How To Make Your Website Work For You
In comparison to B2C websites, B2B websites seem to be lagging behind and it’s difficult to see why, surely the methods must be the same even if the target audience is different. You are selling something, whether it’s a service or a product, and that needs to be supported by sales-ready websites.
However, this isn’t happening for a lot of businesses who don’t seem to cotton on to the fact that they need to change their website designs and modify it to suit their potential buyer’s needs. No one will commit if you don’t have what they want.
B2B Website Design
The website needs to act as the sales person, as it’s replacing the door-to-door salesman of old, and needs to be just as active.
Achieving a successful B2B website.
How can you achieve B2B corporate website best practices for your business?
The website you create must do the hard work for you as you’re not knocking on doors, and if you’re business is mostly online, then your sales pitch needs to be loud and clear. Your products need to reach out to potential customers with information on your products and your business.
1) What do we know about buyers?
Buyers are more educated now than ever before, and your B2B website will need to be sophisticated enough to impress and have enough information for them to commit.
Best practice is your starting point, think about problem solving, you don’t want your products or services to be mired in complicated jargon and convoluted sentences. Make your message clear and any information about your products or services well defined and unambiguous.
You’ll need to explain and think carefully about the value you are selling, that, and answer a lot of questions. Usability is important, because even if you insist you’re not selling anything, you need to make your customers feel they can accomplish something with what you have to offer.
2) Your Website – B2B web design best practices
Use heuristics and problem solving, you’ll need to sit down and consider this carefully, it’s not something that can be done overnight. Your website is your port of call, you need to consider function, the information and how it will be displayed with the use quality page web designs. What’s important is clear information,good navigation and a responsive design website. Review the current and upcoming website design trends for more ideas.
3) Breadcrumb navigation
Breadcrumb navigation gives your users a path so they can find where they’re going and show them where they’ve been – this way your users will always know where they are on your website.
4) Page headers
Try to include a thank you page if someone downloads a report or e-book, it shows what action has just been taken and provides confirmation their document has downloaded. Don’t leave your users confused about whether they’ve downloaded correctly, or if they happen to have paid, whether the payment has gone through.
Your downloads and website pages need to contain content which are entertaining and at the same time, educational, keep that in mind, and always repopulate your site with fresh content, this not only keeps you high up on the search engines, it keeps your users interested.
5) B2B SEO
Research primary keywords and choose one for each page. Don’t over do it, if you stuff your content with keywords, Google will see through this and you could be penalised. You’ll also find that your potential users will also see through it and move on. A carefully chosen and well researched small set of primary keywords should be used in both the body of your page and in the sub-headlines and headlines.
Make sure the keywords are relevant to your content. Keywords in bold are also helpful in terms of search engines. However, when considering search engine optimisation think about who you’re writing for, you’re writing for your users benefit and not the search engines.
6) Branding and First impressions
When a user first arrives on your site, remember that first impressions counts, and it takes seconds to make an impact. Hopefully you want to give the impression that your business is legitimate and stable, and the kind of company people want to do business with. Give the impression your business is about integrity and honesty, make sure you have pages which tell the users about your mission, a convincing About Us page, possibly an FAQ page, and any work you do in the community.
7) B2B Website design
You don’t want a website that’s trying to be so clever it just looks tacky. Too much animation, flashy images and big statements, with far too many exclamation marks is not something to emulate. Make sure you have the breadcrumbs to avoid a reduction in traffic and make sure the navigation is matched by fresh content constantly updated so your users are kept engaged. You’ll have a far better chance of increasing your subscription rates with customers wanting more news and blog posts, than leaving it idle for several weeks and months.
8) Visual branding
Think about the typography, images, and what you want on each page, you can use different templates, but most of all don’t make it too busy. You want to aim for something classy with a clear message.
Graphics and photography need to be subtle and tasteful, if you can’t find the right free images using these sources, then create your own, if you don’t have a flair for photography get someone who does. If you use your own images you won’t have to worry about copyright and it’ll give your business image a sense of authenticity.
Definitely try to avoid the cheap clip art images with people in cheap suits and denture wide grins, these are over used and lack any class. Even a simple shot of your latest book taken from a certain angle, or a black and white picture of the inside of your premises is infinitely better than the same overly used images available online.
9) Test – Test -Test
Test your website’s functionality, don’t just hope it’ll work. Can you navigate successfully from one page to another? If it doesn’t deliver on its promise, then there’s something wrong and you won’t keep users engaged. Get your team to check it out, a fresh pair of eyes will spot mistakes you’ve missed yourself. Do the downloads work properly, what happens when you fill in a contact form, does it work as it should? If not, why not?
As we’ve seen, it’s important to make sure your website is usable, that it’s filled with useful information, that it does an important job on your behalf and really sells your business and what you’re offering. You want a website that’s well designed, with strong visual branding and solutions to your user’s problems.
Strong navigation helps your users to find their way around your website. Always make sure you provide messages of thanks when they make a purchase or download a free item. Make sure it’s tastefully designed with your brand’s message and always test properly before it goes live.
It’ll take a certain degree of careful planning, research and forward thinking to get your website up to par with B2C websites, but if you think it through carefully, and take your time by following these best practice guidelines, you’ll have a B2B website that really works for you.
If you feel your B2B website isn’t working for you right now, or you’ve created it recently but you’re unsure of whether it’s got the right dynamics to succeed, call us now for a free B2B website audit – you’ve got nothing to lose.