B2B companies know that a solid online platform is one of the key elements to business growth, and although many businesses now prioritise a strong presence on social media, the importance of a website can’t be ignored. In an increasingly interconnected world, your website acts as a virtual storefront that allows your potential customers to browse your products and services.
This hardly comes as news for seasoned marketing teams. There’s no doubt that many strategy sessions are spent figuring out the perfect sales funnel that transports prospective customers to a sleek-looking web page complete with a compelling CTA button. However, many think of their website as just that – a sleek-looking portal that magically converts. In reality, good B2B websites have the potential to shape perceptions, build credibility, and foster meaningful connections. They are the bridge between companies and their target markets.
As an expert B2B digital and brand agency, we know better than anyone that a website is a remarkable investment of time, money, and resources. Before embarking on such a project, you need to examine all the factors contributing to a successful website. So, in this article, we’ll reveal the 5 web design aspects you might not have considered, starting with a strong brand strategy.
1. Strategic branding
Many business owners want a modern nice-looking website. But this is simply not enough to drive growth. A strong brand identity is a key pillar to attracting B2B audiences likely to become loyal customers. So, strategic branding is an essential aspect that needs to precede and inform your web design project.
By establishing a company’s identity, perception, and reputation in the eyes of its ideal customers, strategic branding goes beyond aesthetics. Through a comprehensive brand strategy, you align the company’s values, mission, and visual elements. Thus, your website becomes more than a compilation of beautiful images accompanied by generic text. Strategic branding transforms it into an effective profit-generating tool. It opens numerous business growth avenues, including:
- fostering familiarity and trust among your audience, which establishes your company as a credible and reliable solution provider
- standing out in a competitive landscape by communicating your business’s unique value proposition and positioning, making it more memorable and distinct
- creating a lasting impression, encouraging long-term relationships with clients, suppliers, and partners
Most importantly, a strong brand strategy opens new avenues for addressing your users appropriately, reinforcing your website’s user-centric design.
2. User-centric design
With so many resources and time invested, it’s easy to see why many business leaders take personal ownership of their website. It becomes their passion project. But the truth is that, from the second it launches, a website belongs to its users. And for it to do so, it needs to provide an engaging user experience that prioritises the needs, preferences, and behaviours of B2B buyers.
This is where a user-centric design comes into play. By placing the user’s experience at the forefront of the design process, websites are enjoyable and easy to engage with. An intuitive navigation setup, a responsive design and clear calls-to-action are critical components of a successful B2B website.
The impact of these design elements is profound, with business benefits such as:
- achieving higher conversion rates, as a smooth and intuitive user journey leads to signing up for newsletters, making purchases, or filling out contact forms
- demonstrating your business’s commitment to meeting customer needs, which fosters brand loyalty and a positive emotional connection
- reducing the need for assistance or support, leading to cost savings for the business by minimising the resources required for customer support and troubleshooting
But catering to your users’ needs doesn’t solely rely on the way they interact with your website. Another crucial aspect is what your website provides them in the form of content.
3. Content strategy and search engine optimisation (SEO)
The B2B sales funnel is notoriously complex – and for good reason. As B2B products and services are usually a costly long-term commitment, buyers need to be certain that your company has the expertise required to deliver outstanding results. One of the core elements of building a good reputation is your content. Even though breaking down the steps towards a winning content strategy is beyond the scope of this article, one thing is for sure: delighting your audience with quality content is a worthwhile tactic. It’s then no wonder that B2B buyers engage with 3-7 pieces of content before reaching out for service details, with 11% saying they consume over 7 pieces of content.
In the B2B sphere, valuable content can take many forms. Be it educational blog posts, whitepapers, reports, webinars, infographics, or podcasts, the goal of your content is to reinforce your authority. You might immediately think of this as reassuring your audience that you are an expert in your field. And while this is part of it, there’s another higher power that needs to assess your website’s authority: search engines. By building an authoritative domain, you have higher chances of getting organic traffic through searches.
Thus, your content needs to strike the perfect balance between intriguing your audience and being search engine friendly. Once you reach that sweet spot, the opportunities are invaluable, for example:
- increasing your business’s visibility and reach within its target audience
- educating and informing potential customers about the industry, challenges, and solutions
- ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), reducing the reliance on paid advertising
With a good content strategy in place, you need to ensure your users can easily access what you post. Thus, performance and functionality are the building blocks of successful web design.
4. Performance and functionality
If your platform is slow to load or fails to take users where they need to be within a few clicks, they will simply look for a better alternative. You might have the most insightful content or the most advanced filtering system on your Careers page – without a fast and seamless browsing experience, these will simply go unnoticed. Your web design needs to prioritise performance and functionality.
Before you ask how they’re related: web design encompasses a wide range of factors that collectively contribute to boosting performance and functionality. For example, web performance relies on minimising large files, optimising images, and using efficient coding practices. Responsive design techniques ensure that pages function effectively on various devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Intuitive navigation structures with user-friendly interfaces ensure that all interactive elements (buttons, forms, menus) function smoothly. Design choices, like providing alt text for images or maintaining proper contrast ratios, contribute to a more inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. All these practices fall under the umbrella of web design. The resulting boost in performance and functionality will bring you numerous advantages, like:
- allowing B2B buyers, who often have specific goals and limited time, to find information easily
- making it easier for users to navigate the website, find relevant information, and complete desired actions
- encouraging repeat visits and fostering customer loyalty as a result of positive interactions with your website
Carefully considering all these aspects will surely elevate your web design. However, your website doesn’t work in isolation. It’s part of a complex system that transforms users into leads and leads into conversions. Integration is essential to make this system work for you.
5. Seamless integration
You might have noticed by now that none of the aforementioned aspects work independently of each other. They are interconnected practices that come together to generate the most optimal avenues for business growth. But how does your website fit into the overall digital ecosystem?
As discussed in the beginning of the article, websites are crucial for conversion, yet they don’t work in a vacuum. They are highly dependent on all the other platforms your business relies on to thrive, like your social media pages or the tools you use to manage your sales, marketing and customers. To create an unified system, all these need to be integrated into your website.
Achieving integration through web design requires a strategic approach. It involves designing consistent user interfaces and experiences that seamlessly connect your website with external platforms. For example, integrating your CRM system with your website allows you to synchronise customer data, track interactions, and provide a comprehensive view of customer relationships. Connecting with payment gateways provides secure payment processing and facilitates online transactions. Linking to your marketing automation tools streamlines lead nurturing, email campaigns, and personalised marketing efforts. The possibilities are endless, and the benefits even more so. Here are some examples:
- accommodating increased data volume, users, and business complexity as the company (and thus the website) expands
- allowing for targeted and personalised campaigns, optimising lead generation and engagement through MarTech integration
- facilitating controlled access to data and enhancing security by centralising user management and permissions
So, if you want to establish a robust online presence for your business, integration is the final piece of the puzzle. In an ever-evolving B2B landscape, it works hand in hand with the other four aspects to garner a holistic approach towards sustained growth and success.
Web design for your business needs
The B2B sales funnel might be complicated, but your B2B website design project doesn’t have to be!
As discussed, your website isn’t simply a nice-looking platform – it serves as a virtual storefront, forging connections and shaping perceptions. By looking beyond the surface and applying these factors, B2B companies can harness their website’s potential to fuel growth effectively.
Not sure where to start? Dusted is a specialist digital and brand agency. We work with some of the most ambitious, innovative and game-changing businesses in the world, blending strategy, creativity and technology to solve their web design challenges.
Get in touch with us to discuss how we can design a website for your business needs.