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 digital marketing tool designed specifically to sell your products or services to other businesses 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 make 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 the unique value proposition, build goodwill to multiple stakeholders, convert visitors, capture qualified 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 their 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 Web 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 target audience 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 looking for, and the problem they are trying to solve.

This is the only way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and add real value to their lives.

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 potential clients 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 qualified leads 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 doesn’t instantly identify the problem. You have to understand what that person is looking for and the implications behind it to 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 digital marketing, the business owner, and the current website admin. Every visitors expect and have 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. Converting visitors into paying clients. 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 particular problems their current website is giving them, such as having a poor backend user interface, not being user friendly, poor content marketing, load time is slow, or logo design is outdated. They may want a bespoke design that better expresses the company’s identity while yet maintaining consistent branding.

The point is, you have to dig into who these lead visitors are and the problems they are trying to solve to be able to effectively speak to their web design 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 entire site has evolved. This helps me understand which elements are successful and timeless as well as evaluate overall web design trends such as functional minimalism and user-friendly on all mobile devices.

Prepare to have your mind blown, but if you haven’t heard of it, there’s a fantastic free tool called the Wayback Machine which shows you what almost any website’s home page 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.

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 digital 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 proposition in a sales funnel is creating a single through-line in which all drive organic traffic is converted into quality 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 target audience, etc…

Lead Generation vs Lead Conversion

It’s worth understanding if your website is primarily to generate leads or a lead conversion optimization 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 more traffic via marketing automation or PPC (Pay Per Click) traffic, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, where you are paying money to send more qualified leads 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 strategy and their website is primarily marketing collateral 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 your target audience 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 proposition and low-risk offer to your prospect.

A great example, our web design agency Mafia Offer is a Free Custom Mockup of your new site 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 purchase 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 marketing 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 marketing 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 business-to-business websites. Within B2B we work primarily with service businesses, SaaS businesses, or industrial products with a longer sales cycle. Feel free to check out our web design portfolio to see examples of our custom web design work.

2. Free Custom Mockup

We’re so confident in our web design process that our team of web designers will custom design a 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 know if someone is good at SEO is if you can find them at the top of the Google search function 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 type the words listed on search engines 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. And yes we are one of the best and most dedicated design companies out there.

5. Our process

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

6. Great experience

We take into consideration the smooth customer journey of all our clients. 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 customer 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

Our web design company specializes in designing and developing custom WordPress websites. That’s all we do. So we’re good at it. The web design sites we design are 100% custom. We never use premade templates. Ever. And we never reuse designs. Your website project will be a fully bespoke web design tailored to your brand identity, brand message, and company’s purpose.

We will build a website that is intuitive for all your employees, solopreneurs, or salespeople to use. Making it easy for stakeholders and customers to interact with you through a website means building a platform they can understand.

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’s design. If you can update your Facebook profile, you can update this site.

Having an easy-to-use CMS that’s simple for anyone to use means you can be more efficient and save time.

B2B Web Design Agency

9. We care

This may sound corny, but we 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 customer relationships with our company’s brand. Life is short and we choose to spend that time working on web design projects that count on people we care about. Our web design agency would always want to meet customer expectations.

B2B Website Content Tips

best b2b website designer

The bottleneck in most website projects, particularly B2B website design projects, is content creation. 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 promptly. Here are some content strategy 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 home page, 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 site content frameworks to use.

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

In this framework you are answering the questions most prospective and paying customers 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 web design 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 web design 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 webs design project is focused on business and to be successful you need to partner with a web design agency 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 make a high-quality design of 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 web 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.