Improving Website Conversion Rates

Improving website conversion rates is the enhancing the process of converting your visitors from passive readers to action-taking people. Marketing for manufacturing depends on it.

improving website conversion

  1. Having a better website conversion rate does not mean you are definitely above your competition, it only means you are effectively meeting your industrial marketing objectives.
  2. The more successful your web conversion rate, the more popular your industrial marketing site will be to visitors and other sites, increasing your link exchange. The search engines love links and will bring more traffic to your site.

The problem with website conversion rate is the fact not everyone understands how to do it properly. The needed tools are not in place. The objectives are either unclear, or not being implemented properly.

Your website conversion rate may be lower than anticipated due to:

  • Visitors do not trust you or your site. They feel uncomfortable doing business with you.
  • Visitors have concerns about your products, services or other offerings.
  • Your site is not user-friendly. It causes more confusion and frustration than desired.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your website conversion rate. These include:

  1. Utilize a number of trust factors throughout your pages. Visitors must feel comfortable with you and your company.
  2. Develop a variety of useful tools that enhance your industrial marketing merchandising.
  3. Make your website as user-friendly as possible to enhance your visitor’s experience.
  4. Analyze each page and determine which is meeting your objectives and which is not.
  5. Know what your objectives are. What action do you want your visitors to take?  Do you want subscriptions? Product purchases? Appointments? Once you know your industrial marketing objectives, you can implement behavioral targeting.

Implementing a Solution for Higher Website Conversion

  • Industrial marketing means you must focus on your trust factors. Display third-party accreditation on your home page and throughout your site. Clearly list your terms and conditions. Develop a contact us page and reveal your physical address, phone number, fax number, and other pertinent information.
  • Marketing for manufacturing means staying current with your merchandising offers. Use price competitiveness, product relevancy, introduce irresistible product offers, utilize clear product descriptions, consider free delivery to increase conversion rate, maintain proper inventory and use images.
  • Develop a user-friendly site by avoiding mistakes such as poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. Make certain your links operate. Be sure your pages download quickly. Test each sales step in your conversion funnel.
  • Start using a “multivariate testing” tool, such as Google Website Optimizer, to simultaneously test numerous variables. You can determine which images and pages draw attention, which headings work and other relevant information.
  • Use behavioral targeting to improve your website conversion rate. Analyze your page data to determine where to place targeted and relevant ads at optimum times throughout the call-to-action process.

Are you improving your website conversion rate?

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Posted in: Industrial Web Marketing, Website

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Why Tweet if So Few Care?

There was an interesting conversation happening on Twitter, a few days ago, that involved all-star blogger Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) and some of his followers.? Here’s how it all started:

I think the question was innocent enough, and quite frankly, a justified question, if for nothing else, to get people to really examine the type of content they were sharing.? I’m sure you immediately noticed that the initial consensus of the respective following felt many did not care about their information shared. The follow up question from Chris was what I felt sparked the most interest:

My Initial Reaction

When I read Chris’s follow up to the conversation, it began turning wheels inside of my ‘often distracted’ mind.? “…seriously, why the hell waste time?? Why are we spending hours sharing content that “most” could care less about?? Why do we go through our days in an effort to intrigue such a small percentage of the social world?? Are we, as a society, so desperate to justify our existence by a following of numbers, that we feel it necessary to continue to feed information to such a small percentage of the world?”? After I finished my rambling, incoherent process of thought, my personal answer was exactly what Chris asked:

“We share our information to learn what others care about.”

I think that the people who truly crave to contribute will continue to share small bits of content in an effort to identify the greater interest, and further to be able and identify what’s worth discussing and what’s not.? Although some efforts may result in no attention (I would know), its still a simple effort to gain a further understanding of what’s important, and what’s not, to the social communities we strive to connect with.

An Even Better Reaction

A couple days later, I had the privilege of connecting with Carrie Wilkerson (@barefoot_exec), incredibly talented author and consultant for self-employed professionals, who came through with a perspective I think will help many:

No matter how small the percentage of people that actively “care” about the content you share, that should be more than enough proof for you to continue sharing.? The pure fact that you have the ability to engage and impact a single person based on sharing information in the social atmosphere should be enough to motivate you to not only continue sharing, but evolve your sharing strategy to a point that satisfies the masses, regardless of when that may be.

