How does Website Strategy help B2B Websites?
A strategic mindset helps designers develop a design strategy framework which contributes to align projects with business results. Design Strategy plays an important, if not critical role in the success of a B2B website redesign.
Your website is an essential part of your business and a modern marketing strategy. So don't design a website without a plan - a design strategy.
Why you need a Website Strategy?
A website strategy is essentially a branding and marketing plan that’s built around your business. Your website strategy goes beyond the design you choose for your website—it helps inform the content you create, your marketing efforts, and more. In order to develop a B2B website marketing strategy with our client, the first question we ask is what is their goal for having this website.
Based on what stage are you at your business, your website goals also will change.
A website redesign is the process of changing and updating the content, structure, format, and navigation of your website to improve performance and convert more visitors. Everything from the "About Us" page to product or service descriptions, navigation headers, and page copy are all important and helpful for your prospects as they evaluate their choices.
What is Website Strategy?
Did you know that poor web design can hurt conversions and sales? An unattractive site deserves a website redesign. A website strategy is how are you planning to approach your website in order to accomplish your desired outcome or goal.
Website Messaging and Web Design by an agency like Everything Design will be based on a strategic planning. 86% of b2b companies make use of their website to communicate with prospective customers. Making your website look fine does not conflict with the website’s purpose and objectives.
Strategic planning involves gathering data and deciding on a path that the website redesign will take to achieve its goals. Strategic thinking involves everyone at all levels of the organization/design team consistently finding and contributing to activities that add to the website’s success.
Here are a few key questions as a strategic thinker I ask myself when I start a website redesign project. Your website objectives must be in line with your business goals.
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How will we get there?
How to use Design Strategy to redesign B2B Web Design?
A website redesign is a detailed process of revamping your website, which includes updating content, refreshing layouts, and improving navigation for better conversions and site performance.
Website design and redesign exercises are usually treated as a process of beautification, this is true even in the B2B websites. If you are treating your B2B website as another check on the laundry list of tasks, you are really missing out.
Executing a successful B2B website redesign requires a strategic thinking mindset—a mindset that affords us the ability to focus more on problem-solving, execution, and better alignment with business goals. An inbound website puts content first, drawing visitors through your site and sales funnel.
Strategy Framework - Short & Simple but Effective
Presence only being one of the most basic and fundamental goals of a website, numerous businesses are now turning to websites for a myriad of reasons that directly have a bearing on internal motions, marketing, lead generation, achieving sales targets, global presence etc. However, with even the most basic goal comes the challenge of extracting a unified goal.
This is where Design Strategy and Design Thinking come into the picture. Usually seen in association with multi-million dollar rebrand, mostly B2C, these terminologies may seem redundant for a B2B website. Usually stringed along in brand refresh articles of multi-million dollar name brands, these terminologies may seem too far out for a B2B website. But these concepts can be applied to website (re)design projects for an effective output that aligns motivations and goals and narrows down objectives for the project team (both internally and externally).
In the most simplest form, a Design Strategy framework aims at asking tactful questions in relation to the business and the project at hand:
- To uncover problems that are deeper than the ones on the surface level
- Align the teams on a collective goal that is achievable
- Put down objectives that will lead to the said goals.
What are the 3 Wise Questions to ask in a B2B Website Redesign?
The key questions that strategists ask: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How will we get there? WWH Framework
Where are we now - as a business, and also what is working and what is not working on the current website?
The aim of this question is to understand
- Where the business stands in the current competitive landscape.
This question can be answered by
- how many years the business has been around, what their ICP goes to them for?
- What have they focused on to solve for the ICP?
- How has their presence brought change to the market?
- What are its capabilities, USPs, Value Propositions and advantages that will continue to keep them at least a notch above the competition.
Here it is important for the Design Team to understand
- The existence of primary, secondary and direct competitors and the differentiating factors.
- How far the organization has come in their journey and the connection they have with their ICP.
Other times, this question is crucial to bring to the forefront a difference between the company’s positioning internally, among employees and one among their customers and market. A pivotal piece of information which if missed would result in a website that communicates a completely different outlook to the visitors.
