Inbound Marketing Blogfor Manufacturers and Healthcare Companies
How to: Build a B2B Website Strategy That Scores Leads
“Our company has a website.”
You may have a problem if that’s all you can muster when someone asks you about your online marketing strategy.
Looking For a Deeper Dive?
For a deeper dive into the topic, watch the video version of this article. Josh Curcio, COO and partner at protocol 80 (and self-proclaimed HubSpot expert), and Holly McCully, inbound marketing consultant at p80 (and niche inbound strategy expert), talk about B2B website development and some website faux pas. They talk with Donny Kemick, president, CEO, and founder of protocol 80, who shares his 20 years of B2B expertise in website development.
Perhaps your problem started years ago when you heard you had to have a website to be modern. So, you created or redesigned your website with little thought about a business-to-business (B2B) website strategy. And now it’s been ages since anyone has updated its content.
You don’t sell anything on it. You have a long sales cycle that depends on a lot of offline relationship building.
So why make your website a priority?
Potential leads. They often come to your website for solutions to problems long before they’re ready to buy. They will look elsewhere if they can’t find the information from you that moves them closer to a solution.
B2B website development is crucial for turning potential leads into clients and keeping clients satisfied.
5 Tips For Developing a B2B Website Strategy
B2B website development takes serious consideration. At a minimum, a good B2B website strategy should:
- Work across all devices (Design for mobile first)
- Have thoughtful, customer-centric content
- Use calls to action, landing pages, and forms
- Have a clean, professional design
- Optimize for search engine optimization (SEO)
Unfortunately, these strategies don’t always happen.
1. Design for Mobile First
In a world where nearly everyone has a mobile device in their pocket, optimizing your website for mobile seems like a no-brainer. After all, 61% of U.S. website visits came from mobile devices in 2020.
Web design with clunky menus, small buttons, and desktop-only formatting creates a terrible user experience for mobile viewers. However, it’s never been easier to make your website mobile-friendly, so there’s no excuse for having your website display poorly on a visitor’s smartphone.
Ensuring your website is optimized for mobile means more than simply making a few aesthetic tweaks. A site’s mobile version should build a customer journey that’s responsive, relevant, actionable, and frictionless.
Google indexes your site based on how a mobile device renders it, so test your website on a smartphone or tablet before launching it. Doing so helps your mobile experience look like a priority rather than an afterthought.
2. Put Some Thought Into Your Content
Potential customers visit your site to see how you can solve their problems. Engaging and helpful B2B marketing content keeps people on your website longer and helps them along their buyer’s journey. Don’t put up content for content’s sake. It’s not helpful. Develop a B2B content strategy that focuses on attracting great-fit visitors and converting them into leads to pass on to the sales team.
Let’s say a visitor comes to your services page. You’re not helping them by only giving them a picture with a one-sentence description. Give visitors information on benefits, applications, and drawbacks that help them in their buyer’s journey.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all number when it comes to content length. However, having at least 600 words is a good benchmark and gives your content a little weight. This length could suffice to address a visitor’s need. Certain content, like in-depth blog posts, may require 1,000+ words to quench the reader's thirst for knowledge, depending on your industry and buyer persona.
Longer content (more than 2,100 words) tends to perform better for search engine optimization (SEO), but no one wants to read your 20,000-word tome on your latest product or service. Consider breaking up super-long content into a pillar page or a premium offer, like an e-book.
3. Use a Clear Call to Action for Value-Added Content
Whether calling leads to sign up for a free e-book or a free consultation, any CTA you offer should provide more value. That way, the prospect will want to hear from you again – or at least they will have a favorable opinion of you when they come across your brand again.
Your CTAs should lead to a landing page where prospects provide contact details (and perhaps other data valuable to your B2B digital marketing strategy) in exchange for a resource. The reward doesn't have to be an e-book or consultation – you can also offer:
- Buying a product/service
- Opting into a mailing list
- Requesting a quote
- Making a donation
- Answering a survey
- And more
Landing pages help supplement other marketing tactics, both online and off. By directing clicks to a landing page, you can increase the success rate of many marketing tactics:
By directing these tactics to a unique landing page, you can accurately measure the effectiveness and ROI of your other marketing tactics.
