B2B Website Redesign? Start here.

So, you’re considering redesigning your website.

Your site needs to work harder to drive business for your sales team so you’re going to update the design, navigation, and solutions content. You may even upgrade your codebase or consolidate your technologies while you’re at it.

It’s a huge project with a lot of moving pieces. It’s complicated and there’s a lot riding on your success. It’s important you make decisions based on data, not opinions. So, you know the first step is to dive into your analytics.

But 80% of your site visitors aren’t customers or potential prospects. To compensate, you go through all sorts of contortions to create a proxy audience to filter out the irrelevant sessions so you can focus on more “legitimate” sessions. You know this is flawed but it’s all you’ve got.

Using a proxy audience for redesign analytics.

Your site gets 20,000 sessions a month. Your “qualified session” is defined as a visitor with 3 or more pageviews which must include a product / solution, success story, resource, or blog page. You’ll filter OUT visitors who visit a job page.

This audience filters out 82% of your visitors leaving you with 3600 sessions. That’s pretty good. Now it’s time to see what they’re doing.

In comparison to the general population, you see they are very engaged—they’re watching your videos, they’re visiting all the right pages—and they have a high conversion rate, downloading eBooks and registering for webinars.


Using the behavior of this proxy audience, you start down the path of redesigning your site, determining which assets to feature, removing irrelevant content, and retooling your navigation.

It’s time for the relaunch. You monitor visitor behavior. You’re successfully driving traffic through the paths you’ve defined.

BUT…you’re hearing from sales that the leads you’re giving them still aren’t worth following up on. Now you’ve got a nicer site but it’s still not doing its job! And now you don’t have the time, budget, or resources to fix it.

What the heck happened?

Using a proxy segment as the foundation for decision-making is fundamentally flawed because:

  1. The proxy audience will have a high percentage of job seekers, investors, competitors and unqualified lookie-loos. They all have different goals than a prospect or customer who is interested in what you do. In short, none of them fit your ideal customer profile, or ICP.
  2. The proxy is interested in YOU, but you have no way of knowing if you should be interested in THEM. There is a large Total Marketable Universe for your company but many of these companies are not going to be a good fit. Do you know if the companies that fit your ICP are coming to your site? Or if they are, what specifically they are doing?

You can avoid this fate.

What if you could get information about who was coming to your site? You could turn anonymous traffic into recognized visitors and answer questions like:

  • What population of your site visitors show characteristics of your ICP?
  • Of that population, how many site visitors are from your target accounts?
  • Are they doing what you want?

And, what if you could split audiences into different sub-segments? You could see if you’re getting the right mix of medium and large businesses, or if your awareness is what you expect for your key verticals. You could determine what content counts in a deal cycle. You could see if your customers were visiting and if so, where are they spending their time? Are they ready to upgrade or are they having trouble? And check your site search–what are your target accounts looking for?

And what if you could go further to see how FREQUENTLY these accounts were visiting? Is there a spike in visits or an increase in engagement?

You will see which audiences are engaged and which you need to work to get to your site. You’ll see differing content consumption and conversion trends between your target audiences and the general visitor population. And you’ll make very different decisions about which content you promote and how you drive visitors through your site.

Armed with this information, you can work with your redesign team and sales to figure out what where the site and content gaps are, what the key paths should be, and if you need to consider adjustments to your marketing strategy to get the right accounts to your site.

In the process, you’ve pivoted to evaluating your site on quantity metrics to quality, account-based metrics. You don’t care about what the bulk of your visitors are doing, you only care about what the quality visitors are doing—those that fit your ICP, or better yet, are on your target account list. You’ll find you’re more focused and you’re having more productive conversations with sales because you’re showing them which of their accounts are on your site and what they’re interested in.

Sounds great! But you listen to the voice in your head that says, “It’s not realistic to add a new technology before your redesign. It’s too complicated. It takes too much time. It’s too much of a distraction.”

That’s the same voice that told you a proxy audience would work just fine. Are you still listening to it?

What it takes.

Getting account-based site analytics is not complex or time consuming. Using a tool like the Demandbase ABM Platform, you can deliver these insights by adding the Demandbase Tag to your site (which you can do through a tag manager) and setting up your profile and audiences. It takes only a bit more effort to integrate the data into your existing web analytics and provide the level of insights listed above to help you make decisions regarding your redesign that will have the greatest impact on the business.

Don’t build your new site based on behaviors of your site’s general population or a flawed proxy audience. Turn anonymous traffic into recognized visitors and base your redesign on what your target accounts need to become customers.

Former Senior Director, Digital Marketing & Brand, Demandbase

My philosophy is simple: Prospects are people, not wallets. Marketing is about creating meaningful relationships and I develop strategies to bring companies and customers together based on respect, trust, and shared interest. I love a really challenging problem and provide solutions using a combination of intuition and analytics.