An example answering this question, from our project, Entropik.
Where do we want to be - what is changing in the business, what should the website represent?
This question is answered keeping in mind a future ideal state. One that the organization or company is aiming for, not just via a website (re)design but as a business. The answer to this question could be to externalize the positioning already active internally, or making a platform or product commonplace in the sector, or to establish themselves as Thought-Leaders in the up and coming landscape with several unfair advantages to boost them. It is important to answer this question with substantial components, not just abstract or intangible statements like “Become No. 1 Service Provider”. There must be dots that connect back to tangible aspects of the business.
An example answering this question, from our project, Botim.
Building a profile of your target audience is important, but how do you actually do it? It’s all about asking the right questions:
- What are your users interested in?
- What motivates them?
- How do they search the web?
- What are their challenges?
The more you learn about your target audience, the more you’ll be able to attract it by incorporating the things they care about into your web design and content creation.
How will we get there - what needs to be changed or created?
The key is to engage users with your business proposition. From then on, you can more easily excite users about your products and services and inspire purchases.
Now comes the question that will narrow down the path that the project will take till its completion. When it comes to PaaS & SaaS companies that are parallelly running major haul of their product/ software, the answers can be to make users aware of the new developments. With companies that are working with cutting edge tech, the answers are centered around positioning, communication, showcasing team expertise. Apart from prompts that are business oriented, there are also objectives that state the specifics of the website, such as, but not limited to functionality, tone of voice, conversion copywriting, primary CTAs.The answers are highly subjective to the industry the company operates in which is why this framework is filled in parallelly as secondary research is conducted but only ends when the final findings and insights are collated. In doing so, the answers are reviewed from various perspectives before and after understanding the company’s offerings, its competitors, and market.
An example answering this question, from our project, NimbleEdge.
Website Goals = Website Objectives? or Goals + Objectives?
Often used interchangeably, goals and objectives although closely connected mean vastly different things in strategy. Goals are the overall desires and values that an organization, institution, brand has; Objectives are the clear course of action taken to fulfil those goals. They are actionable. Strategy then is the how of completing those objectives to successful fulfilment which will then help in achieving the goals.
Strategy is when there are very specific focused objectives that are targeted rather than having a multitude of aspirational goals. Having clarity on the objectives, which are narrowed down based on the urgent/ prioritized objectives that need to be accomplished before anything else, makes for a clear-cut strategy.
Call to Action and Website Strategy
Being strategic is important in getting a website visitor to take any action at all.
To take it a step further, you don’t want to encourage your client’s audience to take just any action. In this case, some random action is just as bad as taking no action. For example, if your client is selling products, but all the website calls them to do is read blog posts, that website isn’t doing them a whole lot of good.
What should your B2B website goals be?
Your B2B website goals will vary depending on the nature of your business, but it’s safe to say that most companies have the following objectives in common when crafting a B2B website design and building it.
- To educate your B2B website users
- To generate B2B leads and convert them to customers
- To build credibility and authority for your B2B brand
- To provide insight about customers
B2b Websites should tick all these boxes to:
- Boost credibility
- Generate traffic
- Build brand awareness and affinity
- Capture high-quality leads
Build a B2B website that attracts, engages and converts visitors with Everything Design. A B2B website is the digital storefront for your business. It is the easiest and most effective way to present your company’s products and services to prospective customers.
Why is a framework and design strategy required in a B2B website redesign?
Many website strategy execution processes fail because the firm does not have something worth executing.
With B2B becoming a demanding landscape with tight competition and tighter expectations, websites must now fulfil numerous goals and objectives all at the same time. Be it online presence, a detailed pitch deck, a company’s customer facing entity, lead generation machine, grabbing investors’ attention, or credibility booster, a website is a foundational aspect for a business.
With all this and more going on internally, there are varying perspectives and goals amongst teams, eventually leading to disproportionate levels of importance associated with the website. Given the tight deadlines of the project completion always being yesterday, there is no room for do-overs and misaligned teams.
