After 15 dynamic years in the B2B website design space, we’ve seen a bevy of web trends come and go, while others evolve and persist. In 2023, B2B firms saw trends shift to adapt to a post-pandemic world. With remote work now the norm and AI influencing so many aspects of our professional lives, B2B leaders now expect more from their websites.
Our insights into these seven trends draw from our agency’s experiences, including client demands, industry research, and adjustments to policies set forth by tech behemoths like Google.
Let’s have a look at the trends shaping the future of B2B web design in 2024.
1. Advanced functionality
Gone are the days when a website’s only job was to tell visitors what your company does and then ask them to contact you. With advancements in software that include AI, automation, and integrations for just about everything, B2B websites must follow suit.
B2B marketers now want seamless API integration with marcom automation tools, recruitment software, and webinar platforms, to name just a few. We’re also fielding requests for enhanced personalization, such as detecting where a user is in the world and displaying a different version of the website depending on region.
This need for more functionality boils down to B2B leaders viewing the website as the centerpiece of their marketing communications, and they want all their tools connected to it to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
2. Conversion-focused UX
More times than not, clients approach us with this complaint about their current B2B website design: it’s not converting. In 2024, getting conversions from your website will be more important than ever.
During the pandemic, traditional sales tactics like in-person meetings, trade shows, and conferences were put on hold, so a robust digital sales strategy became imperative. This trend has stuck. In fact, it is now becoming a permanent fixture in B2B website design, rather than a trend.
Conversions are often a reflection of user experience. The website can’t rely on one-way communication, it needs to prompt prospects to fill out contact forms, download resources, and sign up for newsletters. Getting these conversions is the key to increasing revenue because more leads mean more sales opportunities.
But they can’t just be any leads – they’ve got to be quality leads. In 2024 and beyond, a strong user experience will attract the right leads, and then shepherd them through an engaging user journey that gets them to convert right there on the site. B2B companies must pay attention to website factors like page speed (more on that later), paths to conversion, compelling content, purposeful design, and convincing calls to action.
In years past, accessibility on a B2B website was more of a “nice-to-have,” rather than a “must-have.” This is no longer the case. With DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives taking center stage, accessibility is now top of mind for all businesses. Moreover, some B2C companies have recently become the target of lawsuits due to non-compliance with ADA guidelines. Other businesses took note, and now we’re seeing the concern more in the B2B website design space.
One of the reasons firms would forgo making their site cater to accessibility standards is because the ADA guidelines are extremely rigorous. They cover numerous aspects that affect web design, including:
- Color contrast ratio
- Keyboard navigation
- Alt text for all images and graphics
- Captions and transcripts for all video and audio
- Accessibility to assistive technologies such as screen readers or dictation software
Approximately 25% of people in the US have a disability. Your website should effectively serve every user’s needs, regardless of able-ness.
4. Motion & animation
We listed this as a trend in B2B website design for 2023, but it’s not going anywhere in 2024. With social media-based video platforms TikTok and YouTube hitting all-time highs in popularity, people now expect engaging moving graphics in all their digital interactions.
Similar to how B2B web designs now require additional functionality, we’re getting more requests for video, animation, and other motion graphics to engage prospects, deliver visual interest, and bring a company’s products and services to life. Businesses want to stand out from competitors with elements such as spinning 3D renderings or animations that depicts how their products work. In other words, show, don’t tell.
5. Long-form content
While the idea of long-form content is certainly not new, it is evolving to take on different formats. Many B2B businesses have already embraced long-form content in their blog posts, but now we are seeing it throughout a website’s products, services, and resources pages as well.
Web pages with more content are more likely to keep visitors engaged – provided it’s compelling, relevant content that keeps the reader’s interest. Engaging content can include well-written copy, video, photography, illustration, animation, and interactive elements. The longer a visitor engages with your site, the better it will enhance SEO value, as Google and other search engines now measure user engagement. Additionally, the longer a visitor stays on your site, the more likely they are to convert.
How can you include long-form content on your B2B website? Convert those case study PDFs to an HTML page directly on your site. This not only helps to keep users engaged, but it delivers a better user experience than a PDF – especially on mobile devices. Incorporate pillar pages, or in-depth descriptions of your offerings or broad industry topics your prospects want to know more about.
In some cases, even white papers can be replaced with long-form website content that educates and delivers value. When deciding which content to gate versus ungate, save the gated content for only your most premium content pieces that prospects would be happy to exchange contact information for.
6. Dark mode
“Dark mode” refers to a global setting that lets users switch their interface to a dark-themed version of the website. Dark mode is said to potentially reduce eye strain and save battery life on mobile devices. This trend is gaining some traction in B2B website design but is primarily popular among companies that target audiences like software developers and cybersecurity professionals who frequently use dark mode.
It’s important to remember that dark mode is a user’s choice, rather than inherent to the website design. Nevertheless, designers should be mindful about how a lighter palette might appear when a user switches to dark mode, and adapt accordingly.
7. Page speed
Page speed has been vital in B2B websites since Google released its Speed Update in 2018, which prioritizes a website’s speed in mobile searches. Earlier in this article, we went over the likelihood of increased demand in 2024 for advanced functionality, motion graphics, and interactive elements in B2B website design. While these are exciting developments in user engagement, they can slow down page speed, significantly impacting user experience and SEO.
The performance of your website, particularly on mobile devices, is critical. Google’s dual scoring system for mobile and desktop highlights the importance of optimization. Maintaining a score above 90 is ideal. However, this isn’t just about seconds, it’s about catering to today’s busy and tech-savvy B2B buyers, whose limited attention spans demand fast-loading, efficient websites.
As B2B websites add more features, it’s imperative to keep designs clean and lightweight and use tools to compress images and optimize coding. Each update or new functionality should prompt a revisit to page speed to ensure the website not only looks impressive but loads quickly and efficiently, meeting the expectations of both your audience and search engines.