Prospective buyers visit your website to find crucial information that can help them determine whether your solution is what they need. This is why your website needs a finely tuned user experience (UX) – something which many B2B companies completely disregard or let fall through the cracks.
Your website is a buyer enablement tool. PERIOD. It exists for the buyer’s sake. Not for you to brag about all your awards or as a dumping ground for all your information. Unfortunately, this is the state of most B2B websites today. Copy-bloated websites with poor navigation and illogical flow communicate to your prospect, ‘Here’s everything we’ve got. It’s up to you to figure out how to navigate and find what you need.’ I call this the COSTCO approach. The buyer walks into a warehouse, and they must figure it out from there. This is a terrible strategy for B2B. We need to be like Nordstroms, where the buyer is greeted at the door and held by the hand to ensure they get what they need and answers to their questions.
It boils down to B2B companies incorrectly viewing their visitors as companies rather than humans. Remember, it’s still a person navigating your site, interacting with content, and consuming the words on the screen – and if you want to close the deal, you’ll need to treat them that way.
Websites with poor UX are doomed to underperform and risk damaging the business and company brand over the long run. On the other hand, good UX on a website leads to better conversion rates, more traffic generated, and happier customers. The most successful B2B companies take their website UX seriously.
In this article, we’ll explore the 7 tips to improve the UX of your B2B website to attract more prospects, generate more conversions, and grow sales.
What is Website User Experience (UX), and Why Is It Important for B2B Companies?
Website user experience (UX) refers to what people experience when navigating and interacting with a company’s website. At its very core, UX is about people. It encompasses all aspects of an individual’s experience while on your website, including everything they see, hear, and their emotional reactions. Many factors influence the UX, such as copy, navigation, usability, usefulness, credibility, desirability, accessibility, and value. These elements make your website easy to use and appealing to consumers.
Why Do B2B Websites Have Poor UX?
There are a few common causes of poor website UX. These are:
Your website is a glorified brochure.
Even though the website looks modern, it still provides the same experience as one circa 1999 or 2000 – where marketers have just regurgitated all information related to their business onto their website.
This is not what buyers want. They are looking at your website to help them make an informed purchase decision and guide them on what to do next:
- Help them understand and identify the problem they have, and provide them with your point of voice on how to solve their problem; the solutions you offer to solve it.
- Give them useful information and helpful tools, resources, and guides that answer their questions and guide them down the right path, and access to more support when they are ready for it.
- Do the above in a way that they like and enjoy. Provide this information on channels, platforms, and devices they prefer in a way that’s easy to navigate.
Being the hero and not the guide
Most B2B website content is self-centered. These websites are dedicated to bragging about how great the business is, how better they are than the competition, and how lucky the prospect is to have found them. This will not resonate with buyers. End-users don’t care about how great a B2B company thinks they are – they want to know you can benefit them and add value to their business.
Instead of B2B establishing themselves as the hero of the story, they need to act as the guide to the hero (the buyer). Customers don’t need a hero – they need someone to help them be the hero.
No emphasis on the solutions provided to customers’ problems
Most B2B websites promote their products or services, but they are rarely positioned as the much-needed solution to the user’s problem. They are screaming to the world, ‘I have aspirin!’ but never stop to ask, ‘Do you have a headache? If so, I can make your pain go away.’
B2B websites usually fail to emphasize and acknowledge the problems their buyers are facing and, as a result, miss the opportunity to draw the link back to their product or service as the solution – which is ironic since the reason B2B companies exist in the first place is to solve problems for their customers.
Forgetting that Website UX is part of an overall user experience that includes all touchpoints before, during, and after they visit the website
User experience stretches beyond websites and usually begins long before visiting your site. This could be on a podcast they listened to or a social media post that landed on their feed – it could be virtually any content you put out into the world the buyer interacts with.
The first time a buyer interacts with your brand, that’s when the user experience starts. And it also doesn’t end after they visit your website either. Emails, phone calls, and newsletters are just a few ways that the user experience continues after buyers leave your website.
Every interaction a buyer has with your brand needs to be a pleasant experience – and these interactions need to work together, cohesively.
7 Tips for Improving Your B2B Website’s UX
Take matters into your own hands and start improving the UX on your B2B website with these tips:
Tip 1: Remove or reduce unnecessary copy, jargon, and acronyms
B2B marketers must get better at talking about what they do and what they offer using fewer words and less jargon. Nobody ever read a web page and wished it was longer or included more words. We owe it to our readers to be clear and concise. Cut copy. Cut jargon. Cut acronyms. Words like innovative, compelling, core competencies, bleeding/leading/cutting edge, best-in-class/breed, functionality, holistic, maximize, push the envelope, synergy/synergistic, and on and on and on we could go. 50% of your website’s copy can be removed, especially on landing pages, the homepage, and the About Us page.
