The Ultimate Guide to High-Performance B2B Websites
B2B websites carry a heavy load of responsibility. The competition for B2B suppliers of all kinds is pretty fierce, with potentially millions of B2B companies already running and new ones starting up every month.
Your website should be the primary source of information about your business.
This means that it needs to be kept up to date, including valuable information, be easy to use, and utilize SEO keywords to maximize the relevance of the content.
To drive your business both online and off requires careful attention and planning for your website, whether it’s brand new or a complete redesign.
While an effective website must look good, effective website design is about much more than visual appearance alone. It includes the strategy behind the site, the structure, content, layout, SEO and more.
In this guide, we look at what it takes to design an effective website for your business. We detail the steps you need to follow to ensure you build a site that attracts, engages and converts visitors – not just another online brochure.
Let’s get started.
Qualities of an effective website
Most importantly, an effective website is one that generates leads for your business. More specifically, it should generate leads regularly and in sufficient volume to enable you to grow your business. To do this, your website needs to fulfil a number of different objectives.
- First of all, it has to have traffic. This means it needs to be discoverable, particularly in organic search but also in other relevant channels.
- Second, it needs to engage visitors. This is multifaceted and ranges from creating an instant connection to providing a clear customer journey and a positive user experience.
- Third, it needs to convert! It needs to take an anonymous visitor and support their decision making process so well that they want to convert, either to obtain more information or to go straight to purchase.
Define Your Website Goals
First and foremost, you need to define the goals of your website. After all, if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish and haven’t defined a timeframe within which to hit your numbers, you won’t know if your website is successful.
What does your website need to achieve in order to impact the performance of your business? Are you trying to generate leads? Establish your executives as thought leaders in the industry? Drive engagement? Increase event registrations? Differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace?
How will you measure the overall success of your website? What are your KPIs and how frequently will you review your success metrics? Who will be held accountable for meeting your goals?
Make It Clear They’re In The Right Place
Imagine someone opening a restaurant but not making it clear what type of food they served. Insane, right? Unfortunately, that’s what many businesses do when it comes to their websites. It’s not clear from the outset who they serve or what they do.
When a visitor lands on your website, is it abundantly clear that your company is a perfect match for their business? Some businesses serve Fortune 500 companies, others serve midsized companies, while still others serve startups. Some specialize in specific industries, while others focus on specific geographic regions.
Does your website make it crystal clear who you serve and how you serve them? From the moment your ideal client lands on your home page, they should know that you’re the perfect match for them.
For example, on the Vindicta Digital website, we wanted visitors to know immediately they are in the right place if they are searching for a creative digital solution with incredible results online. The headline and subhead at the top of the home page that we crafted does the work perfectly.
Use Customer-Driven Messaging
You could talk all day about the history of your company, but is that really what your audience wants to hear? Probably not.
Your goal is to discover the pain points of your audience and create hyper-targeted messaging that gives your audience true value and killer solutions. When your B2B site can speak directly to the struggles of your audience, you stand a much better chance of converting them into leads and eventually paying customers.
Create Quality Content
One particularly powerful way you can build trust and establish your expertise is by regularly providing high-quality content on your website. Blogs, infographics, videos, webinars, tutorials – all of these (when done well) provide real value to your audience. And if your audience loves your content and finds it helpful, they’re much more likely to believe that your product or service will do the same.
Additionally, high-quality content fuels your SEO engine. The more optimized content you publish, the more likely it is that you’ll show up in search engines and attract organic traffic. The more organic traffic you generate, the more leads you’ll generate. Content marketing is a tool that you can use to expand your audience and drive new visitors to your website.
Deploy Quality Website Design
At the very start of this article, it was mentioned that website design is not all when it comes to B2B… but it certainly can’t go unnoticed as it’s just as important for the overall results.
If you landed on a website that had the exact service or product you wanted but their website was a horrific trainwreck, would you trust that brand? Most likely not.
Website design is the first thing that people notice when they land on your site, so it better be good. If your site looks like it was designed in 1995 on a MySpace template, you’ll send potential customers running away.
Your site also needs to be extremely user friendly. In other words, it should be easily accessible and navigable.
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but people will certainly judge your website based on the design. If you want a highly effective B2B website and leads growth, great design is absolutely essential.
Ensure Everything Is SEO Optimized
You may have the most beautiful website ever designed and the greatest content ever created, but it doesn’t matter if your site never shows up in searches.
The reality is that SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to get a massive ROI from your B2B website. The more your site is optimized, the more you automatically attract organic traffic. And because this traffic often has buying intent behind it, it’s much easier to convert this traffic into leads (and eventually customers).
Deploy Enterprise-Level Security
Now, more than ever, security matters for your B2B website. The last thing you can afford is to have some script-happy hackers deface your website or steal customer information.
Build For Mobile
Have you ever pulled up a website on your mobile phone, only to discover that the font is tiny and unreadable? It’s a frustrating experience and almost always guarantees that you’ll never visit that site again.
More and more, web browsing and searching are happening on mobile phones as opposed to desktops/laptops.
With 74% of people more likely to return to your site if it’s mobile-friendly, you want to ensure your site looks great on mobile devices.
At Vindicta Digital, we make sure to design only those sites which will work flawlessly on every platform, with the mobile generation always in our minds. It’s important that each section you have as a company is designed to be responsive to both the desktop and the mobile because you never know who will access your site and when.
Final Checklist For B2B Website Redesigns
- Is your website properly branded?
- Does the design make good use of negative space, or does it feel crowded?
- Does the layout make sense and lead the visitor to the next point of interest?
- Do you use video content and other graphics?
- Is your navigation easy to use?
- Are the font size and type, colour palette, etc., in accord with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?
- Is the design responsive and optimized for mobile use?
- Do you update and maintain the site regularly?
- Does it include a live chat feature?
- Does it contain updated, relevant information?
- Is the information demonstrably useful to your audience?
- Are your products easily available for review?
- Is the content showcasing your company as an authority and expert in your field?
- Does the content maximize SEO keyword use?
- Are multiple CTAs included?
- Does it include a clear method to contact you for further information or questions?
- Is there a FAQ page?
- Have you included an engaging company blog which is regularly updated with content?
- Does your site include links to your social media profiles?
- Is it up to date with current promotions?
- Does your email marketing include links back to relevant articles and products?
- Does it include lead-generating features?
If you haven’t redesigned your B2B website for some time, it’s definitely recommended to take the time to analyze its performance, function, user experience and content for optimization.
In Need of a Brand New Website?
We’re well aware that the public-facing business needs a website which is built to respond. It’s powerful, it’s accessible, it merges all of your content with high ranking SEO keywords. A lot of companies we’ve worked with have a similar kind of idea in their head about what they want their site to be. Contact our team today to begin your project.
PA & Marketing Assistant at Vindicta Digital