Before even properly starting this article, let me just tell you this: Your B2B website is your way to success in this 21st Century. You need to realize that there is a lot more than just a company logo and contact information that makes up a fully-fledged successful website. Your website needs to speak to its customers, it needs to be a part of your sales proposition. Be it a product or a service that the buyers buy directly from your website, or whether it is that you sell consulting or software projects, understand that your buyers are doing their research online in any scenario.
Therefore, the more your services or products are complex in nature, the more you require your website to work for you because today, the buyers want to make purchases online.
I repeat, since the B2B businesses are complex than the typical B2C businesses, they, in fact, need much better user interfaces. The B2B websites should put emphasis on usability more because this will help the users to accomplish more advanced tasks on the website.
This being said, rushing straight to the design of the B2B website can lead to a disaster.
Here are the things you and/or a professional web design company in Noida need to take care of before design:
1. Ask the End Customer
The key to a successful website is to remember that your website is more about your prospects than you. Your prospects or the end customers are the ones who will be buying the product or service from your website. Therefore, taking their opinions into consideration before starting to design your B2B website can save you heaps of extra costs and time.
You can initiate this by directly asking your customers the following questions-
- How did you come across our website?
- How much time did the website take to load?
- Were you able to figure out the Menu of the website?
- Was the description of our products/services sufficient?
- How was the product display image? Di you find it to be of good quality?
- Did our FAQ section resolve your queries?
- Describe in detail your buying process?
- What according to you, matters the most while evaluating options?
2. Ask your Sales & Marketing Team
Since they are the ones who are regularly in contact with your clients and customers, their opinions play an important role in deciding how your B2B website should be. Your clients/customers usually want valuable information, pricing information, fast response and a quick solution to his needs. Meanwhile, you as a business want more leads, more conversions, and loyalty from your clients.
To maintain a balance between what you want and what your customers want, you should ask the following questions to your Sales & Marketing Team-
- How do you want your brand to be perceived?
- Why your customers chose you and not your competitor?
- What are our advantages according to you?
- What are the generally occurring problems in our products/services?
- Who all are our big clients, what is the number of clients that we have served?
- What according to the Sales & Marketing Team are the primary goals that the website should accomplish for succeeding?
3. Come up with a Buyer Persona
While many B2B businesses tend to not consider it as an important step, having a Buyer Persona ready can help you better understand your business environment, what type of clients usually buy your products and around what time do they make the purchases.
For creating an effective buyer’s persona, consider these factors:
- Interview your clients/customers
- Interview your Sales & Marketing Team
- Carry a survey for your prospects
- Mine your in-house database for understanding the qualities of the best and the worst customers
- Review your web analytics report
- Interview your customer service team
- Use keywords to recognize the topics of interest
- Track your social media activities and keep a tap on the engagements with your connections
4. Map your clients’ Buying Process
There are namely three stages in a buying process:
1. Awareness: Here, the buyer undertakes initial research, makes sense of the problem for which he looks for solutions (later), recognize the opportunities, shifts his priorities.
2. Evaluation: Here, the buyer discovers the product/service that can help him resolve the problems. He researches and gets educated about the solution. Later, he goes through the various other evaluation options like checking out the other alternative solutions.
3. Decision: Lastly, on this stage, the buyer is already inclining towards one choice – either yours or your competitors. They are just looking for ways to justify their eventual decision.
Your website is a sales tool for you and, for your buyers, it is a tool for helping them make a better decision. Analyzing your clients’ buying process will help you think about the content and site architecture that will work the best for you and your clients and future buyers.
Following are the kind of questions you should consider figuring out before beginning to construct your website:
- What role will your website play in supporting each of the 3 stages of your buyer’s buying process?
- What questions should be answered, where?
- How should your website be structured so that every piece of information on it is in accordance with the buyer’s persona?
- What all questions should be answered and in what flow will be they answered?
- What are the various types of content that should be there on your website: blog articles, eBooks, webinars, newsletters, etc.?
- What important role will the customers’ testimonial play and how will you present them on your B2B website?
