There's no way around it, B2B companies need a great website. With up to 63% of corporate buyers, age 36-45, searching for goods and services online, B2B companies are scrambling to optimize their websites for lead generation.
In addition to this rush for lead generation, almost all companies are noticing increased traffic from smartphones and mobile devices. Nearly one-fourth (24%) of total website traffic came from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2013—up 78% from the same time in 2012 and 109% since 2011, according to a recent report from Walker Sands.
With the rapid growth of internet search and the constant change in how people buy, it's increasingly difficult to keep up with what';s going on. We've put together this list of key things you should be sure are included in your B2B website redesign.
1. A value proposition and main CTA on every page
Make sure each page of your website has a goal that is stated very clearly at the top of the page in the form of a value proposition, and include a strong CTA.
- Headine. State the benefit you're offering in one short sentence. It needs to grab your reader's attention and they should be able to understand exactly what you are saying. No corporate-speak or gobbledygook, please!
- Subheadline. This is a 2-3 sentence paragraph that provides a specific explanation of what your service (or product) is, who it is for, and why it is useful.
- Bullet points. A list of key benefits or features. People scan web pages, rarely reading them. Lists stand out and tend to get read, or at least scanned more carefully.
- Visual element. People are attracted to photos and testing shows that relevant images increase click-through rates. Provide visual elements that highlight your value proposition.
- Strong call to action. Once people understand your value proposition, point them to what to do next. Have them click on your main call to action (CTA) and link to a great landing page.
2. Have a business blog
Add value to your visitors, give them tips, show them that you understand the issues, talk about them, and your blog will help you increase trust.
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. (Social Media B2B)
- 61% of buyers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council)
- Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages, and 97% more indexed links. (Content+)
- 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Content Marketing Institute)
Your blog is a great place to help your readers solve their challenges, provide actionable tips, and build your company story. Update your blog at least 2x per week, more if you can do it on a regular basis.
Need some ideas of what to write about? Check out our 107 Ideas for Content Marketing.
3. Create customer-centric web content
Your website content must be focused on your prospects. It has to be worded from their point of view, address their needs, solve their pains, and inform them. Write the way you would talk if you were sitting down with a friend for coffee. Be friendly, and engaging; don't use big words or corporate-speak.
Make sure your web pages begin with a goal and they have a clear flow throughout the page. And then tell the reader what to do next with your CTA.
Use images of your staff, your company, and your products to engage the reader and to share just a bit of your culture with them. Don't use smiling faces stock images. Your own staff is so much more interesting!
4. Prove it to me!
People are massively influenced by social proof. This can take the form of reviews, quotes, case studies, or videos. Or simply embed a Tweet!
Social proof helps people understand that others have done it and been successful. Business cases demonstrate the journey and explain the keys to success. Metrics show an improving bottom line. All these can be used as social proof.
5. Professional design - simple and usable
According to a recent Taylor & Francis Group study, users form an opinion about your website in 50 milliseconds. Yikes!! That's 0.05 seconds to determine whether they like your site or not, and whether they'll stay or leave.
The study further found that this first impression depends on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more.
- Make sure your site is professionally designed, with a user-friendly layout that looks simple and clean.
- Stick to horizontal navigation -- vertical navigation systems are now atypical.
- Eliminate your sliding banner. Sliders don't drive clicks, and they are visually confusing.
- KISS: complexity is a turnoff. Use lots of white space and breathing room, and make sure your key value proposition and CTA are obvious on every page.
6. Optimize every page
Yes, we all know that Hummingbird changed many things about SEO, but it didn't change the fact that every page should be SEO optimized. That means that each page should be constructed around a long tail keyword that is highly relevant to your business.
All of the following need SEO attention on every page:
- page tile
- meta description
- URL address
- anchor text
- alt text for images
- H1 headers
7. Mobile optimize your website
Everybody is reporting that mobile visits to their websites are rising dramatically. Be certain that your new website is not only 100% responsive (viewable on devices of various sizes automatically), but has also been thought through from a mobile perspective.
The giant graphic that explains your entire breakthrough process may not work well on a smartphone. How else could you communicate that message on small devices? And those CTA's that looked so great on your website -- how do they look on mobile devices? Are they big enough to easily tap with my finger? View your website on any or all of these six mobile emulators to see what your visitors are seeing.
If you're a HubSpot customer, you can get your website redesigned and onto the new Content Optimization System (COS) NOW! Leverage the seven point above with smart content, smart CTA's and complete design freedom!
Here's a checklist of things to think about before moving to the COS. We're moving half a dozen HubSpot customers to the COS every month. Are you next?