What makes a good B2B website?
1. A home page that engages – fast
What can you do in 10 seconds?
Not a great deal. Drink a glass of water, send a short WhatsApp, choose a link to click. In terms of B2B websites, lots of research has shown that people don’t spend much time looking at home pages. The studies vary but one thing is certain, you don’t have long to engage your visitors.
When potential customers visit your website, they tend to ask themselves three questions:
- Who are you?
- Do you sell what I need?
- Why should I buy your product?
These three questions heavily influence home page design, a good home page is an advert for your product or company.
2. A focus on your customer not your product
Good B2B websites focus on the customer, not the product. They show how your product or service solves problems.
Bad B2B websites are all about the products. They show off what the product can do and tells the customer nothing about how it can help them.
Great B2B websites makes it easy for customers to find out more information and interact with you.
3. Clear messaging
A good B2B website is one that clearly communicates its value proposition and can convince potential customers that they should buy from you. It will have clear messaging, so even if a customer doesn't know exactly what it is you do, they'll still get the point of your product or service.
The best B2B websites don't use too much jargon. You want to appeal to a wide range of potential customers—not just other businesses or people in your industry. Communicate what value you bring to customers, which might be anything from saving money on their operations or making them more efficient.
4. Easy navigation
Does your website make it easy for potential customers to find what they need? If not, you're missing out on a lot of sales or leads.
When you're looking for information about a product or service, you don't want to be distracted by anything else. You want to be able to find what you need quickly and be on your way – and that's exactly what a great B2B website does.
A great B2B website makes finding content easy for visitors by:
- Making sure the website navigation is intuitive and easy to use
- Structuring their website how customers want to use it
- Using all navigation tools available such as mega menus (which are basically just larger versions of dropdowns), bread crumb trails (which show users where they are in their journey), drop downs (which let users choose from many options) and site search (especially if you have a big website).
5. Maximise your product pages for conversion.
Your product pages are the most important part of your website, so make sure you're including all the information customers want. Include benefits and features, as well as what problems your product or service solves.
For example, if you're selling a new security system, you might say that it reduces theft by 50%, or that it prevents break-ins before they happen.
Video or animation is great to show visually how your product works and the benefits. You can also use videos and animations to explain any features or benefits that can’t easily be explained in words.
It's also important to remember that high-quality images are vital - low quality images or no images reflect badly on your product!
Don't forget reviews and testimonials, social proof is great for backing up your claims about your products or services.
6. Include “calls to actions” at every stage of the journey
Calls to action (CTAs) are buttons that send people to the next step or give them a reason to keep reading. These can be anything from “Buy now” to “Learn more about shredders”. In B2B websites, it's important your calls to action are clear and prominent.
Research shows that using effective CTAs on your website increases lead generation.
When designing your website, you should try to include a call to action at nearly every stage of the buyer's journey. A good example is to include a “Contact Us” button on every product or service page.
Calls to action should stand out by being bold and often using a contrasting colour rather than the primary brand colour.
If someone is ready for a demo but hasn't made up their mind about whether they want one yet, you could use a video on the homepage with a button that says “Schedule Demo”. This approach helps you make sure that visitors leave with exactly what they came for!
7. Create high quality design and content
If potential customers visit your website and they don’t like what they see, it’s unlikely they’ll return. Remember: design wows, content engages.
Create content such as articles that appeal to potential customers at every stage of the journey. For example, write blog posts about how your product can help businesses with specific pain points such as productivity or resource.
9. Customer friendly functionality
Another important aspect of effective B2B websites for customers to be able to interact with your company in other ways than just browsing products.
Think of other ways your website can help your new and existing customers. A good example is an interactive distributor map that allows new customers to find their nearest distributor to buy your product.
Existing customers can have their own login area for downloads, product videos and online ordering. Or you could provide them with other resources like calculators or configurators that help them find the right product.
Now we've seen what B2B marketing professionals need from their website, it might look like there is lots to do. There is!
Stay focused on your website goals and how it will help your business grow.
You will need professionals to do this properly, as the saying goes: ”If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”