Top 10 Elements of a B2B Website

When it comes to developing a website for your B2B company, the obvious elements to consider are design, layout, navigation, optimisation, content, user experience, among others.

However, some elements are more important than others and some are fundamental. These elements have a greater influence on the quality and performance of your website in the short and long term.

While it’s important to build all of the necessary elements into your website, the most strategically effective website needs to be launched as quickly as possible to help drive B2B lead generation. These elements are the key features you need to address at the start of any development process. Without these 10 elements, your site is not ready to generate leads and provide a ROI.

1. Make sure your website’s messaging is clear

Too many B2B websites are ambiguous. Mission statements that fail to describe the aims of the business and obtuse answers that hint at solutions.

This is a point of frustration for people looking for real answers. Businesses who are unclear about what they have to offer are a waste of time for people searching to answer their pain point within a budget and time frame.

Too much jargon turns people away from your website. The simplest way to ensure website visitors understand your business and what it does is to condense it into a few words. Using a professional writer, you can communicate with your audience the core of your business in a few lines and in a way that stays with the reader. This not only helps people to understand your business, but it also helps them to remember it. This creates not only new leads but can generate industry conversation that directs people to your website.

2. Host high-quality content

Customers expect to be able to find information online in relation to a product or service. Businesses need to provide answers in the form of blogs, eBooks, case studies, customer reviews, white papers and other high-quality content intended to inform customers’ purchasing decisions.

Customer also expects to be able to access and receive information in real-time. People are happy to conduct their own research visiting websites, blogs, forums or review platforms. People are less happy about having to wait for answers and will navigate away from sites that ask for registration or email contact to ‘learn more’ on a content-poor site.

Without content, B2B companies have no way of engaging and retaining the interest of potential prospects. Even if those prospects are looking for the exact products and services the business provides, without content to make those prospects aware of that fact, they will fail to attract them to the website.

Every B2B company should have a blog. Blogging can be as frequent or infrequent (monthly being the accepted minimum), as your company has resources to allow. It’s an opportunity to create a new web page that targets a specific keyword and uses a unique URL, all of which will help prospects (and browsers) to find your website.

3. Create a blog

Your blog is like a repository of quality information. Educational resource prospects can turn to and be able to find out more about their business challenges, as well as your products and services.

Every new web page is an opportunity to be found online. Your blogs boost your SEO ratings, even as the metric changes, if you write intelligent blogs that share quality information about your industry, rather than trying to manipulate content to fit with trending keywords.

Blogging can improve your traffic ten-fold in a short time, and if your blog is valuable, potential and existing customers will turn to you as an authority. It is a relatively cheap way to conduct ongoing marketing outreach and even researching, as blogging opens pathways to conversations with your customers.

 4. Include CTAs for each stage of the buyer’s journey

Any B2B website that’s predominantly ‘outbound’, outdated, or does not follow the methodology of inbound marketing, will have one principal call-to-action (CTA) plastered across it: ‘Contact Us’.

The Contact Us CTA is a relic of a time long past – 10-15 years ago – a time where all the power in the sales engagement process was held by the salesperson. Back then, if customers wanted to find out about a product or service – even if they weren’t interested in buying anything – they had no choice but to speak to a business’ sales team.

Nowadays, salespeople are involved much later in the sales cycle and typically engage when a prospect shows the symptoms of being ready to buy. Today’s prospects will take their time researching a business’ product or service offering; reading content and reviews to assess whether or not a business can solve their problem.

The Contact Us CTA is synonymous with ‘waste my time’, so to engage with website visitors earlier on in the sales cycle and obtain vital information, websites must incorporate a variety of CTAs – CTAs which engage prospects on a level other than Contact Us.

CTAs such as ‘Find Out More’ or ‘Download Now’, for example, encourage action. They also cater to people earlier on in the sales cycle who are conducting research to educate themselves.

While you can incorporate a Contact Us CTA on your site, it is now recognised as only relevant to the end of your sales funnel. Once you have answered questions in other ways or provided further details through downloads or links, then it becomes appropriate to invite people to finalise their investigation and connect with you.

