How to Prepare Your Website For Inbound Marketing Success

One of the biggest problems with B2B websites is that they are internally focused and don’t engage the audience.

They are so concerned about promoting the company products, strengths or services that they completely fail to get the potential customer to identify with their message.

It’s really no wonder most B2B websites get less than 3,000 visits a month.

But, what if you started designing your website from the exact opposite direction? What if, instead of trying to drive your business home to the customer, you tried to lure the customers in?

A website can be strategically designed to appeal to your target audience, engage them with content, help them move down the sales funnel and convert to a loyal customer. This kind of website, however, is what inbound marketing companies create and constantly tune. Here are five points you can start with:

1. Answering the Real Questions

You aren’t building your website for yourself or your insiders – you are building it for customers, leads and prospects. This means you need to focus on the questions your leads, prospects and customers are actually asking. If you don’t know the most frequently asked questions, then talk to your sales team or openly ask your followers on social media.

Whatever it takes, find out what people want to know about your business, brand, products or services and begin building the pages to answer those questions.

If you have difficult questions to answer (often, pricing can be hard to pinpoint when there are a lot of determining factors), don’t avoid it – answer it in detail. Even if you have to post multiple posts on pricing issues, how to keep costs down and why certain upgrades are more expensive – do it!

2. Consider the Journeys

Your customer doesn’t simply scroll through pages on your website – he or she will embark on a journey. This is why building your site to accommodate and direct the visitor’s path is vital to helping them complete that journey.

As you organize your page, don’t look at sections of content, look at how your visitor will be directed from page to page.

Are their pitfalls and rabbit trails where your visitor can get distracted from the important path? The journey may start with a clicked link from a Tweet, a search engine result or a shared blog article, but once the viewer is on your site, you must make sure they have somewhere to go.

3. Cut the Bull

Don’t make your customer jump through hoops. Many of your viewers will know what they want, so being force-lead on a journey is incredibly irritating.

A vast number of marketers (69%) believe they have incredible content, but don’t get distracted by thinking great content is the goal – selling your products and services is your true goal!

Some of your content will tend to be the content that is most often sought right before a sale is made, so make sure that content is readily available no matter what page a visitor is currently on.

Also, notice how many larger companies will happily bypass the site sign-up stage and allow those interested in purchasing to simply do so as guests. They, then, allow the customer to add an account after the purchase information is complete – saving the customer the time of re-inserting their contact information. This expedited process keeps any time lapse or distraction from getting between the point of interest and the customer purchase.

4. Remember the Path

Don’t be afraid to push them gently in the direction of another important blog post, ask them to sign up for your newsletter or provide products they can browse. There are many places to take your customer, but you always want to be in control of where they should be headed next.

However, the Key Success Factor for any marketing strategy is going to be conversion rate.

This means you can’t get caught up in your CTAs and fail to recognize where your customer is at in the sales funnel. Analyze these pathways obsessively and get to know what it is that will smoothly turn a cold lead to a loyal customer every time.

5. Test, Analyze, Repeat

Your paths will have bottlenecks and chokepoints, just like it will have successes. Know these inside and out and continually swap your content until you know what works and what doesn’t.

Work with engaged customers to critique your content and you will be miles ahead of the game.

Look to lower your bounce rates (those who get to your website and then quickly back out) and improve your repeat visitor numbers.

Most importantly, use these tips to focus on quality (and not quantity) when measuring your published content, website pages and new leads.

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