I want to walk you through a winning B2B e-Commerce strategy, explaining the process, tools and methodology behind it.
This should help you identify the weak link your online sales chain, and take corrective action.
Step 1. Increase website visitors
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, very few SMB’s had a web site. You could have owned the top listing on search for merely having a web presence. Today, competing for the top 4 SERP results takes a considerable effort.
As of October 2018, the organic click through rate on search results is about 30% for the top position, 13% for second, 8% for 3rd, and 5% for fourth. After that, you’re essentially invisible.
Image Credit: https://www.advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy/
To attract organic traffic to your site you need a library of relevant and helpful information. Customers are searching for answers, reviews, tips, tutorials, and more. If you post the most helpful and relevant content, you’ll win.
Customers don’t want to read about your sales awards, office buildout, or receptionists newborn daughter. When you post you need to ask your sales team, would this help our customers?
People right now are asking Siri or Google questions about your product or service. If your website holds the answers, you’ll win that traffic. Post great content consistently and you'll work your way up into the top four SERP spots.
Step 2. Nurture visitors into becoming customers
Pretend that your website is a salesperson. When a potential customer meets with your website-salesperson, how helpful are they?
Does your website-salesperson answer visitors questions?
Does your website-salesperson help visitors find the right products and services?
Does it compare your offerings against your competitors?
Can a visitor walk away with information they can take with them (eBook)?
Does your website-salesperson offer visitors to join your company newsletter?
Does it help visitors understand the value of joining your newsletter?
Will your website-salesperson check in with prospects a few days later?
When visitors return, does your website-salesperson remember their name and what they were looking for?
Is your website-salesperson a team player, assisting your other salespeople to close deals?
If your website was a salesperson, would you fire them or promote them?
You need to hold your website accountable to pull its weight as you would any other salesperson. Your website is talking to visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make sure it's up to the task.
You should budget to spend at least as much as the salary of a salesperson each your to constantly improve your website.
Every website can do all of the things listed above. Make sure your company does before your competitors.
Step 3. Follow visitor behavior
Imagine if you could see every customer who visited your site. What if you knew who they were, where they came from, what they were interested in, and they told you how ready they were to buy?
How easy would it be too sell to this customer? Pretty easy right? That’s what tracking code does, and the best part is it’s free. You can use Google Analytics or the Free CRM from HubSpot.
Tracking code monitors:
How the visitor landed on your site
How long they spent on each page
What they clicked on
Where they are geographically
What pages they read
What company they work for (by IP address)
When visitors return
If your website has content for top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, you can infer how close a customer is to completing a sale. A first time visitor who is reading content about a problem they have, are most likely in the early research phase, searching for solutions, but not yet ready to commit. These visitors need more information before they purchase. While a visitor who’s returned to read features and benefit comparisons are much closer to a decision.
Create content that helps you identify visitors by purchase intent and monitor return visitors.
Step 4. Test & Improve
You should be running tests on your website. They can be simple tests. Come up with a hypothesis like - "We can increase leads with a quote request pop-up". Test it out. Running A/B tests are easy. I recommend Google Experiments, HubSpot or Optimizely. You can set it up in 10 minutes or less.
Common items to test:
If each month you test and improve one thing, you’ll be outperforming your competitors in no time.
Step 5. Stay Connected
Keep your brand top-of-mind with consumers, stay in contact with them.
Are you following up in a helpful way? Really think about ways to be helpful. This is your chance to surprise and delight visitors.
Create content that people get excited to read or watch. Are there any emails newsletters you get excited to read? What is it that excited you about it?
I build race cars. There are two or three retailers that send me amazing weekly emails with helpful tips on upgrades and repairs. For me it’s helpful, relevant, and interesting. If all they did was send me coupons and deals I’d unsubscribe pretty quickly.
The best book on this is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary V. He does an amazing job with examples and case studies of brands who give, give, give, ask. Don’t be the company that asks, asks, asks, and then maybe gives.