In this blog, Karoline Hasch, HubSpot Account Manager at The B2B Marketing Lab, explains the seven best practices for B2B website design and how these practices can help increase a website's conversion rate and potentially drive more sales.
Did you know that in the B2B space your website often meets your customers before you or your sales team do?
In fact, on average, your buyers go through 50% of the sales cycle before they first contact you. Before emailing you or picking up the phone to speak to your sales team, they will do extensive research online and visit your website - regularly - to see how you can help.
So, given how instrumental your website is in the engagement process, how can you ensure it makes a positive first impression and drives conversions? What should it include?
In this blog, I’ll highlight seven B2B website best practices which will help improve website engagement and drive conversions.
Know your buyer personas & the buyer journey
Your buyer personas should be at the core of everything you do. So, before you start planning your website, think about the key problems your buyer personas (in other words, your ideal customers) are trying to solve when they come to your website.
Maybe they are researching the latest marketing trends and looking for inspiration to improve their campaigns? If so, create a blog summarising the latest trends and how they can be used effectively.
Or perhaps they are trying to find out what the best marketing automation platform is for their business? If so, a product comparison white paper would be useful.
What if they’ve decided what product they want to use but want to find out more about its capabilities? Consider recording and publishing a product demo to showcase it!
Want to learn more about the importance of buyer personas? Check out this blog.
Create remarkable content
One of the most important B2B website best practices is content creation.
We can’t stress how important it is to regularly publish new content. We – The B2B Marketing Lab – have seen so many businesses with one-page websites. These websites have no content for visitors to engage with and only focus on promoting products and services.
Ironically, these businesses are surprised when leads don’t magically appear!
To build a website that converts and stands out from the competition, regular content creation is an absolute must. But just adding a new blog every now and then isn’t enough; it needs to be planned and created with your buyer personas in mind.
Also, make sure to map out your content strategy and work out how you will address your target audience’s questions and problems.
In addition to a blog, make sure to build out your resources section with gated content offers such as eBooks, white papers or webcasts. Simply put – the more conversion points (i.e. landing pages with forms) you have, the better your chances of generating leads.
And don’t overlook video. So many people today would much rather watch something than read something. Find out more about how you can use video to connect with your audience by reading this blog.
Make it easy for people to share your content
This may sound like a simple tip – but it’s often forgotten.
If a user is reading an interesting article on your website, make sure they have the ability to share it with their peers. By adding social sharing buttons to your blogs and thank you pages, you give readers the option to share the content via social media or email if they find it useful and relevant.
And who knows, they might have hundreds of followers that you may be able to reach through them sharing your content!
You can also use tools, such as Share Link Generator, to customise your social links. This way, you can draft social posts in any format, as well as include your brand and hashtags. So when readers click the share button, everything is already done - they just have to publish it!
Deploy chatbots and live chat
Did you know that most website users would rather talk to a chatbot than a real person? If you haven’t thought about adding a chatbot to your website – then now is a good time.
What you can do is compile your frequently asked questions and give your chatbot the answer to these questions. If you’re not sure what your most frequently asked questions are, ask your sales and customer service teams.
The advantage of this is that when people arrive on your website and have questions but don’t want to speak to a human, the chatbot can readily help them. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone and save a lot of time answering common questions.
You might even encourage people who would otherwise be hesitant to speak to your sales team to connect!
You’ll also want to deploy live chat on your website.
Live chat is particularly helpful on product and pricing pages. When users visit these pages, they are typically already at the bottom of your sales funnel, so they will have specific questions about your offering or want a quote. Live chat offers them a way to quickly connect with you.
Provide conversion points
As mentioned earlier – conversion points are essential if you want your website to work for you. Having a just a ‘contact us’ form is not enough; you’ll miss out on potential leads at the top of the sales funnel (people who are not ready to speak to your sales team).
Conversion points should be used throughout the whole sales funnel.
Here are a few examples of what these could be:
You have a blog about top content writing tips. At the end, there is a call-to-action (CTA) directing people to the following eBook: “A step-by-step guide to creating a content plan” which is hosted on a landing page.
You have a few product pages and offer a free trial for each product. At the end of each page, you add a CTA to a product demo, allowing page visitors to check out each product and sign up for the free trial at the end.
You have a simple pop-up form on your blog that prompts readers to subscribe once they scroll down to a specific point on the page or have been on the page for a certain amount of time.
As you can see, there are so many ways to generate submissions (and therefore leads) so get creative with it. As long as your CTAs are helpful, powerful and match the content on the page, you can do anything.
Stick to your brand guidelines
When building out your B2B website, make sure you follow your brand guidelines.
If you don’t have any brand guidelines, it’s time to create some.
Brand guidelines document your preferred choices when it comes to imagery, design and fonts. Documenting your choices for all of the above will prove useful when it comes to consistency (ensuring everything you create is recognisable) and educating new employees.
The main benefit of having brand guidelines is that when people see your content elsewhere, they can instantly tell its your content due to the imagery, design and font choice!
As well as having brand guidelines, add a bit of personality to your B2B website. Don’t use stock photos, use images of your staff! This will help to further establish your brand and make it more recognisable.
Pick a Content Management System (CMS)
Finally, for you to be able to manage your website efficiently, you need a strong CMS.
Ideally, you want a CMS that enables you to scale your website as your business grows (and quickly). It should be simple and easy for your marketing team to update and include the features you need to attract, engage and convert website visitors, i.e. chat bots, pop-up forms, new templates, CTAs, and lead nurturing. If these features don’t come as standard, the platform should be able to implement them later on!
HubSpot, for example, fulfills all of the above requirements, is user-friendly and can scale as and when your business does. Want to learn more about how it can empower your website? Click here.
In summary, there are a range of B2B website best practices, so take your time planning your website build to give it the best chance of success.