Are you worried your business-to-business (B2B) website falls a little flat? If you serve other business owners, then the way your site is set up makes a huge difference in how well it serves the needs of your target audience. A site which meets the needs of your users outpaces competitors and drives conversions.
By the year 2020, experts predict B2B eCommerce sales will reach $6.6 trillion. If you want a slice of that pie, your website needs to gear up now and meet the needs of your users. There are so many factors which play into the success of a website, but a B2B site requires a different focus than a B2C site. Here are eight tips for improving your B2B site today:
1. Understand Your Sales Funnel
There is a journey each buyer goes through on any type of website. At the beginning of the journey, the user may only be mildly curious. In the beginning, your job is to capture interest — and you must create content which grabs the reader. Then, the user moves into information gathering. This is a good time to add in videos and details about your product or service. Finally, the buyer converts into a customer, typically through a call to action (CTA) and a simple checkout process.
Chicago Meat Authority provides meats cut to exacting specifications and serves hotels and restaurants in the greater Chicago area. Note how their page grabs the user’s attention the minute a new B2B lead lands on their page. They include an image that highlights what they offer and a strong CTA. In addition, their toll-free number is listed in big, bold font at the top of the page, so potential clients can call them immediately.
2. Create a Buyer Persona
Because most companies serving businesses have a narrow niche service, it’s important to fully understand the buyers you represent. Spend time digging into your internal customer facts and looking at your website analytics. Look for patterns, such as a location where most of your business owner customers are located or the industries attracted to your model.
Once you have a list of characteristics, create a mock person who represents your typical customer: a “buyer persona.” You may have more than one persona for your business, but once you’ve created a buyer persona, it becomes easier to filter everything about your site through the eyes of that pretend entity and how they’d react to the change.
One Point Partitions highlights the different industries they serve so businesses see where the product fits into their operating plan. They also go into the process, answer questions their typical buyer might have.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely
The words you use on your page make a difference in your conversion rates. Various studies show using first-person is more effective than even second-person phrasing. Experts think first-person works because you speak directly to the user rather than in general terms.
So, look at the words on your website, especially with your CTAs. Instead of “Get a Free Report,” try “Get My Free Report” and see if your conversion rates soar.
Salesforce offers services to help business owners grow their brand online. Note how their CTA button reads “Start My Free Trial,” utilizing first-person to grab the buyer’s attention. The rest of the page uses second-person wording, so the CTA stands out even more and grabs attention from small business owners.
4. Adapt for Mobile Users
About 48.71 percent of internet traffic is now mobile devices. Imagine a typical business owner. They are on the run, meeting with people and going to working lunches. They might have ten minutes here and there as they commute or wait on a meeting where they jump online to find a provider for some aspect of their business needs. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you risk losing the business to someone who is optimized. One of your first changes to your website should be ensuring you’re mobile-device-friendly in every way possible.
5. Use Videos to Grab Attention
Around 71 percent of businesses state adding videos to their websites increased the overall time site visitors spent on their page. As a society, we’ve come to expect rapid information, and videos present info in a precise way which is easy for the average user to digest. You can say a lot more with a few images than a page full of words. Videos are a concise way of getting the benefits of doing business with you across and also provide content you can share on social media or in emails.
Filevine is a case management software for law firms. They place a video on their landing page, which highlights how busy law firms are. Filevine presents the problem and then how they solve the problem for legal firms. They then show some of the features of the project management solution software.
6. Speed Up Your Site
In a survey of 1100 people, researchers found about 70 percent of people feel page speed makes a difference in their willingness to buy from a website. Speeding up your website encompasses a number of factors, but faster load times mean a lower bounce rate and more visitors converting into clients. Some things you have control over include the speed of the server you choose, whether your images are optimized, utilizing features such as caching and getting rid of things which bog down your load time, such as scripts.
7. Show an Easy Process
Again, fellow business owners are busy with a million things to juggle. But show them how easy it is to do business with you, and you may just win them over. List out the steps they need to take, but also consider how complicated your sign-up process is. Are there any ways of simplifying onboarding for new companies?
SnapCap offers funds for small businesses. They list out the three steps needed to get financing from them, starting with an online application and decision, and then share that you’ll get financing in as little as 24 hours and what their terms are. Everything is stated upfront and in rapid succession, so business owners can decide at a glance if their funding option is the right choice for them.
8. Have a Follow-Up Plan
Use your online presence to capture leads, but have a follow-up plan in place. You can either automate the follow-up with a series of autoresponder emails or you can collect a telephone number and follow up individually. Understand that some people are reluctant to share their personal phone numbers for fear of nonstop calls, so offer multiple options for users to share contact information with you, including email, SMS and live chat features.
No matter the preferences of users for future contact, make sure your staff is thoroughly trained in moving buyers through the phases of the buyer’s journey and that customer service is given top priority. A customer-centered approach attracts new customers, while a selfish, spammy approach repels them.
Study Other B2B Sites
One of the best ways to learn what your site lacks is by studying your competitors and other B2B sites in general. Look at what elements you like and what you think your clients might like. If you implement something new, test it on your site visitors by conducting A/B tests and see which additions perform the best. With a little attention to detail and looking at your site through the eyes of the businesses you’re trying to reach, you’ll improve your conversion rates and gain new clients.
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.