Your website is the single most important element of your digital marketing strategy. As such, it needs to be designed with its users in mind to create a seamless experience.
In many ways, this applies even more so for businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B). Just because you’re selling to other teams and organizations doesn’t mean that their expectations are lesser than your typical consumer. They’ll still look for a streamlined desktop and mobile experience, direct communication, ease of information, and clear value from your business.
To make sure you get your B2B website off the ground successfully, here are five actionable steps that you should take.
1. Go beyond good website design
Here’s a truth you may already be familiar with — first impressions matter. The attention span of web users is getting shorter and shorter. Because of this, your website has only milliseconds to create a good impression with a user before they decide to stay or leave.
In fact, a recent survey shows that 93% of people say they left a website because they found the design unattractive. You need to make those milliseconds count.
Now here’s a truth you may not be familiar with — just because you like the design of your website does not mean it’s user-friendly. What’s more, just because the design of your website is visually appealing, does not mean it’s user-friendly.
What do these two facts mean for your B2B business? It means that knowing the importance of good website design is not enough. You also need to be familiar with the components of web design that help you attract and hook potential clients. Components such as:
- Your choice and use of colors
- Your choice and use of fonts
- Image quantity and quality
- Navigation tools
All of these elements must work together to create a website that looks and feels good to use.
Mailchimp’s website is an excellent example of this. Just take a look at the beginning of their homepage.
The yellow color draws your attention, while the whitespace helps emphasize the most important elements of the homepage:
- Their logo — for brand awareness
- Custom graphic — to hook users in
- Web copy — to pitch their value
The homepage fulfills its goal of drawing users in, but it also makes it easy to navigate through the website. Just look at their navigation tools.
Organizing large amounts of information that Mailchimp provides isn’t easy. Yet, somehow, they’ve pulled it off. A closer look reveals why this navigation panel works — consistency and organization.
The design remains consistent with its use of custom graphics. This adds personality to the website. The drop-down menu is simple yet effective with its clean organization of categories and subcategories of the various services and information they offer.
Together, these elements make for a website that captures the users’ attention and helps them get to where they need to go. This is what you should aim for with your B2B’s website.
Succeed in this area, and you will reap the benefits of higher levels of traffic and lower bounce rates.
2. Optimize for mobile users
Optimizing your website for mobile devices is not optional. As we already learned, first impressions matter.
With over 58% of all online users coming from mobile devices, your mobile website design needs to be top-notch. Failing in this area will inevitably affect a large portion of your audience.
For your B2B company, it means translating everything you applied in step 1, but for mobile devices. A mobile-friendly business website has qualities such as:
- The design is just as good or even better than its desktop counterpart.
- Is easy to understand and navigate.
- Has a responsive web design.
- Contains high-quality images and legible text.
- Has functional buttons and tools.
This not only applies to mobile phones, however, as the design should fit all types of mobile devices such as:
- Multimedia phones
- Featured phones
Each type of device will need to be optimized for the users’ needs.
Can I check if my website is mobile-friendly?
Fortunately, Google has a handy tool that can help you find out just how mobile-friendly your website is. Let’s see the Mobile-Friendly Test in action.
To start, copy and paste the URL of your website into the search bar and click “Test URL.” It may take a few seconds before you get your results.
Once the tester has finished analyzing your website you should see a result page with more details.
These results not only tell you if the website is mobile-friendly, but they also show you a real-life example of what your page looks like on a mobile device. As a B2B company, your goal should be to optimize this version to be as visually appealing and functional as possible.
If your website has issues, however, the tester will tell you where the problem points are.
If this is the case for your website, make sure you correct the problem as quickly as possible. Doing otherwise may cost you potential clients.
3. Know your audience
As a B2B organization you must understand who your audience is. Those that forget that their audience is other businesses tend to focus on the wrong marketing techniques such as:
- Brand awareness
- Emotional impact
- Various types of buyer personas
These techniques may work for B2Cs, but they are not helpful for B2Bs. This is why you need to show that you know your audience.
Your audience is composed of other businesses, so what does that mean for your B2B? It means you need to be clear, direct, and efficient at getting your message across.
Business owners have a limited amount of time to view and interact with your website. They don’t want flowery marketing tactics. They want to do business with a company that gets to the point. They want a clear and direct message they can work with.
Let’s see this in action.
Slack’s website is a great example of a company that understands who their audience is. Their website gets right to the point, explaining the who, what, and how that their audience needs to know.
Slack stands out because they do a lot with very little space. In just one section, Slack manages to:
- Pitch the value that they offer (a tool that improves team communication).
- Establish their target audience (business professionals).
- Illustrate how the tool can be used.
- Include two unique call-to-actions.
They manage to do all this without overloading the users with information. They understand that they have little time to convince a lead to convert, and they make the most of it.
This gives off the impression of a business that is efficient, focused, and aware of their audience’s needs. This translates into higher traffic, and more conversions.
4. Establish yourself as an authority
As a B2B, your website serves as the main source of connection to potential leads. If you want your website to succeed, you need to convert those leads into customers.
This isn’t easy. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, your competitors are figuring out more ways to attract and hook their audience.
Because of this, the best way to stand out is by establishing yourself as an authority within your industry.
How do you establish yourself as an authority? The answer is two-fold.
To establish yourself as a credible and authoritative business, you need to consistently provide good content. You can do this in a variety of ways on your website:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Video content
All of these options need to be of the highest quality. High-quality content is clear, concise, relevant, and useful. Provide your audience with quality content for long enough and others will start to notice. This brings us to our second point.
As you continue to provide your audience with quality content, other websites will start to take notice. This is where link-building comes in.
Link-building helps you increase your credibility and authority within your industry by getting other websites to link to yours. And it works. A recent link building report shows that SEO professionals rely on a great variety of link-building methods to improve website success.
The number #1 method for building links? Content creation.
If you really want to stand out among your competitors and make your B2B website successful, you need to start with your content. The more you do this, the more websites will link to yours, and the more your credibility increases. Additionally, you can also reach out to other sites offering to write a guest post for them in exchange for the inclusion of a backlink to your site.
5. Integrate social media
Yes, B2Bs also have to integrate social media into their marketing strategies. Though commonly associated with B2C businesses, social media marketing is very much relevant for B2B businesses.
In fact, B2Bs that ignore this aspect of marketing are neglecting a significant portion of their online audience. Data shows that social media content makes up 95% of successful B2B marketers’ content strategies.
And integration doesn’t have to be difficult. With a variety of automation tools available, you can ensure seamless integration into social media. Each social media has a different use and benefit, but all can be automated.
For example, if you connected with a prospect over Instagram and want to ensure consistent communication, you can forward your Instagram messages to your email and continue communicating this way.
Integrating social media into your marketing strategy helps you:
- Create brand awareness among all social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter).
- Increase website traffic and generate more leads.
- Engage and interact with potential clients.
If both your competitors and your customers are on social media, why aren’t you?
Building a successful B2B website takes time
Building a successful website for your B2B company will require time, effort, and a whole lot of planning. Having a plan in place is a great starting point that can better help you manage your business as well as the development of your site.