Has your B2B organization been considering refreshing its website? Maybe it’s time to update to a new look and feel or perhaps your website’s architecture needs to be modernized to reflect the latest best practices for improving speed, mobile-friendliness and search engine optimization (SEO).
Whatever the case, before you begin a redesign process for your B2B website, review and consider applying the following tips and best practices to set your new website up for success.
Leverage web elements effectively and with a purpose
Every element on your website should serve a purpose with the ultimate goal of making your users’ experiences enjoyable, engaging and easy. Today’s web users have a very low tolerance for complexity and delays when browsing through a site.
When considering a web element, ask yourself “how will this affect user experience? Will this help or hurt it?” The combined effect of your website elements should entice users to engage more, bounce less and return again and again.
Some key web elements that should be thoughtfully considered include:
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons
The placement, size and color of your CTA buttons can also prove critical to get your website visitors to convert on your site.
Make sure the text of your clearly describes the desired action you want your audience to take. For instance, “Get Your Whitepaper” versus “Download Now” or “Schedule a Personalized Demo” versus “Learn More”. As with virtually every web element, testing the effectiveness of different variables such as color and verbiage combinations is highly recommended
Website imagery plays a huge role in how audiences perceive your brand overall and has been shown to impact engagement.
Do you want your website imagery to present a professional, people-driven look and feel? Consider leveraging high-quality photography for your website that include images of professionals collaborating with each other in ways that are reflective of your target audience. Or, perhaps you want to present a casual, creative and fun look and feel, in which case you may want to consider using illustrations and abstract imagery to convey these sentiments.
Simply put, the images you decide to use should be aligned with your overall brand identity.
Incorporating icons on your website can be beneficial as they allow your brand to:
- Communicate information quickly and make content easier to understand.
- Show its personality through how the icons are styled (e.g. professional, modern, colorful, fun).
- Entice engagement by breaking up large text blocks to make pages more digestible and visually appealing.
What actions do you want website visitors to complete? Do you want them to sign up for a product demo, register for a webinar or download a white paper perhaps? In any of these cases, web forms are typically used to capture the information that visitors are asked for in exchange for what it is that you’re offering. To get the engagement you seek, it’s important to consider how much information visitors are willing to provide and balance that with what information you truly need.
Generally, the higher the value that visitors associate with your offer (e.g. access to an on-demand webinar, free report download), the more web form fields they will be willing to complete to get it. Naturally, offers that will be perceived as lower in value (e.g. e-newsletter sign-up) should have fewer fields on their web forms.
Write content for your users AND search engines
Your website content should always be written to either educate, inform or entertain your audience. When writing web copy for your website, keep the following best practices in mind:
- Create content that is relevant and attracts your specific target audience. This will entice your web visitors to really dig into to your website’s content to learn more about your product or service as well as provide a way for potential customers to self-select as they enter your sales funnel.
- Avoid writing content with jargon, fluff or too many technical terms. Visitors should be able to quickly and easily understand exactly what it is your organization offers. If you can’t accomplish this, expect your web visitors to quickly bounce from your site and look elsewhere. Use words and terminology that are meaningful to them and make your content easy to understand. Save your technical terminology for spec sheets or FAQ pages.
- Optimize your on-site SEO. On-site SEO means optimizing content elements on your site that you have control over to rank higher in search engines. Search engines are now keener on searcher intent and relevance and reward web pages containing valuable information users are interested in by ranking such pages higher in their search results. Because of this, it’s critical to write content that is in-depth, user-friendly, trustworthy and high quality.
Set up your website for fast page speed and mobile responsiveness
Earlier this year, Google announced that page speed will become a ranking factor in mobile search results starting in July 2018. Google’s search algorithms are favoring websites that are both mobile responsive and with fast page load times to address the way people have transitioned from desktops to mobile devices when searching the web.
Test your website to ensure it is mobile friendly with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and check the elements that affect your website’s page speed via Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. If you see any problems, work with your web developer to address any issues.
Make the move to HTTPS
With the rise of cyber threats affecting organizations and consumers alike, HTTPS is becoming increasingly critical for all websites to have. Google is also pushing HTTPS as a best practice to enhance website security.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) helps protect your website’s users from “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where someone steals the information being sent to a website, like credit card information or logins and comes with additional benefits including:
- Increase in Google rankings
- Improved security for web visitors
- Updated browser labels (eventually Google is going to mark HTTP websites with a “Not Secure” label written in red – see attached screenshot)
- Increased customer confidence
Even if your website does not handle sensitive information, you should strongly consider transitioning your website to HTTPS as it offers many benefits.
As you can see, there are many elements to consider when undergoing a B2B website redesign, but by following these tips and best practices, you’ll be able to set your website up for success! While these tips are great to follow, be sure to avoid these 8 common website mistakes.