In today’s time, most buyers heavily depend on digital platforms for every aspect of their lives. While in-person sales hubs do have their place in the market, no one can deny the convenience of buying things in the comfort of your homes or offices with the click of a button. And it’s imperative that every business must have a website. But not all websites are made through the same approach. Many times, business websites fail to generate leads; sometimes because of a lack of content marketing, low understanding of the customer funnel, or a half-hearted design process.
In this article, we will focus on how businesses can develop websites that actually support the way customers make choices while buying. But first, let's dive deep into what makes a good business to business website.
- What Is A B2B Website?
- Why Do B2B Businesses Need Great Website Design?
- What Do You Need To Create A Great Website Design For B2B Businesses?
- Making sure that IT and business are aligned
- Creating some use cases
- Selecting a platform
- Putting together a development team
- Going through competitors' websites
- Figuring out your website's messaging and value proposition
- Keyword planning
- Picking a theme
- Choosing integrations
- Designing your homepage
- Website navigation
- Taking into account the SEO metrics
- Offering multiple conversion points
- All in vs. soft launch
- Regular updates and bug testing
- Examples Of The Best B2B Websites
- Wrapping Up
I. What Is A B2B Website?
A website is the first step for any business to switch online from the traditional retail space. We all know about businesses selling their products online - they create an online store where customers can visit and shop for products. But what about business leaders that sell to other businesses?
A business-to-business website is meant to assist enterprises whose users are not direct customers but businesses or SMEs themselves. A B2B web design has many responsibilities but its primary purpose is to ensure that prospective clients can be turned into customers. When a salesperson is not present to make a compelling case for a product, the task of customer acquisition lies solely with the design and development of a website.
A compelling business site does not only push customers in the direction of buying a product but also helps with creating brand awareness, displaying the business’s skills, talent, and thought leadership in the given field. What distinguishes successful B2B websites from an average one is the incorporation of the consumer's thought process in form of visually appealing, animated graphics, a specific, direct call to action button, along with higher responsiveness on mobile devices.
II. Why Do B2B Businesses Need Great Website Design?
For business leaders to have a website, is not simply about creating some formal online accessibility. But creating good B2B websites can have several added benefits. Let's see how a website design impacts your site visitors, and in turn, your business's sales funnel:
Having a website increases your firm’s visibility and provides potential customers with an easy way to engage with your products. One of the greatest advantages of having a website is that your business can cater to customers at any time of the day- a win-win for small businesses to expand and grow at an exponential rate.
02. Increase in domain authority and credibility
Content is the new oil today. For a B2B web design to succeed, businesses need to incorporate at least basic search engine optimization techniques for content marketing and platform discovery. Creative design elements along with SEO-driven content enhance your website's “domain authority.”
As a result, when someone searches for a product online, similar to what you are selling, your website will be shown higher up in the Google search results. If you are consistent with your content strategy, who knows your website might even show up on the first page of a search engine! Moreover, having a B2B website online can make your business seem more credible to potential customers.
03. Updating your products
With a business site, professionals can easily update potential customers and clients about new products or releases without much hassle. All you need to do is add new web pages for the recently launched exciting products, and voila! you are done. You can also edit these pages in case some information was missed out in the beginning.
III. What Do You Need To Create A Great Website Design For B2B Businesses?
An effective B2B website is one that generates leads for your business by tapping your target audience. All you need is an uncluttered layout, a perfect home page with a responsive call to action button, authentic customer photographs (not a prerequisite, but the idea builds trust among customers), a 24/7 service hub, some free resource giveaways as brownie points, and enough subtle animations and multimedia elements to build your brand's aesthetic appeal. A successful B2B website usually follows the three-knot rule. If you already have a website lacking all three pointers, it's better to prepare yourself for your next website rebrand.
- It should create traffic for your products.
- It should have an engaging interface leaving visitors with a positive experience.
- Ability to transform potential customers into clients by enrolling them in your vision and credibility of your product.
