B2B marketing is a fast-paced world in which companies must be constantly ahead of the latest trends and strategies to generate leads and deliver the information that matters. This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a hard-hit global economy and constant transformations have left many B2B businesses working at break-neck speed to pivot.
No matter the changes your company is going through, one factor remains constant in the world of B2B marketing: the need for an eye-catching, useful, and user-friendly website. Yet in the B2B world, websites often become an afterthought, ending up badly designed and a poor way for potential clients to learn about a company’s offerings. By taking a step back to look at your company’s site through your customers’ perspective, you’ll be able to identify flaws that are preventing your website from being an effective lead-generating machine.
Factors to Consider Before Designing a B2B Website
Whether updating an existing site or starting from scratch, many B2B companies fall into the same trap: they approach their website design with an initial focus on elements (graphics, social media feeds, etc.) without considering the messaging.
“We’d like to lead with an amazing graphic on the homepage – just put in some filler text and we’ll figure it out later!”
This is a huge mistake. While pretty websites look, well, pretty, if you’re not delivering the information potential clients need, they won’t stick around for long. According to a Forrester report, a whopping 68% of B2B purchases are decided by independent online research. If your site doesn’t deliver, it’s likely that those leads will look elsewhere before you even get the opportunity to target them with a sales pitch.
While your B2B site should be attractive and user-friendly, it will also be infinitely more complex than B2C sites. B2B websites must offer much more info than their B2C counterparts. In a format that’s easy to navigate, your site must communicate what your service/product is about, who it’s for, what’s included, what makes it the best, and answer every one of the most frequently asked questions about your offerings.
Have In-Depth Discussions First
With that in mind, before you jump into the planning process, sit down with your team (internal, external, or a combination) and have an in-depth discussion to decide what information should be presented on your B2B site. The most important perspective to consider is that of your current customers. Understanding what they wanted to find on your site, what they were able to learn from it, as well as any challenges they experienced while navigating your site, will help you determine how to update it to give today’s buyers the best possible customer experience.
In addition to getting input from clients, have a sit-down with your sales and marketing team to gain insight on what your B2B site must accomplish to be successful. This will help your team create a balance between delivering what the customer wants — a fast, easy-to-use website that delivers essential information — and what your company needs, which is higher quality leads, more conversions, and more sales.
Map Out Your Buyer’s Journey
Working closely with your marketing team, your company will then be able to create buyer personas and carefully map out their buying journey – designing a website that will guide them through that process. There is no one-size-fits all answer to designing the perfect B2B website. Figuring out whether or not to display your pricing, for example, will depend on your industry, your products and services, and what works best to deliver customized information to each buyer.
As with every element of B2B marketing, designing an ideal B2B website isn’t about presenting the information you’d like to deliver; it’s about delivering the information potential customers are seeking when they visit your site. And while an impressive visual display might draw them in initially, a failure to deliver what they need will drive them to seek solutions elsewhere. By having the right discussions before kicking off the design process, you’ll be able to create a website with pizzazz that also has the power to convert browsing visitors into high-quality leads.