A website that sells well anticipates its visitors’ needs, is ready to provide value and has a memorable personality.
Though a website will never ask, “How are the kids?”, it must emit charismatic and likeable characteristics. Why? Because your website is a member of your sales team and your sleepless sales rep must be well equipped to drive sales, or whatever conversion goals you may have.
Designing a website that converts isn’t easy. It takes time, knowledge and hard work. So, where do you start?
Three essential steps to build an effective B2B website:
Learn about your customers. Develop personas.
Customer personas help you create a website that effectively meets the emotional and logical needs of your target consumers.
A persona is a fictional portrayal of an audience category member that is based on research and anecdotal descriptions from those who interact with them most frequently.
Before you start on persona development you need to know who your customers are. Interview your sales team, hold focus groups with top customers and review your site’s Google analytics to understand your customers and the paths they take on your website. Use the knowledge of how your customers think, what they want and need to build your personas.
When developing personas define characteristics including age, gender, education, income, and geographic location. You will also want to identify their emotional and practical goals, background, behaviors, spending habits and pain points.
Odds are your business caters to different types of customers. All customers must be considered when developing personas for a new website or promotional campaign. The personas you create will dictate the value you provide, whether it’s information, gated and non-gated content, free trials or other ways to reward potential customers.
Ensure a positive customer experience on your website from the first click to the last.
A sound web strategy takes the information you have gained about your customers and allows you to plot out their anticipated paths through your website. Your strategy will inform the entire customer experience on your site including architecture, wireframes, UX, design, copy and conversion paths. With a sound strategy, you set your website up for success with your customers.
Invest in developing effective UX is what every business should aim for. One of the most important aspects of an effective user experience is ease of navigation. As a rule, easy to navigate means 3-4 clicks for your users to find what they’re looking for. 3-4 clicks is a benchmark, but the number of clicks may vary depending on the products or services you sell, your industry and business model. At the core of easy navigation is a smart, thoughtful information architecture.
Information architecture defines what content is required on your website to deliver a satisfying customer experience as well as its hierarchy of importance.
Wireframes do the same job as information architecture, but at a page level. They are the blueprints of your website. Wireframes can look like anything from sketches in a notebook to interactive digital mock-ups that showcase the buyer journey and points of conversion as well as give designers a framework on which to give the website it’s visual identity.
Lastly ensure your consumers experience a powerful creative experience with an engaging expression of your brand and its value to them. A powerful creative solution in conjunction with good strategy and UX will help them convert. Your customers took time out of their busy day to visit you, make sure they enjoy their stay. Be sure to give them a seamless, pleasing and relatable experience.
Help your customers buy with strategic calls to action.
Once your website has shown your customers empathy, provided value and a positive experience, it’s time to provide them with an opportunity to convert . Whether your conversion goal is for your customers to click ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Add to Cart’, be sure your website has strategically placed calls to action so it is easy for them to find what they need.
The effectiveness of your website is directly proportionate to how well you understand your customer. Understanding your customer allows you to display empathy for their needs, problems and desired solutions. It lets them know you comprehend and appreciate what makes them who they are.
Demonstrating the value your business offers persuades with confidence through consistent messaging, strong product offerings and brand universality. It reassures your customers that you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is.