Gone are the days where networking events and the exchange of business cards will be the first contact you’ll have with a potential customer or partner. These days, the first contact you’ll make will likely be that of the message your website offers visitors. If your website doesn’t provide a good image and give visitors all the information they need, they likely won’t give it a second thought.
Research suggests that visitors spend no more than a few seconds deciding if they want to stay on a website or if they should just choose another. The same holds true when you’re designing your B2B website. Here are some tips for crafting your B2B website to be effective and useful to those who visit it.
1. Understand Your Customer
Understanding your customer and those likely to find themselves on your website can help inform many things about both the design and the message your website is going to convey. Knowing your specific market and how to create the impression that calls a business to action to contact you and take the discussion from website to boardroom is going to be the very purpose of the website.
For example, if you’re in the B2B market like lfacapsulefillers.com, your landing page should clearly show this and the different machines you offer as well as your most important sales pitch – like delivery options or warranty information.
2. Design Quality is Important
Your website is a direct reflection of your brand, and all of the design choices need to reflect that. Not only should they match your corporate identity, they should also show off your company’s personality and products. Colors, backgrounds, and fonts will all contribute to this design language and each should be carefully considered and chosen. Take it further and put extra effort into the copy and text your website contains to ensure it aligns with your business and appeals to your audience. The design and copy is another area of your website which should convince visitors to stay in those crucial first few seconds.
3. Your Design Must be Responsive
Those visiting your website aren’t all going to be using a device that has the same screen size, orientation and resolution as the one you’re using. Your website needs to be able to adapt to different devices like tablets, cellular phones and computers and look great on each different platform. This is called responsive design and is critical for websites today. Being able to be responsive and still portray the correct design language and ease of navigation and access to information, no matter the format or device being used, is vital.
4. Put Your Important Info Above the Fold
When we talk about the area ‘above the fold’ in design, we are referring to the part of the website you can see without having to scroll or navigate anywhere. This is where all your critical business information should be. Sharp, poignant copy positioning your company and what it offers, as well as contact information are the most important things you should include above the fold. More detailed information can be placed below the fold or further down the page because once the visitor has decided to scroll down on your site, you’ve already got enough of their attention from your website’s information contained above the fold.
5. Spend Time on Website Navigation
Getting around your website should be second nature to those that visit it and that means staying on trend with the latest web design choices made by the big websites everyone visits. Make sure your navigation menus are concise and easy to understand and put the most important links in large call to action buttons or on the top level of your navigation. Don’t hide important information in sub-pages or require users to navigate around to find them as they’ll likely lose interest before they do. Consistency is the most important keyword when it comes to designing and implementing website navigation.
6. Don’t Ignore Search Engine Optimization
Generic search terms about your specific market into a search engine need to lead those making them to your website and the only way you’re going to get this right in a world where every business is online and competing for the same market is to pay attention to the art of SEO (search engine optimization). Having effective SEO means that the likelihood that your website will reach the top of the search results for organic search terms is high. It’s a complex skill and might mean you’ll need to hire an expert or outsource it.
7. Social Media Is Powerful
Regardless of your personal views on social media, it’s an incredibly powerful place to market your company and your B2B website. If done correctly, your social media pages can be a lead-generation powerhouse and direct many potential customers to you. While a presence on the big social media networks like Twitter and Facebook is important, they can often appeal to a more personal user, so spend a lot of time and effort on LinkedIn, which could be the biggest lead generator for your B2B website. Social media isn’t a ‘set and forget’ task either and should be constantly managed. Don’t forget to use social media for more than marketing too – it’s an invaluable place to connect with your customers for feedback and direct engagement.
8. Accuracy is Everything
The golden rule of your B2B website is to make sure everything is absolutely and completely accurate in every way. Your contact details, products and product descriptions should be accurate and up to date and your copy should be free of any spelling or grammatical errors. Small things will make the biggest difference.
Crafting a B2B website should be done with a very careful eye for detail and an intimate understanding of what the message is you want your website to convey to those who visit it. In this age, your website is your very first sales pitch, so you should make sure it does the job effectively and opens the door for more discussions which might lead to business.