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In the B2B market, an efficient PPC campaign needs to capture and motivate prospects throughout the decision-making and sales cycles; while always understanding that intent and CTR are not always uniquely matched with either the research or buying phase.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Conversion Pages and Paths in B2B

Directing only the most qualified leads to sales is often more important than just increasing the number of leads, especially given the high price points on B2B products and solutions, as well as the drawn out sales cycle.

The ideal conversion path in B2B should be no more than 3 clicks, with two follow-up pages; namely, a “thank-you/confirmation” page and an auto-responder email with links for direct contact, questions, timelines, etc. However, on each page it is also absolutely necessary that the next logical and intuitive conversion trigger be highly visible. Given the long sales cycle, the quicker a user can be qualified, the faster that vital offline contact can be made and the relationship reinforced.

Oftentimes, B2B marketers make the mistake that the keyword is the user qualifier, and that there is no difference in intent from a researcher and a buyer that may be using the same search query; hence why there is usually only one conversion trigger and path per landing page. But there is no sure thing when it comes to organic rankings, and you are never certain that a research prospect is going to land on the research landing page when using a broad query. Because of this, maybe traditional "best practices" do not necessarily apply. Instead, why not have multiple highly visible conversion triggers on one landing page, the best ranked landing page. Like an old direction sign on the rural crossroads - help your prospect get to where they are going within your webite and don't put all your faith in the search engines to get them to the right landing page.

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