B2B Website Design

“What you care about is the person who randomly clicks on your website and has their finger poised over the back button. You’re designing your website for the guy who is just about to leave, who’s just on the cusp of even caring about what you do.”Paul Graham - Founder, Y Combinator

This article is a definitive guide to B2B Website Design

In fact:

These are the same strategies we have used to help hundreds of our B2B clients with their website projects.

What is a B2B Website?

A Business to Business or B2B website is a marketing tool designed specifically to sell your products or services to another business online.

Obviously.

But really, it’s much more than that.

David Ogilvy, the famous ad man defined marketing as salesmanship in print. The key insight he had was that he could take a successful sales script or process and scale it across media to millions of people and dramatically impact sales.

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”David Ogilvy

A B2B website, if done properly, can take that up to 11.

Rather than just communicating a single sales message to one type of person a B2B website can speak to different users at different stages in their buying journeys and deliver value, build goodwill, capture leads, educate prospects and drive sales.

That is if you know what you’re doing.

The truth is, most B2B websites are just bland brochures that seem to want to bore prospects into doing business with them. When they could be a powerful choose-your-own-adventure guide designed to orchestrate a steady stream of new prospects and leads to our business.

Differences between B2B and B2C website

A B2B website is where one business is selling stuff to another website online. This could be anything from a SaaS company selling their CRM to a law firm or an architecture firm selling their services to a general contractor. A B2C or business to consumer website is when a business is selling a product directly to a consumer. A site like Etsy, where small business owners sell products such as clothes directly to consumers would count as a B2C website.

B2B website design

But here’s the deal.

At the end of the day, it’s not about B2B or B2C, it’s about P2P, people to people.

It’s a person who’s coming to your website and making a decision. And to have success you need to be able to identify who that person is, what they are looking for and the problem they are trying to solve.

Best Practices of a B2B Website Design

When it comes to designing a B2B website, the best practice is to start with user personas. You want to identify the specific types of people that your company works with and the problems they are trying to solve.

A lot of people get this wrong. They just rattle off job titles and think they have done the exercise.

For example, I’ll work with a client and I’ll ask them to identify the different user types coming to the website and they might say, it’s the CMO or the head of marketing and leave it at that. But that really doesn’t identify the problem. You have to understand what that person is looking for and the implications behind it to really understand.

B2B Website Design and Development

Let me give you an example from my own business.

There are three main types of people coming to my website. The head of marketing, the business owner and the current website admin. Each of those people has very different needs.

The head of marketing, for example, could be anything from the CMO to a marketing intern. This person usually just started working with the company and their first task in the position is to redesign the company website, which they hate. But their major objective is to not screw it up. Above all, they don’t want to do a bad job and they are looking to avoid messing up this first big project.

The business owner, on the other hand, is much more focused on the bottom line. They want to know how this project is going to make money. They also tend to be more competitive and concerned with what their competition is up to.

And the current website admin is mostly focused on making their life easier by solving a particular problem their current website is giving them, such as having a poor backend interface.

The point is, you really have to dig into who these people are and the problems they are trying to solve to be able to effectively speak to their needs.

One of my favorite quotes about marketing is:

“If you can describe a person’s problem better than they can to themselves, they will implicitly feel you have the solution to their problem.”- Wyatt Woodsmall

Examples of B2B Website Design –
What B2B Businesses Have Great Websites?

One of my favorite things to do is study the most successful websites on the web and see what they are doing. More than that, I like to see how their designs have evolved over time. This helps me understand which elements are successful and timeless as well as evaluate overall design trends.

Prepare to have your mind blown, but if you haven’t heard of it, there’ a fantastic free tool called the Wayback Machine which shows you what almost any website on the web looked like at any point in time in history.

Here are some of my favorite sites to review and how they have evolved over time.

Apple.com

Stripe.com

GV.com

Box.com

Airbnb.com

Uber.com

Hubspot.com

Slack.com

B2B Marketing Funnel –
The Best Marketing Strategies for Your B2B Business

The concept of the marketing funnel is that you start with a wide pool of potential customers and narrow that pool of prospects down through systematic series of steps you have all visitors go through.

The value in a funnel is creating a single through-line in which all traffic is converted into leads and sales. Then systematically tweaking each component of the system to improve the overall conversion results. This can include split testing your ad headline, your landing pages, your offers, the audience you target, etc…

Lead Generation vs Lead Conversion

It’s worth understanding if your website is primarily a lead generation or a lead conversion tool.

