A Comprehensive Guide to Designing B2B Websites, Part I
When our team first connects with a client in the business-to-business (B2B) space, we know we’re going to need a different approach than for a consumer focused project. The good news is that designing and building B2B marketing websites has been core to our business since the beginning.
In this five-part series, we review the critical elements to keep in mind to drive your B2B website project to success.
Since B2B sales cycles are longer, take time early in the project to make sure the agency and client team working on the project have a deep understanding and alignment on the goals, business context, and metrics for success. This will help build the strategy and inform the approach that can be the difference between a successful outcome and failure.
Typical B2B website goals include:
- Effective brand storytelling
- Building awareness
- Building trust
- Increasing engagement
- Balancing the needs of all target audiences
- Most importantly, generating qualified leads
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Successful planning and discovery exercises should also include benchmarking important KPIs, where the team begins to agree on what success will look like in the end and how it will be measured in a quantifiable, objective way. These can be revisited several times to help inform key decisions during the project.
Some of the more important KPIs to consider:
- Increased overall traffic
- Increased return visitors
- Increased applications to job posts
- Increased leads
- Reduced calls to the support call center
- Reduced bounce rates
Setting Up Teams for Success
Enterprise-scale B2B websites don’t happen overnight. It is a major endeavor that involves many departments in the organization over many months. While much of the heavy lifting will be performed by the agency, the responsibility of meeting a project deadline lies equally on the shoulders of both agency and client.
To best position the project for success, it is important to form a steering committee. The steering committee should consist of the key decision makers from each department that the website will impact. It is the committee’s responsibility to work on and agree to a realistic project plan with the agency and understand the dependencies on them and the project team.
It is also critical that this team appoints a dedicated project manager to be the single point of contact for the agency, the coordinator of the internal client teams, and be responsible for managing the schedule.
Typically this committee includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Corporate marketing
- Product marketing
- Demand generation
- Analyst and investor relations
- Human Resources
- Partner marketing
- Information Technology
Meeting a corporate B2B website launch deadline, with the numerous functions and departments involved, can be a major challenge. Defining project goals, establishing KPI and forming a steering committee goes a long way toward avoiding common pitfalls and keeping a project on track. Good planning is the foundation to success.
Learn more in Part II – Content Strategy.