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Posted in: Social Media

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3 Quick Business Insights from 2 Best-Selling Authors

 

Its really rare in life that you are given an opportunity to engage with and learn directly from truly exceptional people.? Everyone, I hope, understands the power of mentorship and how it can take an ‘ordinarily’ positioned individual and transform them into a habitually successful businessperson.? Social media gives us ‘ordinary’ people the ability to connect with the truly exceptional.

Its our obligation as? businesspeople, or aspiring authors, or professionals and everyone in between to harness the information we gain from others and use it as a motivating factor to further our own successes.? Since the start of 2012, I’ve made a commitment to not only engage in people whom I admire, but to also take their insights and turn them lose in a way that can help not only myself, but those around me.

For the past two weeks, I’ve focused on two best-selling authors and savvy business people.? Chris Brogan (@chrisbroan) and Carrie Wilkerson (@barefoot_exec).? I’ve monitored, closely, their activity over the past two weeks, as I will continue to do so for a long time to come.? Over the past two weeks, I feel that both of them have given some unique insights that I wanted to share.

Business needs to be healthy…No matter what -

We all find excuses to procrastinate things until a later date.? These are the things that we don’t feel hold as much value to our business, as others.? Items such as writing content for our website, spending a some time reading and educating ourselves, or anything else you’re not doing (you know what they are).? When we put off the things that may not show immediate impact now, but turn into great things later, we poison our businesses.? When you see how Chris and Carrie engage in healthy activities, contribute to the community, enjoy life, and many other things, you start to realize just how important time management truly is and keeping a healthy balance of it makes all the difference.

Network Share…Everyone has useful information to share, you just need to find it -

We are all given a very unique talent when we are born.? That talent is the uniqueness of individuality.? Sharing information in today’s business atmosphere is becoming not only important, but critical.? Sharing information for your audience to use should be in the new Bylaws of every corporation.? Seriously, far too many companies are not engaging with their social community the way they should.? Social media gives you a platform to connect with people who you otherwise would not connect to.? The emphasis in business 10 years ago was “network, network, network”, now the web makes that easier than ever before and still more people either don’t use it, or use it improperly.? Read Chris Brogan’s book, Google+ For Business to get a birds eye view of how social media can be applied to your company.

Learn from your Audience -

Would you believe that if you just took a moment to listen and read what was being posted on your Twitter feed, you’d likely be able to gain a college education in a few months.? Okay, that’s completely bullshit, but seriously, when you think of the people you have the ability to connect with and the information they share, you have an open resource of some of the most brilliant minds in the world sharing research, insights, lessons and much more.? Since the beginning of 2012, we’ve been able to learn the ins and outs of writing a book from a best-selling author, in Chris Brogan, as well as how to deal with the struggles that professionals are bound to deal with every day, from Carrie Wilkerson, on a consistent basis.
Its funny what you can learn, when you just shut-up for a few minutes to listen.

 

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Posted in: Industrial Web Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized

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Are You Utilizing Your Unique Selling Proposition Online?

The Competitive Market for Industrial Goods And Services
The desperation is almost palpable in the market for industrial goods and services. The signs are apparent.  Staple items sold in the B2B marketplace are continually coming under the assault of downward pricing pressure.  New suppliers rise to take on larger established companies in specialized areas and then themselves disappear in a matter of years from increased competitive tension.  Why does this pricing burden seem to intensify, as time moves forward?

Unique Selling Proposition

Finding Relief In ‘New’
Some companies relieve this pricing pressure in the marketplace by ‘re-inventing’ themselves, their products and/or their staff.  But keeping a flow of ‘new’ continuously, can be expensive.  The development of new marketing materials, sales strategies and training take time and resources that should be devoted to effective marketing and promotion. 

