B2C gets to have all the fun. Product promotions, coupons, eCommerce tracking—it’s a marketers dreamland of opportunities. Yet in the B2B website world, little thought is given to how a website can play a critical role marketing a business—let alone support the sales process.
Today, prospective clients are able to search outside their network of referrals for the perfect solution. They expect quick, transparent information on how your business outranks the competition. A website can say a lot within seconds of a visitor landing on it, here are some considerations for your B2B website:
Probably the most important aspect of a website is the design. A clean user interface with clear navigation saves your prospective client time when digging around to find your service deliveries. Make the navigation easy to understand and provide the user a variety of ways to access information (e.g. main navigation, dropdown menus and footer links).
Variety of CTAs
A CTA (or call to action) is a special call out on a webpage inviting website visitors to complete a desired action. B2B websites should have a variety of CTA options to accommodate each visitor’s step in the sales process. For example, a service description page could feature a contact form, but the “About Us” page CTA could direct visitors to browse your portfolio.
While an effective conversion tool, too often CTAs are vague, obscure or uninteresting. Here are some quick tips for a better CTA:
- Prominent placement of the CTA (above the fold, within the content body) will ensure its not ignored by the visitor.
- Unambiguous copy that tells a visitor exactly what they’re getting when they complete a form (e.g. “Sign up for a consultation” versus “I want to speak with a sales rep”).
- Harmonious buttons, color and type (e.g. using complementary colors for borders, boxes and icons).
- CTA is relevant to the pages it’s on (e.g. Contacting a sales rep on a services page).
Value-added headlines and copy
A website visitor stretched for time—they want to know who you are, what you do and why you’re great quickly. Headlines are a great way to draw a user in an entice them to convert, but too often boring headlines leave much up to the visitor to determine your value. For example, instead of writing “Join Accounting Pros Newsletter,” write “Get Free Business Accounting Tips” so visitors quickly understand the value of what they’re exchanging their information for. This goes for the rest of your body copy too, which will further support the benefit of your business and solutions.
Clear images & color
There are hundreds of studies out there about proper image sourcing that draws users in instead of pushing them away. Instead of going the generic stock photo route, here are some other ideas for conversion tactics:
- Complementary colors that stand out on your site (e.g. a blue site with an orange button).
- Photos of people or groups to attach a “real” face to your services.
- Contextual photos that show service applications (e.g. tablets or modern day technology for IT firms).
- Real-life images as opposed to stock images (e.g. conference photos, delivery teams, office locations).
Website speed and hosting
If you want a website to attract visitors and convert to sales, possibly the most important factor is the loading speed of your webpage. According to KISSmetrics, if your website takes more than four seconds to load you risk losing up to a quarter of your visitors. Utilize a page speed testing website like Pingdom to get the most accurate read on your loading speed. If it’s six seconds or above, it may be time to contact a web developer to investigate the issue.