Let me explain.

A lead generation website is when you are using the website itself to drive cold traffic to your site and get them to take the next step in your sales process. By “cold” I mean they don’t know you and your business. This can be done via SEO (Search Engine Optimization) providing valuable content to potential customers. This article you are reading now, for example, is an SEO article. You can also drive traffic via PPC (Pay Per Click) traffic, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, where you are paying money to send people to your website, typically, a squeeze page or landing page. This is a page with an opt-in form specifically designed to capture the visitor’s name and email information.

B2B website strategy

A lead conversion website, on the other hand, is primarily for visitors coming to your site who have already heard of your business to some extent and are checking you out to learn more and make a decision if they want to take the next step. I’ve worked with many companies that go to a lot of conferences, have an outbound sales team or do a lot of word of mouth marketing and their website is primarily a tool to help convert those people who have heard of them, into a sales call.

Primary Offer vs Secondary Offer

According to Hubspot, 96% of all website visitors are not ready to make an immediate buying decision. Because of this, you need to have both a primary and secondary offer.

Primary Offer

A primary offer is your main call to action to have people contact you for more information. Typically this is something boring like “Free Consultation” or “Request Free Quote”. While this might be fine for most businesses, I love Dean Jackson’s advice of having a Mafia Offer, like in the Godfather “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Basically, a Mafia Offer is a super high value and low-risk offer to your prospect.

For example, my own Mafia Offer is a Free Custom Mockup of your new website before you sign or pay for anything. You can learn more about it here.

Secondary Offer

As mentioned above, 96% of website visitors aren’t ready to make a buying decision today. They are in what I like to call “information-gathering mode”. They won’t be ready to make a buying decision for another few months, but you want to be sure to stay in touch with them so that when they are ready, they think of you.

To do this you need a good Secondary Offer also known as a lead magnet. Typically this is some type of valuable content that you give them in exchange for their email address. This can be anything from a White Paper, a Case Study or a Cheat Sheet.

Hire a B2B website Design Expert

The visitor exchanges their email information for your lead magnet, which allows you to follow up with the visitor via email. In these email follow-ups you will be providing the prospect with more valuable information and also nudging them towards your primary offer.

Remarketing

You can also create a remarketing campaign for all website visitors who made it to your website but didn’t move forward with your primary or secondary offer.

All of these steps are part of your greater B2B marketing funnel.

B2B Website Design

How to Hire a B2B Website Design Expert

If you’re looking for help with your B2B Website Design project, you’re in the right place.

We’ve worked on hundreds of B2B website projects and here are 9 reasons to consider working with us:

1. We understand B2B web design

We’ve worked with hundreds of B2B clients and understand the unique challenges that go with designing and business to business website. Within B2B we work primarily with service businesses, SaaS business or industrial products with a longer sales cycle. Feel free to check out our portfolio to see examples of our work.

2. Free Custom Mockup

We’re so confident in our design process that we will design a custom mockup of your new website before you sign or pay for anything. There is nothing to sign and no payment information is taken. Click here to learn more.

3. We are experts at SEO

A lot of people like to talk about SEO, but frankly, they mostly don’t know what they are talking about. The only way to really know if someone is good at SEO is if you can find them at the top of Google for competitive terms. We rank #1 or at the top of page 1 for the following terms: “San Francisco Web Design”, “Hire a Web Designer”, “Website Redesign”, “Website Design Pricing”, and much more! Just ‘Google’ us and you’ll see…

San Francisco Web Design

4. Great reputation

We’re celebrating our 10th year and have over 50 five star reviews on Yelp. They like to filter our reviews, so it says something like 18 reviews but check out the ‘non-recommended’ review because they’re all legit. Moreover, we have no negative reviews on Yelp or Google Reviews or anywhere else. We take our reputation seriously and do everything we can to make our clients happy.

5. Our process

We have a tried and true process we go through with each and every website project. This insures for both quality and speed. Our process is designed to take the guesswork out of the website design and development process and relieve as much work from the client as possible. You can check out our process here.

6. Great experience

We don’t want you to just have a great website, we want you to have a great experience along the way. The experience you have with the project is the distance between your expectations and reality. That is why we constantly let you know exactly what to expect and always deliver on what we promise.