The start-up costs of a new line of business, if implemented too often eat into a company’s profitability.  This should cause executives to ask whether a continuous emphasis on the ‘new’  as a business model is sustainable.  If the industry’s niche doesn’t support that kind of investment for small businesses, then financing ‘new’ developments  may be the incorrect solution to a correctly diagnosed problem.

Needing to Compete on the Basis of Price
Companies that have to respond to the competitive pricing demands of the industry, cannot afford to operate under the unrealistic expectation of creating new products, etc. to  maintain leadership in an industry.  When that kind of reaction is necessary, it is likely that the company’s prospects and customers were led to the company,not because they provided superior value, but because they were inexpensive in some way. 

Can A Company Have the ‘Wrong’ Customers?
When a company is positioned this way, the only way to increase sales is to lower their prices.  That strategy works when it done occasionally for a specific business purpose. But when it is a guiding operational principle, financial ruin is probably coming soon.  Although marketing on the internet is competitive there are better ways to position a company, than to compete this way. 

Clients that are price sensitive are likely to be indifferent to the improvements you make, the accessories you add and even the value added services you provide.  If your goal is to increase profit by providing value that a customer cannot get elsewhere; customers that make their purchase from you on the basis of price are the wrong customers.  Moreover, they are unlikely to make replacement purchases from you unless your prices are low or comparable.

So, if pricing attracts the ‘wrong’ kind of client, how can a company attract the right kind of client?

The Way The Internet WAS Used to Attract Customers
 Successful internet marketing is driven by a proliferation of strategically designed and carefully placed content.  For most of the 2000’s small businesses and marketing consultants focused on the placement aspect.  As a result, what mattered most was how the content was situated on the internet because it drove search rankings. 

The conventional wisdom for most of that time was that if a company could attain the most visibility, that that there would be a direct benefit to their profitability.  The logic was more visibility, would lead to more prospects; more prospects would lead to more customers; more customers would lead to more income and profitability.

This formula depended on small businesses and consultants being able to mimic their understanding of search engine formulas for displaying relevant websites. Companies that invested time and resources into knowing how to get their content placed correctly were satisfied that the results that they were receiving were maximized.  Although it was definitely important, it was of secondary nature to focus on what the content actually said during these years.

The Way The Internet IS Being Used To Attract Customers
In recent years marketing practitioners have had to take a more balanced approach as search engine algorithms have grown more difficult to mimic.  In fact, according to Search engine software company SEOmoz, companies like Google adjust their search engine algorithm approximately 500 to 600 times every year. These adjustments have made it more important for businesses to focus on the nature of their content and not just its strategic placement.

However, it is not enough for content to be considered as good reading material.  It has to be created with one goal in mind: move a prospect at least one step closer to becoming a client.  What that does not mean is that every single article, video, press release or podcast needs to have a hard sales message. What it does mean is that it needs to leave an impact on the prospect’s mind as to whether or not they need to do business with a company.

Positioning A Company On the Internet To Find the Right Customers: USP
To accomplish this successfully with their content, a company needs to be skilled in utilizing their unique selling proposition (USP).  The USP answers a basic question in the mind of the prospect: why should they do business a company? 

It is a statement about what sets the company apart from its competitors in one of the following three areas: 1) price, 2) niche or market focus or 3) something done better than others.  With a clear understanding of the USP, all of a company’s content will state both directly and indirectly to a potential client why they (the selling company) are the only logical choice from who to make future purchases.

As companies are creating their content, whether it is for a website, social media or public relations, it is critical for them to integrate the understanding of their unique selling proposition.  In some cases, it may mean reinforcing the chief benefits of working with the firm.  In other cases, it will mean discussing the void in the marketplace that is being fulfilled.  Still in others it will mean demonstrating specific areas of quality, selection or service that the firm delivers in ways its competition does not do as well.