5. Build lots of landing pages and forms

Another essential feature for B2B websites: landing pages.

Landing pages are crucial and without them, generating inbound leads is considerably more difficult.

The sole purpose of a landing page is to drive conversions. They advertise a specific content offer, product or service which can only be obtained by landing page visitors completing a form. Landing pages encourage landing page visitors to provide their details in exchange for a valuable piece of content, whereas forms ask the visitor for specific information.

Your goal is to move visitors further into the buyer’s journey – so if someone arrives on your website and reads a blog you might want to include a CTA that directs them to the landing page for a similar piece of content, such as an eBook or white paper. When they click on the CTA, they arrive on the landing page and, if they like what they see, fill in the form to download the content.

This gives you vital information that you need to understand what the lead is searching for. Now that you have their details you can start to nurture them over time using more relevant content until they are ready to engage with your sales team.

6. Ensure your website has is visually appealing

Website trends change. Right now it’s all about sleek, modern and minimal design. No flash, no elements that slow the website down, and certainly no massive text. The website visitor wants a smooth and streamlined experience. They want to use an aesthetically pleasing website, one with flowing modules, fast web pages, clear text, and consistency.

Deep scrolling is also perfectly acceptable. Modern websites utilise a mixture of long and short web pages – particularly where pillar pages are concerned – to break up content and better display information.

Subtle colours and complementary colours help to keep the attention on your website’s content. CTAs using more vivid colours help distinguish them from subtle background colours.

If your website is aesthetically pleasing, easy to use and modern, it helps to attract people and keep them looking at your site for longer, improving conversion rates.

7. Ensure your website is optimised (SEO)

For most of your business’ prospects, their journey starts with a search engine. People are now accustomed to typing in the question they want answering and being offered thousands of options to answer that question.

If your website does not show up on this list when your prospect search for the products and services that you provide, you are missing out on opportunities. Optimising your website is not only vital to ensure organic traffic, but also to increase brand awareness and business exposure.

SEO is fundamental and an ongoing practise that all businesses must partake in if they are to be found online for specific search terms relevant to them.

8. Ensure it looks great on mobile

People use their smartphones more than any other device for searching, so your website needs to be as aesthetically pleasing, accessible, user friendly and fast as your page viewed on a PC or laptop.

With this in mind, B2B websites need to be optimised for desktop and mobile if they are to retain website visitors. People will leave your mobile website if it is too hard to view or navigate.

9. Clear website navigation that is easy to follow

One aspect often overlooked during the website design process is the website’s navigation. When it comes to website design, many businesses focus on the impact and forget the UX. While colour schemes and images are important, if it is not an easy site to follow and understand, people will navigate away quickly.

Creating wireframe of the website before proceeding with its design and layout will ensure it’s developed in a way that makes it easy for users (and search engine crawlers) to find what they are looking for.

Website navigation is one of the most important elements of any website. It’s how website visitors find their way around. People want to find information intuitively. For example, product pages shouldn’t be buried, but rather they should be found underneath a product dropdown on the navigation menu.

If site visitors enjoy your UX, they will be more likely to return to the site and complete purchases. By building your website for both search engines and your prospects it puts ease of navigation at the forefront of your plans.

10. Set up analytics

You need to be able to track the activity on your website to understand its performance. At a minimum, a B2B website needs to be able to report on website traffic by source – organic traffic, direct traffic, referrals, paid search, email marketing, social media and paid social.

However, while such data allows you to see which channels generate the most website traffic, you won’t be able to drill down into each channel to understand paths to conversion or contact conversion rate – i.e. website visitor to lead, lead to customer – unless you have a more sophisticated analytics platform capable of attribution.

Having these analytics at your disposal will make it easier to understand how to plan your marketing campaign.

Incorporating these 10 elements to building your B2B website will help develop your business. Your brand reputation relies on your website, especially as the way that business is evolving. With less contact between people and more work performed online, your website is more than a vital asset to building your B2B connections, it fast becoming one of the only ways to attract new business.

 

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