A business to business website needs to look professional and get to the point, right? While this may have been the case in the early days of browsing the web, users want more than just a functional website. They want eye-catching visuals, mobile-friendly pages and more.
Design your business website with page elements that visitors demand to keep their attention and increase conversion rates and revenue.
Here are seven B2B website design best practices you need to follow:
1. Create a Clear Site Hierarchy
When visitors navigate your site, keep in mind how your site is structured so they will get from one page to the next as seamlessly as possible.
Create Site Categories
Map out the hierarchy of your site, starting with the most important sections of your site that will appear on the home page. These can be pages like Products and Services, Blog, About Our Company and more. Do not include too many main categories or visitors will be overwhelmed. Follow these sections with subsections or subcategories that are related to each main section and then include individual pages.
Think About User Intent
Consider user intent when designing and organizing your site hierarchy. If users land on your Contact or About Us section first, what is the next logical page for them to visit? Is it a landing page with a whitepaper or a map with a store location?
Link To Other Pages Naturally
Another element of site hierarchy to contemplate is how you will link pages together. Internal linking is a major part of on-page search engine optimization. Rather than try to link to your most important landing pages at every opportunity, make sure the pages you link to have an apparent connection to the pages visitors were just on.
Site hierarchy will not only be important for users to navigate your site, but also for search engines to crawl your pages and index pages to show up on search results. In the case of URLs, your site's hierarchy will impact how you will structure your URLs, which in turn affect SEO.
2. Organize Page Content and Use Header Tags
Like with site hierarchy, how you organize content on your individual pages will determine how visitors consume information. To highlight the most crucial information on a page first, use H1 tags that will make the page title the biggest text on the page. Follow this with H2 tags for subheads and other page sections that are the next most important.
Taking the steps to ensure you use the right header tags to organize page content helps both visitors and search engines scan pages to get the most relevant information quickly and easily.
3. Show Contact Information Prominently
It’s a typical everyday scenario for business websites: A potential customer wants to learn more about your company and wants to call with a question. Do you know whether they will find your contact information fast?
A Huff Industrial Marketing, KoMarketing, & BuyerZone report on B2B web usability found 64 percent of people want to see contact info when visiting a website. Making sure visitors find the information they want quickly is essential for good business website design, whether that is contact details or product and service information.
The report revealed 47 percent of survey respondents said they looked at the products and services section of a vendor website first, followed by 33 percent selecting the Home page and 16 percent picking the About / Company Information section. When designing sites, have contact information readily available, such as including it in the footer of the page.
4. Integrate Responsive Design and Mobile Features
More users are using mobile devices to access information on the internet with some using their phones more than their desktops to take in content.
According to comScore, mobile accounts for 71 percent of the total minutes spent online in the U.S. This number shows that mobile devices are the dominant technology of choice to browse the web and consumers are more likely to read content and potentially purchase products and services using these devices.
Make sure to think about how mobile users will see your website and adjust your design. Consider responsive design to make sure that your design is displayed properly on any size screen, from desktop to mobile to capture visitors viewing your site from a variety of devices.
5. Compress Data and Reduce Page Load Times
Web searchers not only want relevant information, but they want this information delivered fast. But if a consumer clicks on a link from a search result page and the site takes too long to load, they could leave the page as fast as they arrived. Slow page load times could impact negative metrics like bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who leave a website after only visiting one page.
A State of Content study from Adobe showed 39 percent of consumers will stop engaging with content if it takes a long time to load.
To prevent visitors from leaving a B2B website because of slow page load times, compress images and other large files. Reducing file sizes reduces the time it takes for pages to load. Use sites like TinyPNG that allow you to drag and drop PNG or JPG files to reduce the file size while maintaining their image quality.
6. Display High-Quality and Unique Images and Video
It’s no secret images contribute to a great site B2b website design, but how you choose these visuals will affect how visitors consume content and even whether they leave your site after one page.
The Adobe report indicated 64 percent of consumers who view content on their personal time prioritized good design for websites, including appealing layouts and photography. Visuals should convey your brand message to your audience, whether it is through images of products or services, videos explaining what your company does and more. Furthermore, strive to make your visual content unique and stay away from stock photos consumers find cheesy or overused. Even consumers who don’t pick stock photos for a living can spot one immediately.
However, good design is not enough to keep the attention of users who want to consume content quickly.
When including videos on your B2B website design, shorten the total play time to keep viewers’ attention, suggested by AdAge. The article on the optimal length for videos listed stats from Visible Measures that showed it takes 10 seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. However, marketers can just as easily lose their attention as sites lose 1 in 3 of viewers within 30 seconds of playing the video.
7. Avoid Flash and Other Hard to Index Design Elements
While using Flash in your B2B website design seems like it would improve user interaction with its creative and dynamic features, it may impede on your ability to show up in search results. Google notes that it can crawl content like Flash videos, but sites must ensure Flash files contain text that it can index and have the snippet or terms appear on Google searches. Despite this, Google still warns that it can’t guarantee it will crawl or index Flash content so designers may avoid Flash designs altogether to optimize their websites for SEO.