B2B websites – it’s all in the planning

You might be thinking now is a good time to give your B2B website a much-needed facelift, go ‘mobile friendly’ to catch up with Google’s new algorithms or maybe start again from the bottom up as your business has undergone some major changes which are no longer reflected by your website.

Whatever the underlying reason for change, it’s important you don’t just jump in creating a wonderful new design if it doesn’t meet the needs of your business or your purchasers. Essentially, that’s time and money down the drain.

B2B website Design Agency Hampshire

Ask lots of questions

Ask existing customers; why do they buy from you, how do they use your current website, how well does it meet their needs, why did they decide to buy from you, what is their buying process.

Consult your sales team; what feedback do they get on the website, on your products and/or services, what do customers say you do well as a business – and not so well, what do they see as your Unique Selling Points (USPs).

Talk to your call handlers; are they aware of areas where the website isn’t delivering? Are they regularly asked the same questions? Would introducing an FAQ page inform potential customers and help ‘seal the deal’ more immediately, especially if you sell direct from the site.

Speak to your web programmer or designer about what functionality they think could be introduced to demonstrate your core values – such as an ability to be innovative and flexible to market needs, trustworthy and reliable or a family business with family values.

Check out the competition; what does their website do well, what lessons could you learn from their approach and what could you do better.

Detailed Planning

Always begin with a wireframe or flat plan of your site and allocate basic content to each page – initially this could just be the type of message you want to get across in each area. Then review if this reflects what you learned from the questioning phase. If not, refine your content plan until it does.

Messaging

Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes, which will mean understanding who your ‘average’ buyer actually is – how they purchase, their motivators to buy, when they buy. When pulling your content together, think about what the customer wants to know rather than what you want to tell them, and use their language where you can.

While design is important to create the purchasing environment – or position your business as expert in its field – if information is overly complex to find with poor signposting, broken links, irrelevant or misleading information, even the most stunning design won’t be enough to generate genuine sales leads for you.

So before you jump into briefing a designer on high impact banners, Twitter feeds, Blog posts, forums and big images, you need to get the basics right. A good designer can make it look great but key decisions on structure and content must be made as a first step. If you’re ready to go with your next website – or need some help with the planning stages – contact us to find out more or call us on 01420 568127.

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