A B2B business’s website is the heart of its online marketing efforts — which is why effective web design is so important. The best B2B business websites put the customer first — while designing the site, the business considers the psychology and needs of their target audience. This is how any business can design its site with a specific target audience in mind.
Buyer personas can be just as valuable in web design as they are in marketing and branding.
If your business and its web design team have a strong understanding of its customer base, the personas you develop for advertising can help guide your design process.
For example, you may use the needs and interests of your personas to help you determine which questions to answer on your FAQ page. Audience segmentation may make it easier to decide which niches and sectors need their own pages.
Personas can also help you build site content. If you believe that your customers value your business’s expertise, you may want to include case studies and testimonials on your site. Another business may instead use personas to determine that their audience will want blog posts, white papers and similar site content.
Many B2B businesses work with a diverse range of clients. Often, these clients may be in different niches or sectors — and may have different needs as a result. For B2B businesses with this kind of audience, designing a website that accounts for these differences will be important.
For example, see this page design from Illuminated Integration, a Pennsylvania-based audio visual equipment provider.
Using a series of clear and distinct icons, this page breaks down the different industries that Illuminated Integration serves. For potential clients worried that their needs may not line up with Illuminated Integration’s experience and offerings, this page both lists out the industry the business serves and provides a link to another page where they can learn more.
Similar design elements can help you communicate to potential clients that your business can provide services or products that may meet their industry-specific needs.
For example, you may create navigation elements that allow customers to visit industry-specific pages that describe how your organization serves these sectors.
Businesses that serve both individual customers and businesses may also want to consider how they can serve these different audience segments, as well. Providing both residential and commercial options for a quote generator, for example, is one way for a business to cater to the needs of very different audience segments.
If someone is visiting your business’s site, they’re likely interested in what your company can offer. Effective B2B site designs understand this, and help make it as easy as possible for customers to move towards a sale.
This site, from SaaS provider Zendesk, shows how a single page can offer several different options for moving forward without overwhelming a visitor or generating clutter.
Two free trial buttons, highlighted with a color that stands out against the page background, provide visitors with one option for moving forward.
For visitors who need more information, the “chat with sales” button and various navigation options at the top of the page provide quick access to key facts about the business and its services.
Before a potential client will reach out to your sales team, they’ll need to trust your business first.
Trust signals are the elements that businesses use to inspire confidence in their brand. On websites, these often include certifications and industry symbols. A high-quality logo and clean web design can both build trust and demonstrate professionalism.
Other trust signals can help make your brand seem even more reputable and reliable. For example, see how packaging materials provider Packlane uses its previous clients to build trust.
Existing customers can be a powerful brand signal — especially when the businesses are ones that potential clients will recognize. Below the fold, Packlane reinforces these trust signals with video testimonials and written content about the company’s existing brand partnerships.
This content helps to convince visitors that Packlane has a strong track record and good reputation — encouraging visitors to investigate further.
Businesses with strong client relationships can leverage them on their sites to inspire visitor trust. Your business may be able to use case studies, interviews, blog posts or other kinds of content to highlight these relationships and build a stronger reputation.
Communication style and word choice can both have a major impact on how visitors react to your site.
The best-designed B2B site uses language that customers are already familiar with. It reflects how buyers speak without letting the brand’s unique voice be lost.
For some businesses, this may mean holding back on the jargon in the favor of simpler language and explanations that a customer with limited industry knowledge can understand. For others, it may mean taking advantage of technical language and providing explanations that will seem natural to a reader.
Listening to how your customers speak and taking notes can help you develop more engaging and relevant site copy.
Designing a business website to be customer-centric from the ground up can make it much more appealing to potential clients.
These strategies can help you and your designers better understand what your audiences want from a business website — and how to make design changes that appeal to their needs.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.