Why Company Websites Don’t Perform
Company websites are often the leading demand generation engine for new business-to-business (B2B) sales – second only to personal connections and referrals.
But while they are more than seven times more effective than social media according to a recent joint study by Demandbase and Focus, study participants reported that their websites still vastly under perform in terms of their lead generation potential.
The problem is not caused by a lack of knowledge about their market of prospects, according to the 100 B2B marketing and IT professionals in the study. More than 60 percent of the respondents reported knowing or understanding their prospects well.
Websites Fail To Adequately Service Customers
The problem, they said, is that the websites fail to service customers once they arrive. This leads to below average lead generation performance, according to 80 percent of study respondents.
Interestingly, it seems to be the Marketing professionals who were far more likely than their IT peers to recognise shortcomings in website lead generation performance, the study showed. Non-IT respondents were keenly aware of website lead limitations (90 percent) while only one-half (52 percent) of the IT colleagues reported that the website wasn’t living up to its potential.
We hear all too often that the Marketing side of an organisation is let down by IT and this has to change for businesses to really reach their online potential.
Better Analysis of Visitors
When it comes to areas of improvement, 87 percent of respondents said that the website needs to do a better job of tracking and reporting of unregistered site users. This could be as simple as know what content visitors are spending most of their time digesting.
They also need better way to understand what their customers and prospects do once they arrive at the website. Nearly one-half of the executives surveyed did not know where (Web page or section) their users are most likely to abandon their website.
“Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first,” said Chris Golec, Demandbase CEO. And he’s right.
Marketing & Technology Meet at the Website
Golec goes on to say, “Regardless of its origin — social media or email, banners or search — traffic driven from online marketing initiatives always intersects at the website. And, while businesses are investing heavily in their sites, the study shows that they are then ignoring the very audience they worked so hard to attract.”
It’s clear then. Just having a website does not constitute an online business.
Analysing visitor behaviour, reviewing their interests and knowing their original intent for arriving at your website are the keys to a successful start in online marketing.