The higher your conversion rate, the better. If your conversion rate is high, you can sustain revenue with less overall traffic and focus on the traffic that really matters.
Conversion rate refers to the number of people who are taking your desired action on your site – whether signing up to receive your newsletter, scheduling a consultation phone call, or becoming a paid customer.
In the early days of the internet, the big focus was on the amount of traffic you could bring to your website. While that still matters, it’s not so much about the volume of people you have coming to your site, but the volume of conversions you have that really matters.
FOr the first time in history, search engine results pages have changed. Google is taking up more prime real estate with paid advertising and it’s causing a decline in organic clicks. Conversion rate optimization is more important than ever to succeed online.
What is Conversion Rate for B2B?
Conversion rates vary widely from one industry to another, and many things influence it. An office manager buying ergonomic chairs for employees is on a different buying journey than a CFO considering the merits of an SaaS procurement software to streamline the organization’s supply chain.
A few of the factors that affect an industry’s conversion rates include: the complexity of decision-making during the purchasing process, the amount of prospect information and money required, and market saturation.
When you’re trying to figure out if you have a good conversion rate, aim to compare your conversion rate to other businesses in your industry, or the industry average to set your baseline. Looking at B2C averages can skew your data, because the sectors vary greatly.
B2B Conversion Metrics
Conversions aren’t just limited to sales. It’s worth considering other metrics when calculating your conversion rate.
Website to lead conversion rate
Data from MarketingSherpa indicates the average conversion rate for professional or financial services is 10%, and it’s the same for media and publishing.
Education or Healthcare is 8%.
Software or SaaS comes in at 7%.
When it comes to travel or hospitality, 4% is the average. And it’s even lower for retail or ecommerce, at 3%, and non-profits are at the bottom with 2%.
Free trial conversion rate
According to Recurly, B2B companies have an average free trial conversion rate of 66%, meaning that 2 out of every 3 people who sign up for a free trial will become a paying customer.
Data from TrustRadius shows that free trials are considered the most trusted and most helpful source of information for B2B buyers.
No matter what conversion rate you’re trying to improve, personalization can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals. But before you start trying to make your conversion rate better, you need to know your benchmark.
Calculate conversion rate with this formula:
Conversion rate = (Conversions / total visitors) *100
Once you determine your baseline conversion rate for your business, you can set goals and measure progress.
How to Develop a B2B Conversion Optimization Strategy
Define a Clear Unique Value Proposition
Your unique value proposition needs to offer prospects three things:
- Why your product or service is relevant to the customer. How does it solve their problem, or make their situation better?
- A quantified value. What are the specific benefits of your product or service?
- Differentiation: Why should your ideal customer buy from you and not your competitors?
Set Goals for Your Conversion Rate
This is where understanding your industry benchmark is crucial. If you’re in an industry where the average conversion rate is 4%, setting a goal of 8% isn’t practical. Aim to boost conversion rates to at least the average and fine-tune your efforts from there.
Write Compelling, Targeted Copy
The more you know about your audience, the better your copy will be.
Focus your efforts:
- Foster an emotional connection
- Create urgency
- Keep your copy clear and concise
- Include a compelling call to action (CTA)
- Tell your readers exactly what action you want them to take – that alone increases the chance they will do it.
Marketing strategy that includes personalized, highly targeted copy is the surest way to earn qualified leads.
Make The Customer Experience Easy and Intuitive
If you’re a company with the best product in the industry, that doesn’t mean you’ll beat the competition. Companies that reduce friction in the user experience come out on top.
General ease-of-use tips:
- Keep navigation simple and clear.
- Don’t ask your customers to do more than one thing on a landing page.
- Fill in any forms with known information.
- Make sure all your links are current and valid.
- Make your website mobile-friendly and responsive.
- Optimize your site for fast load time.
- Ensure your links are distinct from the rest of the text on the screen.
- Break your text up for easier scanning and readability.
- Use headings and bulleted lists.
- Use images where appropriate.
- Leave plenty of whitespace, especially above the fold
Include Social Proof
Heuristics are shortcuts our brains use to help us make decisions faster. Social proof is a heuristic concept that encourages people to convert.
To learn what is “correct” we look at what others are doing. You can provide social proof to your audience that your product or service has worked well for others – in the form of positive reviews, testimonials, case studies, number of email subscribers or social media followers.
And speaking of social proof, over 20,000 websites use Pulse, our social proof tool that increases website conversions on average by 15%. 😉
Adding inline social proof to the BuildFire homepage boosted click-through rates by 48%!
Personalize Each Page
Personalizing the experience makes users feel special and appreciated. It helps build an emotional connection.
One study shows businesses that adopt a content personalization strategy prove it is 48% more effective at convincing customers than “unpersonalized” content.
How can you make sure you’re doing everything to personalize your campaign? Answer these four questions:
- What goals are you tracking?
- What pages are you personalizing?
- What audiences are you targeting?
- What elements are you changing, adding, or removing?
During Proof’s Product Hunt launch, we created an experience that added a personalized banner to the top that read, “Well hello, Product Hunter. Welcome to Experiences.” In a split test, we found this increased the conversion rate to demo requests by 28%.
Experiences allows you to tailor every element on a landing page for a specific audience, and then test your design on a segmented list, without writing a single line of code.
Personalization doesn’t have to stop at the landing page. You can personalize every page as they click through with CTAs to content they are likely to search for based on past activity. When our client ProfitWell initiated personalized CTAs, they increased blog leads by 162%!
Perform A/B Testing
How will you know if any of the changes you’ve made are influencing your conversion rate? How will you know which changes produce the greatest impact?
The answer is A/B testing. By split testing with your audience – you’ll see what changes your audience is responding to in a positive way.
Split test anything from layout, to colors, calls to action, images, copy, and more. Just be sure to test one change at a time, so you know what to attribute the change in conversion to.
In a recent case study, the B2B SaaS company ProfitWell A/B tested personalization on their blog and saw a 162% increase in content downloads by personalizing call to actions by topic and visitor behavior.
Track Your Results
As you test various things, keep track of your results. If you notice a change that consistently produces results, make that change permanent.
Examples of How Conversion Rates Vary
Beyond industry, conversion rates vary depending on the lead origin, too. On Facebook, your average conversion rate is 9.21% across all industries. For the education industry, there’s a 13.58% average conversion rate, while e-commerce conversion rate is only 3.26%.
If you’re using pay-per-click (PPC) with Google, the median conversion rate is only 2.35%. Data also shows that a 5% conversion rate puts you in the top 25% of advertisers.
With email marketing, average conversion rate is anywhere from .31% to 4%, depending on industry. Campaign email open rates averages across all industries is 35%.
As you can see, lead generation may vary by channel and method. Your digital marketing strategy should include many methods, supported by inbound content marketing. When qualified leads reach your personalized landing page from any source, your content should be personal, appealing, and engaging.
While it is easy to obsess over metrics, your conversion rate should automatically improve if you make sure everything you do is done to make things better for your customers.