While creating good B2B websites can seem like a difficult task, here is how you can design an effective website for your business:
01. Making sure that IT and business are aligned
It is very crucial to ensure that your business needs and technology requirements go hand in hand. The practice is helpful in making sure you don’t spend unnecessary money on features that do not add to the returns on your investment. Outsourcing a software company to oversee your technical KPIs can be just one solution. Another one is to hire professionals full-time to manage bugs and glitches in your online store.
02. Creating some use cases
One of the integral parts of designing a B2B website is thinking from the perspective of its customers. Hence, coming up with some use cases of how potential customers would go about using the website will be an effective strategy. Like all customers, clients of B2B websites are also real human beings and so any good website must take into account how a visitor might interact with its different web pages and features. The best way to create use cases aligned with your business goals is via interactive slideshows showing your product's USPs, responsive design, functional minimalism, and a mix of vibrant colors and abundant white space.
03. Selecting a platform
It is always advisable to deploy an eCommerce platform to build your B2B website- having an eCom platform strengthens your chances to acquire customers and build a product repo. Each platform offers a wide range of supporting tools for you to sustain through the B2B hiccups. Research some of the alternatives available before picking the right one for your business. Some great examples that you can consider looking into are WooCommerce or X-Cart. Other business owners have also recommended Zen Cart, Shopify, and Magento for better customer service professionals.
04. Putting together a development team
The primary goal of your development team would be to convert your envisioned website into reality. While picking out devs, it is important to ensure that you have a collaborative rapport with the team. So make sure that you do not choose those who are the best at what they do, or instantly identify your problem statement but also a bunch of people who really care about your input and are responsive to your comments.
05. Going through competitors' websites
The last thing you want for your B2B website is for it to be a copy of a competitor's business. That’s why it is important that you go through the websites of your competitors and strategize ways to distinguish your B2B website from the crowd. Doing thorough research on competitor websites will also help you figure out the keywords that rank. This will in turn help you in planning your own set of keywords for SEO optimization.
06. Figuring out your website’s messaging and value proposition
A successful B2B web design creates a link with potential customers from the instant they open the website and slowly convinces them into buying its products. The first step to building this connection is to have a clear understanding of who you are, what you represent, and what it is that you have to offer to your customers.
Working on a value proposition can be really helpful in identifying how you would like your website to be presented to the customers. It is this value proposition that will then go on to form the basis of several important decisions like keyword planning, designing your homepage, sitemap, etc.
07. Keyword planning
What is the point of creating a great B2B web design when its prospective buyers are unable to easily find it on the internet? Your target should be that when a person searches for a product or service offered by your company then your website should pop higher up in the search results. Businesses can do so by identifying certain important keywords to integrate into their website structure, blog post, webpage names, URLs, and content. This will ensure that your website shows further up on the search engine pages. Some of the tools that you can use for creating your keyword strategy and content marketing are SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
08. Picking a theme
Most B2B websites offer you a wide range of themes that can assist you in customizing the look of your website. While some of these themes may be available for free, others might charge you a one-time fee. You should hesitate in spending a little if the theme that seems to work for you has extra charges. You can make this decision along with the developer and even have them play around with the theme a bit.
09. Choosing integrations
While themes focus on all of the looks and feel of a site, integrations have more to do with the application-based features on B2B websites. These can include options like making payments, conditions for shipping, etc.
10. Designing your homepage
Designing the homepage is a very important aspect of building your B2B website. It is the first page that visitors encounter and can sometimes be the determiner of whether those visitors engage with your website for longer or bounce off. Here are some crucial things that your homepage should offer to the visitors:
- It should distinguish itself from the competition and argument for why this business is the best choice.
- It should also share customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to establish credibility.
- It should also provide an easy-to-follow Call to Action that can assist the customers at different points of their buying journey.
11. Website navigation
Most of us usually underestimate the role navigation can have with respect to a customer’s takeaway from a certain website. Some of the older websites used to have the main navigation page that had a list of every last category and option. While the intention behind this was to provide maximum information to the customers, it resulted in a long list of drop-down menus that compromised the user experience.
So what can be done about this? Today’s users have very little time and attention span, so you need to get them hooked on your website as soon as possible. Customers want their experience to be as effortless and quick as possible. If they approach your website and it hands them a long and convoluted list of categories, it might deter the clients from even getting to your products. So the idea is to keep your website as clean as possible. You can have drop-down menus but keep the list of options on the menu as limited as you can.
