Effective B2B website marketing and best practices can be crucial for the success of your business. Unfortunately, most B2B websites aren’t doing enough to succeed. Five years ago, simply having a website with information about your company was enough – but far too many B2B companies are still stuck in that mould. Today’s B2B websites need to be much more than an online company brochure. They need to engage visitors in a conversation, whether it’s about an industry trend or how to take the next step towards purchase. They need to promote benefits over features while fostering trust and establishing expertise.
So how can you achieve this? Check the below list and see how many boxes your website ticks:
Your website should:
Provide credible, original content in as many forms as possible
Original content is the most important trait of a great Web site. Content is King. (We will look into content generation in a future issue)
Provide valuable, timely information to the user, not lots of data
For the information to be valuable it should be well-edited. For external links include only the best sites with concise descriptions. For internal content be like a magazine editor, don’t rush to publish mediocre or incomplete articles. Typos are unacceptable.
Share everything you learn
Great websites share everything they learn and hear (that’s relevant of course) with their users. Give behind the scenes accounts of your latest projects, link to valuable tweets and/or news articles, start a newsletter (another topic we will look into in more depth soon), and you’ll get more than you give.
Tailor your message
Who is your audience? Who is the site aimed at? Are these really the people also visiting it? Have you got multiple audiences? Gaining the answers to these questions can be critical to creating a good site. Identify your audience(s) and think about how they wish to receive the information you want to provide. Will a simple text page do? Or do you need graphics to bring your point across? Are images a necessity or are they unwanted? Consider carefully WHO visits your site and WHY.
Be easy to read
Make your pages as easy to read as possible. Black text on a white background is the easiest to read. If you use a background, stick with the lighter shades and let the text stay black. How will your visitors understand the valuable information you provide them if they can’t read your site properly?
Balance the number of levels (the degree of hyperization) with page length to minimize scrolling and display time. Sun Microsystems found that users equate poor organization with poor site design in their extensive usability study of their home page. They also found that users don’t want to scroll. (However, the hits on Discovery Channel Online increased by 40% after they went from non-scrolling design to a scrolling design, so it does depend on your application) Designing pages so important content is “above the fold” is a good idea, though some sites take this maxim to an extreme and cram everything into a cramped mess. Part of having a well-organized site is providing multiple ways of easy navigation. Where possible, supply both text and graphics for buttons. Users feel more comfortable if you maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your site.
These are some basic tips and tactics to ensure that your website does not fail you, but of course there is a lot more to it and we will be discussing these in future editions of our newsletters, so stay tuned!