It’s not a new development that a functional, engaging website is crucial for any business. However, it’s especially important for B2B companies. According to the market research firm, Forrester, 68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online. 60% do not want to rely on a sales representative as a primary source of information. You can put your all into a sales pitch, with all of the stats to back it up. But if you have a hard-to-navigate, subpar site, your potential client might determine that “it’s just not a good time.” Or they’ll “keep you posted.” So if you haven’t taken your B2B website strategy seriously yet, make that your New Year’s resolution.
The internet goes through a lot of changes very quickly. So it’s essential to keep your website up-to-date. If you have the means to do so, it’s advisable to do a significant strategic website strategy refresh every couple of years. This will ensure the site is in sync with your company objectives.
Kickstart your new website strategy
Don’t know where to start? Here are some pointers:
- Rework your keyword strategy: You might feel like your web traffic has been lagging. Maybe you just haven’t put a lot of thought into your keyword strategy since you launched your website. Take this opportunity to read up on new SEO guidelines and determine how you can improve your site ranking game.
- Refresh your CTAs: You know CTAs are a significant aspect of your website — you have them on every page! However, the CTAs you’ve used for the last few years are likely looking a little tired. If you don’t have the time or resources for a full revamp, just design some new buttons. This is especially important if you have new offerings.
- Update your images: If it’s been a while since you updated your website’s banners or graphics, give them a double-take. Make sure they’re still speaking to your brand. If they were trendy when you started using them a few years ago, they could look a little outdated now.
- Check your navigation: When you work with a website day in and day out, its navigation becomes second nature to you. It might not be that easy for someone less familiar to get from point A to point B, though. Ask someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time on your website to click around a bit and report back. What can you do to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get around?
- Click on the links: There are a lot of reasons that a link might break, so you want to make sure all of the links on your website are active. Make sure your internal links haven’t been broken through code changes or previous website updates.
Do a website audit
UX guidance firm, the Nielsen Norman Group, found that the average visitor only reads about a quarter of the content on any given page. And that was in 2008. I think we all can agree that our attention spans have dwindled in the past decade.
So your writing has to be sharp. Or your videos have to be engaging. Whatever type of content you house on your website needs to be interesting enough to keep people on your page when a human’s attention span is working against them.
You might think you need to cram as much as you can onto your website to ensure people get all of the information they need. However, it’s been proven that a complicated site with too much to read hinders people’s user experience. Design experts at Speckyboy suggest also steering clear of autoplay visuals and improperly placed popup CTAs to avoid distracting your readers. While simplicity is essential, you also want to ensure you don’t consolidate information too much. Readers shouldn’t have to click to multiple pages to get the full picture.
Do you need a rebrand?
It’s a common misconception that revamping your website strategy should include a rebrand. While in some cases, it’s advisable (you’ll be making over the rest of the site, why not?) that certainly isn’t always true.
Really think about why you feel you need a rebrand. And if you have the budget for one. It’s more than just your logo and colors! Changing all of that up on your website will also require changing all of your physical brandings. From your building’s signage to your business cards, it’s a big undertaking.
If you believe your whole brand needs a makeover because your website isn’t pulling in the traffic you want, remember that site views are dependent on industries. B2B sites tend to bring in less traffic than the average e-commerce site, and that’s OK. Don’t measure your goals up against another business.
Take a look at your messaging
What actually tends to be the issue when people feel like they need new branding, is messaging. Take a good look at your web content. Is it in line with what you perceive your brand to be? Someone should know your company’s story with a quick look through your website. According to Canva, your branding should tell a story, as psychologists have proven that the human brain lights up when hearing or reading a narrative. Don’t you want your reader’s minds to be active as they check out your website?
If you truly believe that your brand story is no longer relevant to what you represent as a company, then it probably is time for a rebrand. And of course, it is easiest to pull off a full rebrand when you are already freshening up your website.
Consider a launchpad site
If your website needs such a revamp that it could be easier to start from scratch, consider starting with a launchpad site. It seems incredibly daunting to revamp your entire website in a short amount of time, but you don’t have to. Having a minimal site with higher quality content can be more effective than a website that’s more fleshed-out, with less emphasis on the content itself.
A launchpad site is a “minimally viable product,” meaning that the only things housed on it at the time of launch are what’s absolutely essential. A traditional website tends to take months to finish and costs more money than a launchpad site. And you don’t even know if the changes are effective until it’s finished and launched.
HubSpot has a useful video that’ll help you sort through features and identify the core things you should include in your launchpad site.
