We think of B2B websites as living, breathing organisms that can expand and evolve over time. It’s not just something that you build and then forget about. And we aren’t alone in this thinking. Even search engines like Google and Bing reward websites with new, fresh content by showing them in search results.
If you haven’t updated your website – even to post a new blog – in the past six months, it’s time to do an audit. We’ve put together a five-minute website audit to make it easy.
In many of the B2B website design audits we perform, there are several common issues we encounter. These common issues are listed below:
The exact services or products you provide should be immediately discernable when a visitor arrives on your website. However, many B2B companies, even those with an experienced marketing team, struggle to clearly articulate this on a website.
Once a visitor arrives on your website, you only have a few seconds (one, two, three!) to let them know if they are in the right spot. If you provide accounting software, use the term “accounting software” on your website homepage. If you provide MSP services, make sure your website clearly showcases MSP services. A website should have clear, direct messaging that a visitor can quickly understand.
Read more: How a well-designed website builds trust.
The navigation of your B2B website design enables visitors to find and get what they need from your website. There is no one specific way to lay out website navigation, but it’s critical that it focuses on what the visitor needs to make a decision.
When performing website audits, we find that companies either have navigation that doesn’t make sense to the visitor or is so complex it’s difficult to work with. Even if you sell a large variety of products or services, you can have streamlined, straightforward navigation. An experienced B2B website designer can provide options and guidance on how to best lay out your navigation so it makes sense and helps the visitor access what they need.
A call-to-action should be easy to find on a website. Calls-to-action (CTAs) are the cues that website visitors look for when navigating a website. Once they have the information they need, what do you want them to do next? Call you? Submit a form? Sign up for a newsletter? Download a guide?
An easy-to-find CTA is visible at any point on a website and clearly stands out from the rest of the page – either through design, placement, or color.
Look at this shirt, see these pants, find your size, get matching shoes, buy a hat, remove your jacket! What if you walked into a store and a sales associate yelled all these things at once? How would you know which one to do first?
Think about arriving on a website and navigating around like walking into a store. The CTAs should not only be visible in your B2B website design, they should also be complementary. If your primary goal for a website visitor is to complete a form – focus mainly on that CTA. If you provide conflicting CTAs, the user will become confused and end up leaving your site without completing any actions.
Read more: How to design your website KPIs.
Resources Are Buried
The first time a visitor arrives on your B2B website, they may be in the information gathering stage of their buying journey. Maybe they are trying to determine what products or services they may need. Maybe they are looking for pricing for software. Maybe they are looking to see what options are available for their industry. Regardless of what questions they are looking to answer – they are looking to gather information.
Another common issue we see on B2B websites is that resources prospects or clients need are buried in hard-to-find spots. In some cases, this comes down to undervaluing resources. Since visitors who download guides or read blogs may not be ready to talk to the sales team yet, the sales team may think these aren’t “leads.” Believe us, they certainly are. If you are the first company to provide valuable educational content to a prospect, you are the source to which they compare all other vendors. Isn’t it nice to be the one setting the tone of the buying conversation?
If you have a lot of resources, even adding a top-level navigation page that says “Resources” can guide your visitors to what they need (and quickly).
Forms That Ask Too Much
Asking for too much information to be completed on a form is like asking too many personal questions on a date. When you sit down at your first date, you don’t ask to see your date’s birth certificate or credit report. Why not? Because you are just getting to know each other.
A website form should have the basic form fields like Name, Email, and Company Name. You can include a couple of other optional fields, but keep in mind the more fields you ask, the longer the form becomes and the more work it is for the person completing the form. Unless the information is absolutely critical, don’t ask for it on the form. Most data can be collected later on down the sales cycle when the prospect is comfortable and ready to become a customer.
Poor Page Speed
When auditing a website, we are looking to maximize the user experience and increase conversion rates (CRO – conversion rate optimization). How quickly the page loads for the visitor (also known as page speed) is critical to the success of a website. You can have a beautifully designed website with all the bells and whistles, but if it takes more than five seconds to load, no one will ever see it. Think about how frustrating it is to have a website load. Do you stick around and wait or do you click back to your search results and try the next one in the list?
Solving poor page speed is not easy to do and takes the evaluation of an experienced website developer. We put together a few page speed tips, but you should partner with a website developer to optimize your website and improve page speed.