Business to Business Web Design

7. Custom WordPress design

We specialize in designing and developing custom WordPress websites. That’s all we do. So we’re really good at it. The sites we design are 100% custom. We never use premade templates. Ever. And we never reuse designs. Your website will be a fully bespoke design tailored to your business and needs.

8. Easy to use backend

A website is a lot like an iceberg, the biggest part lies beneath the surface. Like Steve Jobs who insisted on the inside of the Macintosh computer be as beautifully designed as the outside, that’s how we develop our website backends. You will need zero technical knowledge to edit and update any part of your new website. If you can update your Facebook profile, you can update this site.

B2B Web Design Agency

9. We care

This may sound corny, but we actually care. About our clients, our work and making a difference in people’s lives. It’s not just about pixels and code, it’s about people. Life is short and we choose to spend that time working on projects that count with people we care about.

B2B Website Content Tips

best b2b website designer

The bottleneck in most website projects, particularly B2B website design projects, is writing the content. The challenge is that only the client knows their business well enough to write the content. But because they are busy working in the business they don’t have the time or resources to complete the content in a timely manner. Here are some suggestions on things you can do to make the content writing process go as smoothly as possible.

Chunking

Instead of going through the content linearly first writing the copy for the homepage, the about page, services, etc.., approach it using chunks.

Start with just an outline of all the pages on the site. This is called the sitemap. Then give the pages some structure assigning top level, second level and third level pages. There are site mapping tools available for this but we’ve found the simplest solution is just using a spreadsheet.

Once you have the pages sorted out, chunk down the content on each of the individual pages using a tried a true framework.

Website Content Frameworks

I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. Others have come before you and done most of the heavy lifting so why not just start from there. I think most people get hung up about this because they want to be unique, original and clever. But save your cleverness for the ‘how’ of writing content, which is how you phase the actual text within a content framework. And stick with the tried and true for the ‘what’ which is using a content framework to begin with. With that being said, here are some of the most popular website content frameworks to use.

Who We Are, What We Do, How We Do It

In this framework you are literally answering the questions most prospective clients would have about you and your business. What’s great about this framework is that it is familiar (to the reader), gives context to your business and is super simple to execute.

b2b website builder

Problem, Agitate, Solution

This is a classic sales formula, originally popularized by Dan Kennedy. In it, you state the problem the prospect is having, then you aggravate the problem by revealing implications of the problem the prospect might not have considered, then you present the solution in the form of your business or service.

Situation, Problem, Implication, Need Pay Off

This comes from the legendary sales book SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. The word SPIN is an acronym for Situation, where you describe the prospect’s current situation, Problem, the problems being faced, Implication, the secondary consequences of their problems, and Need Pay Off, the solution/benefit to that problem. This is a great framework to use on an individual service or product page.

Overview, Features, Benefits, Call to Action

Another tried and true framework for a product or service page is to give an overview of the product or service being offered. List the features of that product or service, i.e. what does it do and what are the specifications. Then list the benefits, how do the features solve the prospect’s problems. And then offer a strong call to action to encourage visitors into taking the next steps in contacting you.

B2B Web Development

There are dozens more content frameworks to choose from, but the idea is to strategically come up with a framework at the outset of your content writing and then systematically go through all of your pages using that framework. It will save you a ton of time in the process

Conclusion

A B2B website is not a project for your neighbor’s son in college. There is a level of sophistication required that goes beyond pixels and code. The key idea is that a B2B website design project is focused on business and to be successful you need to partner with a company that has a firm grasp on B2B sales and understands user personas and longer sales cycles.

Hiring a B2B Web Design Agency

If your interest is piqued, I’d like to make you an offer you can’t refuse.

We will design a custom mockup of your new website before you sign or pay for anything. There is nothing to sign and no payment information will be taken. If you like our design for your business we can move forward working together. If not, there are no hard feelings and no other obligations. Click the button below to learn more.

PORTFOLIO

100% Custom Design. We never use pre-made template. Ever.


ND Capital

Flagship LMS

Fundamental Capital

VisionLTC

Nadel Phelan

Exstratus

Single Cell Technology

Special Technical Services

Cavallo Ventures

CloudLeaf

Next Steps


Ready to take the next steps? I’ve got good news. Unlike with other web design firms, you’ll actually get to see exactly what your new website will look like before you sign or pay for anything. Sound too good to be true? Click below to read more about our Free Mockup Offer.

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