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4 Ways to Make Your Website More Personal

We trust the word of our friends and colleagues more than ads. That’s a given. But what impact does that have on our marketing?

Plenty, according to the The 2011 National Website Demand Generation Study conducted by Focus.com and Eloqua AppCloud partner DemandBase. Marketers identify “personal connections and referrals,” followed by the company Website, as their top two lead sources.

Clearly, the website remains a crucial aspect of your B2B online marketing strategy. And it stands to reason that the more you can make your website experience match a personal referral – customized, mindful of the buyer’s needs, relevant to their buying stage  – the more successful you’ll be in turning that inquiry into business. Here are 4 website optimization best practices to help you do just that.

1. Know the details without asking. A lead may spend quite a bit of time on your site before raising their hand explicitly by filling out a form or requesting contact. And the more you ask them to do, the longer it will take them to do it. This is where you layer in tools that can do some of that work for you (and for the lead): progressive profiling to collect data gradually, and…

2. …Append and validate your data to create a stronger picture of the lead. One way to do that is to clean up your data or tap into data from third-party sources. (Our Cloud Connectors are designed to do just that.) You’re proactively building a better picture of the lead to inform a more relevant engagement.

3. Personalized content: From the report: “The website becomes the crucial sales tool during the buyer’s research and discovery process, and buyers are educating themselves without the guidance of a salesperson. B2B marketers clearly need to adapt to this trend, and work to engage buyers through more personalized Web experiences with custom messages and landing pages in order to engage buyers every step of the way.”

Your website is speaking for you, so make sure it’s using the data at your disposal to have an intelligent conversation. This means delivering relevant content based on a lead’s profile, by way of personalized landing pages that showcase custom content based on geography, or product line, or whatever your business rules indicate is an important qualifier.

4. Sales enablement: By the time you do pass a lead to sales for action, you should be able to pass along quite a mix of explicit and implicit data to help them have an informed conversation. Arm sales with sales intelligence and productivity tools designed to help them understand and communicate with prospects. Make it easy for sales to see what a prospect has been doing on your website—what they’ve looked at, and when, and how much—and you’re moving them that much closer to conversion.

What practices do you have in place for optimizing your website and landing pages?

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