A website needs to perform a distinct function and businesses must continually optimize to better fulfill that function over time. B2B companies often launch a website because they need it, without expecting it to be of any use. With the onset of the pandemic, this mistake has become obvious to B2B organizations. Websites can’t just be a brochure. Instead, a website should act as a growth engine by generating qualified leads.
Arguably, B2B business mistake # 1 is allowing a website to underperform or not perform at all due to a lack of agreement on the work of that website. Other mistakes include ignoring mobile load times, low conversion rates, and lack of continuous site improvement. Buyers, however, still value a website. Seventy-three percent of B2B buyers (registration required) surveyed said they visit a supplier’s website to decide whether to submit a request for information (RFI). Don’t run out of qualified leads because of a poorly performing site. Watch for these common mistakes.
Lack of B2B website management
First and foremost, B2B leaders need to make sure the website is easy to manage. This means that it is not tedious or time consuming to publish content. The needs of buyers will evolve, which means that the content that meets those needs must evolve as well. Being able to quickly upload content to target buyers is crucial. The web is a competitive space. Websites that are frequently updated and improved perform better. A business with a strong web management practice tends to remove barriers to frequently posting quality content. Barriers to publishing can be technological frustrations, a lack of investment in content, or even a lack of ideas.
Many B2B companies believe they need to undergo a complete website transformation to stay relevant, which can cause websites to go years unchanged. A website should never be static. Instead, it should evolve through incremental improvements. This can be tweaking messaging, updating images, or adding new pillar pages based on services, offerings, and buyer targets. These incremental improvements are the key to meeting the evolving needs of buyers over time and staying relevant.
Related Article: 3 Ways To Improve B2B User Experiences With Intent Data
Underestimate the importance of SEO
There are many SEO elements that go into a successful website. Two crucial aspects include mobile load time and thematic relevance.
Slow mobile load times hurt a website’s SEO ranking, making buyers less likely to find the site organically. A fast loading website also gives buyers a much better user experience, increasing their chances of engaging with a brand online. A well-designed website for mobile devices can speed up buying time by 20% (pdf) in B2B transactions.
Thematic relevance is essential for B2B websites. Instead of ranking for specific product or service keywords or phrases, carefully plan the topics and keywords you want to compete for. Aim to rank for intent-driven keywords. Create a body of content that is directly relevant to a buyer’s challenges, goals, and interests. Marketers need to create highly informative content on a carefully defined number of topics, keywords, and themes. These keywords and topics are what a buyer looks for when they are planning to solve their problem. Forgetting to focus on keyword rankings also hurts SEO.
Related article: Get Your SEO House in Order for 2021
Forgetting to focus on the buyer
A B2B website should build trust and inspire the buyer. It should also differentiate the company in the market – the buyer should see a tangible difference from one supplier to another. If buyers don’t find the website credible, it could be related to messaging or design issues. Taking a generalized approach to messaging can lead to B2B organizations looking too alike and the buyer not understanding the value differentiators. If it’s not clear what a business is doing, B2B buyers will leave a website.
The website should play a role throughout the buyer’s journey. While many businesses use the website during the awareness phase, it should also play a role in thinking and deciding. Messaging should change during these three stages as the buyer’s education changes. Analytics can help businesses understand buyer engagement paths on a website. Using heat mapping, closed-loop marketing analytics, and funnel visualizations helps businesses better understand how their website is performing during the think and decision stages of the buyer’s journey.
Related article: B2B Customer Experience Doesn’t Have To Hang Out B2C
Track vanity metrics
Ultimately, a website should be able to convert leads. If the website doesn’t, it’s not functional. Many B2B companies make the mistake of measuring overall traffic or pageviews, which ultimately offers no insight into website performance. Metrics that matter include conversion rates: Are users coming to the website and taking an action? Are they motivated enough to take the next step or click on a call to action (CTA)? Does the website bring in qualified leads? Many websites bring in a large number of leads, but only a few are qualified. Are prospects people who could become customers? These metrics are invaluable for B2B businesses who want to use their website as a functional asset.
B2B businesses that want to drive more value through their website should embrace continuous improvements, buyer-centric messaging, better thematic SEO relevance, and measure how buyers engage with content throughout the process. purchase. By correcting common mistakes, businesses can generate more qualified leads and convert them to the site while standing out in the market.
Jonathan Franchell founded Ironpaper in 2003. Since then he has had the pleasure of working with a wide range of clients and business needs, ranging from the public interest to the public sector.