Top 3 B2B Web Design Tips for 2015
However, that doesn't mean they should be behind B2C sites in terms of usability. Rather, it must be quite the opposite. The more complex the situation is, the more supportive the user interface needs to be. B2B websites should therefore focus more on usability as they deal with more specialized products and require their users to accomplish more advanced tasks.
But what makes usability so important for B2B sites?
Usability, in a nutshell, impacts your bottom line heavily. Poor and erroneous web designs will cost you more than money. It can actually ruin your reputation and turn your customers away from you.
According to Online Marketing Institute report:
• 85 percent of users leave a website because of poor design
• 83 percent of them abandon a site if it needs too many clicks to get exactly what they are looking for
• 62 percent of users gave up their search of an item when shopping online
• 50 percent of sales are lost as visitors failed to find content
• 40 percent of users never return to a website if they feel the content is too hard to use.
Creating a B2B website is therefore more than its design. You need to consider a lot of things including the content, usability and functionality is crucial, neglecting any of them and you are more likely to run head-first into a disaster. That being said, we don't mean design is not important for a B2B website, quite the contrary. But what is even more important is easy-navigation otherwise it will fail to generate leads effectively.
This means, you need to help your visitors find what they are looking for and make the process easy and seamless. Besides, this need to be done immediately after they visit your site, preferably within 2-3 seconds as online users today are notoriously known for their attention span. In addition, you must be extremely clear about how your products/services will solve the buyer's pain-point.
Elements of A B2B Website
A B2B website needs to clearly state a few points, including:
• What the website/business is all about?
• Who is it for (target audience)?
• What makes it good/unique (their USP) or why people should buy from them?
• What's in the website (the products/services)?
In addition, there are two more things you need to address in order to turn your business website into an effective, lead-generation machine:
• What you are buyer's most frequently asked questions and their answers?
• Why your visitors/potential buyers should choose you over your competitors?
In reality, this means you need to create content that is spot-on backed by high-value offers and optimum quality structure and functionality. A website that can offer all of these elements will be rewarded with better quality leads that converts, meaning more sales. To get to that point, however, requires you to think deep and hard in terms of both buyers and recent trends and apply those that help you maximize your conversion rates.
The following are some of the top B2B web design tips for 2015 that are more than likely to stay for some time now.
1. Plan Your Content First
"Content is King" when it comes to digital presence. B2C companies are already designing their focus websites based on their content and not otherwise. It's time for B2B sites as well to shift the focus from design-first to content-first. Do you need a resource library? What about your targeted landing pages? Are they in sync with your marketing strategy? What about a blog? Have you incorporated one and how are you planning to use it?
These are a few things you need to consider when planning your content strategy. And yes, you do need a proper content strategy that answer your specific website goals. A blog, for example, is essential to keep your flow of fresh and high-quality content constant. This, in turn, will also help you in your ranking apart from providing your visitors what they are looking for, which is again essential for establishing your authority and brand building.
Here's how a blog can help you in SEO purposes. By now you already know that incorporating a blog is one of the best ways to add fresh and updated content to your website on a regular basis. Hence, if you have a web design company based in Charlotte, North Carolina and you have been updating your website with fresh and unique content (through blog or otherwise), it is more than likely that Google and other search engines are crawling your site more often. Therefore, when someone searches for a Charlotte Web Design company, your chances of being ranked on the search result pages are more than a website that failed to have a blog or hardly updates their content.
You should therefore plan your content strategy even before you choose the colors, fonts or images for your website; it is more important than focusing on look and feel.
2. Opt for Responsive Design
Responsive is not just for B2C sites. Over 50 percent of Google searches are made from mobile devices and a large number of B2B buyers are also on mobile. Responsive design is therefore a must-have for websites of any kind, size or shape.
With Google's new mobile updates, not having a mobile-friendly website will surely affect your digital marketing strategies and efforts negatively. In fact, a lot of B2B websites are using responsive design and some of them are indeed inspiring. If you're just starting with a responsive redesign, you can take examples from some of them.
Functionality is crucial for responsive websites. You must ensure how the website looks across various devices by using mobile emulator.
3. Use Flat Designs
Flat designs are becoming increasingly popular for the last few years. Although late, B2B is fast catching this trend these days. They are now incorporating flat elements to bring a simplistic appearance in their websites. Simple illustrations in bright colors are typical of flat designs and they are highly recommended to add a modern, engaging look to your website especially if you are planning on a responsive/mobile-friendly version.
This design trend, along with hero images are very popular these days. They are ideal to communicate your company's message, story and value proposition without using text. However, try not to go overboard with this designing trend as they often distract users.
Designing a B2B website is more like creating a sales tool. A simple template job is completely out of the equation these days as user experience is important for your B2B website too. This also means that your approach should be customer centric. The bottom line therefore is to provide your B2B buyers what they're looking for, while making the process as easy and seamless as possible.