The ultimate benefit of using a launchpad site over doing a complete overhaul is that you have the opportunity to see what resonates with your audience early on. This way, you know what works before you invest more time and money into your new web design. Your site becomes more of a living thing that supports your marketing strategy, with the flexibility that allows you to avoid falling into that trap that causes you to build an entire website based on assumptions.
A launchpad site typically consists of 30 to 50 pages. Include a homepage, an “about us” page, a service/solution page, contact information, offers, and a blog. With fewer things for your users to see, they’re likely to check out more of your site and give you a chance to hone in on what people are looking at. Your content should reign supreme, and you should focus your web design around it, not the other way around.
Using a launchpad site is an iterative process, with far lower stakes than launching a full website all at once. With a launchpad site, going live isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning!
Building your site
Just a few years ago, the average person would balk at the idea of building their own website. Between the visuals on the front end and the coding on the back end, it seemed so intimidating. However, even though websites certainly look better these days, they’re less technical. With platforms like Divi, Elementor, and WordPress’s Visual Composer, sites are easier to manage.
Keeping the security of your website in mind is imperative, especially if people are making purchases. WordPress is one of the world’s largest content management system. It’s currently powering 34% of the internet! But, some people worry about its security. Be sure to enable two-factor authentication and use strong passwords and reputable plug-ins. Just like you do with everything else on the internet!
If you’re more comfortable with leaving web design to the professionals, be sure you don’t blow your budget on it. Try to allot 25% of your budget to website development. Then leave 75% to everything else, like the web host that’ll fuel your website’s performance and the content that you’ll be showcasing.
We’re already predicting what’ll be trending in 2020! With content marketing continuing to chug along, bending, and weaving through industry trends, it’s no surprise that there’s a continuing emphasis on high-quality content. The internet is a vast, black hole, and only the most influential content rises to the surface. Don’t skimp on your content marketing efforts, from case studies to blogs, and especially video.
Speaking of video: As you can probably guess, it’s slotted to continue being one of the most substantial assets on your website. If you haven’t embraced video yet, try starting with a testimonial video. A testimonial of a third party, like a happy customer, beats out some of that noise and distrust that many consumers have lurking in the back of their minds.
Back in the earlier days of digital marketing, your brand was supposed to take a backseat. With the rise of social media and a desire for transparency, putting some more focus on your brand itself is becoming increasingly popular. Let your potential customers see who you are and what your brand stands for through your advertising and web content.
When working on your new website strategy, remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. What might have at first seemed like many small tasks can add up and take more time and energy than anticipated – but everything worth it does!
Have you ever set aside money for a task or project and completed it for less than originally anticipated? How did it make you feel? What did you do with that leftover money?
Rather than feeling satisfied with the site you now have, learn a few quick tricks and ideas on where that money can go to help turn your website from great to exceptional.
As a marketing professional, focus on increasing website traffic and potential leads — a foolproof strategy for success. Here are a few savvy options your firm should explore to ensure your website stands above the rest.
1. Incorporate Explainer Videos
According to VideoBrewery, 85% of people are more likely to buy a product or service once they view an explainer video. This is no coincidence.
Here’s an example of a simple, clean explainer video that effectively highlights a businesses service offerings (Spoiler – It’s ours!):
Research shows that viewers are more likely to stay engaged with a page that includes videos rather than paragraphs of text. Two major benefits to explainer videos include offering better clarification of your product/service and increased conversion rates.
The key is ensuring the videos are quick and concise.
A study from AdAge claims that marketers lose 33% of all viewers in the first 30 seconds of a video. What does this mean? People are busy. Think about all the times you scroll through your newsfeed on social media and see a video. You’ll watch the first few seconds and if you’re not intrigued, you scroll right past. Right?
Grabbing the viewers’ attention in the first 3-5 seconds is vital because it addresses the first decision the viewer makes: to stay or go. If it isn’t captivating from the start, you’ve already lost.
Source: Banners Nack
Advertising is imperative if you want people to know who you are. The most commonly used platform is GoogleAds. According to WordStream and their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) statistics, firms make an average of $2 for every $1 spent on GoogleAds. Talk about good ROI!
Before running your ads, it’s imperative to develop a well-thought-out strategy. Marketri found that 32% of companies wing their marketing efforts and have no strategic plan. Start with a goal, define your audience, and determine the services offered before introducing any advertising.
Incorporating these three components will make your site more attractive, which gives your business a competitive edge.
3. Invest in Blog Writing
Investing in blog writing is a great way to not only boost search engine optimization but develop stronger relationships with current and potential clients. Just like subscribing to your favorite magazine or newsletter, blogs help keep your audience in the loop about industry news/trends and help position your company as an expert in the field.
