Your website plays an important role in your B2B business. Whether it be providing a great first impression or engaging your audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey, you want to make sure your website is optimized for your visitor and your business objectives.
Consumers interested in B2B products and/or services typically have complex decision-making processes. There’s a greater risk and impact involved in their purchase, not to mention, there are often multiple decision-makers with varying priorities. That’s why when it comes to effective B2B website design, being transparent, having a clear goal, and highlighting the right information for your audience is important. Information like case studies, pricing, features, templates, learning materials, contact information, forms, and more help nurture the B2B buyer through the marketing funnel to a sale, and your website’s design should help make this all very easy to access.
In this article, we’ll explore B2B website design concepts and best practices you can apply for a more customer-focused experience.
#1. Set clear website objectives
Before you start designing your new website, you should always start with an objective. Consider parts of your business like: What are your marketing objectives? Who is your target audience? What does their purchase journey look like?
Once you’ve figured out your business goals and ideal website audience, you can use these answers to inform all parts of your website, including a new style guide that matches the identity that you want for your brand. Remember, your website is often the first impression for your business. You want to make sure it’s set up for success.
#2. Know the problems you’re trying to solve
Your website should focus on meeting your potential clients’ needs and solving their pain points.
Providing relevant and valuable content that speaks to your audience and avoiding “fluffy” content will help increase your conversion rates. That’s why it’s important to complete a needs and pains analysis before you start writing content, setting architecture or designing your website. A B2B customer won’t willingly fill out a form or click on a call-to-action (CTA) if they don’t find the material compelling or valuable in solving a need they’re trying to fill.
#3. Make website navigation easy
A clean, simple, and easy-to-use navigation improves your customer’s experience more than you may think. A great website navigation and architecture can mean the difference between a sale and a frustrated website visitor. In fact, 76% of consumers admit that easy navigation and information access is the most important factor in a website’s design. Not only that, but it also impacts how your website ranks against other websites in search engines like Google and also affects conversion rates. That’s why it’s important to make sure your navigation is organized and designed well, so that your visitors have a good user experience.
#4. Provide valuable content
Buyers are short on time. So, give them the content they need in a way that’s easy to access and find. Keep your content clean, direct, and to-the-point, but make sure design doesn’t distract from the main value proposition. Each of your high-value or high-traffic pages should have a clear hierarchy of information to help guide the visitor through. It also can help create easily digestible and skimmable content.
A great way to do this is to prioritize the content on each page by assigning a number of importance to each content block. Then, as you design your page, make sure most important content stands out. You can do this with well-defined typographic styles like headers and body copy as well as negative space and placement. These help support the natural flow through the page and help tell a story that can be easily scanned by the reader in a short period of time. Other elements to consider include CTAs, blocks of copy, images, sidebar features, pop ups, etc. At the end of the day, your content should be both visually interesting and help support your buyer’s journey.
#5. Implement eye-catching CTAs
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a great way to help visitors move through your website and guide them toward a desired action. Depending on what your business objectives are, putting CTAs in proven high-traffic areas of your website can help you sell, generate leads, drive awareness, and more. From the copy you use to CTA design and placement, there are many ways make sure your CTAs are grabbing people’s attention.
Don’t be afraid to use more than one CTA, just make sure they don’t compete for your viewer’s attention. For example, your homepage can have two CTA buttons that serve two different purposes—an understated top-of-funnel (TOFU) CTA that caters to first-time website visitors who aren’t familiar with your product or services and want to learn more, along witha bold, colorful bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) CTA that grabs their attention.
Making sure your BOFU CTA stands out helps pull in B2B buyers that know your brand, what you offer, and are ready to engage with sales. That way they waste no time looking for the sales-ready page and you encourage them to get in touch right away.
#6. Optimize your landing page forms
The principle of “less is more” applies here. The fewer fields a form has, the more likely someone will fill it in and hit the submit button. One way to reduce friction is by matching how valuable your content asset is with the effort required to access it (i.e., visitors will likely not fill out a form with 10 fields to download a short infographic, but they might be willing to do so for a detailed research report). The stage your prospect is at can also impact how much information you ask for. For example, in early stages, you may end up asking for only essential personal information to build trust.
Here are some quick tips for increasing conversions through your website forms:
– Keep forms short—the fewer fields, the better.
– Group related form fields together. Keep it simple.
– Keep form labels simple. Stick common web standards.
– Give user list options instead of requiring manually inputted information.
