a landing page. Just putting a "contact us" link or form on your website isn’t enough. A landing page helps explain benefits, gives context and encourages your prospect to take action.
7. Your website is all about you.
Many B2B companies make the mistake of just listing their products or talking about their services. They publish press releases from their company. Me, me, me. To get more leads from your website, you have to understand that your website shouldn’t be about you.
A website without an obvious value proposition is virtually useless. Don't just list your products or services; tell prospective customers in their words about the benefits they will see when they use your solution. Tell customers how other customers have benefitted from your products or services.
8. Your website doesn't get enough visitors.
If your website is seen by 10 people per day, you’re probably not going to be getting enough leads from it to keep a sales person busy. If you want more visitors on your website, and if you want your website visits to grow steadily, you have to become a publisher of information that your potential customer can find.
Start with your website. Creating a blog and posting to social media profiles (usually LinkedIn) is a good start. Once you’re doing that, try getting content in front of the people that matter, potentially in a trade publication or at an industry event.
Your prospects are hungry for information. Provide it on your website and you’ll get more visitors.
9. You aren't on social media.
Even in B2B, you should consider creating social profiles and posting to social media. While social media may not be your top priority, it certainly has its place in the overall marketing mix.
We’ve detailed on this blog in the past how to generate leads with LinkedIn and even some creative ways to use social media and your next trade show.
Start with LinkedIn. Not only is it a great research tool to learn about leads you're already getting, but it's a good sales prospecting tool as well.
10. Your website is an afterthought.
You haven’t updated your website in years? Your website is the last thing that gets updated? Don’t have a success plan or strategic plan for your website? Perhaps it’s on the back burner.
As I said earlier, your website is like other forms of advertising and marketing. It takes a plan to succeed in online lead generation, and it takes a time commitment. Are you making it a priority?
Don't give up on using your website for lead generation. All B2B companies can generate leads from their websites. If you aren't generating new leads, perhaps it's time to change your website and try something new.
How can you plan to generate more leads from your website?