Are you thinking about building new B2B website or maybe making a small tune-up? Don’t make a mess out of it. Start with a clear scope of work, define strategic goals, and then compare what you have with the list below.
Redesigning a B2B website can seem like a daunting task. Take a deep breath and relax. We’ve built B2B websites since 1998. We’ve also helped companies out of messes they’ve made with ineffective websites. Based on our experience and with a nod to Stephen R. Covey, the following are seven habits of highly effective B2B websites.
1. Design for Humans
This may sound self-evident, but we see many businesses designed for search engine rankings not humans. Are you providing copy that is suitable for the web and targeted to your business audience? Don’t lose sight of your audience – you’re writing for people, not search engine spiders. While SEO is important, what’s more important is that your customers understand your content. Having a user-friendly site is more important that trying to game the system to get high search rankings. Things like keyword stuffing, redundant copy, lots of hyperlinks, and long-winded articles may be good for SEO, but they’re bad for people (plus, some SEO tactics can get you demoted in search rankings, like duplicate copy, cloaked pages, and link farms).
2. Optimize for Search Engines
While your main objective should be to satisify the needs of your customers, don’t forget about SEO. You may have the best site in the world, but if people can’t find it with a search engine, you might as well not exist. Follow these 22 tips to optimize your B2B website, including using anchor text, alt text, meta data, and header tags.
3. Set Clear Goals
Have a set of measurable goals for your website such as bounce rate, new visitors, conversions, or sales. Use Google Analytics to set up conversion events to track specific actions on your website that are proxy indicators for buyer interest. For instance, track white paper downloads, completed “Contact Us” submissions, or e-newsletter sign-ups. Then, determine which sources of traffic generate the most leads. Focus more of your marketing efforts there.
4. Include Calls-to-Action
The top B2B marketers have a call-to-action on every landing page. Inbound marketing provider Hubspot has seen conversion rates improve over 30% by having relevant offers targeted to each stage of the buying cycle. Test different offers such as “See a demo” or “Sign up for our e-newsletter”. Go beyond a simple “Contact Us”. We have calls-to-action to subscribe to our blog, download our whitepapers, and sign up for our e-newsletter.
5. Integrate Social Media
Integration means more than putting your social media logos on every page. Think about ways you can make your site interactive and your content sharable. Use a Facebook widget to embed a live feed from your Wall or include Twitter handles next to each employee’s biography on your “Contact Us” page.
6. Think About a Mobile Website
Does your intended audience include small screen users such as those on mobile phones and should they still be able to perform all the functions of your website on any device? More and more business executives are accessing web content on smart phones. It’s imperative to have a mobile version of your website. Smart phones take longer to load desktop websites, cannot view Adobe flash content, and have really tiny screens compared to a 15” computer monitor. Make it easy for a prospect on a smart phone to get the information they need. Tailor your mobile website to their needs, including a push-to-call phone number, GPS-enabled driving directions, and fast load times (our mobile site loads 6 times faster than our desktop website).
7. Measure Results
Use Google Analytics, Web Trends, or Omniture to measure site traffic and activity. Google Analytics is free, powerful, and popular. Over 12 million websites use Google Analytics to get detailed statistics about their website traffic. The data is only as good as your ability to run reports and interpret it, so if you’re not getting the most out of Google Analytics, ask a Google Analytics Certified Professional for help. They can help get actionable insight for you to make informed business decisions.
What’s been your biggest challenge when redesigning a website? Let us know in the comments below.