– Have clear error messages that help a prospect fix validation errors.
– Use contrast and weight for your main CTA.
– Customize your form to your goals and what you’re offering.
– Use language specific to what you’re offering for your submit button so it’s more compelling.
– Make sure the form works well in all browsers and devices so everyone has a good user experience.
– For the best results, having a web designer, web developer, and marketing specialist working together to input these suggestions.
#7. Showcase high-value content with a resource center
Having relevant and valuable content is key to nurturing website visitors, converting them to leads, and eventually closing a sale. But your content is only as valuable as it is accessible. Having a well-organized resource center to house this content is key to making sure it is easy-to-access and doesn’t stay buried in your website.
It also plays a role in establishing your company as a thought leader. It increases the time visitors are spending on your website, lets you track the movement and behavior of your visitors with marketing automation software like Salesforce Pardot, and if it leaves the visitor with a positive impression, it’ll keep them coming back.
In order for a resource center to be effective, it should be set up in a way that lets visitors easily find the content they’re looking for, while keeping their needs and pains in mind.
Here are some best practices when it comes to building your resource center:
– Choose a resource center platform that fits your specific needs.
– Enable visitors to sort content by pain point, topic, or role—this should stand out more than the ability to search by content type (most people don’t search for content by thinking “I want to read a white paper,” they think with the topic in mind and the question they want answered).
– Offer users related content toward the end of a resource, ideally related to the pain point addressed by the resource they just read.
– Place new or featured content in a prime location.
– Utilize teaser text, thumbnails, and tags to increase “scan-ability” and provide visitors with a preview of content before they click.
– Add reading time to increase engagement and set expectations.
– Design modular solutions that allow for maximum flexibility and scalability.
– Make sure article pages are not dead ends by adding links to related resources, next or previous articles, featured articles, etc.
– Have different resource page layouts and features depending on the content format. For example, a gated resource may feature a wider sidebar that, once clicked on, expands to accommodate the addition of a form. On the other hand, a video resource might include wider content space to accommodate the full-width video and feature a text transcript snippet.
#8. Ensure your website is accessible to all
Last but not least, accessibility is an important best practice (and often a legal requirement) that isn’t talked about enough! When designing your website, make sure the user interface (UI) design and visual design elements are accessible to people with disabilities. Look out for contrast, type size, video subtitles, transcripts, etc. For more details, read about WCAG 2.0, the internationally accepted standard for web accessibility. As part of the Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications, all public websites and their content must meet WCAG 2.0.
Another very important step is making sure B2B website designs are responsive and optimized. The site needs to work quickly on all screens and devices. This not only helps create the best user experience for your customers and users, but it will also help build a more consistent and professional image for your company.
The biggest B2B website design takeaway
Whether you’re doing all or just some of these design best practices for your B2B website, the most important takeaway is that your website should be centered around your customer and their pain points. Use language that reflects the way they speak, produce content that addresses their needs and solves their problems, and give them an easy path to find and access helpful information. Ultimately, you want to build visitors trust and convert on your website so that you can continue to nurture them and eventually produce a sale once a buyer decides you’re a good fit for their needs. Your B2B website design should help drive that customer journey.
If you have any B2B website optimization questions and want to know how you can get more of the website work done that you want to, contact us here. We’re here to ask any questions about how you can get started on any of these B2B website design best practices:
– Corporate rebranding
– Website architecture and strategy
– UX (User Experience) design
– Responsive website design and development
– CMS publishing and website optimizations
– Custom WordPress development
– Art direction and consulting
– Lucas Carmona, Executive Creative Director at Brainrider
As Executive Creative Director, Lucas Carmona works and leads the executional teams at Brainrider. Lucas works with the Martech, Content, Design, and Dev teams to use their B2B content, creative, and tech expertise to help clients meet their business needs in a scalable and accountable way. With his passion for creativity, Lucas is always looking for ways to bring unique and innovative solutions to each client’s distinct needs.
– Catia Rocha, Executive Operations Director at Brainrider
Catia Rocha is the Executive Director of Operations at Brainrider. She leads business operations and finance while also operating as Digital Director. With 10+ years of experience building UX solutions and high-performing teams of digital experts, Catia’s passion extends into her work as she seeks opportunities to share her knowledge around all things web, UX, and B2B marketing.
Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We help clients hit KPIs by providing B2B marketing execution services through an on-site & off-site resourcing model to fill capacity and capability gaps. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Contact us today.