An Inbound Marketing Report from HubSpot found that 57% of companies who publish blogs consistently have gained at least one customer as a result of their efforts.
Another benefit includes the option for readers to share this content on their own social media platforms for their peers to see. This can open up endless opportunities and positive exposure for your brand, and help work towards increasing visitors to your website.
There is no universal “right answer” on what to do with your leftover website budget. However, incorporating explainer videos, advertising, and blogging are a few tactics that have been proven to help optimize your new website and grow your business. Investing in these components is a great way to ensure your website is up to par, ultimately getting you one step closer to that next big deal.
To learn more about how to improve your website, check out our Launchpad Site below or get in touch!
Your website is important.
How important? Let’s see.
According to Sweor, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website. Can you blame them?
Think about it, what is the first thing you want to do when someone recommends something new to you? How about when you see an ad and want to learn more about a company? More often than not, you go straight to their website.
On a website, companies have the chance to showcase themselves. As mentioned in Volume 1 of this topic, first impressions matter. Having a well-developed website can improve the trust and quality of your brand from the appearance alone. We will learn more about that in a bit.
Here are some of the best practices seen in web development to ensure your website is where it needs to be.
Let’s start by defining what ‘personalization’ really means. Personalization is the process of creating a customized experience for individual visitors when they access your website. Rather than providing a broad experience for everyone, personalization allows firms to present unique and specific information tailored to a customer’s needs and desires.
So how can you start implementing a personal experience on your web page?
Websites that display smart content or “adaptive” content have aspects of web pages, emails, ads, or landing pages that change based on the interests or past behavior of the viewer. In other words, smart content is an experience that is created specifically to that viewer in a given moment.
Factors such as location, language, device, and demographics all should go into consideration when creating your smart content.
Take Amazon for example.
Let’s say you shop with Amazon on a weekly basis. Each time you revisit their website, you can expect to see tabs like, “previous purchases,” and “recommended for you.” Amazon is offering unique and relevant content to different users based on past experiences — a great way to demonstrate personalization and the use of smart content.
Another great benefit of smart personalization with B2B websites is it makes the buying process a lot easier. A study from Evergage found that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid for a brand that provides a personalized shopping experience.
What does this mean?
People like to be acknowledged and cared for. When leads visit your page and are greeted with their name or relevant content, they’ll feel more comfortable, which will likely increase the chances of them becoming a customer.
Gartner research predicts that by 2020, smart personalization will be in search engines everywhere and will enable businesses to increase profits by more than 15%!
Want to learn more about smart content and how to use it today? Click here!
Many B2B companies aren’t making the most out of the traffic to their websites. In 2018 alone, Drift conducted a study of over 500 companies and noticed a 58% no-response rate to inquiries from leads.
That’s where Chatbots come in.
Chatbots are one of the easiest ways you can deliver a personalized experience by offering a real-time tool to communicate with visitors as soon as they visit your website. This means when visitors have questions, they can be answered immediately 24 hours a day.
Although research supports that consumers would rather speak with live help when possible, allowing them to get fast answers via a chatbot is certainly better than having nothing at all.
Website personalization is more than just providing personalized content on your site, it’s understanding where and how your customers can be reached at any point in the buying process. Employing the use of a 24-hour chatbot serves this need, and definitively fills one gap that you may be experiencing.
The two main goals of a website are to attract and educate your visitors about what you have to offer. Your website needs to cover these basic website fundamentals. The final goal, however, should be some type of strong action for your visitors to take. It can be subscribing to a newsletter or blog, downloading a playbook, or setting up a consultation.
The point is, when someone reads your blog or visits your site, you should make it easy for them to take action if they choose to. The button that the visitor would click is called a CTA, or “click-through action”. Some examples of what a CTA may look like are: “Sign up here,” “Learn more,” “Subscribe,” and “Get Started.”
CTAs are crucial, not an option. You must offer actionable steps to these leads as they look around your site, otherwise, how are you going to get them to stay interested in you? For more examples of CTAs and where they can be placed on your page, click here.
Fast Loading Time
Did you know that a one-second delay in your page’s loading time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions? Wall Street’s Neil Patel also found that 40% of people will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in the first 3 seconds. That’s about the amount of time it took you to read that sentence!
Websites are getting larger and more content is being displayed, but the amount of time people are willing to wait for this content is lessening. Here are some ways to ensure your site is loading fast enough to keep visitors on your page longer.
Cutting down the size of your images can save a lot of time when trying to load your website. Studies show that 80% of people remember what they see more than what they read. You probably already know that images and videos are imperative to your site. What companies don’t know, however, is how much extra time these images take to load. Use tools and applications such as ImageOptim before posting photos to your website to help save bandwidth and reduce the size without affecting the quality of your images.
