There are some fundamental differences between how B2B and B2C sites should look and function. Particularly because the business-to-business buyer’s journey is typically longer and more involved than the business-to-consumer buyer’s journey, and it’s more likely leading to a higher-consideration, higher-cost purchase. Beyond the standard web design best practices for professional sites—which certainly apply to B2B sites—there are some key web design best practices for B2B websites that help you capture and convert the most leads.
So, whether you’re launching a new business-to-business company or it’s just time for a redesign of your existing site, familiarize yourself with these web design best practices for B2B websites. They’ll help you shape your site if you’re building it in house, or evaluate the work of a third party that creates your site for you.
Tips for Designing a Great B2B Website
- Let visitors know right away how you make life better for them in their business. This should be the focus, rather than talking much about your business.
- Skew minimalist in your overall design and navigation. Make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly. While there are certain pages many will want to spend more time on, even then, they want answers that are easy to find and they don’t want distractions.
- Include standard jargon or technical terms in your site copy that your visitors use. While this is best avoided on B2C websites, it helps build rapport and authority for your brand on a B2B site. Speak their language.
- Stick to more professional copy and imagery on a B2B website. Many brands can get away with less formality and more playfulness on B2C sites (depending on the industry, brand personality, and target audience, of course), but the B2B audience usually expects a more formal and straightforward approach. Although this definitely doesn’t mean you should be boring.
- Speak to the interests of all the stakeholders at your audience’s organization. Remember, business decisions tend to be made by a group. You’re probably not having a one-on-one conversation like you would on a B2C site.
- Go in depth about your products or services on the corresponding web pages. Your visitors are researching their options, and they want a good view of what you offer. Save them time and effort by answering their predictable questions. While features are important to cover, don’t forget to talk about benefits too.
- Provide interactive tools that make it quick and convenient for visitors to learn what they want to learn about the processes and results of using your products or services. For example, a cost calculator is an excellent idea for many B2B sites.
- Build a Resources (or similar) page for things like case studies, white papers, recorded webinars, and other educational content. These are useful marketing materials for a B2B company, and they add considerable value to your website for its users.
- Add a chatbot feature. These are becoming more commonplace on both B2B and B2C websites, and they’re great for moving leads along their buyer’s journey. Given the usual length and complexity of the B2B buyer’s journey, this feature is extremely helpful—especially when visitors are gathering information to pass along to other decision-makers at their organization.
- Many of the calls-to-action (CTAs) on a B2B site should focus on getting visitors to contact someone at your company, whether by phone, email, or a web form. B2B purchases are usually completed off the website, much more often than B2C transactions. Aim for personal contact.
- Highlight your commitment to social or environmental responsibility, or your support of certain causes. This is one of the major web design trends in 2021, and many organizations now specifically look to work with vendors that demonstrate the same commitments they do.
- Don’t have music or videos that automatically start playing when a visitor lands on the page. Most people find this annoying in general, but it’s downright inconsiderate knowing that your visitors are probably in an office or other work environment.