There are a lot of good quality B2B websites. Yet there’s always room for improvement.

Having a website that is focused on your reader – your prospects and clients – is what I believe is most important.

And although images (especially scrolling images with copy a visitor seldom has time to read) are all the rage these days … don’t forget to include reader-centric copy. Copy that expresses how the web visitor will benefit from your products or services.

Today I’ve chosen a couple of B2B website home pages as examples. With each site I’ll point out a few tweaks I would make so they’re more reader-centric.¹

Harkins Builders

B2B web example - Harkins

1. I like how the cities – the region – they serve is identified right below their logo. Specifying the geographic area is important to prospects looking for a construction firm.

2. What I don’t see is anything that immediately – within a couple seconds – tells me what market they serve. By that I mean the type of construction projects. By spending more time on the site and visiting multiple pages I’ve learned that their specialty is multi-dwelling housing such as apartment buildings.  I would add a statement or two above the scrolling images citing their specialty as well as other markets. Don’t make your visitors click and click, or guess.

3. The other big gaping hole is why I should choose Harkins over any other builder. What is their USP? They strive to achieve this with the testimonials within the scrolling images. However, these are very hard to read because of the reverse font (i.e., white text on a red background). Again, along with the statement clarifying the markets they serve, I recommend adding a statement or two about their USP.

Tramfloc, Inc.

B2B web example - Tramfloc

1. Their name doesn’t give a clue as to what they do (that’s not a criticism). Therefore I think it’s important to have a tagline or slogan in the header that states this vital information. They could also say whether they serve only the USA, or also other countries.

2. This text is right below the water image:

Tramfloc, Inc. Industrial and Mining Chemicals for Wastewater Treatment | We also provide polymer feeding systems, emulsion breakers, super absorbent polymers, metal remediation, dechlorination and defoaming chemicals.

It’s good there’s a statement about what Tramfloc does. However I consider the image to be a tremendous waste of priceless real estate on the site. Instead put this critical information within the image since it is such a simple one and the text won’t get lost within the pool of water.

The text also needs to be edited so it’s reader-centric. Don’t write about Tramfloc. Write about the prospect or client and how Tramfloc products benefit them. It’s not about you. It’s about your readers.

3. Again, make this copy reader-centric. Here’s what is on the site: “Tramfloc offers the broadest possible line of polymeric formulations to separate suspended solids and liquids in a wide variety of industries and applications. Tramfloc polymers are designed to improve the efficiency of your process water, raw water, wastewater, and potable…

One simple change to make it more reader-centric is this: Improve the efficiency of your process water, raw water, wastewater, and potable water treatment system with Tramfloc polymers. With the broadest possible line…

With regard to websites in general, another pet peeve of mine is the rampant use of gray font.

Folks, nothing is easier to read than black text on a white background. Don’t sacrifice readability for what a designer thinks is “pretty.” Because you pay for that loss in readability in your bank account. Stay as close to black on white as possible. You can use a few other colors as attention grabbers for key calls-to-action, or possibly your headlines and subheads.

Finally, when designing or updating your B2B website, always keep in mind its primary purpose. Now this can vary from company to company, but the purpose is probably to capture leads, make sales, or something equally significant.

This is why it’s paramount for your website to be focused on the needs of your visitors (i.e., your prospects and clients). What’s in it for them? What do they want to know? Put readers / visitors in the spotlight by stating what they’ll get instead of what you do.

More on website copy:

Why is B2B Web Copy So Lousy?

Copy readers understand? Or jargon?

Getting visitors to your B2B website

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1- Disclaimer: I don’t know what has been tested or how the websites have evolved over time. My suggestions are based entirely on what I saw when I clicked on their site.

Harkins Builders website

Tramfloc website

 

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One of the things that distinguishes B2B from B2C is that quite often many individual customers have to “buy” before one product is sold.

B2B is research-heavy. The engineer/technician is looking for a solution to her problem. The shop supervisor wants to make sure the product indeed meets the solution. The Compliance office is looking for all the correct specs. Accounting is looking at the price/value proposition. Legal is looking at contractual issues. Upper management is looking at the brand relationships (among others).

You, of course, know all this. You know that all of these buyers have to be sold before your product is purchased. And your website is full of information that will help these buyers make their collective decision, including:

  • Pricing information
  • Peer testimonials/reviews of a product
  • Professional publications or white papers
  • News or press releases for a brand or company

If they can’t find it, they won’t buy

 

Purchase Funnel

Even though many searchers in the tech-buying chain are searching for similar information, the search phrases they use will be different. As you look through your web analytics, you’ll see search phrases that will key you on what phase of the research/buying process that searcher is in.

And that’s one of the benefits of using PPC.

Within PPC campaigns you can segment your keywords (search terms) that address various stages of your company’s purchase funnel. That means you can create ads and landing pages that speak to the exact questions the decision makers have in mind – and then direct them to your white paper, recent awards, press release, price list, or whatever is appropriate to that searcher.

Remember – when someone is researching online, they have a question in their head that they’re looking to answer. With your knowledge of your customers, you already know the questions each level of buyer is likely to ask. And with PPC ads and landing pages, you can show them that you know exactly what they’re looking for, and where on your site they can find it.

It takes some thought, investment, and a little bit of work. But when you can intercept potential buyers early in their research, you have a much better chance of converting the searcher into a satisfied customer.

Related Posts:

B2B Buyer Study: How B2B Content Impacts Buying Decisions

The Diversity of Pay-Per-Click: How it helps other marketing channels

5 Steps to Higher Converting B2B Landing Pages

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Graphic credit: our friends at WordStream.

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