70% of Small Business B2B Websites Lack A Call to Action

B2B call to action chart

Does your home page on your website have a call to action?  In other words, does your website home page attempt to get the visitor to do something — besides simply read and leave?

Examples of a call to action might be:

  • subscribe to an email newsletter
  • view a product demo
  • request a consultation, estimate or quote
  • download a white paper, or
  • take advantage of a special offer

If your website has such a call to action, give yourself and your marketing team a pat on the back.  You are doing better than 70% of B2B (business to business) websites.

A new study reviewed 200 websites of small businesses.  The businesses all had under 100 employees.  For this particular study, all were B2B, i.e., businesses that sell to other businesses, not to consumers.

And the results are surprising — surprising in how much money small businesses are probably leaving on the table.

Why B2B Sites Need A Call To Action

A “call to action” is just what the words suggest.  It’s something designed to get a website visitor to take action.

The reason you need one is simple.  After spending a lot of money and effort putting up a website and promoting it and getting visitors to it — the last thing you want is for that visitor to leave without establishing some connection with him or her. Today there are billions of Web pages.  Will that visitor ever find your website again?  Have you given that visitor some means to remember your business?   Have you taken a step — even a small one like a newsletter signup — to stay in contact with that visitor?

While some B2B websites have direct commerce on them, more than likely a B2B website doesn’t expect visitors to buy something online on the first visit.  Rather, the goal is to establish a connection with interested Web visitors. Later on you try to turn those visitors into customers.

That usually means getting visitors to voluntarily give you their email address — hence, a call to action. By giving you their email address, visitors are giving you permission to communicate with them.  From there you can begin to develop a relationship.

Other Website Failings

But it takes more than a call to action to make an effective B2B website.

Your website needs to be readily found in search engines. If someone goes to Google to search for the kind of product or service you offer, you certainly want them to see YOUR website.  That person already looking for whatever you sell has far more potential to become a sales prospect, than Joe Schmoe you bumped into on the street. Your site needs to be visible enough in the search engines to get people like that to click over to your website.

Once on your website, if visitors like what they see, they may want to pick up the phone to call you. For that, your contact information needs to be easy to locate.

It’s good to have a blog on a B2B site — and that blog also needs to be easily findable. The same goes for social media profiles. If you’re spending time connecting with people on social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, then you certainly want people to be able to figure out how to follow you on social accounts, by looking quickly at your website.

Resources and tools that peak visitors’ interest are also helpful.  Here again, they need to be easy to locate on your website.

And the list goes on.

Yet, according to this study, the vast majority of B2B small businesses do not make it easy for their sites to be found in the first place, or for visitors to contact them or stay in touch:

  • 56% of B2B small business websites don’t use meta descriptions that show up in search results and could help draw visitors into the website
  • 87% don’t do anything to make their “contact us” option stand out
  • 82% don’t bother to even list their social media profiles
  • 68% do not show an email address on the home page

Just think of the missed opportunities!  The items above are relatively simple and inexpensive changes to make — possibly just a few hours of work by the company webmaster or tech team.

It’s no wonder that some small businesses say they don’t get good ROI from their websites.  Their websites aren’t pulling their own weight.

If these things seem so obvious, and are relatively simple changes to make, then why aren’t more small businesses doing them?

It’s a combination of things.  Sometimes we can’t “see” what is obvious to others.  Since we know that phone number is there — somewhere — it never occurs to us that it’s hard for an outsider to find.  Or we may just not have an organized list of what a good website should contain.  A lot of small businesses don’t have full-time marketing staff, or the staff could be small and overloaded.  A best practices list falls to the wayside when you are short on resources.

The “Small Business B2B Call to Action Study” was sponsored by our company, Small Business Trends.  It was conducted by Online Marketing Coach, and its CEO Mike Murray. It’s based on an in-depth review of websites of 200 small businesses chosen randomly from the ReferenceUSA database.

