5 best practices for building a B2B website
When creating a new website, decisions often focus on the visual. However, a B2B website’s performance and the business outcomes it generates are driven by factors beyond design alone – some of which happen behind the scenes.
These factors determine how visitors engage with the site and perceive your organization. And the driving force behind them? The user experience (UX) – giving visitors an efficient, consistent and enjoyable experience that encourages them to stay on the site and do what they came to get done.
Arketi’s team of website development experts came together to share their collective expertise on how to build an effective B2B website. Here are five principles that came out of our conversation.
#1 Show up in search
What’s the point of building a great site if it doesn’t show up as a top result on Google or across other search engines? Smart SEO practices must be baked in from the start. Consider …
- Providing the optimal user experience, which includes fast page loading, perfect rendering on every device and robust content so bounce rates are low and time on page is high. Think speed, convenience and eye-catching design all rolled into one.
- Refreshing content so sections for news, the blog and other areas are up to date, which means dedicating time and resources for regular maintenance.
- Making every page an entry point. Don’t assume people start on your home page. And by the way, people prefer scrolling over clicking, which is why we recommend window shades and jump menus.
#2 Help visitors find what they need
Visitors come to your site to fulfill an objective. This could mean researching your product or getting quick answers to their questions – but it does not mean they want to hear your sales pitch right off the bat. Scale back the sales messaging and make it easy for visitors to go where they want while showing off your assets. Consider …
- Adhering to common navigation best practices and meaningful section titles. For instance, give visitors fixed navigation so the menu bar remains in the same position as users scroll. People do not – and will not – scroll back to find the menu. Make it easy.
- Structuring content and navigation around your visitors’ challenges and needs rather than your solutions.
- Segmenting those challenges and needs by vertical, industry or otherwise so visitors can choose what they came for and ignore the rest.
#3 Provide content for various needs
Depending on where visitors are in the buying cycle (not to mention personal preference), some want to watch a video, while others prefer to sink their teeth into meaty written content. By providing three or more content formats for top-level pages, you’re more likely to hit the mark. Consider …
- Providing videos for assets like case studies, testimonials, explainers and corporate values.
- Supplying interactive content to entice visitors to play with a widget, customize a solution or try out an ROI calculator.
- Offering written content that’s compelling and numbers-driven (when possible) – both on the page and as a download so users can copy and paste into their research.
#4 Capture leads creatively
Of course, generating leads is what your website is all about, and visitors know that, too. But if you let lead gen drive the bus, user experience will veer off course and suffer as bounce rates rise. Consider …
- Gating content that is educational or useful – not sales collateral, case studies or videos.
- Resisting the temptation to overuse multiple pushy popup chat windows or “want to know more?” forms. Visitors who want to know more will ask – trust us on this one.
- Focusing lead gen efforts on dedicated landing pages targeting incoming searchers.
- Using retargeting as a subtler, more effective way of staying top-of-mind after visitors leave your site.
Here’s one example of a less aggressive approach. The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) always wants to encourage member sign-ups. Because users were leaving the website before converting, TAG enlisted Arketi to create a new website where visitors feel in control and can register at their own pace.
#5 Launch, learn, modify
Long build cycles and big, splashy launches are neither necessary nor the norm. Rather, it’s better to launch quickly – say, with top-level pages built out – and learn which content most engages visitors. Consider …
- Agreeing on a minimum viable site and setting internal stakeholders’ expectations accordingly.
- Selecting a few meaningful, actionable metrics to track site performance.
- Creating a back-end design that’s easily changeable or can be quickly rolled back – from content to navigation and layout.
Look like a million bucks doing it
Although website decision-making shouldn’t focus solely on the visual, as we opened with, design is still important since first impressions matter. The average visitor spends less than three seconds on your home page, deciding to read on or revert back to the next search result. Consider …
- Knocking visitors' socks off with awesome design that helps them feel comfortable enough to stay a moment longer and explore.
- Launching a well-designed B2B website that adheres to these five principles and leads to “marketing that generates revenue!”
- Reaching out to us for a potential website refresh by calling or emailing Arketi Group CEO Mike Neumeier at 404.451.7832 or firstname.lastname@example.org.