In the avalanche of 2018 predictions for marketing teams, one that should be among the top is the need for B2B user experience website design. In the consumer sphere, user experience has a big headstart. On the B2B side of the equation, getting buyers to convert on the website takes much more information. It’s more likely you are going to explain a lot to get your buyers to convert into customers.
The higher and more complex the value of what you are selling, the more questions you will need to answer throughout your site. That makes information architecture essential to the success of the website, and a step in the process that demands significant attention. It’s easy to dismiss the effort by arguing that “our sales don’t take place on our website.” Marketers know that that attitude means falling behind the competition.
Give Buyers a Road Map. High-value products and services require in-depth information, including top-of-funnel messaging, mid-funnel details including video and other premium content, and bottom-funnel data sheets, pricing options and other data that will close the sale. As the buyer moves around the website, confusion about where they are and want to be will result in a frustrated visitor or is more likely to abandon your site for some other brand. There are ways to lessen the chances of a lost customer because of confusion. Here are some key best practices for a successful B2B user experience website design that will meet your team’s expectations:
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs let your visitors know exactly where they are on your website, regardless of how they got there. It’s like having GPS navigation that has a path laid out that tells them how they got there. Whether location-, attribution- or path-based, breadcrumbs are a good option.
- Page headers – Make sure that the page header is similar to the copy of the navigation items or links that have been clicked. This is a good B2B user experience website design practice that has the added benefit of being good for SEO. If the page header of the page matches what the visitor clicked on, they will be reassured of their choices.
- Highlighting selected menu options – Keep the navigation highlighted when it is clicked. It can be bolded or underlined or have some other creative way of standing out and will give the visitor instant feedback about the menu options.
- Show progress bars – A progress bar that indicates page load time will let a visitor know what’s happening if taking an action on the website, whether downloading a white paper, loading a calculator widget, or processing a form submission.
- Thank You pages – These also give strong cues about the action taken. If a visitor subscribes to a webinar, downloads a pdf, or submits a request for information, confirms the action that was just taken.
We’ll be exploring more B2B user experience website design best practices in upcoming posts.