12. Taking into account the SEO metrics
While a B2B website development company can help you design your website, an SEO agency can in increasing the visibility of your site. Before you put your website out there, it is best to reach out to some SEO experts and figure out meta titles, alt tags, and meta descriptions as well as check whether you are abiding by the SEO best practices. Also after launching your website, you need to confirm if your site is visible on search engines.
13. Offering multiple conversion points
For your company website to be successful, it must always try to convert potential customers and random visitors into leads.
Normally websites tend to have a simple contact page- not the best possible way of ensuring that customers reach out to you. Most people would not fill in their queries and email and phone details on the "contact" page. Perhaps it is the vagueness of the question “contact me” that deters visitors from reaching out to a business. One way to solve this problem is to offer several different conversion points on your site. These conversion points can pop up on different pages on your website and can look like this: Click here for a free one-month trial, request a demo, sign up for pricing, etc. Use a dropdown box if required. All of this sounds much more specific than contact me and so they perhaps seem like much less work for visitors.
14. All in vs. soft launch
After putting so much effort into your company website, it is natural for you to want a big launch. But here are some reasons why having a soft launch might actually make more sense. Soft launch can make it easier for businesses to deal with the errors and inconsistencies that might reveal themselves only once the website is up and running. You can also analyze KPIs like conversion rate and bounce rate to see what is making people turn away from your website. A soft launch will help tie up a lot of loose ends without any hassle or embarrassment and once you think the website is all set, you can always go for the grand opening of your dreams.
15. Regular updates and bug testing
Developing and launching your website is only the first step; you also want to make sure that your website is regularly updated and does not remain stagnant. When it comes to new products, offers or services make sure that your website is always churning out new content. Also, it doesn't hurt to check for bugs every once in a while so that you are offering a smooth experience to your customers.
IV. Examples Of The Best B2B Websites
Here are some of the best B2B websites that figured out interesting ways to keep customers engaged while staying true to their company's goals:
If you’re not familiar with HubSpot, they offer a full stack of software for sales, marketing, and customer service. What makes its site design so great is that the site conveys all crucial information without creating a sensory overload. It is simple to navigate, not heavy on content, and has enough multimedia to keep the visitors hooked. The company's purpose is clearly represented through its color palette and perfectly compounded content.
Asana is a project management tool that enables businesses to assign tasks, stay organized and on track with all their product needs. The Asana platform is extremely simple to use, it is not heavy on the eyes and conveys what it does to visitors with great clarity. An effective feature of Asana is the many video tutorials discussing Asana DIYs, how-to guides, subpages features with a minimalistic approach.
Zoom’s site design does not beat around the bush and gets straight to business. Their call to action button allows users to immediately sign up to Zoom. All the information you need is available on a single page without any attractive distraction to repulse users from using Zoom services.
Grammarly is another example of a B2B website with some interesting, out of the box features. Grammarly has opted for a minimalist design theme, enough multimedia elements, and a long scrolling format. But its most innovative feature is the flat design that covers up the whole screen, making Grammarly's website convenient even for mobile devices. The site design is crafted in a way that information is relayed in a readable format and users get hitched to the website for eternity.
Magnetica’s extremely unique site design manages to immediately capture the attention of visitors through realistic animations and modern design. Not only this, but it also explains the MRI technology in a simple and easy-to-follow manner so customers landing on the page can be acquired as potential clients. The site has an inbuilt call to action, a neatly-crafted pricing plan page following the visitors on every link they select.
The main task of a B2B web design is to convert random visitors into paying clients. Thus, it is not simply enough for businesses to create a website; what they also need to offer their customers is an experience.
A successful B2B website must not only convey important information about its product but do it in an engaging manner. Customers today have very little time on their hands and the internet offers them a plethora of alternatives to the product you may be offering. So the difference between a potential customer choosing you over another business can sometimes be the difference between your website being more user-friendly than theirs. If you keep the perspective of your customers at the heart of your B2B web design, the results can be astonishingly impressive.