A cache is a software component that stores website data so that future visits load much faster. This improves performance on your page by lowering load time since the content is already prepared and available without having to be fetched from the servers. For example, if you visit a site that is cache enabled, the server stores this HTML file so the next time someone visits that page, it is already processed and ready to open.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is the most effective way you can speed up your website loading time. A CDN is a worldwide network of servers that store information relative to the location of where it was searched. For example, hosting your website on a U.S-only network will provide longer wait times for those trying to access your content internationally. With a CDN, the content is provided much faster from a local server relative to their location instead of going across the world.
Your number one goal as a business stakeholder is to scale your business in a sustainable, cutting-edge way. One essential practice you must embark on is optimizing your website for your specific buyers.
To ensure you’re doing this, personalize your website with smart content, employ the use of chatbots, litter your website with relevant CTAs, and reduce load times. If you’re able to do any (or all) of these things, you’re already positioning yourself for success down the road.
For more tips and strategies to improve your website check out “Essential Web Development Practices Vol.1” or click here to get in touch!
According to Sweor, 75% of consumers judge the credibility and trustworthiness of a company based on their website design. It takes less than half a second for users to form an opinion about a website and whether they stay or not.
What does this mean?
First impressions matter!
Think about a time you wanted to try a new restaurant. You walk in to see a menu and notice a bad aroma. While looking around, you also notice nothing looks clean.
You probably didn’t end up staying there very long because the first impression deterred you.
Even if the food was good, you were never going to give it a chance. The same theory applies to your website.
Losing sight of the primary function of your website can be detrimental to your business. Your site needs good aesthetics, relevant content, and accessibility across multiple devices to prove to your customer base that you can be trusted.
Here are some of the best practices seen in web development.
According to a study from Human Factors International, proper use of white space increases comprehension by 20%. However, that balance of white space to content can be tricky. Have too little, the page will look cluttered. Have too much, the page will seem empty and your message will get lost.
The key to white space is balance. Look for symmetry and consistency with your page so it provides a clear and functional way for readers to view your content. The DailyEgg found that 65% of people are visual learners. So it is imperative that each of your visitors can see and understand your content clutter-free.
Let’s look at an example.
Source: Digital Ink
See the difference?
Minor changes to a page layout can significantly impact the reader’s experience on your website. The layout on the left is an eyesore and may prohibit a reader from even attempting to skim the material. The closer you can get your content to mimic the clarity of the page on the right, the more likely you are to keep the reader’s interest from the beginning.
Source: Oodles Studio
Users are on their mobile devices more than ever.
According to StoneTemple research, 58% of website visits are from a mobile device. So it’s safe to assume that if your site isn’t mobile integrated, you’re already falling behind.
Mobile integration is the act of transforming your website to fit the screen of mobile devices, such as a cell phone or tablet. A properly integrated site will have layouts specifically designed for various screen sizes and will react appropriately to the dimensions of the browser.
Fully functional and responsive sites are a must in today’s digital landscape. This also applies to applications — an app that enhances the user experience from a mobile device will only lend your brand more credibility (as long as the design is up to par). Applications are great because they allow greater accessibility to the user. For instance, take a look at your cell phone. The apps you’ve downloaded most likely correlate to the websites you visit most often on a desktop.
Your favorite brands are already focused on enhancing your mobile experience. It’s time for you to do the same.
People love video. In fact, HubSpot found 54% of consumers wish they saw more video content from businesses and brands they support.
Because videos are engaging. They capture attention more effectively than any other form of media. According to a study from SearchEngineWatch, videos have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text. As a result, your traffic to MQL conversion rates will increase, resulting in a trickle-down effect that should impact the bottom line!
The more you cater to consumers’ desired forms of content, the better experience they have. In other words, videos will help implement a more effective Inbound Marketing Strategy.
Your website is a pivotal component of your brand. There are millions of websites available to viewers. How can you stand out from the rest?
Proper use of white space, mobile integration, and the incorporation of videos on your website will enhance the user experience. When done successfully, your target market will connect better with your brand, getting you one step closer to hitting your next big goal.
Want to learn more about website development? Check out Volume 2 here!
Or, visit our launchpad site below and learn how we can develop a prototype page in as little as 30 days!
No marketer can successfully do their job today without having a content management system (CMS) in place. Today content management systems allow you to not only edit, optimize, schedule, track, and format content, but also create websites and email campaigns. These platforms offer a collaborative environment where multiple users can work on accounts. However, each CMS varies in terms of its strengths. Whereas one platform may be the best for web design, another may be superior when it comes to blogging.