The 30-page study is full of examples of best practices, as well as examples of what not to do.  It’s accompanied by a spreadsheet you can download with a 30-point checklist of elements a good B2B website should have.  We hope you’ll find it as interesting — and valuable — as we’ve found it.  Download the B2B Call to Action Study and Checklist here.

More in: 96 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

96 Reactions
  1. Thanks for getting the word out on these website basics. Fortunately there are several CMS systems available that make editing your website easy (like WordPress) and all of the things you mentioned here require very little technical expertise.

  2. Hi Robert, Good point. That’s why WordPress is good for building a basic website, because someone in-house who knows how to use it can go in and make simple changes such as adding links to the blog portion of the site, links to social media accounts, and so on.

    And anything requiring a bit more technical work, your Web developer or technical staff (who are probably overloaded, too) can do.

    You get improvements made more quickly that way.

    – Anita

  3. Hi Anita,

    I work with entrepreneurs and companies, as Business Growth and Marketing Strategist.

    Seeing weak, or absent, calls to action on websites is a common occurrence.

    I recently wrote a guest post about this topic for SheOwnsIt.com.

    In the article, ‘Why Your Blog Might Not Be Converting Readers into Customers’, I show an example of an easy to use call to action box.

    Thanks for addressing this common problem.

  4. Yes. A lot of businesses forget to put a call to action on their websites. They usually present all their products and services and leave their potential clients to decide. It would be nice if the study also included the sales rate of these websites or companies.

  5. Anita,

    Indeed – it’s often underrated and sometimes, small business owners are so focused on creating content, they forget to convert web visitors and readers into prospects and leads.

    I often forget, too. I use this tool from HubSpot to check my marketing effort, including spotting when I forget to add call to action or conversion tool http://marketing.grader.com/

  6. Thanks for sharing these stats! I’ve been reading some case studies on conversion rate optimization lately and the trouble is knowing what to test and where to test it on your site – like using red buttons to your call-to-action message are more likely to increase your website conversion than green ones. Then, there’s testing the usability of your site to make sure it’s giving the optimal user experience so you won’t have a higher bounce rate. I guess, there’s a limit to data analytics and it doesn’t really answer fully the question of why do customers buy..

  7. Search engine optimization, in my opinion, is an integral part of a b2b small business company. Because many business owners engage in online activity to check their subscribed e-mails and social media accounts, it is only practical to be involved in what already is a part of their daily endeavors. But a b2b small business website should not only create a social media account for that purpose alone, one should use it to its advantage in order to bring publicity and content for such business strategy to take place.

  8. These stats are crazy! You’d think more businesses would have these obvious perks in place.

  9. Web visitors and readers are our prospects and leads that we ought to maintain some measure of contact with. This is where a call-to-action for small business B2B websites might be beneficial.

  10. Reading stuff like this makes me want to consult for businesses like this. Such basic stuff is overlooked because for the most part, they hire bad companies to design their website. I don’t blame them. A master chef shouldn’t have to worry about marketing.

  11. Regardless of the online and social media age, a phone number should not take a sleuth to find on a website. The home page and contact page should have all the important ways you can be contacted: form, phone, social media, email. Make contacting you feel like an invitation and welcoming. Thanks Anita, another great article.

  12. Thank you Anita for sharing this with us. I had also written an article on the same a while back. B2B companies have to have a good call to action for that is THE button/image that ‘calls’ and prompts visitors to take an ‘action’…the action that a marketer wants the website visitor to take…download something, sign up for something, add products to an e-shopping cart etc. I ou need to create an effective landing page call to action. In my article I have spoken of ways in which you can create aweome call to action buttons that convert: http://www.leadsquared.com/landing-page-call-to-action-buttons-that-convert/#sthash.b2gDMdEj.dpuf. I hope you and your readers do like it. Do share your thoughts on the same.

  13. I agree. Websites should capture attention and inspire action using AIDA concept (Attention-Interest- Desire-Action) CTAs and Contact Us Forms are very important in a site. It’s recommended to put CTA in each page.

