In the modern, increasingly net-oriented business world, websites have to be much more than digital business cards! The requirements have changed fundamentally over the last 20 years with user behaviour and the associated genesis of expectations. Today, a B2B website needs its own identity and must also keep pace with developments on a technical level. If these requirements are met, the chances are more than good that the website as a marketing tool will become an effective sales support for a company.
As already indicated at the beginning, today's business behavior in the B2B area is completely different than it was a few years ago. Telephone information about sales and thus the direct receipt of concretely usable data from the potential customer is increasingly giving way to an initially anonymous search. According to a study published in 2015 by search engine leader Google, a whopping 57 percent of the information and ultimately purchasing process is already completed when the sales department is first contacted (and the trend is rising). This is clearly attributable to the ever-increasing web orientation of people and the resulting activities of companies. The search engine has long since become the first choice when it comes to finding new production resources, partners, etc. The fact that the corporate website is one of the central marketing channels is a clear sign of this.
The fact that the corporate website is one of the central marketing instruments for sales support should have been accepted by even the smallest companies by now. With regard to the facts just mentioned, it becomes even more relevant. It is no longer sufficient to present one's own services as comprehensively as possible and to give the target group the opportunity to make contact. Because, as more and more potential customers start their search on the web, the competition in this area is naturally increasing all the time, as it were.
Depending on the industry, visitors to your website sometimes expect very special features that they know from your competitors. For example, in the area of providing web hosting services, this may be the availability of a live chat. The more widespread web research is in a business field, the more attention should be paid to such "standards" and, at best, to optimizing them. Put simply, it is important to always keep an eye on the competition and preferably always be one step ahead of them.
In this respect, the website as a marketing tool must consciously become a central means of the sales strategy. Here it is absolutely important not only to register this theoretically and/or to recognize the website on its own as a sales support, but to integrate it just as practically without restriction into corresponding processes.
The great difficulty is not only finding suitable measures, but also the speed with which they have to work. Potential B2B customers are generally looking for useful information first. Accordingly, the advantages of the company presenting itself should of course be presented as comprehensively as possible and also in a well-structured manner. The second prerequisite mentioned is already an indication that it is not sufficient to simply disclose data. Because the conclusion and new customer production function only with an all around coherent package. The quality of the information must be complemented by the creation of an impeccable user experience and - quite fundamentally - the transport of the right image.
Most potential B2B customers do not have the time to get involved with more complex information structures. On the other hand, content that is too simply implemented or layouts that encapsulate it are often not convincing enough. The quality check usually takes place within milliseconds and, moreover, sometimes completely unconsciously. Afterwards, either more detailed research is carried out on the active web page and, at best, further areas of the website are accessed and finally contact is made, or a jump to one of the - perhaps numerous - competitors follows.
To avoid the latter, one should start at the bottom. For example, strongly promotional language is rather a hindrance for the acquisition of new customers today. Most visitors to a B2B website know such phrases inside out. They often react annoyed to such clumsy sales strategies. In the meantime, it is actually often better to work less according to the marketing textbook, but to choose a personal and tangible presentation. Limiting yourself to what is really essential and still - at best - creating unique selling points is the art here. For maximum success, the website and the company must become an identity that clearly distinguishes itself from the bulk of the competition.
Thereby the User Experience is an important factor for success. The more comfortable visitors feel, the greater the chance that a website will actually function as a concrete marketing tool to support sales. Because only with an overall user-friendly orientation will those visitors ultimately make contact with the sales department.
This can even be forced to a certain extent with the help of lead generation techniques. With these, the focus is not primarily on the contact, but the "simple" query of contact data. In order to be able to obtain corresponding information, unique content, such as software demos, white papers or study results, must be made available, which are worth visitors revealing their data. Once the information has been successfully retrieved, it can be used effectively for further measures to acquire new customers, even without a specific request and a description of an individual concern, so that a sales support occurs.