In a website redesign project where the stakes are higher, having spent time and resources on an unsuccessful outcome, it becomes imperative to align both the teams to understand where we stand currently, where we want to be, and how we plan on getting there. At the beginning of a website design project, it can be daunting for clients to narrow down major objectives that are to be specifically achieved by the means of a website.
This is where the website strategy comes into play. Applying the framework gives a good head start with clarity and objectives that are most important for the clients and their end users. It also helps in taking stock of all the relevant and important information that has been collated from the client. This is the point in the project where any gaps in the knowledge is made clear.
Narrowing down on the most relevant goals at the beginning of a project
With an overwhelming amount of information provided by the client on the company’s offerings, their competitor list, key differentiators, USP etc, sorting and sifting through the material all while getting valuable input from key stakeholders involved in the project can prove to be disorienting in narrowing down relevant goals. Leveraging an external POV as the project design team, can help in discerning relevant aspects to showcase on the website
Narrowing down on the most relevant objectives at the beginning of a project
Using this framework helps in envisioning the objectives that will lead to the goals. The aim of this structure is not provide you with the answers of how the design will look, what assets to build or what type of color palette to use. It is to put down the means by which the project can successfully be completed. Here are some examples from our projects that have gone live in early 2023, these examples are high level overviews of how the WWH framework helped us in achieving our goals.
An end-to-end platform for researchers and research teams, needed strong messaging in place to establish Entropik as the one stop destination for all research needs. The goal set down for the project was to communicate the all-roundedness of the product and the power of AI in research.
A solid concept of showing what the customers respond with vs. what's on the their mind in reality, during research processes, helped get the idea across in a simple way.
Website Design for Botim
With Botim as an Ultra app, they wanted to go beyond just a calling and messaging app, showcasing on their website their wide range of use cases.
We approached the goal with the idea to place the user in the center, utilizing the app for various tasks, shown as pop ups.
Website Design for NimbleEdge
NimbleEdge is bringing about the 4th paradigm shift with Hyper-Personalization (A level beyond personalization) with agility and new age thought leadership.
The WWH Framework helped in narrowing down the two most important aspects: First a goal to establish the company as thought-leaders in the industry and second an objective– to educate the prospective clients during the familiarizing stage in the sales cycle.
By simplifying complex concepts into easily understandable visuals, and working into our messaging, a script anticipating the visitor's thought process, we achieved
An area that has been getting attention in the past few years, B2B sector is carving its own niche in marketing and design. With the onset of various types of strategies like PLG Marketing, Sales etc. it is important to make conscious effort around the areas of messaging, positioning, content writing, and visual design to be able to best approach the ICPs and their requirements and challenges.
The WWH framework can be the nuance that sets your company apart from the competition with clear, intentional and effective website (re)design.
How to start applying design strategy in B2B websites?
The WWH framework is the most fundamental starting point for strategy application in design. So simple that you can even do a Where are we Now? Where do we want to be? How will we get there? for you to assess and approach strategy for your company’s website. This exercise will earn you extra brownie points by the design team for having unmatched clarity.
Ask your internal design team or the agency you have hired for your website’s design, what are the steps they are going to take to ensure the narrowing down of relevant goals and objectives for the project and the website.
There’s nothing like clarity in knowing what you need for your business to grow and thrive, whether you are a Founder, CEO, or Marketer. The clearer the information, the faster and crisper the result in a successful website (re)design.
As for designers, start by putting down the facts you currently have on hand and conduct research of the market trends. This will ensure that you will find the relevant gaps to fill and subsequently regroup with the clients if necessary to re-align the course of the project.
Is Your Website ReDesign a Failure? 9 Reasons why they fail
Unlike the common notion that having a website is enough to mark an online presence, a b2b website will be pretty worthless until it’s well designed to yield exceptional business outcomes.
- Website is Not Mobile-optimized
- Bad Website Design
- Lack of Promotion
- Slow Page Load Time
- Google Optimization Not Performed
- No Addition of Call to Action Buttons
- Broken Links and Pages
- Poor Navigation
- W3C Non-compliant
In short, how to develop your website strategy in 10 steps?
