We live in a digitally driven age, where our reliance on the online world continues to grow.  With 94% of B2B buyer journeys starting online, having a business website is no longer an optional extra – it’s simply vital to success.  But why invest in a website if you’re not going to optimize it? Conversion rate optimization outlines the vital process of improving your website to ensure a maximum number of visitors take action and start their buyer journey.  With only 22% of B2B organizations currently achieving a desirable website conversion, CRO strategies have become a hot topic, as many hope to pull their website out of a conversion slump and meet modern buyer needs.  Here are six current trends that will help you ensure conversion success!

1) Be data-driven

This may seem obvious – 80% of B2B marketers claim to already be driven by data – yet many teams need to adjust how they approach data to unlock their ultimate results.  It’s important to remember why data is so important to an effective CRO approach; collecting it is just the first step – analyzing and understanding what this data tells you about your audience is the difficult (and most important) part.  When your CRO strategy is data-driven, you make the most effective and beneficial changes.

A conversion strategy measures current conversion rates and website metrics in an attempt to identify which website elements do (or do not) influence visitors to take the desired action.  When aiming to evolve your website to increase conversion, making changes based on anything other than objective data is unwise – how can you be sure it will increase the number of converting visitors?  Whether you’re using metrics from a website analytics solution, or the direct results of an A/B split test, always ask what data tells you, and act on this insight.  Even if a result is inconclusive, there’s data to be drawn and lessons to be learned.  Many businesses struggle to see CRO success because they fail to give their data and metrics the time and respect they deserve; let these magical numbers guide your team, and you’ll soon revolutionize your conversion success.

2) Optimize for mobile

Last year, just over 50% of B2B searches were conducted on a mobile or tablet device, and Google has confirmed that SEO crawlers and APIs now consider your mobile website to be your official website.  Optimizing your website for mobile users has become imperative; these visitors convert consistently at around 1.2%, and 65% of B2B purchasing research is conducted from a mobile device; there’s little doubt your CRO strategy has much to gain from a mobile-first focus.

To optimize your website for mobile, ensure your site’s look and feel is as consistent and polished on a small, hand-held screen as it is on your desktop, rotating seamlessly and instantly responding to touch-screen behavior.  It’s also important to consider load time in mobile optimization; every second your website keeps prospects waiting reduces conversion by as much as 7%, and when using a mobile device, visitors are even less patient than usual.

To help your team with mobile optimization, use a heatmap software to understand which areas of your website are popularly engaged with to better optimize page layout for touch-screen interaction.  Additionally, ensure your call to action buttons are clear and easy to use, giving both mobile and desktop visitors every reason to get in contact with your team!

3) Embrace video

Video is definitely trending right now, and there are plenty of reasons why! A clear majority of millennial decision makers (now involved in 73% of purchases!) have admitted to stopping other activities to engage with a video, and 1/3 of all time spent on the internet is spent watching videos.  Our attention spans are getting ever-shorter as the technological world continues to offer speedy solutions – the current average is just 8 seconds!  It’s little wonder a video has the power to not just engage audience members but increase purchasing intent by 97% and boost brand association by 139%.

A video can increase your CRO success by instantly enticing visitors to continue engagement with your website, digesting information about your brand and product seamlessly and quickly.  When videos replace images on landing pages, they’ve been proven to increase conversion by 80%.  If your CRO strategy hasn’t yet embraced video, now is the time to start!  Whether you convert content assets into video format, interview clients or create product explainer features, video is a versatile and exciting medium, the perfect addition to your conversion strategy.

4) Focus on forms

Contact forms and conversion rates are joined at the hip – you cannot hope to generate a bounty of new business opportunities from your website without an effective contact form.  As a CRO strategy can be a large undertaking with an enormous number of elements to consider, initially focusing on your contact forms is a great way to kick-start your CRO success.

Plenty of research has been conducted to define the perfect contact form, offering your team some great places to begin. Start by outlining how many fields your form asks visitors to fill out and why.  Studies show reducing this number can increase conversion by 120%, and it’s been discovered the optimum number of fields is just three!  This may seem barely useful – how can your business gain enough lead information with just three form fields?  Simple – consider multi-page forms, asking your prospects small sets of questions across a few form web pages boosts conversion even further, with a completion rate of 13.85%.

There’s plenty your team can do to fully optimize your contact forms, converting the highest number of visitors possible. Once this important website element is producing its best results, shift your focus to encapsulate your wider website, evolving your online experience to achieve the ultimate conversion.

5) Establish brand trust

Even if your website is expertly optimized, if your brand hasn’t established a sense of trust and expertise, you’re not likely to achieve conversion success to its fullest conversion potential.  No doubt your competitors will start to optimize their own website, so ensuring your brand stands out as the clear choice is essential.  When making an important investment, such as buying a new car, the price and the features are considerable factors, but reliability and credibility are equally important – you’ll want a car that many others swear by.  If you’re struggling to find those that agree a car brand or model is a good one, would you risk investing in them?

To optimize your website and create that vital sense of brand credibility and trust, feature customer testimonials on your most popular pages.  These valuable assets have been proven to influence 64% of conversions, as they position your brand as industry experts and back your products/services up with genuine feedback.  Ask how you can use customer quotes, video interviews, and testimonial features on your website to prove the importance, value, and reliability of your offering.

Look also to your website content, including blogs, news articles, and eBooks; these mediums offer your team exciting opportunities to boost brand credibility and convince website visitors of your expertise and passion.  Understand what pain points your target audiences feel regularly and how your offering benefits their business’ daily processes, constructing compelling and relevant content that instantly entices visitors, helping them understand why your brand deserves their business.

6) Customize!

Offering a website experience fully customized to the needs and preference of the visitor is vastly becoming more than a luxury- it’s now essential!  Over 50% of B2B buyers now expect a customized website experience when browsing and three in four buyers actively get frustrated when a website experience isn’t optimized to quicken and improve their journey.

Studies continue to prove the positive effect website personalization has on conversion rate. Amazon’s website deploys this technique consistently, and they regularly convert 11% of visitors- far higher than the B2B website average of 0.5%! If you’re serious about revolutionizing your conversion rate, you need to embrace website personalization and deliver bespoke online experiences to your most visiting industries and ABM prospects.