B2B websites often have one thing in common. On the homepage, all they will talk about is themselves – how good the company is, how many awards it’s won, how great the team is. What they won’t say, is what they can do for a website visitor (and potential customer) and that can be a huge mistake.
Many B2B companies have fallen into the trap of treating their website like an online brochure. Whilst this type of information will be important at a certain point in the buyer journey, it’s not what visitors need to see first.
Redesigning your website to focus on your visitors will not only give you a very different website, but one that pays its way and contributes to your marketingand sales activities. It will start playing a key part in your lead generation efforts and work hard for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The end result? A strong lead generation website that works!
Your website – a member of your team
It can help to imagine that your website is a member of the sales and marketing team and is there to fulfill a certain role. Its purpose being to bring in new visitors and help you sift out the strongest leads – those who could potentially go on to become clients.
If you think about your website in this sense, rather than as a digital brochure, then it will often become clear that it needs a very different structure to what it has now.
Aim to turn your website into a customer-centric hub, where the right people will be able to find the right information, at the right time.
To achieve this, you may need the help of a few specialists:
- A website front-end designer
- Someone with great UX (user experience) knowledge
- A content marketer/inbound marketer who understands how your website can work as a lead generation machine
As a minimum, get a web developer and marketer working together on the new website, and make sure at least one of them has a deep understanding of UX.
The two things every B2B website needs
When you get down to it, there are two core elements that any B2B website needs to be successful:
- A mechanism for generating leads
- Content that confirms why working with the company is a good idea
If you approach your website redesign with these two points in mind, you will reap the benefits.
How to make the changes
Mechanism to generate leads
Lead generation is at the heart of everything we do here at Lead Forensics and so we talk a lot about it on the blog. From starting out with a quick conversion process, to more elaborate account based marketing tactics, it’s about attracting and then converting leads with the help of your website.
To be effective, your website needs:
A conversion offer– something that the people who visit your website will find interesting enough that they’ll hand over their contact details in exchange for it. Examples may include an eBook, SlideShare or whitepaper.
CTAs all over the place – CTA stands for ‘call to action’ and you have these everywhere. They should take a visitor by the hand and guide them on to the next step. Just be careful not to clutter up the space too much. Simplicity is key here, but there shouldn’t be a page without a CTA.
Landing pages (and lots of them) – CTAs should lead on to dedicated landing pages. You should end up with multiple landing pages for all your different offers. These pages should not be linked via the usual navigation bar, but instead, open once a specific CTA has been clicked on. Make sure the offer that is presented matches the CTA and keep these landing pages absolutely clutter free. Even consider reducing or removing the navigation bar.
Instead of splitting landing pages up according to certain demographics, personalize the content itself depending on who is visiting. With modern software, this is now easily achieved.
The sole purpose of any landing page will be to convert anonymous website visitors into a known contact within your database. If you have the ability, then always A/B test your pages, to fine tune their effectiveness. For more ideas, see: Best Practices For Great B2B Website Lead Generation
Content that says why working with you is a good idea
The modern B2B buyer is a research machine. Their objective is to find the best solution at the best price. So, your website needs to offer the kind of content that modern buyers are looking for.
A visitor will come to your website with two main questions in mind:
Do you have what I need?
To answer this question, you need to spend time figuring out what it is they need. This will largely depend on the stage of the buyer journey they have reached.
Are they just browsing and gathering information from across the web? Or are they now comparing vendors?
Providing content for each stage is important. The tricky part comes in presenting it in a clear and crisp way. The simpler and easier to navigate your website is, the more successful it will be in attracting and converting the right type of people.
Make a list of all the questions that a potential visitor to your website may have. Weight them by importance and relevance, then prioritize them. Look at your website. Does it provide the answers to all these questions?
Are you credible?
When someone who has never heard of you before visits your website, they will quickly want to know if you have what they are looking for, but also if they can trust you.
In the online world, there are some key factors that can help in building trust, both within a website and outside of it:
- On a website – have client testimonials and also offer short, as well as comprehensive, client case studies. Providing extensive case studies that detail the before and after of working with you are particularly important if you are in a service-orientated industry. Don’t forget to include information about who is behind the website, your people and your full company details.
- Outside a website – this is where potential leads will search for reviews. Your company or brand name followed by ‘review’ will be one of the most searched keywords for you. While you will have limited influence over these, you should keep an eye on them. Also consider asking happy customers to write one and share a positive review, if an opportunity presents itself.
- Crossover – where onsite and offsite credibility will crossover is on social media. If people are posting nice things about you on sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, then you can pull these in to your website. Also, having at least one truly active social media presence can help enormously with credibility. Showing how you speak and handle situations on such channels can give people a strong impression of you.
The type of content you need
Think about the copy and content on your website as needing to be educational, rather than promotional. That will set you in good stead. In B2B, there’s usually a lot of explanation and information necessary before a purchase will take place.
Use your website to assist you with this. It will help you to not only be useful to your visitors but to be found by them via search engines too.
The messaging, style and tone of your website, all say something about you.
Take a step back and consider how you come across. For example, is it as a stiff corporate, or a friendly start-up? Perhaps, somewhere in between?
Make a decision about where you want to be and then ensure all content on your website falls within these style rules.
The most efficient lead generation websites focus on conversion offers, as soon as a visitor goes into buyer mode. But it is also vital to give them an idea of what it may be like to work with you. Use your ‘About us’ and ‘Meet the team’ style pages for this. Also, prepare a download that details what it’s like to work with you.
Aside from the words you use on the website make sure you also have these tech issues covered:
- Visual appeal: Strong design is really important. It’s got to be clean, easy to navigate and quick to load
- Responsiveness: This is not only important for visitors but also for search engines who may penalize you if your website is not fully optimized for use on smaller mobile screens
- Shareability: Make it super easy for your website visitors to share your content in any way they want, with just the click of a button
- Analytics: You absolutely need to know everything you can about what’s happening on your website and to use this information to enhance what you’re doing
- Contact details: Sometimes you come across a website that has beautiful design and great conversion offers, but it’s a nightmare to simply contact them! Don’t forget about the basics, make sure your contact details are prominently displayed
Check out this blog for more advice on the ‘must-have’ lead generation tools for small teams.
From our point of view, you should also consider including a little piece of code that will help you figure out who is visiting your website – whether they convert on an offer or not. That’s what Lead Forensics software and our comprehensive database is all about. It could help you make the most of every opportunity your new visitor-centric website starts generating, helping you grab every potential lead from all your web traffic.