Most B2B websites on the internet will never generate any traffic or new clients – making it nothing more than a digital business card.
In order to transform your existing website into a client-generating sales machine, or for building a new successful website, you need to follow the essential best practices of website structure, copywriting and on-page SEO.
A strong B2B website will be your absolute game changer, attracting visitors and generating leads for you, day-by-day. And in this guide, we’ll show you how it’s done!
The first step is to make sure your website focuses on mastering the top 5 essential elements. Without these elements, your website will probably never be successful.
Anything on top of those 5 elements will only delude your website’s clarity, bloating it up and decreasing its performance. Less is definitely more when it comes to successful B2B websites.
What Is B2B Web Design and Why Is It Important to Follow Best Practices?
Successful B2B websites should attract new clients, describe your products and services in an easy to understand why and make it clear why you are exactly who people have been looking for. The overall goal is usually to generate inquiries that can be converted into customers or clients. This all sounds logical and makes sense, right?
But still, very often business owners create websites without following a clear strategy and without even knowing how to attract visitors and convert them into clients. Without a plan, you will end up designing the website the way you think it just looks “nice” or “good”. But does your personal taste really matter?
Or is it more important to create a website that actually provides information that potential clients are interested in and which helps them decide whether they will reach out to you? If you want your website to generate traffic and clients, it needs to follow best practice rules.
If done properly, your website will rank high on Google, generate organic visitors who really read your service descriptions and About page and will eventually reach out to you.
Element 1 - The Home Page, Containing Links and a Very Clear Structure
The Home Page of any B2B website should be an overview of all other sub-pages and provide a quick introduction to what you offer and who you are.
The headline should help new visitors understand what you do and how you could help them – within a second! Besides that, the Home page should link to other important sub-pages: Services, About, Blog and Contact.
These are also the most important endpoint links to be included within your navigation menu bar.
The most important elements to be included on your Home page are:
- Banner with Headline and Sub-Headline – Any website should start with a wide banner containing a main headline and a sub headline. The headlines should briefly describe what you do and how you help your clients achieve their goal.
- Link to Your About Page – The first section should be a link to your About page. Finding out more about the people behind a company is one of the main reasons why people visit a website in the first place.
- Link to Your Service Pages – Service pages are like the menu in a restaurant. Without them it will be hard for any prospect to understand what you actually offer and decide whether they are interested in working with you.
- Link to Your Blog – On the bottom of your home page you should provide a preview of recent blog posts, showing that you regularly update your website’s content and it is “alive”.
- Call to Action – The website’s footer is a great place to place a call to action (CTA), for example a free strategy session or a personal demo call. The CTA should provide value for your clients right away.
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As mentioned before, the Home page is a summary of your website’s content, linking to all sub-pages.
Most views of your Home page will be through people who have already heard from you before or from people who came to your website through a blog post. The Home page of a website usually does not bring in much organic traffic.
Element 2 - Service or Product Pages to Describe What You Offer & The Benefits
This might sound obvious but the most important pages for any business website trying to sell products or services are the actual service-description pages, just like the menu card in a restaurant.
A business software provider offering CRM, ERP and accounting software for example should create 3 separate pages to describe their solutions separately.
Every service page should contain a text block with at least 500 to 1200 words describing:
- What It Is You Actually Offer – A single-service page should start with a banner containing a short description of a service, just like your Home page. For a CRM software, the title could be something like “CRM Software Solutions for Small Businesses” with a sub-heading further clarifying what the service is. The main part of a service description page should be a full description of what your service includes, like the technical specification of a product page.
- Why Your Service Is a Great Choice – The second component of a service description is naming the benefits a client will have when working with you. Which problem does your solution solve for them? And why should they pick you?
- How to Get Started & Call to Action – The end of any service description page should be a clear call to action, ideally a free strategy call or personal demo.
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Element 3 - About Page: Why Should People Buy From You Anyways?
The About page is one of the most important sub-pages of service provider websites. After all, people buy from people, so they want to find out more about who’s behind the company, if they like them and if they can really help them.
