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 aspects of your business such as: What are your marketing objectives? Who is your target audience? What does their purchase journey look like?
Once you’ve identified your business goals and ideal website audience, you can use these answers to inform all aspects of your website, including the creation of 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 by ensuring it’s aligned with all aspects of your business and optimized to drive the results you need.
#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. As such, it’s important to complete a needs and pains analysis before you begin 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
Clean, simple, and easy-to-use navigation is key to improving the customer experience and ensuring website visitors have a good impression of your brand and content. Good website navigation and architecture can mean the difference between a sale and a frustrated website visitor. In fact, 76% of consumers admit that the most important factor in a website’s design is how easy it is to navigate and find the information they’re looking for. Not only that, but how relevant, valuable, and easy-to-use your visitors find your website directly impacts how your website ranks against other websites in search engines like Google. This is why it’s paramount to make sure your navigation is organized and designed well, so you can ensure your visitors have a good user experience. Not only does it impact your SEO, but it also plays a large role in your conversion rates.
#4. Provide valuable content
Simply put, buyers are short on time. It’s important to present the content they need in a way that’s easy to access and find. For that reason, it’s important to 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 the information and to create easily digestible 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 ensure that the top prioritized content stands out more than the less important content by utilizing well-defined typographic styles like headers and body copy as well as negative space and placement. These help support a natural flow through the page and help tell a story that can be easily scanned by the reader in a short period of time. Elements to consider include CTAs, blocks of copy, images, sidebar features, pop ups, etc. 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 users toward a desired action. Depending on what your business objectives are, implementing 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 to optimize CTAs to grab the attention of your visitor.
Don’t be afraid to use more than one CTA with compelling micro copy, but 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, accompanied by a bold, colorful bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) CTA that grabs their attention. Making sure your BOFU CTA stands out helps make it easily accessible for B2B buyers that are well-versed with 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 connect right away.
#6. Optimize your landing page forms
The principle of “less is more” applies here. The fewer fields a form has, the less friction between the visitor and 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 white paper). It’s also important to take into account the stage of the prospect’s engagement, as you should only be asking for essential personal information in the early stages 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. Adhere to common web standards.
– Give user list options instead of requiring manually inputted information.
– Ensure there are 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 adapts in all browsers and devices so everyone has an optimized user experience.
– For the most optimized results, having a web designer, web developer, and marketing specialist working together to implement these solutions correctly.
#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, can allow you to 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 will keep prospects coming back.
In order for a resource center to be effective, it should be arranged 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 B2B marketing resource center platform for your organization’s specific needs.
– Enable visitors to sort content by pain point, topic or role—this should be more prominent 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 prominent 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.
– Provide different resource page layouts and features based on the resource’s format. For example, a gated resource may feature a wider sidebar that, once clicked on, expands to accommodate the addition of a form. This would differ from the layout of a video resource, which may include a wider content space to accommodate for a 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 is not talked about enough. When designing your website, ensure 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 that all B2B website designs must be 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 implementing all or 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 caters to 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 visitors to build 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 better implement marketing initiatives to generate more revenue, contact us here. We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you leverage and implement 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.