Top 10 Content Items For A B2B Website
Visitors to B2B websites have unique needs but need to browse through a lot of technical information to understand if your products or services are the right fit. Product specs, operating information, capabilities, and services must be presented quickly, while also communicating your company’s brand message and benefits.
Most of our manufacturing clients operate in highly-competitive markets, so it is imperative that these companies’ websites perform at their best.
Our team has worked to come up with a “Top 10” list of items an industrial or manufacturing website design and development project should include. While each company has specific needs related to their industry, this is a good starting point when thinking about refreshing your site or developing a brand-new website.
- Your Company’s Brand Promise – Be sure your website’s pages (internal pages, product pages, etc.) offer language that defines who your company is and what you are capable of. This is an opportunity to define your values in quality and customer service as well as your company culture.
- Cross Sell Products & Capabilities – Make sure all your products and services are easily reachable from the menu bar, as well as from individual product or service pages. Mention and provide a link to other relevant products and services from each page to carve a pathway for visitors to your website to follow.
- Consistent Navigation – Make it easy for users to get around the site. You want them focused on learning about your products and services, not trying to figure out how to find information.
- Track Site Activity – Sites produced by Stifel Marcin include activity tracking which allows us to monitor and analyze website performance such as how long people are on your site, how many pages an average visitor goes to, and what referral sites are driving traffic to your site. Tracking can also reveal very specific information, such as what keywords perform best, paths visitors take through your site and locations of visitors. Data can be filtered by date range, pay-per-click advertising can be tracked, and site goals can be set.
Tracking your website performance can provide valuable insights into your customers, your messaging, and the marketplace at large. Some clients prefer we handle the detailed analysis and maintenance, and opt for an ongoing website optimization plan. Besides being a great marketing tool, tracking your website performance can provide valuable insights into your customers, your messaging and the market. Some clients prefer we handle the detailed analysis and maintenance, and opt for an on-going website optimization plan that tracks performance.
- Include Downloads – Content like specifications, diagrams, instructions, and quality certificates should be included throughout your site to provide your customers with the information and education they need to self-evaluate your products and services. After viewing these files, prospective customers can then reach out to you armed with far more information, shortening your time to sale and even reducing time spent on customer support.
Additionally, pdf files (a standard file type for these downloads) include embedded text which is visible to search engines – so customers who are searching for highly-specific content may find you from your downloads.
- Highlight Certifications – It’s important to list your company’s credentials, certifications and even standards adhered to throughout your site. This will support the message of quality, reliability, and expertise in your products and services. Most importantly it will help you rank in searches where customers are looking for specific qualifications for a bid.
- Balance Technical Data with a Good User Experience – We work to develop web copy with a user-friendly balance of product info, capabilities, technical data, and brand messaging. But to effectively structure all of that information, we need to marry the web copy with a site structure and navigation that makes it easy to find and read.
Tabbed content can often be useful, allowing one page to present a lot of information, so users can quickly find specific content. Or you can build out a series of specific sub-pages, which also offer the opportunity for new keywords and search engine visibility. While flatter or shallow sites have become more popular, it is important to avoid placing a lot of information on one, very long, scrolling page which can create a bad user experience.
- Include Contact Forms – Forms provide a straightforward way for people to contact you when it is convenient for them. They allow potential customers to tell you when, how and why they want you to help them. Prospective customers also have the option to attach a file, like a CAD drawing to their form submission to enhance their inquiry.
Form submissions are considered leads and the first step in closing a sale and are a wonderful way to capture fresh interest in your business. You can collect the data that is submitted and use it in future marketing campaigns. Contact information can be used for email campaigns, and addresses can be collected for postcard mailings. The more detailed the data you collect, the more you can sort or segment your contact lists for use in highly-targeted marketing efforts.
- Differentiation vs. Secretism – We understand the importance of confidentiality and the highly specialized, proprietary work our clients conduct. Patented data and private company processes must be protected. But it’s important to identify which company information truly needs to remain secretive, while including differentiating information in your web copy. Sometimes clients are so protective of their information they strip away the specifics until the website becomes vague and generic and provides no value to prospective customers.
- No One Likes a Chatterbox– The opposite of being too secretive is the need to include every little detail about your products and services and ultimately say too much while communicating nothing of value at all. Think about what information is truly helpful and important to your customers’ consideration process.
Elements like case studies are often popular and provide a great deal of value to prospective customers. But when including case studies, it is not always necessary and may be best to exclude specific customer names in those case studies. The reason is to avoid serving your competitors with a list of customers they can work to conquest. While there may be times when listing your list of customers has a significant impact, such as demonstrating your size and reputation, our opinion is often “when in doubt – leave it out.”
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