One common mistake is to actually talk about yourself and your team members, writing about their hobbies and what food they like. That is not really what B2B clients are interested in. All they want to find out is, if the people behind a business are the right fit for them to work with. That’s why the About page should focus on:
- Your Business Mission & the Problem You Solve – We developed a standardized formula to make the process of creating the About page less complicated. Your mission and your story are naturally derived from the initial problem that you saw in your industry and that you took as an opportunity. An example: You started to offer personalized CRM software consultation because you experienced a need for this service that you can solve in a better way than the competitors.
- Why You Are Experts at What You Do – After telling the story about the problem that you discovered within your industry and describing how your service solves that problem better than existing services, it’s time to further describe what makes you an expert, for example your experience and passion for that topic.
- Benefits of Working With You & Call to Action – End your About story with a clear call to action and let your potential clients know why they should take action now.
- Optional But Recommended: Showing Your Faces – Often times, business owners don’t want to show their faces or think they don’t look good enough (we’ve heard all the excuses). But one thing is for sure: Clients prefer to see faces on an About page – because at the end of the day, people buy from people.
Element 4 - The Blog Is The Heart of Your Website - Generating Organic Visitors
The points we’ve described so far are all elements of your static website. These elements usually stay the same. They are the foundation of your website and provide all the information that is necessary to convert a new website visitor and stranger to you and your business into a lead.
But in order to get traffic to your website, ideally through Google search results, the blog is where the real magic happens. The blog is an archive of single blog post, containing industry news and guides that people will find through organic search.
We highly recommend to read our comprehensive B2B content marketing & SEO guide where you’ll see how to get new clients organically – step by step.
The main difference between content marketing & SEO and Google Search Ads traffic is the sustainability and brand-growth over time.
Not having a blog on your website and not using the opportunity to generate your own, sustainable stream of inbound leads, is a huge mistake.
As you can see above, content marketing will lead to compounding results while Google Ads are more of a tool for expensive short term success. You can read more about this topic in our B2B lead generation guide.
Element 5 - A Proper Contact Form & Clear Call-to-Actions
Every sub-page of your website should contain a clear call to action, at least within the website’s footer, so your visitors always know what’s the next step to take. If you tell them to use the contact form to reach out, you should also tell them what’s in for them. Some of the best CTAs for B2B websites are:
- Free Consultation/Strategy Session – Provide a free strategy session with your team that can be booked on a Calendly calendar page. You can find out more about Calendly and which other important tools we recommend to use on our digital tools for small business guide. A strategy session is usually a 1 on 1 call for 30 to 60 minutes where you will discuss your client’s current situation and desired situation free of charge, providing value and analyzing if you both fit together well.
- Free Personal Software or Product Demo – For SaaS businesses or software providers, a personal demo is a great tool. Clients love to get introduced to a new solution personally because it’s much more convenient. You on the other hand can use this opportunity to offer a small discount to close the deal right away.
- Free Product Sample – For manufacturers for marketing materials or packaging solutions for example, you can offer to send a free sample, building trust upfront.
Provide a Simple Contact Form to Increase Inquiries
The contact form should be very easy to fill out. Reduce friction to prevent new clients cancelling close to this important step of becoming a new lead!
We hate to say it but we’ve already seen websites with contact forms that did not work properly – basically ruining all other marketing efforts of the website. So please, test your contact form thoroughly, on the desktop version and from a mobile device. Make sure it’s easy to use and looks appealing.
Classic fields to include are the first name, last name, company name, email address, phone number and a field for the a personal message.
If you are dealing with a high amount of low quality inquiries, we recommend adding additional fields, for example asking about the current situation and the issues your client needs to get solved.
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Conclusion on B2B Website Design - Don't Get Distracted & Focus on the Essentials
In this guide we’ve covered the top 5 elements that any B2B websites should contain. And we have to say it again – focus on these 5 elements (Home, Services, About, Blog and Contact page), master them and do not add anything else.
Focussing on the essentials is what will make your website successful. It’s about mastering the basics. Adding fancy animations and shiny objects will only distract your clients away from the things that really matter.
Getting distracted is a result of not knowing what really matters – and this will eventually make you end up in a never ending, energy consuming circle of wasting your time. Follow our proven process to get ahead of your competition and finally start your content marketing & SEO measures to help you become an authority within your industry. If you want to accelerate your success, reach out via the contact form or schedule a free strategy session. We are looking forward to hearing from you!