A B2B website is more than just your calling card; it is a powerful tool that can drive leads, nurture them, and be a powerful monetisation system for your company. As much as we already know this, many company websites simply do not work.
We’ve certainly seen our share of poorly designed sites here at Auburn, but not all website blunders are obvious. Pop-ups and cluttered design can be maddening and harm your user experience, but what about the other aspects that are harming your conversions?
That’s why we’ve reached out to some industry experts and real B2B clients to find out what website elements simply don’t work. When someone comes to your website, what makes them stay and what turns them away?
Here are 5 key areas your website could be letting you down:
- Not understanding your buyer journey.
Decision makers are busy people. They won’t invest a lot of time trying to find out what your company does or how much your services will cost. Consider what you want each person to see and do as they interact with your business online.Understand your buyer journey before you design your site. Keep that in mind at every touchpoint in your website, starting from your homepage. Your site design needs to be simple, clean, with easy-to-navigate functionality that makes sense to your user and leads them to your call to action as soon as possible.
Know your website’s purpose and then make sure it’s clear in all areas. There is nothing worse than going to a website and being unable to figure out what action to take or how to learn more. (Sacha Brant, Founder and CEO of SassyLasses.com)
You’d be surprised to learn how many very reputable companies feature a homepage that clearly doesn’t understand their buyer journey online. We’ve seen sites that even forget the call to action!
Great design starts with the basics and that starts with knowing your customers and having a design that answers their questions and gives them a clear solution.
Many websites focus on the products being sold rather than the customers making the purchases. It is generally more effective to use one’s website as an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of customers, the problems that they face, and how their problems can be solved. (Adam Juda, Monetization Strategist at TapRun Consulting – https://TapRun.com)
- Not being clear about your pricing.
When decision makers are doing their research online, one of the first things they want to know about your company or services is: What will this cost me?One of the key things I look for in a B2B website is transparency. Is pricing shown? Is the sales process obvious? Are services clearly explained? A lack of transparency leads me to believe that the company is hiding something (even if they’re not). They should be making my life as a prospect simple, not adding hurdles. (Felix Winstone, Managing Director, https://talkative.uk.)
- Making potential buyers or clients jump through hoops.
Data is, of course, highly valuable. But the best way in which to obtain that data has been a bone of contention for many B2B marketers. You’d be hard pressed to find several experts who agree on the best course of action. However, if considering forms and sign-ins simply from a user perspective, we can all agree that the more hoops a prospective client has to jump through, the fewer conversions you’ll get.What to do instead? Make your sign-ins simple and easy. Get a name, an email address — that’s it. Once prospects are on your email list, then you can begin to gather more data with surveys, questions, and email segmentation. Your website form should not be a job application!
- Not offering valuable “free gifts” that will make people swoon.
The most powerful marketing tool a B2B site has is information. Prospects want answers — that’s why they are coming to you in the first place. Finding that information that is valuable and desirable to your target audience is key to building those leads.You have to be willing to give away a lot of value when you ask someone to download something or give you their precious email address. Don’t be stingy with your expertise, insights, or information.
While most B2B sites understand the value of a downloadable “free” offer, many miss the mark when it comes to what this offer is. Your free gift should demonstrate that you “get” the pain points and problems your clients are facing. It should also provide some real information that your clients will want to reference over and over again.
Give something of value-free, either an ebook, a mini training or explainer video, ten tips … something that prospects want well enough to download and pay for with their “social currency” — their email. When people feel that you’ve given them something [of value] the law of reciprocity kicks in and they feel like they owe you something, even if it’s “just” their attention. (Mike Wolpert, Marketing Director, socialjumpstart.com).
- Making your site all about you.
This might be a shock, but people are not coming to your website to learn all about you. In fact, bragging a little too much about how great you are can be off-putting, no matter how amazing your company is.“The ‘about us’ focus is a turn off. It’s really just bragging and pretty useless. If businesses would embrace more of a ‘We Believe Statement’ strategy, it turns the focus to the customer instead,” says Mike Wolpert. Instead of bragging about downloads, awards, and features, companies should keep customers in mind. “In B2C or B2B, the customer really only cares about what you can do from them, not what you can do.”
Focus on your customer, not yourself. It really should be all about their needs, anyway.
My Final Thought — It’s All About Conversions!
A great B2B website does one thing — it converts the curious prospect into a paid buyer. By offering valuable information and thinking about your user, you will be well on your way to having an effective, killer website that works.
So, let’s put on the kettle, pull up a chair, and get started on revamping that website of yours so your business gets the results it deserves.