Especially with the pandemic still looming over us, any business needs to have and solidify a powerful web presence. You will find that having a brick-and-mortar shop alone is not enough. The purchasing behavior, be it Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Business-to-Business (B2B), has dramatically changed; many now prefer a more digital buying process.
B2B Business Trends
Many businesses profited from online selling channels, especially during the pandemic. It is not surprising that the B2B buyer takes control of the buying process more than the seller controlling the selling process; this is the new norm.
Studies have also shown that more than half of B2B buyers prefer to start their purchasing journey via researching online and shortlisting their vendors based on digital content; this translates to your website doing about half the acquisition work for you. Hence, this stresses building and maintaining an active, relevant, and secure website that instill trust in your audience.
Remember, your website is B2B and not B2C. The latter requires a different approach when compared to the former. After all, your customers are not making small purchases but purchases that involve large amounts of money.
Mistakes Your B2B Business Website is Making
Setting up and running a B2B business website is not a walk in the park; you cannot afford to have a half-baked website serving conglomerates. Your digital presence must be credible, professional, and well-built to entice quality clients and retain them long-term.
Your website has to be an essential part of your marketing and branding effort, offering a seamless web experience for your clients. After all, this is the first place your leads visit to get to know you. Marketers need to have a checklist in place when launching their B2B website, this helps heaps. Bear in mind that the quality of your website can either make or break you.
However, some mistakes happen and are common among many B2B marketers. Here are several mistakes your B2B business website can make that you should avoid:
1. Poor Website Navigation
Your website should have a clear navigational hierarchy where your visitors can easily and quickly find what they want. Unfortunately, most websites make the mistake of offering confusing and cluttered navigation menus that make it difficult for your readers to navigate your website. The information they seek is not easily accessible, causing them to feel irked and leave. Your bounce rate will increase.
Focus on a clear and concise navigational hierarchy in your website with an easy-to-use main menu. You have to make your visitors feel at home on your website so that they do not need to rack their brains to figure out where things are. The general rule of thumb is that crucial content pages must be within three clicks from the homepage.
2. Cluttered Homepage
Your website homepage is the first place your audience lands on, and this is the place that will help them decide whether to venture further or not. So, if your homepage sports a poor layout and design, cluttered and visually distracting, you can forget about further impressing your visitors.
Do not jam-pack your website homepage with too much text amidst tons of animated graphics, as this can backfire and overwhelm the audience. There is a fine line between being informative and over the top.
Adopting a minimalist approach gives off a clear, serene, and clutter-free impression; this translates well for speed and performance. Greater speed and high performance benefit your website ranking. Also, having less content does not necessarily mean bad as this can draw your visitors’ attention to the points that matter. Your B2B website becomes more impactful.
3. No Responsive Design
The usage of mobile devices is increasing with no signs of slowing down. Google used the website desktop version for indexing and ranking in the past. However, they now focus on mobile-first indexing (the mobile version) as the base for indexing and ranking. If your B2B business website is not mobile-friendly, you have to rectify this immediately. If you don’t, your website ranking will suffer.
Adopt a responsive design and give that mobile-friendly experience to your visitors. Some tools can help you check if your website displays correctly on various devices. Do this, and your audience will have a good user experience across the devices which translates to higher conversion rates for your business.
4. Website Inconsistencies
Consistency is the key to ensuring a business’s success. However, many mistakes do not standardize the website design and content. You may retort by claiming that a consistent website can turn out to be boring; this is not true. Your audience expects a recognizable brand identity with some semblance of consistency in content.
Featuring web pages that look foreign or that change drastically every day may lead to pure confusion and instill fear that your website is unsafe and not trustworthy; this reflects poorly on you, and your customers will find it difficult to trust you. Ensure that the colors, text, font type, font size, content, and approach are in sync; this is especially true with the unique selling points you wish to convey to your readers.
5. No Clear Understanding of Your Clients
Whether B2B or B2C, you must have a thorough and accurate understanding of your clients’ profiles. Do not make the mistake of thinking that since B2B businesses deal with fewer clients, you can deploy the same approach across them; you could not be farther from the truth.
