In our fast-paced, highly-demanding world, there is often an overpowering temptation get a start on improvements to your B2B web design quickly. Sometimes, the temptation is so overpowering that we sacrifice doing things the right way just so we can get it done as quickly as possible.
While quick is great, hastily and trying to manage the moving parts of B2B web design without a strategy can be detrimental to your end result.
Is it difficult for your digital marketing team to stop, step back, and strategize on your B2B web design and digital marketing initiatives before diving in head-first?
You’re not alone – 36% of B2B marketers say the inability to stop executing, and to think strategically, is a barrier to their marketing success.
Consider these factors before kicking off your B2B web design and development project
From energy and resources used, to time and budget spent, there are too many factors involved to just ‘wing it’ when it comes to building your website.
The first component to consider when building your website is who exactly are you building your website for? Understanding who your main audience is and what they will want from you will help you to be able to provide them real value. Consider their challenges, frustrations, desires, and goals, and use that to create a website that will truly serve a purpose for them. This is critical because a website that serves your audience will also serve you.
Platform/Content Management System
To see long-term success with your website, it’s important to use a Content Management System that enables your team to quickly and easily update the website. Consider whether there’s a specific requirement for a Content Management System, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of the various options.
According to Kissmetrics, 40% of visitors to your website won’t return after having a negative experience. Make sure to do your homework upfront to get deep into the minds of people coming to your website. Figure out what they need from you and provide them with this information immediately upon landing on your site. Their experience should never be a guessing game.
Online brand messaging & positioning
The way you present your brand message on your website is crucial. It should convey to your visitors, who you are, what you do, and why you matter. It’s also essential that your message is immediately clear and evident. Again, no guess work.
Web page copy
Page copy on your website shouldn’t be an afterthought. One decision you’ll have to make is who is writing the content: you, someone on your team, or perhaps someone you’re outsourcing the work to. Whatever you decide, it’s vital that the tone and personality of your page copy is consistent with the overall tone and personality of your brand.
Plan ahead for any integration with 3rd party services or software such as product databases, CRM, marketing automation, careers/HR solutions, live chat services, etc. This will ensure a full, 360 degree view of your sales and marketing activities.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You can create the most beautiful, easy-to-use website, but it won’t even matter if nobody can find it! The solution? Comprehensive and strategic SEO efforts to drive well-qualified traffic to your website. After all, 72% of B2B customers start their research with a Google search (Source: Think With Google. “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing).
Another way to drive targeted traffic to your website is with online advertising: Paid Search, Display Advertising, and Social Media Advertising. Research where your audience is spending the majority of their time online and let this information help you make an educated decision on where to do most of your advertising. Meeting them where they are online, especially with the exact information they are looking for, will increase the chances of them visiting your website.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Once someone does find your website, the idea is that they will convert. A conversion is based on your Key Performance Indicators. What qualifies as a successful website visit? A form submission? A white paper or case study download?
It’s essential to optimize landing pages and lead capture forms for conversion as well. For example, the number of form fields should be sufficient enough to gather the information you want, but there shouldn’t be so many that it deters people from completing it.
Blog strategy and execution
Content marketing is becoming increasingly important and is a great way for companies to earn the buyer’s trust. A blog, for instance, is the perfect place to consistently share content that your audience cares about. It can address their frustrations and concerns as well as tips to overcome them. No matter what you’re sharing, remember that it should be educational and informative, but not overly promotional.
Visuals on your website have been increasingly popular and effective, especially for the modern, on-the-go buyer. In fact, video helps to persuade 73% of people to buy a product or service. (Source: Animoto via Search Engine Watch)
Chief Marketer says “a new study from The Web Video Marketing Council found that almost all of the [B2B Marketing] respondents (96%) are engaged in video content marketing, with 73% reporting that video has positively impacted marketing results, while another 56% said that sales results were positively impacted.”
Last but certainly not least, the design of your website is key to consider, as this is your first shot at impressing visitors to your website. According to Kinesis, 94% of a website user’s first impression is design-related. While the creative aspect of B2B web design is important, it shouldn’t be the driver.
First, your B2B web design should be easy to navigate, well-organized, and structured in a way that makes sense to users (with the content and guidance they want). Once you’ve accomplished this, then you’re in the perfect position to apply your brand’s personal touch – brand imagery, typography, and color palette.
Stop, collaborate, and listen
As tempting as it may be to wing your website to get it done as quickly as possible, you must. Give it 110% on the first shot, instead of flying by the seat of your pants. Most importantly, keep in mind that winging it almost always means having to go back, retrace your steps, and duplicate your work because the project was hastily completed.