So, you’re finally ready to create your B2B website. Congratulations! From navigation and functionality to appearance and coding, creating a knock-your-socks-off, user-friendly website is absolutely critical to the future success of your brand.
And we’re not going to sugarcoat it; creating a website can be quite a pill. What you expect to take a few weeks could turn into a few months. Things will be buggy, links won’t work, and for whatever reason, images won’t populate. And on top of that, you’ll need to produce a website that will be easily located by search engines, engaging for users, and perhaps most importantly, functional so that transactions go through seamlessly. No pressure!
Fortunately, we’ve come up with a guide for you. Follow these best practices when creating a B2B website and you’ll be on the road to success!
Make It Functional
There’s nothing more detrimental to a company than a website that doesn’t work well. Your website is the face of your brand; it represents your company and its mission and if it’s clunky, cluttered with copy, or nonfunctional, visitors will automatically associate that with your brand and bounce off the page.
Just as first impressions are determined within 30 seconds, the same can be said for your website. In 30 seconds, someone will form an entire laundry list of assumptions about your company and brand all based on what they see on the screen in front of them. Appearances count, and these impressions can make or break you.
Does It Serve a Purpose?Think about the purpose of your site:
- Is it to educate prospective customers?
- Provide them with knowledge about what you do and how you do it?
- Should the FAQ page be extremely clear?
- Do you have resources for them to look at, read, download?
- Do you have a blog?
- Is the contact info easy to find?
- Do you sell products on the website? If so, are they organized in ways that everyone and anyone will easily understand?
Of course, this will vary from business to business and industry to industry, but it’s essential that you know what potential customers are looking for when they’re visiting your site, and you make whatever that is easy for them to access. Make sure whatever you do is clearly outlined for a new visitor on your website. This can be accomplished with clear headings and photos that are specific and appropriately branded for your business.
Create Eye-Catching, Attractive, and Educational Content
A widely accepted saying in internet marketing is “content is king,” and we couldn’t agree more! Content is essential, especially for B2B businesses. Not only does it help you get exposure in search results, but helpful content can position your business as a thought leader in your industry.
If you can consistently produce high quality content on your blog, you will attract more visitors. And if they (hopefully) find your information useful, insightful, or inspiring, they’ll share your content via their social channels ultimately garnering you more eyes on your website. Creating educational content allows potential customers and your followers to have conversations on and about your posts.
So make sure your content is up to par. Post unique and interesting articles often. This can be original content, eye-catching (and relevant) YouTube videos, or industry related news articles. Pro tip: ask your readers questions. This will allow them to start discussions and share, tag a friend, or repost your articles.
Make Sure your Webstore Is Easy to Use
We already stressed the importance of functionality, and with this element of your website, functionality is of the most importance. Imagine — you get a lead, they’ve decided your company is the right fit for their needs (yay!!), they they make it all the way through the checkout process, click “order” and nothing. Crickets. Not only have you lost a sale, you’ve frustrated a converted lead and may lose their business forever.
If you’re an ecommerce business, don’t make it difficult for visitors to browse your inventory, and most importantly, make the checkout process as intuitive as possible. If it’s too difficult for them to complete their purchase, they’ll bounce to your competitor's site and spend their money with them instead. In order to assure your webstore is functional and easy to use, we suggest you do a few test runs. Even better, have a friend or family member who isn’t as familiar with your website or industry complete a mock transaction. Having a fresh pair of eyes on your site and going through the checkout process will provide you with valuable insight you might not have noticed yourself. Additionally, test the checkout process across multiple browsers (Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, etc.). Many websites are optimized for certain browsers, and while that’s OK, you want to make sure a user on Safari will get the same seamless checkout experience as someone on Chrome.
Make Your Call To Action Clear
Think of all the things you’ve signed up for, that you necessarily didn’t plan to do originally. Did you download Dropbox? Spotify? Amazon Prime? Sign up for an interesting newsletter? Each of these signups and downloads is likely the result of an effective call-to-action.
It’s imperative to guide your visitors through their buying journey using compelling calls-to-action (CTAs). But not all CTAs are equal. In order to have an effective CTA, you need to make sure it fits into the following categories: simple and effective design, click-worthy copy, and clear message.
Crafting a CTA that rocks might take some trial and error, but once you’ve got an effective one, you’ll know simply by the increase in lead conversions and the positive effect it has on your bottom line. Follow the below CTA best practices to get started:
Your CTA should be:
- Eye-catching with copy that compels you to click the offer
- Short and sweet: a couple of words is best, no more than five is ideal
- Action-oriented: begin with a verb like "Download" or "Subscribe"
- Located in an easy-to-find spot
- In a contrasting color from the color scheme of the webpage so that it stands out, while still fitting in with the overall design
- Big enough to see from afar, but not so large as to detract attention from the main content on the page
- Easy to comprehend and clear: be sure to state exactly what the visitor will get if they click on the CTA
There is a lot you need to know when designing your B2B website. With B2B Program Manager, we create responsive buyer portals for you and your clients. Getting a potential customer to your website is a huge first step, but converting them into a buyer is another battle. We can help. Utilize the tools and experts at B2B Program Manager to create the most effective website for your brand.