B2b Web Design
B2b web design is not a complex thing. Quite often the process to research, design and implement a website can be completed in as little as two, three or four months. But is this correct?
To really succeed in b2b web design, you need to start with your buyer persona, not with your business service or product. Nor with the design agencies advice on current trends and styles in web design.
Whenever your business starts a design or redesign of a website, you have to really understand your persona's background and wants and needs from both a UE (User Experience) and medium perspective. This means that your approach cannot be to second-guess the UE style or platform of access (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop). But to research in advance what the requirements are for real end-users and previous/current customers if possible.
RESEARCH YOUR USER IN WEB DESIGN PROJECTS
Traditional B2b web design from an agency perspective is to look at what has succeeded best in previous projects and apply that logic to the new project. They may perform competitor analysis and gauge what’s working well for the opposition and apply that to the design. Apply a parallax scrolling page with an image slider header and add the written content and images. All very much consistent, but pretty much the same all over the web, nothing overall defining in that.
That’s a very simple breakdown of a traditional b2b web design project from a traditional web design agency perspective.
With Growth-Driven Design (GDD) at the research stage, it’s far more in-depth and complex.
GDD focuses on the user from the outset, looks at their challenges and creates solutions for those challenges. It then aligns those solutions with the business and creates features for that solution.
Traditional website design (TWD) focuses on the company from the outset. I’m not saying that TWD doesn’t consider user experience (UE) but its focus remains on what the company wants and needs. So TWD focuses on what the business wants, solutions for the business and features that deliver the solutions for the business.
Can you see, how TWD doesn’t really support or focus on the user?
GDD requires a lot of upfront non-web investigation. In addition to building out the buyer personas for the website, you need to speak to the sales team to find out what questions they get asked regularly so you build out a truer understanding of what your personas need. You can interview current and past customers and talk to them about their online experience too, or build a focus group and run sessions to discover what else users could want. Ultimately, this is a customer-centric solution in its purest form.
WEB DESIGN CAN BE SMALL
What do I mean by this? Web design can be small. It doesn’t make sense right?
The web design builds you should be working towards at this stage of your website journey is not at all complex. It won’t have the “nice to haves” and fluffy extra’s at this stage of the project, but the core converting aspects of the website.
You take the 80/20 rule and apply that to what comes out of all of your earlier research and you design a launchpad website based on the necessary, converting components.
Again that’s not to say that your nice to have won’t play a part in the longer-term ongoing development of this web design project, only if in stage one the research proves it's required.
Often we can try and be too elaborate in web design and our “extras” can prove distracting rather than adding value to our customer and this can include things like image sliders and video. There is a definite need to establish if your visitors require these images as part of their user journey and A + B split testing is the best way to find out. Apart from of course bringing users in to test.
POST DESIGN TESTING
To really generate a return on your spend on B2b web design, which often isn’t cheap, the data will be your best friend.
Continue to split test colours, content, call to action positions, use heat maps and if possible bring in strangers and video them using the website without instruction to see how they get on. The art of great web design and user experience is the ease of use for the majority of users. In your case make sure it has ease of use for all your persona types and bring those real people in for video testing.
Use the data you collate on a weekly or monthly basis to apply the logic to the launchpad website, enabling swift but data-driven growth and a greater opportunity for conversion.
WEBSITE CONVERSION OPTIMISATION
Whilst your data-driven efforts in your web design project will in no doubt pay dividends for your business, remember you need to consider the major conversion points in web design to truly succeed.
For me if you can include these points into your website experience, combining that with a data-driven approach to the continuing management and build, then you can really accelerate conversion opportunity:
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- Content Offers
- Calls to action
- Content Personalisation
- Exit Intent Offers and Sign Up
- Email/Newsletter Sign up
- Live Chat
Website conversion in B2b web design is extremely important. Whilst inbound marketing teaches us that the conversion of website traffic to Marketing Qualified Leads and then onto Sales Qualified Leads is great from a content perspective. Growth-Driven Design teaches us that in the longer term, a website built from a data proposition over a design proposition will generate as much conversion as a fully optimised inbound marketing workflow.