A new website launch can be an enigma for non-marketing professionals, but it doesn’t have to be.
As a web design agency, we understand that, for many B2B firms, the person in charge of a new website project isn’t always a seasoned marketing pro. As such, we’ve put together a quick crash course on the basics of a B2B web design project.
Before you start looking for a web design firm to partner with on your website project, you need to have a clear vision of your brand and the purpose of the website. Also, check out 5 Important Questions to Ask Before Starting Your B2B Web Design Project to make sure you are prepared.
Know Your Brand
Your website is going to carrying your B2B brand into the digital world. It’s essential that you understand your brand, your core values, and your main value proposition.
For marketers and non-marketers alike, branding can seem like a big fluffy idea that is tough to articulate. Check out 5 Steps to Build Your B2B Brand to get a clear idea of how to communicate your brand and brand messaging. And be sure to take a quick look at 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Branding to streamline the process.
Define Your Website’s Purpose
A B2B website can have a variety of different purposes including:
- Acting as an online brochure of products and services
- A credibility piece to establish trust
- A lead generation tool to add new prospects to the funnel
- A PR tool to control the messaging about your firm
- An online store to sell more products
- A customer service tool to service existing clients
While it’s a good idea to work with a web design agency that is experienced in building websites for firms in your industry, it’s also important to make sure the agency has experience creating websites with a similar purpose to what you need. The purpose impacts the overall design, content, functionality and development, so it’s imperative to determine this before or at the outset of a website design project.
Take a quick look at What Is the Purpose of Your Website by Brad Shorr to get a brief overview of how to determine the purpose of your website.
The Web Design Process
Whether you are in the early stages of hunting for a web design company or are evaluating final candidates, understanding the basics of the B2B web design process can make your project go smoother.
1. Startup & Concept
The first part of a B2B web design process is the start-up and concept phase. Typically, there is an intake form where you will be asked basic questions about your brand, the purpose of your website, the functionality your website needs, company history, etc.
Once the intake form has been completed and submitted to your website design partner, it is followed with a creative brief call. This is a chance for you to communicate your major objectives and for the website design agency to clarify anything on the intake form. Essentially, this is a jumping off point to ensure that you and your web design partner are on the same page and focusing on the same overall concept of the website.
2. Design & Layout
After the initial intake form and creative brief, your website design firm crafts several options for the design and overall layout of the website. It’s common to get two different designs from an agency and then pick one that works best for your brand.
Development is the phase that follows approval of the website design. Website development takes place on the backend of the website and includes coding, troubleshooting, and making the design work properly. During the development phase, your role is to provide feedback on how the website looks and functions, making a note of anything that you would like to work differently or change.
4. Publish & Launch
This final stage of the website design process is often the most exciting part since you’ll get to see the final product of all your hard work (and the agency’s) of the past 3 to 4 months. Once the website is looking great and working well – it’s time to hit publish. We recommend at least a month of reviewing and testing the live website before an official launch of the site.
The official launch is the final stage of the web design project and includes publicly promoting the website through social media, newsletters, and with additional public relations efforts.
You don’t have to be a master of all things marketing to manage a B2B web design project for your company. My best advice is to do your best to understand the process, work with a reputable web design agency, and take their advice since they’ve done this before.