The way forward for B2B marketing is Account-Based Marketing (ABM); a tried and proven way to secure quality enterprise clients. In ABM, it is crucial to define your client’s personas. You need to not only understand their pain points, but you have to also relate to their buying patterns and needs, their aspirations, what they may need in the future, and others.
With a more in-depth understanding of your clients, take a more personalized approach to each of them. Do not take a canned approach across the board. Instead, employ ways that can be different to resonate with each of them. Meet their goals so that they can help you meet yours.
6. Focusing Too Much on Yourself
Perhaps the most common mistake marketers make is to assume that your audience cares about your business which fuels the company-centric approach on your website. You go on and on about how great and awesome your company, products, and services are. You even showcase your expertise in as many areas as possible.
This does not mean that you cannot talk about yourself at all; this just means that you have to provide just the right amount of information about your company and what you do but do not ramble on about yourself. The hero is not you but your audience. They only want to know what is in it for them, and how you can help them address their problems.
As such, when designing your B2B website, shift your focus to your audience – who they are and what they need. Address their pain points and target how you can help change their lives for the better. Doing so will help enable a better buyer experience.
7. Not Aligning Content to the Sales Funnel
Your visitors are all at different stages of the sales funnel. Some people take more time to move from one stage to another along the sales funnel. However, many B2B marketers construct their content without a clear content distribution strategy.
As such, look into distributing your content effectively. Repurpose your content and map them to the respective stages of the funnel. You want a smooth and seamless transition for your clients from one stage to the next in the sales funnel. After all, your goal is to ensure the right content appears in front of the audience at all times.
Having a blog and an educational section is essential to help clients who want to know more about you. You do not want any of your leads disappearing. Your goal is to provide them with the necessary information to help them move down the sales funnel faster. Do proper keyword research to understand the type of content for your targeted clients. Use these as assets to help you gather quality leads.
8. Not Using Your Call-to-Actions Wisely
Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are essential to give that nudge and guide your audience to the next step; this is especially important when your clients are ready to move to the next stage in the sales journey.
While some marketers use too few CTAs, some use them in the wrong places. Some marketers place their CTAs scattered all over the website; this will dilute the effectiveness of your CTAs.
Make sure you use your CTAs at strategic places on your website; not too many and not too few. Use them only when needed. To optimize your CTAs, use buttons that stand out from their surroundings. Do not clutter your CTAs; this helps your audience zoom in properly onto them. Also, make your CTAs more descriptive so that your audience will not hesitate to click them.
9. Forgetting Technology
Sometimes, it is easy to forget how much technology can help make your life much easier. Many have the perception that technology can be daunting and chaotic. As such, they shun using technology as much as possible. However, technology and tools used rightly can boost your marketing effort for higher returns.
So, do your due diligence upfront into all relevant technology and tools; see how they best be used in your existing framework. Emphasise security; you want your audience to feel safe on your website. Once you find the right combination of technology and tools that can help increase your Return on Investment (ROI), go ahead.
However, be careful not to drown yourself in a pool of too many tools and adopt all the latest technology without having a digital roadmap for your business. You will only be digging your own grave when you do so.
For example, one of the highly essential components of your website is your web hosting solution, as this determines your website’s speed, reliability, and performance. You want to give an excellent user experience to your visitors with blazing speeds and no downtime at all. Hence, engage a reliable and trusted web hosting solution for greater peace of mind.
Conclusion on B2B
When you are building your B2B business website, there are many angles you need to consider; this means the chances that you may miss the mark are high. Bear in mind that a B2B model is different from a B2C approach, and your website needs to reflect clearly on this.
Chances are you are doing right by your B2B website. However, we are far from perfect. As such, mistakes can happen that unfortunately can turn your clients away. Feel free to go through the above list of mistakes that your B2B business website can make. Knowing them can help you make the necessary adjustments. Then, you can get the most leverage possible whenever anyone comes to visit your website.
Jason is an Outreach Manager with extensive experience as an IT consultant, Internet marketer, and website developer. He loves building relationships with new people – both online and offline. His profession allows him to form a strong network of companies over the years.