01 Oct 2018

9 Mistakes People Make When Designing a B2B Website

Avoid these 9 common B2B website design mistakes

B2B website design can be an overwhelming process with many different aspects and elements that you need to consider in order to do your new website justice. Of course, not every redesign project runs smoothly and that’s because people tend to make some very common mistakes that drastically affect the end result of the project. This is largely down to focusing only on creating a website that looks great. However, your website needs to not only look good, but it needs to work for you in attracting and converting leads and visitors successfully. We’ve put together a list of nine mistakes people make when designing a B2B website that you can avoid and they include:

  1. Poor page loading speeds
  2. Ignoring UX
  3. Inconsistency
  4. Not being buyer-centric
  5. Forgetting your old metadata, redirects and links
  6. Not optimising your website for different devices or browsers
  7. Not having your blog on your website
  8. No clear conversion paths
  9. Not regularly updating your website post-go-live

Mistake #1: Poor page loading speeds

These days, page loading speeds are undeniably important for any B2B website. However, when it comes to website redesign projects, thinking about page speeds is often forgotten about. Instead, B2B companies tend to concentrate on wanting complicated, eye-catching designs that could impact the speed of their website.

First impressions matter, and if your website pages don’t load quickly enough, it could put off potential prospects and drive them to your competitor’s site. Page loading speeds are one of Google’s ranking signals, so it’s imperative that you check and test every aspect of your website to see how the loading speeds could be improved. For example, if the images you’re using are too large, they could be impacting speed, so use smaller images with a reduced file size.

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Mistake #2: Ignoring UX

Not taking into account a user’s experience with your website can cause issues. For one, if your website’s layout hasn’t been designed with your buyer in mind - it will feel confusing and won’t resonate with their pains or challenges. Instead, keep things simple and consistent across your site and ensure that the UX feels personalised and try not to use too much jargon.

Ignoring the UX could mean your buyers will just bounce off your website (which isn’t good for rankings) and go to another where it’s easier for them to find the information they need.

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Mistake #3: Inconsistency

Having inconsistency between pages can confuse visitors and lose trust. This can be something as small as visual elements, the tone of voice and messaging and other elements on your pages that aren’t quite aligned. All it takes is mere seconds for a visitor to make a snap decision about your website and if they don’t like what they see or become frustrated because they keep tripping up over inconsistencies, they’ll leave and likely never come back.

Your website redesign can offer a good opportunity to oversee all design aspects of every page. During the wireframing phase, you can ensure that all your branding, user journey, content and other elements are consistent and follow this right through to the design and development phases to ensure nothing is missed.

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Free Download: B2B website project checklist


Mistake #4: Not being buyer-centric

Ultimately, your website isn’t about you or your products or services - it’s about your buyers. Your website should continuously be reflecting this throughout. The goal of your website is to help your buyers solve their pains and challenges, and you’ll show them exactly how you can do that. Through the use of personalised, contextual messages you can offer helpful, useful and friendly advice to help them accomplish what they need.

Forgetting your buyers can have a huge effect on the performance of your website, and if your buyers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ve already gone to your competitor. So when you’re designing your B2B website, steer clear of the old product-centric ways of selling and remember to focus on your buyers.

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Mistake #5: Forgetting your old metadata, redirects and links

No doubt your old website will have already been gaining traffic and you may have even gotten some great organic rankings in search engines like Google. However, one incredibly costly mistake you could make is forgetting about all this metadata you’ve accrued when your new website project gets underway.

Building up your rankings in Google takes time and effort and it’s not something you want to be starting from scratch again if you can help it. To avoid this mishap, you need to remember to copy over all your existing metadata (including H1 tags, meta descriptions, title tags, alt text etc.) from your old website to your new one before you go live.

Other things you need to consider is to ensure you set-up all your redirects from your old website to your new website - these are called 301 redirects. If you don’t set these up correctly, you could be faced with a situation where visitors may visit your old website link only for it to be broken - resulting in a potential loss of business.

Finally, you should remember that your new website is a chance to create a better experience for visitors, so you need to check all your links, both internal and external to ensure that they still go to the right pages or the links aren’t broken. If they are broken, make sure to either update or remove them as soon as possible.

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Mistake #6: Not optimising your website for different devices and browsers

We’re now living in a mobile-first world, so if you haven’t optimised your website for different devices before, then you need to consider doing it as soon as possible. Mobile-search has far surpassed desktop search in today’s world where information is right at your fingertips as and when you want it. If a prospect visits your website on a smartphone or a tablet, and it hasn’t been optimised, they’ll bounce straight off. Even if you’ve provided exactly the kind of information they’ve been looking for, it won’t matter.

If you’re not sure where to start with mobile optimisation, take a look at the following guides from Google:

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Mobile Usability Report

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Mistake#7: Not having your blog on your website

“Should our blog be on our website?” While it sounds like an odd question, it’s actually quite a common we get asked and it hints that the company does not have their blog currently on their website. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Your blog content is one of the driving forces behind attracting visitors - so it should absolutely be part of your website.

If someone has found your blog through social media or in the search engine rankings, they’re already one step closer to converting because they’re already on your website.

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Mistake #8: No clear conversion paths

If a prospect comes onto your website, you’ve achieved the first stage of attracting them there. Now you need to be able to keep that visitor on your website in order to convert them into a sales-ready lead. However, this is where many B2B companies stumble and many ask us, “Where did we go wrong?”

When we look at their current websites, more often than not, it’s because there are no clear conversion paths to guide a visitor into becoming a sale. This leaves visitors to your website lost, confused and eventually frustrated to the point where they exit and go elsewhere.

Ensure your B2B website includes:

  • Clear call-to-actions to entice visitors to download an interesting content offer
  • Landing pages that are informative and promote the benefits of the download
  • A form to capture a visitor’s information in exchange for the offer and convert them into a lead
  • Thank you pages that provide the promised offer and guides the lead into the next stage of the buyer’s journey and helps to create further engagement

Providing clear conversion paths for your visitors means you’ll get getting them to take action and engage with your website - whether that’s through a blog subscription, signing up for a webinar or downloading a guide. If you offer useful, helpful information that is personalised to helping solve the pains and challenges of your visitors, you’ll increase your conversion rates.

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Mistake #9: Not regularly updating your website post-go-live

Not updating regularly post-go-live - not providing fresh content such as regularly blogging and even letting your website go stale can impact your lead generation and nurturing efforts. If a prospect visited your website and saw content that was out of date, it would certainly leave a bad impression.

Your website project is a continuous process and should be growing and evolving on a regular basis to keep up with consumer habits, market-changing shifts and technology.

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Conclusion

If you’re on a journey to redesign your B2B website, make sure you keep in mind these nine mistakes so that you can be sure to avoid them and help your website project run as smoothly as possible. Missing just one of these could have disastrous effects on your new website, could hinder your launch date and it could take longer to implement fixes and end up costing your business.

Still unsure that you’ve thought of everything you need for your B2B website? Why not download our free website project checklist? You can use it to determine whether you’ve considered all aspects of your B2B redesign project and make sure you don’t miss anything vital.

Download Website Project Checklist

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Topics: Website Design

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