In B2B marketing, there is constant pressure to drive performance from your website and digital marketing activities – quickly. Constant pressure, day after day is overwhelming. Your head might be spinning.
The good news? You can be proactive to deliver a high performing website and alleviate the pressure. Because let’s face it: Nobody wants spinning heads.
The world we live in today is fast-paced
To say the least. We’ve become accustomed to instant gratification. Think about it:
Need the latest NY Times best seller fast? – Amazon Prime
Need the perfect shoes for this weekend? – Zappos
Can’t bother with commercials during you new favorite show? – Netflix
Running late and need a ride…now? – Uber
Can’t wait 3 minutes in line for your coffee? – Starbucks ordering app, grab it and go
Need a high performing website…yesterday? – Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?
Our minds have been rewired to replace ‘Want’ with ‘Need Now’ and ‘Can’t Wait’ and they’ve infiltrated every aspect of our lives, including our work.
In B2B marketing, I’m guessing you can relate. This is especially true in digital marketing. Digital technology started this expectation and it continues to fuel it.
And so, you continue to deal with constant pressure for results from website and digital marketing activities – quickly. Not in 3 months, not in 6 months. Your executive team wants to see results – yesterday.
Here’s what you can do to manage it all and it starts with taking a proactive stance.
Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
A KPI is a measurable value used to evaluate success. Define your website and digital marketing KPIs upfront and you will be in a better position to measure and prove the return on your investment. After all, marketers that calculate ROI are 1.6x more likely to receive higher budgets. (HubSpot, 2016)
Your KPIs should directly relate to an action a user takes that moves them through the buyer’s journey and closer to starting a conversation with you. Depending on your B2B marketing goals – like improving lead generation or increasing sales – your KPIs might be any combination of:
• Contact Us form submissions
• Offer downloads, like a case study or white paper
• Webinar registrations
Then, you can track your KPIs using tools like Google Analytics to report on user behavior and the reality of which actions users are completing on your website.
To track SEO KPIs – like rankings in search engines – you can use tools like Moz and SpyFu. Challenge yourself to track beyond rankings though because ranking high in Google doesn’t necessarily translate to website conversions, leads and sales. Marcus Miller from Moz says “Look at the impact on organic traffic (awareness), relevance of traffic (engagement) and the overall quality, and how likely this traffic is to lead to a sale, lead or conversion of any sort.” (Moz, 2016)
Create a data-driven, customer-centric website
Let the data drive decisions. The numbers don’t lie so – gosh darnit – listen to them!
If there’s no search volume for a specific keyword, do not include it in your optimization strategy. Guess what? If nobody is searching in Google for that keyword, your website will be #1 on the search engine result page that does not even exist.
If the CTA button with “Download White Paper” performs better than “Don’t Choose this CTA Button Text” in A/B testing, just choose with “Download White Paper.”
Combat subjectivity with data
When it comes to elements of a website redesign project like design, usability, SEO there will be a subjective factor. Try to minimize subjectivity and let the data influence decisions.
Someone on your project team might like orange because it was the color of their childhood bedroom and it brings back warm and fuzzy feelings. By the way, orange is nowhere to be found in your brand color palette. Share research and reports on where and how to leverage colors on your website in a way that will be impactful.
Or, someone might feel like users will fill out a form that has 17 fields.
Again, the numbers don’t lie. Let the data drive decisions.
Manage internal expectations of timing
Great things come to those who are patient (and do it the right way). The worst thing you can do for your digital presence is rush to make improvements to your website. Expecting to see a finished product and results in a timeframe that just isn’t realistic is the best way to not get the results you need. I know – easier said than done.
Explain why the best use of your investment is to take the time to be strategic, plan and execute. Only then can you see the results you want. If you can step back, stop aimlessly executing and make it a point to be strategic, you’ll see the results you need. I’d say that’s better than not seeing results quicker.
Choose a partner who understands your accountability
A website redesign and any digital marketing initiative is a serious investment – time, resources, budget and your leadership team’s perception of you as a professional in B2B marketing. At the end of the day, you’re the one who is accountable to your CEO (who in turn is accountable to the Board/VCs).
Work with someone who understands the magnitude of your accountability, not just someone who says they get it. Work with someone who is willing to share that responsibility with you. This is your baby; it should be theirs too.
Fight the temptation to dive in blindly
B2B marketing in today’s digital world is no easy feat. Stepping away and taking the time to be strategic can give you the results you need and can alleviate that constant, head-spinning, overwhelming pressure.
If you need help fighting the temptation and doing it the right way, reach out to us today.