Many business-to-business (B2B) businesses, especially those with offline operations, think that a B2B website is merely a piece of online property in the digital space that they should have since every business should have a website.
However, they do not view their B2B website as a lead or revenue-generating tool. They see it merely as a tool with contact information so that prospects and clients can find the company online.
Some think a revenue-generating website is restricted to B2C businesses. But this is not true. B2B e-commerce sales are expected to outgrow B2C e-commerce sales by 2020.
Data from Gartner shows that the typical B2B buyer is 57% of the way to making a purchase decision before they even approach a vendor.
In the digitally evolving world, just having website a website is not good enough. There are many aspects of your B2B website that can be optimized to turn it into a strategic marketing tool.
Here are the top 3 things that your B2B website must have.
#1 - A CLEAR MESSAGE ON THE LANDING PAGE
As attention spans continue to decrease, your landing page must have clear message that succinctly communicates what you do, who you are and who your target audience is.
This critical information must be conveyed to a user within seconds and can be in the form of text, photos, images, animated graphics, video, or a combination of different elements.
A landing page is the first page that a user typically arrives at. Most often, it will be your home page. However, you might have a separate dedicated landing page if you are running a marketing or advertising campaign for a specific offer.
You will be surprised how many B2B websites do not communicate a clear message on their landing page. About 60% of new B2B clients that we consult with have websites that lack this clarity.
If a user cannot get the essential information they need on your landing page, they will likely leave. This impacts the user experience of the website and what is known as the “bounce rate“.
The “bounce rate” is the metric that detects if a user clicks onto another page of your website or “bounces” (leaves) without visiting another page. Following a call to action like signing up for a newsletter or contact form would not be considered a “bounce”.
A high “bounce rate” may signal to Google that your website does not contain useful information, and this can affect your search engine ranking performance (SERP).
Some digital marketers also think it is essential to have the clear message “above the fold“.
This refers to the portion of a webpage that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads. In other words, it is what visitors first see without scrolling. So, it is probably more apt to call this “before the scroll”.
The term “above the fold” comes from traditional newspaper publications. It refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper or tabloid where an important news story or photograph is often located. Papers are often displayed to customers folded so that only the top half of the front page is visible.
There are mixed thoughts on whether there is a need to put critical information “above the fold” for a webpage. One reason against the need to is due to the pervasive use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
It is argued that people will always scroll down a page so “above the fold” content may not be essential.
While this might be true, it should be noted that a lot of visitors to B2B websites will likely be on a desktop computer or laptop when searching for a B2B product or solution. It is good if your clear message is displayed once your webpage loads.
I personally favour “above the fold” content for the landing or home page of a website. In the very least, your clear message should be in the first half of your webpage.
#2 - B2B WEBSITE CONTENT
There are two types of content that a B2B website must have and both types of content must be clear and substantial.
Company & Product Info
The first type of content is comprehensive descriptions of your business’ products, services and company information. Potential customers and clients click onto your website to learn more about your company, products or services.
This is a captive (albeit impatient) audience, so you want to take full advantage of their attention by providing as much information as possible to satisfy the needs of users. This increases the chances of turning them into leads or customers.
Your company and product info should be in the form of text, images, videos, infographics, animated graphics or any combination of elements. Social proof such as reviews or testimonials will also work in your favour to convince prospects to contact you or at least shortlist you.
This is the information age, and if you do not put up comprehensive information because you are worried that competitors will learn about your business, you will be losing customers.
One of the most powerful forms of content that helps build trust, credibility, and authority is resource articles. This can be in the form of blog posts, how-to articles, FAQs, white papers, interviews or studies.
This content is not designed to sell your product or service to customers but is to demonstrate your authority, trustworthiness, and credibility in this field. You would want a combination of high quantity and high-quality content.
One tip is to create at least 10 different pieces of content. Each article should have its own webpage, be at least 500 words long and include relevant photos and videos.
Each article should focus on a different topic related to your area of expertise, business, product or service.
Besides building credibility and authority in your field, quality content will also help your search engine optimisation (SEO), which helps your website’s visibility and ranking on Google.
#3 - MOTIVATED CALL-TO-ACTION ON EVERY PAGE
After adding a clear message on your landing page and creating solid content for your website, you need to make sure every page of your website has a specific call to action (CTA).
A CTA is a piece of content intended to induce a prospect to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive, to engage with your website.
The objective of a prominent CTA on each page is to motivate a webpage visitor to turn into a lead or customer.
Studies have shown that:
- Adding CTA buttons to article templates increased revenue by 83% in one month.
- Ecommerce conversion rate increased 22% quarter over quarter.
- The average order value for blog readers increased 49% quarter over quarter
Read more CTA statistics here.
You should think of and create a relevant CTA for each webpage on your website.
Examples of CTAs include:
- An invitation to fill up a contact form
- A pop-up message with a telephone number to call or text message
- A pop-up chat or message box
- “Buy Now” or “Order” button
- Newsletter sign-up form
- “Subscribe” button
- A video box with a play button to watch a video
- A download link for a free report or white paper
- A link to another webpage in your website for more or related info
If you take the time and effort to optimize your B2B website in the three ways discussed in this article, your website will become a strategic marketing tool that generates leads and sales within a few short months.
FREE DIGITAL MARKETING BOOK
To learn more about what you need to do for your website, check out this free digital marketing book.
“Behind the Click” is a free digital marketing book (PDF) that discusses how digital marketing fits into your business. As discussed earlier, the approach should always be strategy before tactics.
The book will provide you with a broad overview understanding of what digital marketing is and how it fits into the modern marketing mix.
We will also explore the distinction between digital marketing channels and assets, and the all-important digital marketing strategy.
This book was written for:
- Business Owners
- Sales Professionals
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