We’ve interviewed the owners of TerminalWorks Ltd., Djordje Pozega and Damir Sarcevic, about their company's online presence, how it helps them generate sales, and how they improve their website in order to increase their revenue.
We firmly believe (and all the research proves that) that companies should invest in if they want to achieve good return on investment in their online presence.
To raise awareness about this, we'll be interviewing successful B2B companies whose business depends on their website's ability to generate new business leads or sales.
TerminalWorks is one such company. They're one of the largest remote desktop scanning and printing software solution providers worldwide with more than 10,000 satisfied customers.
TerminalWorks is constantly improving and optimizing their website to increase their sales. This interview about website optimization was made from their point of view, as well as their own experience.
Q: Could you give us a few examples of the website optimizations you do regularly, occasionally, or never?
Regularly: Google Adwords adjustments, updating Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), version updates, blog posts.
Occasionally: Landing page optimization, user experiences (navigations, link positions, etc.).
We never leave anything sitting for too long, as it becomes too stale over time. We also heavily avoid blackhat SEO techniques, low-quality link building, using social networks to promote our product, since they are too B2C focused.
Q: You're owners of the company and both technically savvy. Do you optimize your website only by yourselves, do you hire consultants for all or some of the work, and how do you decide when to outsource any of it?
Since we know our product the best, the optimization and changes were partially handled by us. However, for the most part, the polishing phase of such changes is outsourced to professionals. Our decision about outsourcing is strongly based on the contractor's portfolio and track record. During our beginning, we have been often changing the contractors until we found our current partners.
Q: Give us an example of one easy improvement you made to your website that surprised you with its tremendous gain.
There are many different aspects of optimizing our website. For example, clearly indicating the working hours of our telephone support reduced a lot of negative feedback from the customers who called after our working hours. Another nice example are call to action buttons (buy / try). They were normally located on the bottom of the page, but then we duplicated them to its top. By doing so, there were fewer confused customers who called because they hadn't known how to try the product. The final result was an increased number of direct downloads and sales.
Q: According to your opinion, which top three aspects should a company in your industry pay attention to, in order to increase leads and sales?
1. Don't make it hard for your customers to download and try the product. Don't hide your prices and licensing structure. Allow them to buy or try the product instantly without having to fill out forms, talk to sales, and go through other hoops.
2. Don't outsource customer support. Let the team that built the product support it. A lot of today’s internet software vendors (ISV) outsource their tech support to people who can't properly assist the customer and resolve the problem. That shows both the company and the product in a very bad light.
3. The checkout process should be simple and automated. Don't complicate the purchase phase. If the customer is willing to pay now, he should be able to do so, as well as receive the product immediately. Amazon or eBay have shown that the checkout process can be done by a single click. We should all aim to get to that one click.
Q: Compare the efficiency of a website to other sales / marketing materials you are using / have tried.
As we are an internet software vendor, we can't make a proper comparison. Most of the other marketing and sales materials had the goal to send the leads to our website whose task is to convert. We had no "offline" marketing efforts, so we can't compare those with our website. As for an e-mail / newsletter, remarketing campaigns, etc., their main goal was to bring a potential customer back to the website.
Q: Is there anything related to the improvement of your online presence that you haven't tried yet, but believe it has a great potential?
There isn't anything with a huge potential, but there are a few minor things that could improve the presence. We believe in making a lot of minor improvements which add up over time. For instance, until now, we haven't tried online presentations and webinars for our customers. Also, a live demo environment could allow some clients to try out the product without having to deploy it to their environment thus giving them confidence that the product works fine before its first installation in a live environment.
Q: What would happen if you stopped optimizing your website?
In the short term (< 1 year), there wouldn't be any major changes to sales. However, after that, the website would start to look stale due to the outdated news, old versions etc. This would reduce the visitors’ trust in the website / the company and its products, which would end in reducing the sales in the long term.
Q: According to you, which are the major differences between B2B and B2C website sales?
B2C - Strong emphasis on social networks. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are your friends. Massive marketing budget is required. You need to raise awareness about the product. Mostly, there’s a much larger market for lower priced products. It’s much harder to succeed as the stakes are higher, but so are the rewards. From a software point of view, there are a lot of free / open source solutions from people to people.
B2B - AdWords, LinkedIn to get to professionals who search for your solution. Once a company applies your solution, it often comes back, so you get a long-term customer. Social networks are ineffective at capturing businesses. Prices are overall higher, the market is somewhat smaller, but so is the competition.
Q: Can you tell us one example of an important business decision based on Google Analytics data?
We had a lot of visitors from Germany and Spanish speaking countries which were not converting properly as other nationalities did. Due to this, we added German and Spanish translations to our site, which improved the conversion rate by 25% for German speaking visitors and 34% for Spanish speaking visitors.
Q: What kind of new content are you planning to add to your website, if any?
We are planning to add live action videos in conjunction with the existing marketing videos which do not show any live footage. We hope that’ll offer a somewhat better introduction to our product and slightly improve the conversion rate.
Q: Have you ever had a big content section on your website that you had put a lot of effort in, but decided to take down for some reason - if yes, what was it and what happened?
We took down whole product pages because they produced terrible returns on huge marketing investments. Such product pages demanded design, development, video production, voice actors, and marketing. It was not an easy decision to make, but taking them down appeared as a right move in the long run, since it is better to focus our efforts on the things that work.