A Comprehensive Guide to Designing B2B Websites, Part III
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.
A B2B website has to cater to a more diverse audience than a consumer website.
It is the role of user-experience design to research and define the personas that the site needs to support as well as each user’s flow. Based on these personas and user journeys, the UX designer develops a site structure and navigation system that is intuitive and supports each user type.
Good personas address the following questions:
- Who are the primary customers (roles, demographics, interests, etc)?
- What are their challenges?
- How does your business solve them?
- What content or features will generate interest or draw a response?
- How does that content map to the customer journey and experience?
Up to 35% of a B2B company’s leads can come from its website, so it is a critical driver for overall company success. It is the role of the user-experience designer to weave an effective lead-generation structure that doesn’t interrupt core paths but is prominent enough to develop a lead, should opportunity arise.
A successful B2B UXD strategy needs to provide clear call-to-actions (CTAs) across pages to drive qualified leads and get the sales cycle rolling as soon as the customer is ready to engage. This might be true for all websites, but in B2B the value of a single click can be much higher.
B2B website lead-generation CTAs can include:
- Signing up for demos
- Events and webinars
- Gating high-value assets
- Contacting sales
With navigation, less is often more as the B2B conversion is more about relationship and credibility than it is about a specific product. Users need to quickly understand the breadth of content as well as how content is organized so they can find the information they need, without distractions that pull them away from the conversion journey.
User Experience Planning
With personas complete, the lead-generation approach thought through, and navigation prepared, more specific details of the UX plan can start to come together.
UXD details to consider include the following:
- Content prioritization on page (pre and post scroll)
- Social sharing availability
- Scannable content blocks
- Progress and pagination
- Animations and transitions
Getting the UXD for your B2B website right is critical as you move into the visual design phase.
For more B2B insights, continue with Part IV – Visual design.