For over a decade now, businesses have been attempting to garner the power of the internet for the cost-effective, efficient marketing of their products or services.
But even the best-conceived internet marketing campaigns can fail if your website’s design costs you the leads it should otherwise be generating.
We recognize that beautiful graphics and a clean layout isn’t everything. Most of your business clients are going to be more interested in the products and services that you offer than being wowed by the appearance of your site.
But if you’re in the business of catering to the needs of other businesses, the first impression that you’re going to make may come through your website, and a poorly-designed page will often frustrate a visitor before they learn about the stellar products and services you offer.
There are many reasons that a website can turn away business-to-business (B2B) visitors, but the following are five of the most common reasons why website designs fail to bring home leads:
1. Users keep getting distracted
One of the reasons that your website might not be converting viewers into clients is that they keep getting distracted by things on your page – possibly even things that might look great, but are counter to the mission of catching clients.
For instance, your design and color scheme may have too many images, garish fonts or text color, pop-ups, and other distracting items. While there is an undeniable power of color in web design, if you don’t have an aesthetically pleasing page, it will look unprofessional and it may cause users to stop paying attention to your message.
This increases your bounce rate and will likely lead to a fall in your search engine rankings. Background colors, images, videos, and text should all work in concert to give the visitor a pleasant user experience. Consult a professional web design and marketing company if you’re unsure about your site’s design or you’ve experienced complaints about the busyness of your site.
Examples: Too many buttons on the screen to click on, more than one video animation on the screen at a time, pop-up options dropping in front of the text.
2. Your website takes too long to load
We probably don’t need to mention how important the speed of a website is for visitor retention. In fact, it’s very unlikely that you’d actually be reading this article if it had taken more than a few seconds to load.
Slow load times are an enormous factor in page abandonment and it can adversely affect your Google rankings. There are many potential causes for slow load times, but your first step is to identify whether or not you even have a problem. You can use a free service to test your speed and determine whether or not your page is too slow for the average web browser. Just remember that approximately half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, so you’ll want to make sure that your site is fast on computers, tablets, and phones.
According to Google, 53% of users abandon mobile sites that take more than three seconds to load.
3. Your content is poorly written
There may be a very simple reason why your otherwise magnificent website is underperforming when it comes to B2B lead generation – your content might not be optimized for B2B marketing.
Whether your target market is made up of professionals or tradespeople, they expect you to speak the language of their industry. That also applies to your content. Your content may be informative and well-written enough to get your page ranked, but that doesn’t mean that the business decision makers who land on your page are going to find it trustworthy enough to convert from viewers to clients.
B2B content usually needs to be a little more technical and jargon-heavy than B2C content. If you find that yours isn’t, it may be time for a content refresh. Be careful, though. Written content is an important component of search engine optimization, so any new or expanded content should be written with the objective of preserving any SEO gains that you may have already achieved.
Consult a reputable internet marketing firm with a designated content writing staff if you’re unsure how to proceed.
4. Your lead capture process is confusing or just not working
At the very least, your lead capturing process needs these three elements:
- A strong call to action
- A sign-up form
- A reward for signing up
An examination of these three items would be the first place to start. If your calls to action are vague or weakly worded or they just don’t sound like they compel a business decision maker to act, they need to be changed. If your sign-up form is more than one click from the content or it’s difficult to fill out from a mobile device, you need to have it redone. If you feel that these two factors are adequate, you may need to increase your incentive for completing the signup form.
5. Not enough visual content
Large blocks of text can be intimidating – and let’s face it, boring – and can cause a reader to bounce from your site.
Just as a page that’s too busy can cause a visitor to leave, having a large field of unbroken blocks of written content can achieve the same undesirable result. With that said, your content should be broken up by headers and subheaders, so that someone skimming the page can find what they’re looking for and web crawlers can easily identify what your page is about.
Other B2B lead generation issues
What if you’re certain that you have a fast website, strong design, excellent content and rankings, and a top-tier lead-capture process, and you still aren’t generating the B2B leads that you think you should?
You may have to start examining other issues with your business model that have nothing to do with your page or internet marketing campaign, such as product demand in your region, your target demographic, etc.
We’re not suggesting that web design is the only key to success, but if your business’s lead generation is flagging, this may be your first place to start. Contact a web design company that specializes in building websites for B2B marketers to review your current site.
Guest author: Michael Davis is the Content Director of Miami’s On the Map Marketing, Inc. As the chief content editor of one of the fastest-growing internet marketing firms in the country, Michael has made it his mission is to provide high-level, factual, and error-free content that emphasizes the best SEO practices and helps his company’s clients convert sales. When he’s not editing SEO content for On the Map, Michael writes his own industry-specific content for various publications.