Conversion and friction — two words that constitute user experience. A good user experience is when website visitors happily and willingly fill out forms without hesitation and convert into a lead. Friction, on the other hand, distracts and hampers conversion rates, and often impedes the end goal of converting visitors into marketing qualified leads (MQL). Friction kind of sucks.
Many times, friction points on a B2B website aren’t obvious. Friction points are often small irritants that seemingly cause the visitor to take pause or question their visit. I relate it to a broken branch in your lane of the road. You must slow down and think about either running it over or going around it. In either case, it slowed you down and was an impediment to forward progress. Friction on a website is similar — your visitor has a goal, but they can’t complete that goal because of friction points.
Recognizing potential frictions points will dramatically help improve your B2B site’s conversion rates. Let’s take a look at five of the most common.
Common B2B Website Friction Points to be Aware of:
1. Poor use of Color
Color plays an important role in how your customers interact with your B2B website design. Most people know that it can be difficult to read a paragraph of white text on a black background. The same could be said for buttons that appear gray until a visitor hovers over them, changing into a darker and more vibrant color. Both examples reduce the scannability of the page.
Jakob Nielsen performed a study that found 79 percent of users scanned any new web page. Only 16 percent actually read the web page word by word. A good balance of light and dark colors will create scannability and help guide visitors to what they’re searching for.
2. Overabundance of Menu Options
Have you ever landed on a site and been overwhelmed by menu options? If you’ve shopped on Amazon.com in the past few years, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Menu options at the top, sides, middle and, of course, the bottom of the page. It overwhelms the visitor, causes the visitor to pause (friction!), and will most certainly become a drop-off point. A carefully planned use of menus will guide the visitor with ease to the areas of the site that matter most to them.
3. CTA Offers that Fall Below the Page Fold
This is a pretty common issue; it’s the one I see the most — CTA’s are buried under a mountain of text and wind up at the bottom of the page. Stats show visitors rarely scroll below the fold. In fact, only about 40-50% of your visitors actually scroll and view more of the page. This is why you always place your CTA’s above the fold.
4. Using One Form for Multiple Offers
If you’re directing visitors to the “contact us” page for unique offers such as Request a Quote, Get Training, or Technical Literature Request, then there is a good chance you’re losing a large percentage of potential leads. I see it too often that the “contact us” page has become the catchall of inquires. Creating custom forms tailored around each unique offer will help remove friction and ease their process of making contact with your company.
5. Too much Emphasis on Features
If we put ourselves in our customers’ minds, we realize that the features of products or services aren’t as important as the benefits of using products or services. What your customers really want to know is how your product or service will benefit them at work and how it will make them more successful.
Now that you’re familiar with some common areas of friction that lower conversion rates, take a look at your site and be honest. Do you see areas of friction that could be improved? Want a second opinion? Then email me and I will create a video detailing any and all friction points I find on your site.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing program becomes more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we developed B2B 360 Integrated Digital Marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about B2B 360 and how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: The Better Path to Top-Tier Tech Marketing.
Christopher specializes in developing user-friendly, fully responsive, high-end websites for B2B companies in a wide range of industries. Rather than building “set and forget it” websites, he monitors web performance over time and makes continuous improvements to increase conversions and help clients get the most out of their website investment.
Learn more about Christopher