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What makes a good user experience for B2B websites?

As the first port of call for customers, prospects and partners your website is an invaluable tool. At the heart of every B2B website is the user and building a great user experience is what defines the success of a website. So how do you get the user experience right? Below are a few things to think about.

Simplicity is key
A good first impression is priceless – all you have is a mere 10 seconds to entice the visitor. The key is simplicity. By reducing noise you will ensure your brand image shines through and allow the visitor to easily navigate to where they want to go.

Design with visitor goals in mind
It’s incredibly important to consider the visitor’s mindset and goal. With a B2B website, visitors are likely to be looking for information and support, as opposed to making an immediate purchase. If your visitor is towards the bottom of the sales funnel, the following questions may be in their mind when browsing your website:

•  What will I get from their product/service?
•  What benefit will it bring to my business?
•  What makes their product/service different?

When laying out your website, work from the top down. Keep the most important information at the top (above the fold), ensuring the user is given the information they have requested and that it is presented clearly. A company logo, navigation and search box are all necessary elements to any B2B website, along with a title accurately describing the page presented to the user.

Call to action
Ensure that visitors can easily contact you regarding your company or product/service by providing a clear call-to-action button on the majority of web pages. This will give the visitors a clear indication of the next stage in the sales process. Make it easy for them to take that next step.

Think mobile
With over half the nation now using smartphones, designing for a mobile user is now a necessity rather than an option. Content needs to be trimmed, the layout should be limited to a single column and calls-to-action need to be bigger and clearer for a touchscreen user.

Learn from the best
Companies in the technology sector offer good examples of websites that are providing a great user-experience. GoToMeeting’s website, for example, is clean, modern and gives the user an instant insight into their product offering. Call-to-action buttons are clear, and display exactly what the user will get after signing up to a free trial. GoToMeeting have also considered their mobile visitors, building a simple but efficient mobile website.

IBM is another good example. The branding is clear, and even with a much bigger product offering they manage to structure the website in a clean and user-friendly way. IBM’s product pages are structured with useful tabs, giving the visitor plenty of content, yet broken down in an efficient manner.

Keep tweaking
The points above will help you build a positive experience but remember to keep improving. Listen to your visitors using your website analytics, by analysing key user-experience metrics such as ‘time on site’ and ‘bounce rate’.

Failing to consider users in the design process of your website and when creating content can lead to unhappy visitors and more importantly a drop in conversions for your product/services.