Virtual1.com case-study

Virtual1.com case-study

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Get in touch: petr@winleads.digital

This case study is based on practical applications of authoritative research covering UX, persuasion science, neuromarketing and other websites’ optimization results.

Digital lead generation and sales summary

Your website could generate meaningfully more business leads for your “reseller” segment.

The number of leads depends on conversion rates and traffic. Conversion rates, paid traffic and tools are the main topics of this study and there seem to be several areas for improvement on your site. Following are some examples.

Design and layout of your homepage (UX) negatively impact conversion rates through inefficient use of the “above the fold” section, navigation structure, and insufficient optimization for mobile devices.
Overall website copy could be improved by more focus on the user, enhanced and added articulation of benefits of your products, and mainly by the addition of proof of those benefits.
Paid website traffic is absent and organic is not optimized. Competition leverages paid ads.
Lead generation tech stack is heavily underutilized compared to the competition.
You are doing exceptionally great with speed performance.

The website has nice and original visuals and strong positioning statements so it seems it might be doing a good branding job.

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Improving UX of the homepage

Your homepage should more clearly communicate reasons to buy (value proposition).

It takes around 11 seconds to read the four sections of the first screen of your homepage. Yet it does not address any critical pain points or benefits for the user which would grab the attention of your visitors.

The following heatmap approximates the “attention map” of your visitors. It differs from an optimal heat map significantly. An optimal heatmap would show a balance of focus on content informing the user on: 1) “what is the page about” 2) “why should I stay” and 3) “where should I go next”. This should be in the form of a “grabber” and well-designed navigation. Sometimes it makes sense to also add an option to push the visitor to the next stage of a sales funnel.

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Branding-type image (visual) usually performs poorly in driving website results

Your visual is original and seems to enforce the message “why make do with so-so solutions” but does not help to clarify a message that should be present on the homepage. The human brain processes web visuals 10x faster than written copy and different parts of the brain are engaged during processing visual stimuli - the parts that actually drive decisions. An inefficient visual is a lost opportunity to persuade and convince.

The structure and navigation of the website could be improved to better serve “higher volume” reseller-type visitors (target segment)

The following design of the “above the fold” part of the homepage is just one idea that would with a high degree of probability lead to a higher number of filled forms from the website. (Navigation buttons on the should be reviewed to provide most straightforward path to stand alone solutions rather than features of those solutions.)

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*There are several methods how to create an attractive “What are we”. The highest performing are those which explain your solution clearly and briefly while stressing key customer desires and benefits. This sketch is based on an assumption behind the nature of reseller vs carrier business lines, the volume of deals (thousands vs low tens or units), and the volume of leads.

More than 50% of the UK's internet traffic comes from mobile devices, yet Virtual1’s website is not well optimized for mobile

The site is responsive and adapts to changing screen sizes. However, the organization of content, image sizes, and copy structure is not optimized for smaller screens so conversion rates are negatively impacted.

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Focus on improving overall site copy

Above the fold” copy does not follow key principles of persuasive copy and efficient communication

High conversion copy focuses on answering users’ questions.

1) What is this: in a few words explain what do you do

2) Is this valuable for me: what are the benefits of working with you (how do you address most of the pressing customer pains)

3) Can I trust you: add proof of your claims in various formats

Your current page does not make the benefits of working with you prominent enough and the benefits do not seem to be focused on customer pains. I would focus on making the benefits more prominent and using your customers’ language rather than general phrase-words such as flexibility, resilience, security, and others. I have also written about 3 tactics to get more filled forms here.

Make your brand stand out and stick. Are you thinking - yeah, empty words...? No chance. Do not start an optimization project without agreeing on customer research first. Together we would look into your customers’ minds so we can actually create an impact on your business through words that resonate. Let’s talk.

Proof of benefits is the single most persuasive element in sales copy, however, it is missing from Virtual1’s website

Testimonials, case studies, references, objectively and “measurably” better technical features, demos or screenshots of your Portal1, and so on. Websites of most companies work best if a proof is given in the upper sections of the website although well-known brands can do better with proof in the last quarter of their homepage or landing page.