  14. Great tips and resources for any small business owner to study. If you aren’t selling something you need to give something away. Which is why we launched our free seo report tool. Thanks again for sharing and serving as a reference to a recent article we posted.

  15. Hi Anita,

    I know it’s a pretty old post, but I want to add into the last line of “Why B2B Needs Call….” part. I think It’d be the best idea to giveaway some PLR to the email submitter in return. As, now a days Internet is full of landing pages in almost every niche.

    What do you say about that?


  16. Amazed with the stats!

    Looking forward to have one guide on this topic for my readers.


  17. Is it bad practice to have more than one call-to-action on a landing page?

  18. I do not think it is lack of call to action but not an understanding of google.

  19. If you are looking for accurate, professional legal translation services, efficient localization, and distinguished interpretation services near you in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or any place in the UAE, Elite Legal Translation Services is here to assist you with that.

  20. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us. Safari Oil and Gas provides specialized pipeline services for a spread of industries like oil and gas, power, water, and petrochemical sectors.

  21. Thanks for sharing such a great blog… I am impressed with you taking time to post a nice info.

  22. Awesome Blog I have read your blog completely.This blog provide better information about business I enjoy that. Thanks for this blog.

  23. Thanks for sharing such a great blog… I am impressed with you taking the time to post nice info.

  24. Awesome Blog I have read your blog completely.This blog provide better information about business I enjoy that. Thanks for this blog.

  25. Thanks for sharing such a great blog… I am impressed with you taking time to post a nice info.

  26. Awesome Blog I have read your blog completely.This blog provide better information about business I enjoy that. Thanks for this blog.

  27. Thanks for the info!

  28. Call to action is so important in affiliate marketing.
    Your info helps us figure some stuff out!

  29. Nice ideas and conversation on the small businesses i like all these and very happy to ispire other

  30. I am actually shocked to see this that this could be happen and after that i got the amazing one. Get New lines only at ohbest

  31. Good, well educative to read, Thanks for sharing a wonderful post. Keep it up.

  32. Health tips

  33. Good post. Thanks for sharing with us. I just loved your way of presenting. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing and keep writing. It is good to read blogs like this. As constantly, we appreciate your assurance and accept it as true within us.

