With client interaction in the business-to-business sphere growing increasingly digital and mobile, a website can be a company's strongest marketing tool. While Internet advertising, social media marketing and other forms of digital strategies can improve brand visibility, without a high-functioning, user-friendly website, businesses can't see these B2B marketing efforts pay off to their fullest potential.
Major brand website mistakes
A recent infographic titled, "Measuring Web Experience," created by cloud platform provider Change Sciences aimed to explain just how detrimental a poorly designed and optimized website can be. According to the graph, roughly 35 percent of people fail to carry out simple tasks on the average website. The most reasons Web users are unable to complete these activities are that websites are too busy, or have "too much going on." Other common reasons were the website not providing enough information, featuring text that is too small and not being easy to navigate. These findings suggests several ways in which brands can improve their sites. In addition to creating a user-friendly site map, it's important to develop thorough landing pages that answer visitors' questions without bombarding them with too much text.
The infographic found that the average Internet user will try accomplishing a tasks on a website for one minute before giving up. That means once users click on a business's website link on search engine result page or type it into a browser, the site has 60 seconds to convince visitors it is worth their time.
Change Sciences also found a direct correlation between website usability and visitors' trust in the Web property owner. In addition, the greater the usability of a site, the higher the conversions the brand is expected to see.
Even though the Internet has been around for more than a decade and most brands have fully functional websites, many of these sites fail to meet visitors' needs, notably on mobile devices. In fact, separate research reported on by MarketingProfs ranked Fortune 100 brands' mobile sites on a scale of 1 to 5 based on load speed, social media presence and other factors and concluded the average score was only 2.31.
Creating a better user experience
Because a strong website improves search engine optimization and has the ability to turn prospects into customers, it's important to consistently strive for a high-quality Web presence. Here are 4 tips to consider when seeking tt optimize the brand website:
- Put yourself in the user's shoes: B2B marketing professionals should keep their target audience in mind when developing and improving sites. A contributor for Search Engine Land recommended asking oneself the questions prospects have when they visit a site, such as, "What does this company do?," "What can I accomplish on this site?" and "How do I proceed from here?" Answering these questions allows brands to better tailor their site map.
- Opt for a simple, clean design: As the Change Sciences infographic suggests, Web users shy away from pages with dense content and too much of it. Instead, aim to use space and images to give readers a breather and foster a more pleasant visitor experience both on desktop and mobile devices.
- Be concise and precise: While answering users questions about the brand, products and services is vital, it's important to maintain clarity by limiting unnecessary text. Provide clear details and bold language to portray business offerings.
- Provide users with a way to connect: In addition to providing extensive contact information in an easy-to-find manner, it's a good idea to link to the brand's social media pages to encourage potential buyers to develop a relationship with the business via these networking platforms.