Arguably, the two most popular CMS platforms for marketers are HubSpot and WordPress. HubSpot was started in 2006 with the intent of helping smaller businesses compete, while WordPress began in 2003 as a personal publishing system. Both have evolved over time into full-fledged content management systems, offering a host of different tools to help anyone market their business.
If you’re wondering which platform you should use, look no further. In this article, we will evaluate both platforms by taking a look at 4 main factors: customer base, ease of use, personalization, and cost.
Today, WordPress powers more than 30% of all sites on the internet according to wpbeginner.com. It’s used by some of the most notable brands, including Disney, Sony, and Microsoft. This large customer base means tech providers are likely to offer some type of integration or compatibility with the platform, meaning companies can save considerable time and frustration on tech integration when they use WordPress. Because of this, a company’s ability to be versatile is magnified with this platform.
According to a recent press release, Hubspot has 44,500+ customers in over 90 countries. This pales in comparison to WordPress’s massive ecosystem of 511,000+ active members, but it’s important to remember that HubSpot is a newer platform. However, being relatively new, HubSpot lacks the flexibility and advanced features that a more established platform provides. For this reason, HubSpot is largely still used by smaller organizations ranging from 1-10 employees per iDatalabs’ report.
Ease of use
With thousands of themes, templates, and plugins to choose from, WordPress allows anyone to easily build a website without learning code. In fact, WordPress offers more than 55,000 plugins to improve your site’s functionality according to SoftwareFindr. If you’d like to add something to your site such as complex gallery or forum, there are likely multiple plugins available for you to choose from. Find yourself stuck? Don’t worry- there are a gazillion YouTube videos at your disposal that show step-by-step how to use WordPress features.
Unlike WordPress, HubSpot has built-in tools and features so there’s no need for plugins. This limits the number of feature options a business has, but typically isn’t a problem considering HubSpot is largely used by small, enterprise companies in need of a simple site they can get up and running quickly. In addition, Hubspot offers a ton of resources in the form of blogs, ebooks, guides, reports, courses, and online groups. However, they are largely marketing-focused which can be a disadvantage if you’re looking for technical advice about design or development.
Personalization is the key to converting leads. It offers the customer something that is relevant to them, which keeps them coming back to your website. While WordPress is great for creating beautifully designed websites, you’ll need to download additional resources in order to add personalized content on your site. Depending on what you want to personalize and how you want to personalize it, you may need to do some research to find the correct plugin.
When it comes to personalization, HubSpot has “smart content” and personalization built into their websites. This allows you to deliver content to customers based on where they are in the buying process. HubSpot even allows you to add your buyer personas to a contact list where you can then assign them a “smart rule” or personalized message. HubSpot research shows that “calls-to-action that are targeted to individuals had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were generic,” thus proving targeted messages are extremely beneficial in reaching customers.
There are two options when it comes to WordPress: WordPress.com or WordPress.org. WordPress.com handles everything for you- software, hosting, and managing a web server. It includes a variety of plans you can choose from ranging from free to $25 per month. Each plan offers essential features, free themes, and design customization.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is completely free and allows you to download software so you can host your own site. However, this option requires a separate web hosting account. The advantage is it offers more flexibility because you can install your own plugins, customize backend code, and upload your own custom themes.
Since WordPress is one of the most common content management systems, there are tons of developers and designers that specialize in the platform. Because of this, the cost to hire a WordPress developer is competitive and can be pricey.
In order to create a website on HubSpot, you’ll need to purchase their CMS. It’s available as a standalone product or an add-on to the sales, marketing, or service hub. It costs $300 a month but also gives you access to all HubSpot CRM features such as contact management, email integration, and Facebook & Instagram lead ads. Unfortunately, many of the features are limited. For example, you can only create up to 5 email templates per account and view contact activity for the first 7 days after a new contact is added.
When it comes to picking a website platform, WordPress is the best in terms of design and development. It offers versatility because of its large user base and advanced functionality with thousands of available plugins. In addition, people can enjoy greater ownership of their websites by downloading the WordPress.org software. However, if you’re mainly concerned with marketing and analytics, HubSpot is definitely a frontrunner due to its built-in optimization tools and in-depth marketing data.
Need help revamping your website? Drop us a line to learn how we can help.
In today’s web-based world where business is conducted increasingly online and meetings are held either over-the-phone or behind a screen, it makes sense that companies who are looking to establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry would want to host webinars. Webinars are a great way to network with fellow professionals, all while increasing brand awareness for your company and developing your reputation as an industry expert – right from the comfort of your own office (or home).