4. Use Clean, Modern Design
There are plenty of stylish websites out there. You don’t necessarily need to build yours from scratch. Take some inspiration from great website designs.
Your website should match the expectation of your user. Say you’re a machining company. You see an elegant, trendy site for an architectural firm. You may love the look, but does this align with your industry or customers? Research what visitors expect from your industry – both in aesthetics and functionality – or you may turn them away.
Don’t bury important information. People are coming to your site with a variety of needs. They want to know:
- How do visitors get in touch with you?
- Who do they contact?
- Can they set an appointment with you?
- Where are you located?
- Which industries do you serve?
- What’s your radius of service?
Don’t make visitors hunt for this information. Make it simple to find, or they’ll get frustrated and look to a competitor’s site.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help with web design. Companies like Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy have made web design accessible to the average person. But, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.
Side note: We’ve has moved several clients from the companies mentioned above due to their limitations. They may not support e-commerce or blogging in the way a client likes. Clients may not be able to customize templates as they want. Web designers can help you build a customized, aesthetically pleasing, functional, and strategic website.
5. Optimize for SEO
If you want more traffic on your website, make sure people can find you. You want your website to appear at the top of search results. You’ll need to make some adjustments to your site and the way you write copy.
Don’t just guess what adjustments are needed. Run your website through an SEO tool. You can’t see everything that needs adjusting with your own eyes. The tool will catch what you can’t see. Companies like HubSpot and SEMrush have website grader tools. You should aim for an optimization score of 92% or higher.
However, tools can’t tell you everything. Consider doing buyer interviews and asking customers if your website still serves them. If your market has changed, consider how to reposition yourself in that market.
For example, we have a client who recently increased their emphasis on helping engineers in the electric vehicle space, which wasn’t their priority when we started with them four years ago. We've optimized their website from a technical and positioning standpoint.
Also, several factors determine SEO ranking so pay attention to your:
- Page’s speed
- Title tag
- Meta description
Important Assets for B2B Website Development
Building a website that drives traffic isn’t easy. A good B2B website strategy includes the following tools:
- A quality hosting account: HubSpot or WordPress, for example.
- Quality content: Engaging and informative text, images, and video should be part of your B2B content strategy.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate: Google won’t rank you without a secure website.
- Contact Us or Request For Quote (RFQ) forms: Forms for any conversion opportunity are the key to growing revenue through your website.
- Blog functionality: Content drives traffic and leads. Develop a B2B blog strategy. Make sure your blog is SEO optimized.
- Google Tag Manager: You can track how elements of your site perform. (Why would you have a website without this?)
- Web developer: In-house/outsourced, whatever. Just get one, or you’ll burn valuable resources.
- A good domain name: Something that represents your business.
- A cup of coffee: Maybe you need two or three.
We Don’t Sell on Our Website. Why Do We Need One?
Your customers may not fill a virtual shopping cart on your website. But they’ll most likely spend significant time on your site before purchasing from you.
B2B clients are 57-60% through the buying process before they talk to a salesperson. They have a problem. They Google it. They research. They may even submit their contact information in exchange for an e-book you published. Now you have a lead – maybe not one ready to buy, but one you can nurture.
The sales process starts online, whether you like it or not. And if you're not using your website to attract leads, you’re leaving leads on the table for your competitors to grab.
Your B2B Website Is a Revenue Generator
When it comes to your website, don’t just wing it because you feel obligated to have one. Make sure it’s professionally designed and easy to navigate, with informative content that facilitates lead capturing.
Use tools that show you how your website performs and what needs to be optimized.
Don’t let your website be an afterthought – it should be the centerpiece of your B2B growth strategies. Potential clients are searching the internet for answers that you have. Be ready to guide them to a solution.
Optimize Your Website. We can Help!
Need help getting your website up to speed? We’ll give it a look-over and show you where you can optimize your website to attract great-fit traffic and leads.
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2022 and was recently updated.)
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