Ask anyone how they vet a potential B2B partner or supplier and the likelihood is that it starts with a trawl around their website.
But the website user journey isn’t just designed to entice and attract new customers, it should also delight and impress existing customers.
One of the biggest oversights of B2B businesses is that they can become complacent when it comes to their website.
“It does the job just fine.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”But it’s 2020 and your buyers are more demanding than ever. In the increasingly connected world we live in, people are more impatient and less forgiving than ever before.
The questions you should be asking are:
- How can you avoid fading in to the distance?
- How can you gain competitive advantage in such a ruthless, ever-changing landscape?
It doesn't necessarily require a fully-fledged website redesign. But B2B businesses need to adopt a mindset of continuous improvement for their websites; one that helps to optimise the current website user journey, and maximise the time users are spending there.
You don’t have to simplify your brand to simplify your website. Take a back seat here - chances are you're too heavily invested to see the wood for the trees.
If you can, perhaps ask a new member of staff - or even a family member - to visit your website from a user perspective. Explain what you expect the user to be looking for and ask them to feedback on how long this takes, how complicated it was, and how enjoyable (or frustrating) the experience was.
This might be easier if you ask them to consider each element separately, such as conversion paths, language, design, and resources etc. This should help you to spot problem areas that may have become crowded or diluted over time.
Reducing the effort it takes people to get to where they need to go may seem like one of the most basic rules of website design, but the goal is to help the user to convert in as few clicks as possible.
One you've gathered feedback from external 'testers', visit your homepage for yourself. You should have a new perspective now you know what you're looking for. Now try and find out more information, book a call, download an eBook, or sign up for a demo. Whatever it is your buyer persona is trying to do, is it as simple and easy as it should be?
We can sometimes get so lost in our own websites that we know and love so well, that we end up trying to tell the user too much at once and unfortunately, lose them before they make a conversion.
2. Experiment with varied touchpoints
Everybody consumes content in a different way. So in the interest of keeping your content accessible and engaging - have you considered other ways to deliver your messaging?
With 4.5 billion active internet users, the diversity of visitors will include different languages, locations, cultures and disabilities. Presenting a variety of touchpoints enables you to deliver a more inclusive experience. And, it will increase your chance of creating more shareable content since users are more likely to share content they find engaging and useful.
3. Revisit your buyer personas
You may well have completed a buyer persona workshop already. But in 2020, your buyer personas will have developed, grown and their interests have likely changed.
Revisiting your buyer personas will allow you to dig deeper into your ideal customers. You might've taken on new employees in the time since you last created buyer personas, so it's a good idea to get everyone who works directly on the website involved in refining them.
This renewed insight into your buyer personas will help you tap into their pain points and map out their buying journey. Try and build a picture of their challenges, goals and their buyers ecosystem. Who do they report to and who is a potential barrier or block in the buying process? Does your user journey address these barriers or blocks or are you missing key opportunities?
Your buyer persona will be representative of the main goals of the website. Research their needs, habits, language preferences and linguistic choices, which will become integral elements of your website. Are you putting your buyer personas first?
4. Personalise where possible
You want my details again!?
Users shouldn't have to keep reiterating who they are, their email address and the size of their business. If they've already handed you over this information, it should be informing that individual's unique user journey.
No two users are the same or have the same requirements, and a non-personalised experience that introduces touchpoints or content that is irrelevant to their needs is one way to underwhelm your users.
Smart content is one of the most effective ways of personalising the experience, but this can be extended to chat bots, live chat functions, forms and CTAs. Users don't want to have to repeat themselves - they simply don't have the patience they had 10 years ago!
For every business, the user journey will be different. Each user has different expectations, preferences and needs. In 2020, people are more impatient, demanding and ruthless.