5. Create the content and conversion plan
Since there are different stages in a buyer’s buying process, your content should be such that your buyers understand what they have to know and what they need to know at each stage and convert.
In the awareness stage, you need to make your buyer about the fact that his business has a problem or an issue. This is the top-of-the-funnel stage. At this stage, the buyer will be expecting high-value blog posts, eBooks, videos, tip sheets, etc.
Onto the next stage i.e. the evaluation stage, your buyer has clearly identified the problem with his business and is now gathering huge amounts of information. This is the middle-of-the-funnel stage where the buyer will be expecting webinars, seminars, podcasts, case studies, comparison charts, etc. from you.
Finally, at the last stage i.e. the decision stage, your buyer is ready to make the purchase after identifying the solutions. This is the bottom-of-the-funnel stage where the buyer is expecting things like a free trial, a live demo, a discount coupon (if applicable).
6. Identify the User Objective of the website
Being a B2B company, your most important objective is to identify and understand the user objective or your website and get them to take up the most wanted call to action. A call to action can be anything from getting them to sign up for an email newsletter or having them provide their personal data, or calling your salespeople to discuss the offerings in detail.
7. Audit your current website and its content
This involves figuring out what content and web page is working for your website and what is not, what are your buyers looking at when they visit your website, which webpage of your website is bringing in the maximum conversion and which page isn’t.
Consider the clarity, distraction, user confidence, and the FUD i.e. Fear Uncertainty and Doubt while auditing your website and its content.
One of the most important aspects of auditing is emphasizing on content marketing. For succeeding with your B2B website, you need to attract visitors to your website with amazing content – a blog, a video, or anything else that is of great value. This being said, if your website is full of broken links and pages, stock images, and an old school layout, you will not be able to do well.
While conducting a site audit, you have to focus on the following-
1. Content – Which pages are your buyers looking at? How are your buyers navigating from one web page to another? Where is your traffic coming from?
2. Metrics – What are the current conversion rates, how well are the pages of your website optimized?
3. Messaging, focus, and usability – Is your content easy to understand and comprehend? Is there a single flow towards action or are there many distractions? Are the users confident about the information on your website, do they feel like this is the information they need or are there sources of friction present in the website?
8. Clarify the user flows
The user flow is the path a user will follow on your website to achieve whatever he is trying to achieve. To make sure that your buyers have a good user experience, you need to have the maximum knowledge about the exact steps that the buyers generally take on your website. By the end of a buyer’s user flow, he should believe that your business really understands his needs.
9. Creating and testing wireframes
A Wireframe is the blueprint of a website that defines the following things for each page of the website-
- Information on the page
- Key messaging & flow
- Call t action placement
- UI notes
With the help of the wireframe, you can look at the different elements without any hindrance. If you decide on all these elements while designing the website without wireframing first, it would become really confusing and soon you will begin to spend a lot of time discussing with your team about what should go where on the website.
10. Explain what you expect from your new website
Lastly, you should define clearly the guidelines that the designers and copywriters should follow for developing your website. Clearly define the site copy, the tone of voice, the design, the layout, the structure, and the graphics.
Define the following before beginning to design a website:
- Tone of voice
- Length of copy
- Clarity and the hierarchy of sentences
- Call To Action
- User Confidence
There is a difference between a B2C website and a B2B website. You have to put a lot of thought into your B2B website before you start the actual design process. These days, with the best web design services, you get the benefit of this entire research process with the actual designing part of the website. These days, the top website designing company India can offer you services for researching and figuring everything out before starting on with the actual design process. For B2B business, the customer centric-website approach becomes of maximum importance because you get a targeted website as well as a design that makes a lot of sense to your buyers intead of random beautifications.
All of the above mentioned steps are just one part of ensuring a successful B2B website. The other part includes continuously monitoring the website while making tiny improvements over a a period of time and taking care of the SEO part to ensure that it is properly listed in the search engine result page.
Remember that your website should be considered as a sales tool/a sales rep that will draw your prospects to you and get you conversions.