Practical Steps to Crafting The USP

  1. Answer the following two questions: a) why do people buy from you, and b) if they aren’t buying from you why should they?  Survey and interview both current and former customers, staff and management to determine this answer.  The most important data (if you don’t compete on price) will come from your customers.
  2. Once you have this information, determine how you are positioned in the customer’s mind or how you would like to be positioned: a) are you the price leader?, b) do you offer something totally different?, c) are you niche focused? or d) are you value focused (you provide results that matter to customers)?
  3. Analyze your top three competitors.  Which of the four positioning categories do they fall in?
  4. Make a prioritized list of services or products most desired by your clients.
  5. Write the USP in less than 100 words; answer the question as to why people should do business with you, based on the void the competition is not filling.
  6. Test the USP In Ad Copy and Website Copy, and track the results.
  7. Once you have a USP that you would like to use to position yourself, begin to integrate it into all aspects of your promotion.
  8. Tweak the USP as necessary.

Takeaway

The most important aspect integrating the USP is that the context must always truly matter to the reader or prospect.  It may be great reading to discuss an industry trend that the company is combating or even a new service it is offering. But if neither of them matter to those who are reading and listening, the content will not accomplish its purpose of moving a prospect closer to becoming a client.  Executing on this purpose is vital for any company that wants to be effective in every aspect of their marketing process.

Does your marketing message matter to customers?  If so, is it truly unique?  Does it express WHY customers should come to you?

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Posted in: Content Marketing, General Marketing, Industrial Web Marketing

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B2B Mobile Marketing May Be Closer Than You Think

B2B companies don’t have to rush to embrace mobile internet technology until their customers demand it.  However, that day may not be too far away, if it hasn’t already arrived.  The B2B mobile marketing world is still new. However, think of this; there is evidence that mobile technology has been fully adopted as the single one device that individuals desire to carry.  According to Microsoft, we are a few years away from the day when mobile internet usage takes over desktop internet usage.  However, closing the B2B sales process typically doesn’t depend on as heavily on web based tools; therefore to say it is urgent to may be overstating the case. But that will change, and soon b2b mobile marketing will quickly become its own animal.

b2b mobile marketing

However, there are certain statistics that may surprise B2B managers before they want to conclude that nothing in the immediate future needs to be done to their internet presence:

  1. The Gomez corporation states that over 70% of those who use Mobile browsers have the expectation that web pages should load as fast as those on their personal computer.
  2. 50% of search conducted in local areas were completed on mobile devices.
  3. Over 100 million users use a mobile device to connect with Facebook

These statistics should state clearly that if a company intends to market through search, their visitors are likely to eventually be mobile users.  If companies intend to market using social media, they can expect that their prospects will be there. If you are conducting educational programs, professionals will probably want to be able to follow along on their mobile device, not necessarily their PC.

Visit Your Site as a B2B Mobile Marketing Tool

Given the reality of B2B sales process and the growing necessity of mobile accommodation, what should companies do immediately to keep themselves from missing opportunities

  1. Executives and staff should visit their site with a mobile device.  They should attempt to take all of the important actions: find research, opt-in, find telephone numbers, search the site.  If these things are not easily completed during the test, managers have just placed themselves in the position of their prospective customers.  If company personnel cannot take actions favorable to the company, they will need to do everything that they can to make it so that these steps are made possible.
  1. Executives and staff should also attempt to consume content on the site and then to take note of whether it is easy to read and navigate. If it is not, steps should be taken to optimize content for mobile devices.   Some content should be created conducive to short attention spans and small screens.  Long paragraphs may be important, but also may not be practical to read while on a mobile device.
  1. Executives and staff should take note of how long it takes for pages to load.  It is estimated by the Gomez Corporation that almost three quarters of consumers wait 5 seconds for a page to load on their site before giving up altogether.  Recognizing that statistic applies to B2C marketers, there is definitely some evidence that site visitors find it distasteful when a B2B page doesn’t load quickly.

Closing Thoughts

While B2B marketers are not dependent (yet) on mobile technology to close deals, it is quite possible that traffic and engagement opportunities can be missed by not being ready to receive mobile visitors. Starting with the staff’s general analysis their own a site visit companies should begin making changes that are common sense in orientation.  Checking to see if basic objectives are easy or difficult in navigating the site will give executives a good start on figuring out what needs to be done.

What do you find when you visit your site from a mobile device?

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