Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder & CMO of Orbit Media, joins our host, Camela Thompson, Go-To-Market Thought Leader and B2B Insights Expert, in this episode of the Revenue Marketing Report. Andy shares the most common missteps by founders and marketers regarding websites – and which marketing task you should prioritize monthly.
I’m so excited to be talking to you about your wheelhouse, which is all things websites, and one that’s very near and dear to my heart. Let’s not even say whether or not people should invest in your website. It’s important. Please expand.
“By invest, we don’t mean you should go spend a bunch of money. Let’s just spend a little bit of our time and energy and give it some attention. If you’ve got two hours this month to do marketing, that’s all you can do. You can work harder on a social network. You can write another article. Take a moment to look back at your homepage and your key service pages because that is the place where your next lead is coming from. There might be people on that right page now. Improvements to those things are very durable and will give you long-term benefits, instead of writing another article or making another Instagram post. That’s a joke. I know that’s not a thing, but that is my generic name for social media. It’s the bottom of the funnel, which is where our time is best spent. It’s durable and long-lasting since improvements there last forever or for the duration of the site. And it’s for the most important audience, which is the commercial intent visitor who may be considering you for what you do for money. Therefore, we should all at least prioritize improvements for our websites.”
I think for those nodding your head and saying yes, preaching to the choir. We understand a website is important because we’re marketers. If I could just talk to a few founders right now, I would say we need to acknowledge that a lot of investors are advising you to put off your investment in marketing. And I am not saying go get a really expensive site with hosting and all those things and then the people who can actually help you bring a cohesive story together and prioritize the buyer journey. I think that’s terrible advice given that most of our buyers want to be online and that means that everything’s pointing at your website. Is that fair?
“Absolutely! They’re not going to contact you until they are confident that you’re a good option for them. The same way we all do all the time. So the pages on your website should basically emulate a sales conversation. If you know that visitors, that prospects tend to ask you three common questions, your pages should at least acknowledge those questions. Better yet, they should answer those questions. Best of all, they should answer those questions with strong proof points to support the answers. Lots of sites fail because they don’t add clarity and information. Other sites fail because they do have the information and it sounds general and tastes like water. And there’s no social proof, no data, no case studies, no statistics or any reviews, testimonials, years in the business, or even the number of happy clients. So everyone hearing this, would have a better website, if we had more and stronger testimonials and evidence on our key pages.”
I think we are now turning the megaphone back to the marketers when we say this isn’t a set-and-forget-it proposition. I see that too often and I have even fallen into complacency myself. I think it really behooves us to come at it with a fresh set of eyes or even shadow somebody who is coming to it for the first time and asking for feedback. Are there ways that you have used or things that you’ve used to get a fresh look from fresh eyes?
“Well, today because of virtual, many of us have recorded meetings and you’re minutes away from having those meetings transcribed with a tool and then you’re just minutes more away from giving that transcription to another tool and asking it what are the common questions that people have. If you have ten sales calls recorded, you are perfectly positioned especially now because of AI and because of transcription tools to start doing super quick analysis on the conversations you’re having. It is very hard on a call to remember to write down all the questions people ask you. As soon as someone asks you a question, as soon as somebody asks me a question, I just automatically start answering or formulating an answer. It’s very difficult to implant that circuit in your brain where you capture everything everyone asks you.
“Nevertheless, ultimately, the conversion rates on our websites are a function of clarity and persuasion. The clarity isn’t general. It is specific to the visitor’s information needs. Your job is to meet visitor’s information needs. Maybe you’ve heard of Marcus Sheridan. He says they ask, you answer. He wrote a book about this. He’s given a million keynotes. I’ve seen him presenting so many times: They Ask, You Answer. Essentially, that is why you have a website. That is why you’ve got a visitor because somebody is considering this. They have a question in mind. You can sort of start with a dataset of one. It is kind of anecdotal, but try to prove this to yourself by looking at your own browsing history. Why didn’t I become a lead on those websites? You determined it wasn’t a fit or there was just a key piece of information that was missing.”
I really like that point. I think we need to belabor it a bit. I see this mistake often; we tend to be very siloed in B2B organizations between sales and marketing. Too often, I see marketers guessing what the customer asks. You have a great point about call recording. Most of us have it. There are transcripts. Why not use them?
“I moved to Google Docs and I have one document titled Notes. I write all my notes from all my meetings in one giant document that contains hundreds of pages after three years. You know what? I’m going to export this doc and upload it to AI and ask it, what are the most common goals for these clients? What are common pain points? What are these clients worried about? Because I’ve written detailed notes, I can get insights into all that. So that may not work if you don’t have it in that form. However, the bottom line, the point of these pages is to answer questions, address objections, and supply evidence to make people believe the answers, and call to action. That is a page. That is a high-converting page. That is the structure of pages that work well and our whole thesis here is I would love it if we do that instead of the other things we could do. That is a marketer’s problem. You could do anything. Millions are possible like marketing actions that will likely give better returns than almost anything else you could do.”
I just really recommend clicking as many places as you can, as often as possible to see if there are any broken paths. I’ve found requested demo forms that you cannot submit. There is no error message, they’re just missing and that’s a loss. You are burning cash in the parking lot, my friends.
“Another one is to go in GA-4 and create a path exploration. Sounds fancy. It’s not that fancy. It takes about six clicks and watch and look to see where people are flowing through the site. If your website was a town or city, there would be a highway flowing through it. What is the most popular path through your website? Now you know where to put your strong proof points, your best case studies, your statistics, that awesome video, your story, your coolest soundbites, and all that stuff. Put billboards on your highway. Many people don’t know what’s the most popular path through their website and we all should know what that is.”
Yeah. I love your point since many of us love to hate on GA-4 because it doesn’t have some of the features that are either hidden or missing from what we used to have in Universal Analytics. However, this feature is fantastic where you can actually see pathways. That is amazing!
“It is. The Universal Analytics version was called the navigation summary. I think the path exploration is much like everything in GA-4. It’s just more flexible and more complicated since you can make a path that includes events, not just page views. The navigation summary provided just page views. Therefore, if you want to see people who went through steps that aren’t even URLs, that is possible using path exploration. But just the simplest version of it, finding the most common entry point, make that the starting node. It’s called path exploration. And then start clicking through the most common path and you’ll see if people are hitting the back button. Where are they leaving? This is gold and the decisions you can make from that are almost always high impact.”
I like that you didn’t start optimizing right off the bat for someone who requests a demo since we have to assume that 99% of our visitors aren’t ready to buy yet. And you need to be looking at the pages they’re consuming to ensure that they have the info they need to come back.
For more content on B2B marketing trends, listen to the full Revenue Marketing Report episode at the top of the article or anywhere you podcast.