Earlier this week I brooded over the challenges that come with optimizing B2B lead generation websites 😔
I’m over it. There’s actually a s**t ton you can do to optimize this kind of site. Starting with …
Get data you can trust
How many leads did your site get last month? How many Google Analytics Goal conversions did you track?
It’s pretty common for these two numbers to be way off. They’ll never match perfectly, but if we can’t get them close enough to trust, we’re better off ignoring Google Analytics completely.
- Spam. (Make sure you’re filtering out bots in Google Analytics. Implement reCaptcha if necessary.)
- Customer support requests. (Give your existing customers a prominent, separate ‘Support’ CTA, support page, and form.)
- Test submissions. (Block office IP addresses in Google Analytics, and/or have the team use Ghostery when visiting the site.)
Fix broken stuff
You’ll never have the luxury of running an 8-variation experiment on your lead form to determine if a rounded input field border raises submissions by 0.82%.
That’s actually a good thing. It grants you permission to audit your form based on uncontroversial best practices, update it accordingly, and move on with life. (Here is a great guide; you can also trust Luke W. or Nielsen Norman Group.)
Beyond that, getting another set of eyes on your site (especially the most direct landing-to-conversion path) can point you to obstacles or confusing elements that are best removed. Hire a CRO guru ninja unicorn, or if you’re on a budget, have 5 user testers complete a conversion task on the site. Watch the recordings and fix anything that brings you deep shame.
Get to know your visitors
User testing and best practices won’t tell you anything about your special snowflake ❄️ visitors. So, do this:
Segment Google Analytics data by ‘Converters’ and see what they’re up to
Once a quarter, ask GA a few questions about the visitors who submitted a lead form:
- What pages did they land on?
- What channels did they come from?
- What referral partners sent them?
- What device types do they use?
If you can take action to get more visitors like these, go for it! If you see an obvious reason why certain pages, channels, or devices are not associated with conversion, go fix it!
Check back next quarter to see if the answers to these questions have changed.
Install a heat mapping tool and run heat maps on your top 5-10 pages.
Don’t bother looking at them until they’ve reached at least 1,000 visitors. When you do look, ask “Is everyone clicking exactly where we expect them to?”
The answer is almost always “WTF, not at all.” So ask why, or whether you can make the page easier to use by moving or removing something. Then go do it, run another heat map, and see if you impacted how people use the page.
Run polls on high exit pages
Asking people “What’s missing from this page?” after a reasonable duration of non-interaction is one of my favorites. You won’t get many responses, but you’ll get some 🤦♂️ obvious insights.
Past realizations based on this type of poll include:
- “Oops, yeah, we don’t mention our iOS app anywhere on the site 😁”
- “Oh, forgot to mention, most of our visitors are actually here for [secondary service] … maybe we should add that to the navigation?”
- “Wow, tons of people ask about [feature] … maybe we should list it on the Features page?”
If you’re having one of these 🤦♂️ moments once per quarter, based on data you’ve collected on your website, congrats – you’re doing optimization.
Maybe test stuff
If your lead volume doesn’t support the statistics needed for A/B testing, it’s best to leave it alone. But you may find that your site has a secondary goal that’s valuable enough to justify optimization effort.
Maybe your quarterly Google Analytics audit showed you that your newsletter subscribers are a high-converting audience. You’d like more of them. At present, you’re getting 300 signups per month.
That’s an optimizable metric! If you can do it on the cheap, run a test on different subscribe experiences.
Even if you never get to experimentation, though, following the above steps gets you a site that’s 93% free of embarrassing issues, and builds a continuous improvement process for your site.
It ensures that every few months, you’ll know a little more about your visitors. You’ll make better decisions. You may even decide this stuff is fun, and start to dig deeper. In time, you’ll have the most amazing B2B lead generation site on the internet. ☀️🌈