Your website is a core component of your B2B organization. As a primary channel for bringing in audiences to get to know your brand and consume your content, it is valuable for driving and facilitating many marketing efforts. In general terms, a website should:
- Be the digital window into your business
- Entice people to stick around and learn more
- Get people to perform certain actions while visiting
51% of B2B companies use the most portion of their marketing budget on website development. Businesses clearly see the importance of a strong web presence, yet many are still lacking basic requirements of an effective B2B website. Here are six critical elements that will ensure the effectiveness of your website.
1. First Impression
Your website offers a first impression to many visitors learning about your business and needs to clearly represent who you are and what you offer. 2.6 seconds is the amount of time it takes for someone to make a decision about what they think about your website which means it takes that same amount of time for your website to make an impression on them. 94% of the first impressions are influenced by the visuals and design of the website. Focusing on these brand-aligned elements can help your website make a good first impression.
2. Engaging and Relevant Content
You’ve heard it before, and it hasn’t changed. Content is king. Pertinent and interesting content generates traffic, establishes thought leadership and gives value to your buyers and prospects.
The basic rule is to keep your content concise and relevant while focusing on your prospect’s and customer’s problems and needs. Content should come in multiple formats, from web page copy, blogs and articles, to downloadable items such as case studies, whitepapers, short videos, demos and infographics. Limiting your methods of delivery will only lessen your potential visibility.
Consider asking your visitors to fill out a form if they want access to your most valuable content. Gating certain content pieces will provide you with a shortlist of visitors who are one step closer to becoming customers.
3. Compelling Landing Pages
When someone visits your site as a result of a marketing campaign or clicks from a hyperlink on an external website, they are oftentimes directed to a specific landing page. Dynamic landing pages engage the visitor and can make the difference between a visitor sticking around or disappearing after a few seconds.
The goal is to funnel visitors down a desired pathway. If it’s form submissions you are looking for, make the form an obvious next step. If it’s downloading materials, make the button stand out by a certain color or placement on the page. Design elements are essential here to engage and leading your visitors to the right actions and content.
4. Social Media
Social media is an integral part of B2B strategy. Integrating social channels into your website is an easy and necessary process. Most content management systems offer plugins or templates that allow for simple and direct connections that visitors can easily access.
Consider how you will use social media. It should be viewed as an additional communication channel for your business as a way of extending your online presence beyond the confines of your website. Sharing new original content and even third-party content on social media can help build the connection between your social media and website. Be certain to have social sharing buttons on your website. This will entice your visitors to share your content with their networks.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more important than ever and it’s necessary for every business to understand the true meaning of SEO as well as the potential it creates. At its core, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or webpage on search engines. You can spend an enormous amount of time and money building a website, but it’s not going to matter if it can’t be found.
SEO takes time and patience to get it right. Businesses and marketers should consider engaging with experts they can trust to keep their website optimized. Without effective SEO, chances are the only people that will see your website are those who already know your company and physically type in your website address. Having the ability to show up in organic searches can significantly increase the traffic that comes to your website.
6. Responsive Design and Layout
Mobile devices, including cellphones and tablets, have required websites and landing pages to be responsive and optimized for mobile. The need for mobile-friendly design is here and it involves everything from searching the internet, browsing social media channels and checking email. All things online need to be responsive. If a user visits your website on their mobile device and cannot see all the content or read something clearly because of the lack of responsiveness, it might deter them from visiting on mobile again or feel like they can only visit on their desktop which might be inconvenient for them.
Responsive web design is a solution that is equally favorable for both desktop and mobile users. Regardless of the device, if a site uses a responsive design, the images and content will automatically adjust without distorting images or cutting off content.
B2B websites act as a hub for content created in hopes of intriguing a visitor and maintaining their attention. By tackling the aforementioned six elements, you will be on your way to an effective B2B website. Users will associate your business with a positive online experience, share your content and keep coming back for more.