How to Increase Your Conversion Rate by Identifying Anonymous Web Traffic

How to Increase Your Conversion Rate by Identifying Anonymous Web Traffic

March 16, 2017

For the most part, you only understand who your customers & prospects are after they self-identify. You might have some information from lead generation content, but most of the visitors on your site are just traffic.

B2B companies invest millions in demand gen and then instantly lose visibility into how buyers actually engage with their site, content, and products. This leads to missed conversions, poor marketing attribution, and the same digital experience for your inherently unique visitors. But what if you had more insight into who was behind each site visit?

While personalization is becoming the norm for post-signup engagement, it can be game-changing to have if you had this data ahead of time – even if only at the firmographic level.

By identifying anonymous traffic, you can tailor your site (or app) experience, leading to higher conversion rates, quicker buying cycles, and better insight into how the market engages with your business.

Marketing's survivorship bias

Website conversion rates in SaaS sit at about 7%:

survivorship bias

Think about what this means. 93 out of every 100 people who come to your site leave. This could be for many reasons:

  • They aren't finding your content or site appealing.
  • They might not be a good fit for your products.
  • You aren't interesting.

We can't help you with the third bracket and you probably don't want prospects from the second. The first bracket, however, is a problem that can be solved.

One of the reasons you may be losing them is survivorship bias.

In the second world war, the Navy wanted to know where to put armor on planes to help them survive. Initially, they plotted all the hit marks on returning planes and suggested adding additional armor where there was damage.

Then came along statistician Abraham Wald. He pointed out that they should do the opposite. They should armor the parts were there was no damage. The returning planes had been hit in these areas and survived. That means these weren't critical areas. The results were skewed by a bias towards surviving aircraft—survivorship bias.

Wald showed that they should be reinforcing the areas that were unscathed. This was where the non-returning bombers were hit to cause them critical damage.
Clearbit Reveal for your web traffic

(Source: wikipedia)

Your site suffers from survivorship bias. It is built around the visitors that make it through and convert to customers. This is to be expected as they are the only ones you really understand. You only have data on those people—who they are, what they like within your product, what their needs and motivations are—so everything is skewed towards them.

Conversely, you can't build your site better for your anonymous visitors, the ones that don't survive to conversion, because you have no data on them. To fathom these churned visitors, you basically only have two sparse choices:

  • General demographics from Google Analytics (GA) about location, referrer, and consumer interests, or
  • Demographics from lead generation forms offer some gated content in exchange for an email address.

But general GA traits don't really offer much in the way of business insights for B2B companies. Lead gen can work, but it still relies on your content being appealing in some way to them.

This is the paradox of pre-conversion visitors. You need to understand who they are to offer what they need, but you can't offer if you don't have more data about them.

Increasing your survival rate by identifying your anonymous visitors

You don't have any data on those 93 anonymous visitors. You can't know what works for them because you don't know them.

But you could know them. And with intelligence around your anonymous visitors, you can optimize your marketing funnel to convert more of the 93 visitors into qualified leads.

If you follow this guide to setting up Reveal in Google Analytics, you'll be able to pull Clearbit company data into your analytics for visiting companies. Every site visit has an IP address - Reveal matches an IP address with company profile information. So if someone from Salesforce HQ went onto your site, Reveal would tell you that you have site visits from, neatly located within GA.

Let's run through two approaches that use Reveal to de-anonymize your visitors and increase your conversion rates for them.

Increase conversion from different industries

With Reveal you can easily see your conversion rates for different types of industries. In Google Analytics, you can create a widget that will constantly update with the number of visitors from an industry, along with their conversion rate:

Clearbit Reveal for your web traffic

This shows data on all visitors, not just those that have converted. You can see the four different categories of visitors here, segmented by high traffic (>200 sessions) and high conversions (<6%):

  1. High traffic, high conversion: Software and hardware companies
  2. High traffic, low conversion: Advertising
  3. Low traffic, high conversion: Diversified capital markets, general internet, and consulting
  4. Low traffic, low conversion: HR, corporate, research, and payments

The companies in group 1 are the ones already finding value in the marketing efforts. These are the survivors. But they survive possibly to the detriment of the other categories.

Advertising is the best example from this group of industries. There is substantial traffic from this industry, but they don't have quite the conversion numbers of others. The fact that so many come to the site means they are interested, but the fact that they don't convert shows dissatisfaction. It could be that the site is too geared towards software and tech companies and that advertising visitors can't find the right information to stay interested.

Through this quick insight you can have a quick optimization:

  • Change the copy on the page to be slightly less tech-heavy and more laymen.
  • Include advertising customer testimonials, case studies, or logos.

These are changes that can be implemented in a day. Then, with this data, you can test and check if the changes had a positive effect.

You can then optimize for the two low-traffic groups, but off-site. Diversified capital markets and consulting, for instance, have the highest conversion rates. By advertising towards these groups you can drive traffic to your site and increase conversions simply through increased numbers.

You can find out how to set up this segmentation here.

Increase conversion from ideal companies

Many B2B businesses will have strategic, or "named", accounts they want to focus on. Using Reveal, its simple to generate a widget showing if, when, and how these key accounts are engaging with you:

Clearbit Reveal for your web traffic by company

This shows you the de-anonymized page views on your site from different visitors. If these visits aren't leading to meaningful interactions, you can now use intelligence to better capture their hearts and minds. There are a few ways you could do this:

  • On-site case studies: Pick similar companies to these that are already your customers to study. Show these visitors exactly how they could be using your product. For instance, if you already have CRM customers, profile these to show Salesforce what you are all about.
  • Off-site marketing: If you are running account-based marketing and sales, then when people from your named accounts visit, use this as a trigger to contact the company. Say you saw that they visited and want to help them find the information they are looking for.
  • On-site customization: If you are using the Reveal API, you can personalize your site in real-time while key accounts are browsing. It could be something as obvious as changing the homepage to “We ❤ Stripe” or something as subtle as putting a testimonial from a similar company on the front page.

You can find out how to set up this segmentation here.

You need to know more to convert more

You need to understand your entire funnel to optimize your entire funnel. If you are just using your successful, surviving customers as a guide, you could potentially be missing out on a whole swathe of other great opportunities.

By identifying your anonymous visitors, you have that chance to understand who is in every stage of your funnel, and why some don't make it all the way through. Then you can start to ask why, start to help those visitors and start to turn those visitors into customers.

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