  1. Pingback:

    Small Business Update | LaunchHack

  2. Pingback: 70% of Small Business B2B Websites Lack A Call ...

  3. Pingback: Marketing Day: August 9, 2013

  4. Pingback: Study: Small Business Call to Action Tips and Trends

  5. Pingback:

    5 Ways To Boost Your Website's Effectiveness To Increase Sales

  6. Pingback: Website UI Design Tips | Web Design | SeattleSEOConsultant.com

  7. Pingback:

    The Top 7 Places Where People Leave Your Conversion Funnel | Jeremy Said

  8. Pingback: Landing Page Tips That Should Be Set In Stone [Infographic] | PPC Hero®

  9. Pingback: Internet Trends, Small Business, and Brand Sochi: An Interview With Anita Campbell | Success Squared Blog

  10. Pingback:

    10 Tips to Boost Your Small Business Website | The Buzz of the Month™

  11. Pingback: B2B - 70% of Small Business B2B Websites Lack A...

  12. Pingback:

    5 questions to ask of your company website

  13. Pingback: Click Here: 10 Call to Action Tips That Convert - LeadPages Blog | Free Landing Page Templates

  14. Pingback:

    Why is no one buying my products online? | Semantic Scribe Copy Services

  15. Pingback:

    3 cliches of lead generation you should avoid | LeadsPedia Wiki

  16. Pingback:

    7 tips for a rock star lead generation website

  17. Pingback:

    What is a call to action | Hughbanks Design- Design Studio of Chris Hughbanks

  18. Pingback: Call to Action: Tips to Go from Good to Great

  19. Pingback: Steal These 5 Ideas to Increase Sales on Your Website • Funnls.

  20. Pingback: 3 Website Mistakes Made on Social Media with Advice for a Quick Fix

  21. Pingback: The 5 Important Elements of Lead Producing Websites • Funnls.

  22. Pingback: 3 Core Principles to a Call-to-Action | eastlackmedia

  23. Pingback: How to Make the Most of a Great Blog Post | SEJ

  24. Pingback: Six reasons why your traffic is increasing but not converting (and ways to fix it) | 123-reg Blog

  25. Pingback:

    Web Design Infographic | Uprise Marketing

  26. Pingback:

    10 Types Of Awesome Visual Content Your Brand Should Be Creating Right Now [Infographic] – Design School

  27. Pingback:

    16 Reasons Why People Leave Your Website | Welcome to JudahCo!

  28. Pingback:

    16 Reasons Why People Leave Your Website - Lampus Marketing

  29. Pingback: 16 Reasons Why People Leave Your Website

  30. Pingback: 13 Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate and Increase Your Conversions

  31. Pingback: Scot Poslosky | Business Development at Digital Lagoon | LinkedIn | scot@lagoon.COM

  32. Pingback:

    4 Ways Your Content Can Support Your Business Goals - Jesse Wisnewski

  33. Pingback:

    5 Tips To Create Smashing Calls To Action - Web123

  34. Pingback: Beginner’s Guide to Running Facebook Ads That Convert

  35. Pingback:

    The Chrons

  36. Pingback:

    5 Ways to Write Magnetic Call-to-Actions in Just 5 Minutes - Seo News Feed

  37. Pingback:

    5 Ways to Write Magnetic Call-to-Actions in Just 5 Minutes | JVWeeklyBonus

  38. Pingback:

    5 Ways to Write Magnetic Call-to-Actions in Just 5 Minutes | JVWeekly.com

  39. Pingback:

    5 Ways to Write Magnetic Call-to-Actions in Just 5 Minutes | Developing Power To Succeed

  40. Pingback: 5 Ways to Write Magnetic Call-to-Actions in Just 5 Minutes | Bugdaddy

  41. Pingback:

    5 способов писать убийственные "призывы к действию" всего за 5 минут - Блог агентства Кликобилие

  42. Pingback:

    Are You Making These 7 Lethal Marketing Mistakes? | Firepole Marketing Blog

  43. Pingback:

    7 Lethal Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make | Firepole Marketing Blog

  44. Pingback: How To Create The Perfect Call To Action

  45. Pingback:

    ClickTale: Stop Being a Victim of High Bounce Rates | ClickTale Blog

  46. Pingback:

    The 3 Types of Content You Must Create (#2 is Often Overlooked)

  47. Pingback: 7 Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate of & Keep Visitors on Your Site

  48. Pingback:

    What is a call to action | Hughbanks Design

  49. Pingback: 21 call-to-action examples that will increase your blog's ROI

  50. Pingback: How to Create The Perfect Call to Action - Social Listening Academy

  51. Pingback: CRO Tips: Conversion Rate Optimization Trends To Get You Set To Rock 2016 - Exit Bee Blog

  52. Pingback:

    5 Common Mistakes SaaS Companies Make With Blogging | Incisive Group

  53. Pingback: 4 Ways to decrease bounce rate that every marketer should know

  54. Pingback: 8 Tips a Small Business Can Use To Improve Their Online Marketing - Rodney's Blog

  55. Pingback: People Pay, Not Pageviews. Here’s Why People Are Leaving Your Website Without Converting

  56. Pingback: 9 Practical Ways To Reduce Bounce Rate And Increase Conversions « RankReveal Blog

  57. Pingback: How to Create an Eye-Catching and Clickable CTA – AVA Agency

  58. Pingback: 5 Key Parts of Effective PPC Landing Pages - Nett Solutions PPC Blog

  59. Pingback: How Adding A Field for Mobile Phone Can Improve Your Contact Ratio

  60. Pingback: Click Here: 10 Must-Have Call-to-Action Best Practices - Leadpages Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Register Today!
No, Thank You