Low-cost tips to improve your B2B Websites for the ‘new normal’
Learn how to more effectively use your website to stay afloat in the COVID19 world with these low-cost tips to improve your B2B website.
Published: 08 Oct 2020
6 minutes read
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been an… interesting year for business. A disruptive one, if you will. As a result, most marketers are fully aware that their job is set to become more difficult.
Most of us expect to have our budgets cut while targets remain the same. This means that we’ll all have to become more economical and cost-effective with the assets we already have.
Before you go any further, this blog is just a quick introduction to the problems facing websites during this testing time. It’s a quick refresher to help you improve your websites and make those marginal gains. If you’re looking for a more in-depth discussion, we’ve put together a more comprehensive guide to optimising your B2B website here.
Why is this important to talk about now?
The asset we all have, which B2B organisations have historically under-utilised, is the website.
The B2B website is very much the new battleground of B2B marketing. Businesses have already adapted pretty well, identifying more low cost/high ROI channels to help them ride out the uncertainty. There’s a clear, renewed focus around SEO to attract customers without being too pushy, while at the same time optimising content and site structures for improved conversions.
Traffic is more scarce now than ever before. Make it easier for those new faces that do hit your site to convert. Don’t give them any excuses not to.
Do your blogs and service pages have CTAs? How effective are they? Test and hypothesise. Don’t be afraid to experiment and A/B test to improve their efficacy. Implement pop-ups CTA that appear on exit intent, or after the reader has had a chance to digest the content on the page.
If ‘contact us’ doesn’t work too well then try offering something more useful to your customers:
- Pricing guides
- Tangible tools to support them
- Demo/Trial access
- A (covid-safe, non-physical) massage?
Get those on your site to stay on your site. Give them the information they need to make the decision themselves because if you don’t, they’ll go somewhere that does.
If you’d like a more in-depth look at how you can optimise your CTAs - read our guide.
“You don’t have any CTAs?”
Start there then.
More than half of marketers believe SEO is even more important than usual this year. SEO has always been hyper-competitive, and that won’t change any time soon as an increasing number of businesses focus on low-cost improvements to their websites.
The main thing to bear in mind with SEO is that it’s not a quick-fix. This is important. SEO won’t bring you immediate results, however, it will provide the foundations for solid, scalable growth. SEO should be something you are doing continually, as search engines are always evolving. Keep up to date with SEO trends using helpful resources such as Search Engine Land (where you can find the latest SEO news) and be sure that you’re always regularly analysing and optimising keywords on your site.
It’s also worth considering the wider elements which can impact your web ranking. The speed of your website plays an integral part in where search engines choose to rank your website. The easiest way to improve this is to reduce the size of images on your web pages. With the improvements in digital cameras, computer storage and processing powers, we barely consider the implications of large image sizes but the search engines do. Very rarely should you use images above 500kb and always ensure that they are web optimised.
Still at a loss on where to begin with SEO? Check out our free ultimate guide. It’s a complete handbook on everything you need to know.
Keep up with your content & messaging
Interlinked with the first two tips but important in its own right too, is the art of getting your content right.
It might be difficult to dedicate time and resources to developing new content and maintaining your blog. But be smart about it. If you already have a load of legacy content, see how you can repurpose it. Make new content offerings from it, eBooks from blogs and vice versa, infographics from stat-heavy white papers.
When you do commit resources to new content then make sure that it is relevant, timely and always informative.
Additionally, if you’ve had to adapt over the years then make sure that your messaging highlights this. If you’ve found a new USP - say moving from office space designers to COVID-secure office auditors - make sure your website explains this clearly. .
Improving customer service with bots
Going back to basics and focusing on customer service, support and trust is paramount now. However, it’s made more difficult by so many businesses struggling to provide the level of support they once did with sizeable chunks of their teams working from home.
Consider implementing chatbots on your website. I’m not here to claim that they’ll systematically handle every query a customer throws at you. We’re just not there yet. That said, a well-thought out chatbot could handle many of the questions your website faces. They can be set up with relative ease and inexpensively giving your customers rapid Q&A support.
Opting for a chatbot has the knock-on effect of freeing up the customer service resources you do have. Allowing your skeleton team to dedicate more time to complicated and important queries.
If you’re interested in discovering the true power of bots, see how Axon Garside helped the British Red Cross optimise their customer experience through the creation and implementation of a self-service bot.
In the last 6 months, more than 85,000 businesses have launched an online store and a substantial number of those have been business-to-business. B2B online purchases have increased by 24% since last year. Making nearly half (46%) of all B2B purchases made online. What I’m trying to say is that the lockdown has hastened B2B’s digital transformation.
What’s mildly concerning here is the fact that many B2C organisations are circling. They’ve always been leaders in this space and have years and years head start… with a simple, efficient eco-systems. Amazon in particular is looking at getting more and more involved in the B2B space.
If your local pub can set up an online ordering system, what excuse do you have for not adapting?
Make it easier for people to get what you’re selling!
Start from scratch?
Ok, not quite making the most of what you already have and not technically “low-cost” but is your website in a good way to adapt to the tips above?
We don’t take this suggestion likely, we know that times are tough, but if your B2B website struggles to adapt to the changes you have made as a business, then it’s going to be even more difficult to showcase that change.
Many B2B organisations, particularly in areas like manufacturing and engineering, have websites which exist as bookmarks, or brochures. A place to remind the world that the company exists but not as a marketing or selling tool. Unfortunately, a lot of these websites are secondary in the business’ thinking. Now, with this year’s disruption, a lot of these B2B websites aren’t fit-for-purpose.
If your B2B website is heavily hard-coded and you have to tag in external developers to add new pages or services, or even amend the navigation bar, it could be time to call it quits. Developing something from scratch with lead generation and flexibility at its core could well end up being cheaper in the long-term, and provide an asset to elevate your marketing and sales efforts.
In many ways, plus ça change plus c’est la même chose, these are things you should be doing all the time. They have value 100% of the time but there’s a renewed focus on them now, with budgets taking a hit and the need for cost-effective solutions can be the difference between prospering, staying afloat and folding up.
If you need further help on how to increase the lead generation capabilities of your B2B website then download our B2B lead generation checklist here.