- Set your goals
- Find a story to tell
- Take an inventory of your content
- Identify your target audience
- Plan your website
- Build your website
- Research keywords
- Plan and write content
- Analyze your results over time
- Adjust accordingly
Here are some blogs you can consider reading to learn more about design strategy in B2B websites:
- Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) Blog: NN/g is a highly regarded user experience research and consulting firm. Their blog provides valuable insights into UX, usability, and web design best practices.
- HubSpot Blog: HubSpot is a leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Their blog covers a wide range of topics related to B2B marketing, including website design, conversion optimization, and user experience.
- UX Collective: This is a popular online publication that curates articles from UX professionals worldwide. It covers various UX design aspects, including web design, usability, and user research.
- Smashing Magazine: Smashing Magazine is known for its comprehensive content on web design, development, and UX. They publish in-depth articles, tutorials, and case studies that can be valuable for your B2B website redesign blog.
- ConversionXL: ConversionXL focuses on conversion rate optimization (CRO) and data-driven marketing. While not exclusively focused on B2B, their articles often provide insights into improving website performance and user experience.
Additional Reading about how to use Design Strategy on B2B Websites
- Web design isn’t art, without a strategy it will not serve its purpose.
- A website strategy should include the primary goals of your website, video and new content plan, self-selection plan, story, content inventory, launch plan, etc.
- One key part of marketing these days is web design.
- Why the marketing team should manage your website?
- Before you put anything online, it needs to be vetted through the lens of your ideal customer.
- How you can develop your own website strategy in 10 steps?
- While the appearance of your website is certainly important, most people aren't coming to your site to evaluate how slick the design is. They want to complete some action, or to find some specific piece of information.
- The first thing most people notice when they look at a website is its design.
- A site that looks beautiful, converts visitors and gets more value from every one of those hard-earned visits.
- Making Websites Win is about how to buck the trend—to make websites that customers love and that are outrageously profitable.
- Illustrations are still a powerful tool to enhance web design
- How to attract talent with well designed career page on b2b website?
- Typography usage in website design
- A website without a strategy is pointless
Many b2b websites are designed and developed without a thorough understanding of the way people use websites to make buying decisions. In fact, the way your b2b website site is built can have a powerful impact on your business — for better or for worse. Design your business around people, not technologies.
When it comes to marketing formats, video and motion graphics is the preferred choice with 50% of marketers making it their go-to option. You must continually adapt your website marketing strategy to stay relevant and visible to your desired clientele. For example, recent numbers show that 75% of customers judge a company’s credibility on its web design.
The b2b website as become a core component of the modern buyer’s self-service approach to research and decision making. Understanding buyer needs and developing digital experience models are crucial in the b2b buyer's journey in 2023. A common goal is wanting a B2B website to be a source of information and a place where visitors can learn more about their products or services.
Marketing to businesses is very different from marketing to individual consumers. That’s why an entirely different marketing method — B2B marketing — exists, and that’s why we built this guide for b2b websites. Your website is a marketing and business development tool and must be conceptualized, developed and managed by marketing and business development professionals.
Follow these guidelines, and your new B2B website will have all the crucial elements to deliver the leads you need to grow your business. Work with experienced B2B website design professionals who know your industry and understand the challenges you are facing.
B2B buyers are less impulsive. They ask more questions and perform more research, so b2b websites are very important in the buyer's journey. Whether you are looking to create or redesign a website, hiring the best B2B web designers is crucial to your brand's success. In 2023, more than 53% of people cited that a website’s design is the #1 factor in determining the credibility of a business
Ultimately, there’s no way around it; the path to amazing website redesigns and professional confidence is paved by a methodical approach to project organization.
Successful execution is a product of the fastidiousness of the plan itself. Just because a strategy is formulated, doesn’t mean it’s ready for hand-off to the front-line for execution. Examine whether the strategy considers the context in which it must be executed, as this is where uncertainty proliferates, and address those potential pitfalls preemptively. You can see examples of b2b websites build with website strategy here.