Web development for B2B websites

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web design
web design

Great B2B websites inform, captivate, and persuade visitors to engage with B2B brands. Typically, a a B2B web design agency will specialise in responsive web design, custom website development, web applications, ecommerce and native mobile Apps. They will do this as a means to better overall support and help you grown your business and ensure your business is able to stand out well online. A best practice in B2B website design is to keep the branding consistent throughout the entire site. Only use the predetermined brand colors, logos, and overall colour guides.

B2B web development, also known as business-to-business (B2B) web development, is the process of building a B2B website. Your B2B web design needs to be focused on content, and it should include plenty of CTAs and premium information including whitepapers and other key areas in which you are able to show off your wider knowledge and expertise in your industry overall.

How B2B is unique and a different type of business / concept

In 2007, when Airbnb founders wanted to let out their spare room and make some money out of it, they created a simple website. Today, most people have heard of Airbnb due to its unique concept and user-friendly web design. Innovation aside, B2B selling is not quite that simple. Unlike B2C where the average order value (AOV) is minimal and the number of customers is more, in B2B, there are fewer orders in greater volumes. The reverse nature in which transactions happen itself makes B2B selling difficult.

Furthermore, B2B buyers take longer to make a buying decision. A single purchase order will have to be vetted and approved by multiple stakeholders from production to finance, and even operations. The complex nature of B2B selling puts enormous pressure on a B2B website. It has to look and feel like a B2C website while catering to the specific demands of B2B buyers.

Getting the design right for the end user

So why is it so important to invest time and resources into creating a B2B web design? Because your website is the gateway to information that buyers are seeking before making a decision. In fact, 27% of B2B buyers research independently online before finalizing a purchase.

Research shows that users prefer websites with an excellent page experience. The goal of this is to enhance users’ overall web-browsing experience across all devices. Good UI design is essential to creating a delightful user experience. So, if you are a digital designer of any kind, you’ll need some reliable UX and UI tools in your toolbox. Getting the design of your website just right can help boost traffic and increase conversions, which can ultimately lead to more sales.

It is key you keep people on your website – for longer

B2B buyers browse websites with serious intent. If the website does not provide them with the information they are seeking or does not take them closer to finding the product that their team requires, they are quick to close the tab and move on to other alternatives. That makes it imperative to give B2B buyers a reason to stay on your website. Your website in its structure and content should cater to the pain points and the needs of B2B buyers. The typical layout that most websites use to maximize user engagement and to get conversions is the F pattern layout.

The F-pattern layout is based on the natural behavior that users exhibit while interacting with web surfaces. It’s easier to read and also puts the spotlight on the sections that you want your users to interact the most with. Consuming more content and interacting with your website is one of the precursors of conversions.

Look at new ways to drum up new conversations

The first few conversations that your website visitors will have with your business will determine whether they will turn into paying customers or become hard bounces that never return to your website. B2B websites with great copy can hook customers, invoke curiosity, or even make prospects sign up for a trial or demo. However, if you want to go fast and get your visitors to give details that can be used to qualify them as a warm or hot lead, you need to strike open-ended conversations. Chatbots help with that.

Think of them as always-online sales reps who can initiate conversations with website visitors. They can nudge users into providing their details, suggest product features, or even help customers with directions to resources that they are looking for. The benefits of including a chatbot in your website are several: They make content easily accessible, collect user information, provide self-service, and much more. These benefits and several others make chatbots great at B2B lead conversion. The catch is that chatbots are considered early on in the website design stage and not as an afterthought. Mapping website designs around chat bubbles and how they showcase information during an ongoing conversation can go a long way in delivering a positive website experience.

Effective design is key

Effective B2B website design brings the right traffic to your business website, engages visitors with informative content that keeps them on your site longer and keeps them coming back and, ultimately, converts visitors to leads and leads to sales. The key to highly converting B2B web design is that it must integrate your whole sales and marketing process. The difference between a website built for B2B customers and one for retail consumers is in the online customer journey, the time to conversion and large customer investment.

The B2B customer journey is longer and more involved. An effective B2B website guides that journey along every touchpoint. Even in today’s world of self-serve online shopping, with modern B2B buyers performing their own research and making decisions before ever reaching out to a salesperson, a B2B website isn’t just a self-service portal. Very rarely in B2B sales are you providing self-help or ecommerce buying. Rather, your website is a tool that nurtures prospects and propels them through the sales funnel.

Key questions to take into consideration

  • What are your website goals? What does success look like?
  • What are your overall business objectives?
  • What strategies are you currently using?
  • Who is your target audience? Have you developed personas?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What differentiates your products/services from those of your competitors?
  • Can you provide examples with features and functionalities you like?
  • What are your current online challenges? Sales and marketing challenges?
  • What are your security needs?
  • What functionalities are required or desired?
  • Where will the content come from (migrated or new content)?
  • What information/content do you want to emphasize?
  • Do you have personas, a messaging matrix or value proposition, a style guide, brand guidelines, etc.?
  • Do you have data from a recent site audit, competitor or market research?
  • What technologies must be integrated (i.e. platforms, plugins, logins)?
  • What are your hosting preferences/requirements?
  • What are your SEO goals? What tools do you use?
  • What other tools do you use?
  • What are your KPIs: page speed, bounce rate, time on site, conversion data, where traffic comes from, etc.?

Overall

Many B2B agencies make the mistake of thinking their business prospects are all researching and shopping for business products and services from a desktop in the office, and therefore a responsive design isn’t necessary. That’s simply not true. A robust marketing strategy means that you are nurturing prospects and contacting customers via email campaigns, targeted ads, and social media posts, which they are likely to see on their handheld devices. And those campaigns drive traffic to your site, which must be mobile optimized, or your prospect likely will not return. In terms of SEO, Google penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for handheld devices.

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