The time has come. You have finally been able to convince the executive team that your B2B firm’s existing website isn’t delivering any value (and may actually be hurting your brand’s image).
If you haven’t gotten to this point yet, stop and read What Your B2B Web Design Says About Your Firm.
Time to shop around for a new website! So, where should you start?
What Is Your Website’s Goal?
Your B2B website can have a variety of different functions and serve your firm in various ways, including as a lead generation machine, a credibility piece, a resource center, an online brochure, a customer service tool, etc.
Before you start building a new website, you need to know what you expect it to do for you. Determine the main function of the website and how it can add value or support your sales and marketing goals. The only thing to keep in mind is that the more you expect from your website, the larger it will become (and often the more expensive it will be to create/manage/maintain).
Determine Must-Haves Vs. Would-Likes
Once you have established the goal(s) of your website, determine what you absolutely must have in the B2B web design, what you would like it to have, and what you do NOT want it to have/be. This doesn’t need to be a long, extensive list but it should be a clear list that takes into account all the stakeholders in your firm.
The best way to create this list is to have a quick internal meeting with all the necessary stakeholders (this does not mean everyone). Invite a knowledgeable representative from each department and let them know they are responsible for gathering information from their own team before the meeting. This pre-meeting work and a select group of attendees will make determining website requirements efficient and effective.
Figure Out a Budget Range
A web design budget may or may not be something you and your team control. If you control your budget and a new b2B web design is your priority, you can determine what type of website you can build. However, it’s more common that the budget is already set and you are simply given a maximum from finance.
It’s essential to know what your budget range is before you start reaching out to web design partners since it will determine if you can work with a freelance designer, need to do the work in-house, or can hire a professional web design agency.
Know Your CMS Needs
Choosing a content management system (CMS) can be a big decision to make, although many firms never even make this decision. Many firms leave it up to their developer to choose the CMS for them and just deal with the outcome. Unless the developer is going to me managing the website, implementing all B2B web design changes, and keeping the website updated – the decision should be made by you and your team.
At Bop Design, we only work with WordPress as a CMS. Why? Because, as one of the most popular CMSs out there, it has the largest support community, availability of plugins, and is the most user-friendly for updating. A quick tutorial is often all that anyone needs to start updating their WordPress website.
Find, Meet, Greet, Listen
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to see what your options are for building your B2B website. It’s always a good idea to reach out to a handful of designers and agencies to see what they have to offer. Interview a shortlist of potential web design agencies, meet them in person if possible, and listen to what they have to say. Make sure every offer is tailored to the needs of your firm and will fit with all your requirements.
Partner with the Right B2B Web Design Agency
The benefit of partnering with the right B2B web design agency is that the project will run smoother and the end result will fulfill all your needs. So what makes a web design company the right fit?
Here are few things to look for in agencies you are interviewing:
- Culture Fit
- Experience & Portfolio
- Proper Resources
Shopping for a new website should not be a grueling process, but it is important to be thorough. A little bit of work when shopping will save you and your team headaches later on in the B2B web design process.