Tip 2: Position your business as the solution to the problem
B2B marketers need to convert their knowledge of their product or service into useful copy that sets them as the most viable solution to customer problems. It’s about showing buyers the benefits and value they’ll receive if they opt to use your product or service. “If you have a headache, I can make the pain go away with this product we call aspirin.” Make the argument that by choosing your company over the alternatives, their businesses will thrive, and their lives will improve.
Tip 3: Reverse engineer and optimize the buying process
Traditionally, the buying process begins with prospects not knowing your company exists and ends with happy customers who have bought your offerings. However, if you want to know how to effectively position your company as the bridge between buyers’ problems and your solutions, then you’ll reverse engineer the buying process.
Start by detailing what a happy customer would look like for your company, and then work backward to somebody who doesn’t know you exist. By engaging in this process, you’ll identify and define all the steps that the buyer needs to take to overcome their problem with your solution.
This process focuses on the next logical step that an individual would take from one stage in their journey to the next. After defining each stage, you can determine what information your buyers need to move from one to the next by asking yourself the following questions.
- How can we make this stage easier?
- How can we make this stage worth it?
- How can we make this stage move faster?
- How can we surprise and delight the buyer in this stage?
The answers to these questions are pure gold! Take the answers, review your website, and make sure you give your buyers what they want and need.
Tip 4: Only gate content that shows intent
B2B marketers often gate content to generate leads. However, if the content does not provide value to the consumer, it could actually end up hurting your business. Whether an eBook, newsletter or another piece of content should only be gated if you need people’s information to deliver value. Other than that, it should be ungated.
Statistics show that the average conversion rate on gated B2B content is only between 3-and 5%. This means that 95-97% of the prospects who would love to see that gated content won’t because they don’t want to fill out the form.
Don’t hold your content hostage; make it available to everyone. The more eyeballs on your content, the more demand and leads you’ll generate. Creating content should be to have as many people consume it as possible.
Tip 5: Address questions and objections
Businesses hate spending money – it’s a cold, hard fact. As a result, they’ll be visiting your website, already brimming with biases, objections, doubts, and questions. The job of the B2B marketer then becomes to address these questions and concerns that are holding prospects back from making a purchase.
Take the time to figure out these questions, objections, and doubts that may be flowing through your prospect’s mind and use your website to combat them. Addressing them vs. hiding them as part of the buyer’s journey will make it easier for prospects to evaluate your product or service fairly.
Tip 6: Talk to your niche
You can’t be everything to everyone – so don’t try to be. Your product or service won’t suit every business in every industry. Tailor your website to speak directly to your ideal target audience.
Take the time to fully understand your ideal customers and create a copy that talks to and resonates with them. Hone in on your niche and make sure that you’re communicating to them in a language that makes sense and is easy to digest.
Remember, if you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to nobody.
Provide your customers with a plan moving forward
Lastly, you’ll want to provide prospects with a clear path forward. We refer to this as our Three Step Plan, and it looks like this:
Step 1: Your primary call to action
Step 2: What you will do to help them
Step 3: What life will be like once you have helped
B2B Website User Experience (UX) Key Takeaways:
Optimizing your website user experience should be a part of your B2B digital marketing plan. Now it’s time to go out there and improve your B2B website’s user experience.
Here’s a summary of the key considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when doing so:
- Your website should act as a buyer enablement platform, not a brochure.
- The customer is the hero, and your company is the guide.
- UX begins long before and continues long after prospects visit your website.
- Cut copy. Cut jargon. Cut acronyms.
- Make sure your website positions your business as the solution to the buyer’s problems.
- Take the time to fully get to know your ideal customers and what they need.
- Optimize the user experience by ensuring that each step of the buyer’s journey is efficient and pleasant.
- Only gate content when necessary.
- Use your website to address any concerns, questions, and doubts your buyer may have.
- Don’t try to be everything to everyone – talk directly to your niche in a language they understand.
- Provide your prospects with a clear plan forward in the buyer journey.
How Can We Help?
Check out our UX Checklist Guide. I can help you get more conversions from your website by identifying the areas that need to change.
Let us know If you need more hands-on help. Vende Digital is the digital partner for B2B Marketers. We help B2B companies grow their pipeline with more leads.
Our services are built upon a proven framework designed to take targeted prospects unfamiliar with your company and turn them into sales opportunities. We believe that every B2B marketing leader should have a digital strategy and trusted partner that can deliver leads consistently – let us be that for you.
If you have any further queries or questions, do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary discovery meeting with our team. We’ll take the time to learn about your business and give you an action plan to achieve your goals.