Loads of content, diverse user groups, and a multi-stage purchasing journey – B2B web design is one big puzzle!
I recently sat down with my Hyphen co-founder Nat Korol during a live session to make some sense of this puzzle and answer the question of how to design a B2B website to meet the functional and information needs of your customers.
Did you miss the live session? Click here to watch the video of our full 20-minute discussion on LinkedIn.
If you’re looking for a short and sweet recap of the highlights, here are the key takeaways from our discussion.
Do I need to redesign my B2B website?
✔️ Are you undertaking a full brand refresh and/or shifting your marketing strategy? Then it’s best to rethink your information architecture and navigation and to rebuild your site from the ground up to ensure it fits the needs of your ideal buyers.
❌ Do you want to simply refresh the look and feel of your site without any major changes in your business, customer profile, or marketing strategy? Then you’re better off making design updates rather than rebuilding.
Map it out and make it easy
B2B websites tend to be content heavy to meet the needs of diverse ideal buyer personas. Yet for all your blog posts, guides, videos, and webinars to have an impact, your site visitors must be able to find what they’re looking for.
- Architectural and content audit. A website rebuild is the perfect time to audit what you have, how it’s currently organized, and – most importantly – whether this is meeting the needs of your audience. B2B websites tend to grow bloated and unwieldy over time, and an audit can help you figure out what to keep, what to cut, and what to reorganize.
- Journey mapping. This involves identifying your ideal buyer persona(s) and mapping out all the ways they will access and use your website. It can be a great way to understand website use cases, identify potential points of friction, and develop ideas for optimizing your website design to meet your audience’s needs.
- Card sorting. When everyone wants a say in the redesign of your website, card sorting can be a democratic way to prioritize content and map out the best information architecture. As the name suggests, it involves writing the names of individual website pages/sections on cards and moving these around on a (virtual) table to explore different ways of organizing your content and structuring your navigation.
- Content categorization and filtering. All the content on your website helps different buyer personas answer their questions and address their needs at different points in their buying journey. Using intuitive mechanisms for categorizing, tagging, and filtering content can help your website visitors find what they want quickly and efficiently.
Eliminate barriers for maximum impact
In Ontario, there has been a mandate since 2021 for all public service websites and the websites of any company with more than 50 employees to be accessible. This is now going another step forward with a push for all websites in Ontario to be accessible by 2026.
From a website design perspective, designing for accessibility is focused on eliminating barriers. For example:
- Making it possible to navigate the site using a keyboard for visitors who are unable to use a mouse or a phone
- Including text that describes where a button (e.g. “Read more”) on your website leads for visitors who rely on a screen reader
Whether or not it is required, making your website accessible is the right thing to do. And since accessible websites are easier for search engine bots to crawl and index and generally ranked higher by Google, it also makes sense from a search engine optimization perspective.
Solving the B2B web design puzzle
B2B web design may be a big puzzle, but every good puzzle has a solution.
If you strip away all the details and complexity, good B2B web design is ultimately about making it easy for your customers to find the information they require and complete any actions they need to take in order to learn about, purchase, and use your products or services.
And since B2B purchases are often large and complex, it’s common for buyers to want to speak with someone before purchasing – so be sure to include a prominent “Speak to a rep” CTA on your B2B website!