When creating a website with a B2B marketing strategy in mind, ensuring that the website is 'buyer focused' is essential. Your business's website should take a prospective buyer on a fluid journey that takes them from one stage of the Buyer's Journey to the next. Essentially, you should be attempting to replicate the buyer's journey in the structure of the web pages that you present on your site. For instance, the top panel of your website could consider following the logical progress below:
- A short blurb about who you are
- A list of clients who you've worked with in the past (consider including a logo board, testimonials and Case studies)
- Problems that prospective buyers may be experiencing
- The solutions that your business can offer to these problems
- Any relevant resources that your company offers
- Contact details (the stepping stone to the next stage)
Style and Structure
- When developing a website, ensure that you have inbuilt styles which specify fonts and colours (eg. Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, Normal, Bulleted list, Numbered list etc)
- Be as light as possible on text, using images wherever possible and/or relevant (bulleted lists and breakout boxes are also recommended)
- A specific focus of your website should be usability (the ability for a prospective buyer to find the information they're looking for with ease)
- Understand and incorporate WEB 2.0 in order to allow all social media interaction and the ability for people to easily share any of your site's content
If you plan on outsourcing most of your business's website development, make sure you keep the following in mind:
- Ensure the developer creates a site that you can manage once they've finished the initial project
- Ensure the website is flexible and easily altered if need be
- Ensure that you are responsible for creating the content or at least creating the content in close conjunction with the outsourced developer
- Keep in mind that the cost of building website modules or adding additional modules in the future can be very costly, so interrogate the CMS (content management system) that is being recommended to you before proceeding
It is important that once your website is established, you monitor the analytics of your site and make any necessary changes as you go.
Google Analytics is the perfect program to do so.
'Must Haves' for B2B Marketing Websites
As highlighted above, there are certain essential components of any successful B2B marketing website. Chris Fell of g2m solutions has listed the top seven website "must haves" for B2B marketers to generate leads:
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO uses techniques that get your website listed when your buyers search in Google. Without effective SEO, the only people that will see your webpages are those who already know your company name and type in your URL. SEO ranking is determined by keywords, page titles, meta descriptions, page URLs, heading tags, page content, calls to action, internal links, meta keywords and images amongst other things.
For more information on SEO visit our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) wiki.
Powerful landing pages
A landing page is where searchers end up when they click on a link in their searches. Powerfully written landing pages engage the visitor and draw them in. Make sure your site has the ability to build landing pages easily and create content quickly to reflect the latest changes to your business. They must be able to capture a visitor's information via easily created and embedded forms.
Exciting and engaging content
All your SEO efforts, fancy website technology and killer landing pages are all useless without interesting content that grabs people's attention. Creating content can be challenging, but the basic rule is to focus on your buyer's problems and needs. Avoid the temptation to talk about how wonderful your own products or services are. Content can come in multiple formats from the website page copy itself to blog articles, to downloadable items such as whitepapers, eBooks, short videos, infographics, customer case studies, demos and free trials.
Blogging works because it adds lots of indexable content to your site (think SEO) offering the search spiders, and more importantly your visitors, engaging content that is fresh and up-to-date. It is vital to build a blog that is fully integrated on your site and not sitting off to one side on another domain name. Otherwise all that valuable "SEO juice" you create by your regular blogging simply leaks away. Blogging is probably the single most important activity you can engage in to attract vistors to your site.
For more information on best practice in blogging visit our Blogging wiki.
- Social media integration;
- Calls-to-Action (CTA); and
- A good user experience
- As mentioned in the "must haves", Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an essential component of increasing the traffic to your website. For instance, Google takes into account how often you update or create new content on your site; an easy way to do so is by including a blog or a latest news section on your site. For more information on SEO visit the SEO wiki.
- Make sure that you have clear contact details on your website and that they are easily found.
- Any enquires made through the website comments or email section should be addressed or dealt with a.s.a.p.
- It is a good idea to include a 'call to action' on every page; no dead ends.
- If the purpose of your site is to get leads, have a web-lead contact form which feeds directly to whoever will respond to those enquiries.