Value propositions I would put in place are based on actual customer/visitor research. There are numerous low-cost but highly effective methods that can be used to understand what makes visitors convert and other methods to rewrite those reasons into compelling and high-converting website copy full of benefits.

Virtual1’s copy is skewed towards ego-centric language, talking in terms of “we”, “us”, “our” thus limiting the performance of the website.

A written copy is as important as usability (UX) when it comes to website conversions. People respond best when the copy is about them - in other words when the copy is user-centric. Such style outperforms other styles most of the time.

Visitor acquisition

SEO and content creation are not part of the case study.

Organic channels

Various statistical tools show dramatically inconsistent data about # of visitors to virtual1.com so I’m not able to present an opinion about visitor acquisition efficiency. However, the site has about 15 pages attracting traffic, such as product pages or news pages. There seems to be large potential in optimizing the content on the website to drive long-term user acquisition. It takes several months to attract traffic even with well-designed content strategies and well-executed technical SEO.

Paid channels (Such as Google Ads or promoted social posts)

A faster alternative to drive traffic is paid channels. It seems virtual1.com does not currently utilize paid channels such as Google Ads, promoted social posts, etc. Competitors use paid ads to acquire traffic. Some of those ads have been running for a long time which suggests acceptable returns on investments.

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Become confident about your digital channels. Based on the type of your business there will be around 3-5 digital channels where it might make sense to place bets. We would pick one, test low-cost, see results and either scale or move on quickly. Schedule a call with me.

neosnetworks.com

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Keywords targeted by Neosnetworks triggering those ads are for example “software-defined”, “sd wan”, “carrier ethernet”, “ip vpn”, “sdn network”, “full fiber providers uk” and others.

Information such as full range of keywords, approximation of clicks your competition gets from those ads, estimated cost per click, and other metrics can be delivered with more detailed analysis.

It is the best practice that each keyword and corresponding ad lead to a landing page dedicated to that keyword. That way advertiser is able to tailor its value proposition to the visitor’s desires (expressed by the keywords) that led him to click the ad. This is a huge conversion booster because that way visitors are not taken directly to the homepage which is usually more general, harder to navigate, and slower to convey sought information. Lower cognitive load leads to more action.

Other businesses using Paid ads in the sector are for example talktalkbusiness.co.uk; metrowire.co.uk; Optanet and many others.

Lead generation tools (tech stack)

Virtual1’s lead generation tech stack seems to be hugely underutilized (non-existent). Other companies in the field use variety of tools to improve their digital lead generation process.

Neosnetworks.com

Primary lead gen tools

  • Hubspot - a marketing automation platform
  • Leadfeeder - allows them to identify which companies visit their website

Other notable tools

  • Conversion tracking for Google and LinkedIn
  • Tracking and analytics tools such as Matomo, Google analytics
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Cityfiber.com

Primary lead gen tools

  • Pardot - a marketing automation platform
  • Lead Forensics - allows them to identify which companies visit their website among other possibilities

Other notable tools

  • Conversion tracking for various channels they utilize, such as Google Ads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TrustPilot
  • Other tracking and analytics tools such as Matomo and Google Analytics for website analytics, Google Optimize 360 for website optimization experiments
  • Salesforce CRM

This tech stack allows Cityfiber to understand who is coming to their site so they can proactively outreach to that company (GDPR prevents understanding who was the specific person) and qualify that account. It also allows them to automatically create records in their CRM for specific high-value accounts and push marketing campaigns to those accounts with dynamic and personalized messaging through Pardot (assuming proper integrations were made).

They are also able on a very granular level to understand how visitors who are coming to their site behave, what actions they take, or which channels they come from. That way Cityfiber’s management is able to optimize its resources to focus on the most efficient channels.

(It seems the cost of cityfiber.com tech stack could be optimized.)

You are doing exceptionally great with speed performance

Your page is very well optimized for speed (both desktop and mobile). That is a benefit for your visitors and improves the rankings of your site in Google searches.

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Acknowledgment

Please take the notes above as an outside view case study. I’m aware Virtual1 has been very successfully growing to date. However, the findings of my case study are pointing to the fact, that your website and overall digital lead capture strategy could be improved dramatically, potentially aiding further rapid growth and at the same time driving efficiency improvements in your sales department.

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