Keeping up with technical developments is absolutely necessary so that a company website can also serve as a marketing tool for acquiring new customers in the long term. Above all, attention should be paid here to the security of the Internet presence itself as well as the data of customers and the maintenance or expandability of the site.
The theft or accidental publication of user data is an absolute nightmare scenario for website operators. Unfortunately, such cases actually occur quite frequently - and so website visitors also usually look very closely at appropriate security precautions. Since potential customers do not want to put themselves in danger under any circumstances, the view in the professional environment is even particularly strict. If the expectations regarding security and seriousness can obviously not be fulfilled, the user experience, which is so important for the sales strategy, suffers, which ultimately means that the probability of a deal is significantly lower. Furthermore, the reputation of the entire brand is automatically weakened.
Today it should be absolutely SSL Certificate certificate should be available. This shows potential customers that information is never sent unencrypted and therefore cannot be intercepted by third parties. If such encryption is not present, visitors will see this in the browser with a note such as "No secure connection" or similar. This is of course extremely harmful if your website is used as a marketing tool for sales support and accordingly user data is to be generated via it and/or direct contacts are to be initiated.
Content management systems with their modular structure are practically indispensable today in order to keep up with the developments on the web - especially if there is no web developer in the house. These offer a comparatively simple implementation of individual layouts and/or special content features with which the sales strategy or the acquisition of new customers on the web can be advanced very effectively. This will also be the case in the future due to the immense market strength of individual systems and the associated constant further development.
If a website is not found, it can obviously not serve as a marketing tool to support sales. But also through a rather neglected or improperly performed SEO, a lot of potential is usually wasted. Search engine optimization is therefore extremely important when it comes to the best possible integration of a website into the sales strategy. Basically, it can be divided into three areas, which include different ranking factors. These are in detail the technical SEO as well as on-page and off-page measures. Technical SEO includes all ranking-related adjustments that are not made directly to the content. Mobile optimization, the structure of the code and the loading times are very central here. Since websites in the B2B sector are nowadays mainly accessed by potential customers from mobile devices, they should of course function smoothly on all devices. In order to achieve the best possible ranking, they must be designed in such a way that they offer good loading times even on weaker devices or with lower bandwidths. Furthermore, it is important to pay attention to clean code and structured data, because Google and Co. can then read and evaluate them more easily. All of these are of course not only important prerequisites for a profitable position in the search engine rankings, but also for a good - and ultimately often leading to a conclusion - user experience. This is evaluated by Google and Co. among other things via the dwell time also as a whole.
Content is still at the heart of on-page SEO. This should absolutely be unique, have a certain scope depending on the function and offer the user real added value. Copied content not only hurts the ranking, but also makes a company untrustworthy when discovered by users. Furthermore, it is imperative to speak the same language as potential customers. Keywords that those are likely to use are always preferable to complex, perhaps less familiar technical terms. If your visitor does not find what he expects on a page reached by a search engine, there is a risk that he will drop out - which is very detrimental to the ranking if it occurs en masse. It is therefore smart to always link to further and/or alternative potentially interesting content.
Off-page SEO usually follows when all other measures have been successfully implemented. It takes place practically off the website. Here, it is primarily a matter of obtaining backlinks from other web presences with similar topics and/or industries. In addition, the placement of paid advertisements and (to a certain extent) social media activities fall into this area. Of course, such measures can also be implemented specifically to support sales - for example, by placing an ad that explicitly refers to a document through which leads are to be generated.
- How does your website compare to your strongest competitors? We would be happy to conduct a free TYPO3 upgrade check for you and define a success-oriented target alignment together with you.
- In this context, we will advise you with our extensive know-how on the topics of user experience and user guidance on your website and help you to deliver an optimal experience to your customers.
- Our experienced web developers will be happy to implement your individual wishes - be it the development of extensions, responsive websites, apps orinterface connections.
- Need a new website? No problem. Together we will find the right content management system for you and start from scratch.
- Our support team is always available for technical and editorial support as well as regular training.
For a successful and comprehensive online strategy, we are also happy to advise you on the following topics: