What are the best practices in website messaging for B2B websites?
In this article, we’ll address some common website messaging mistakes in B2B websites and how to avoid them in your website. If you are a marketing leader, a sales leader, or even from the product management team, this blog will be of great help.
Imagine if you remove all words from your website. What would be the effect on your conversion rate? Yep, you guessed it, it’d sink to 0%.
Website messaging is the most important part of website strategy. Messaging answers the question of why your customer should buy your product/service, in the simplest and most coherent manner. Yet, most website design companies prioritize optimizing the look and feel of the site, and grossly under-invest in messaging. The only purpose of design is to help communicate the messaging in the most effective manner.
How can you drive effective messaging for your B2B website?
Show what your product looks like, on your website
Don’t hesitate to show your product. Showcasing either screenshots or screen recordings of your products helps you to build trust with your visitors in what you are selling. If they are in the dark and left guessing what your product will look and feel like, they will suspect the product must be really ugly or hard to use. Find a balance between stylised graphics, actual product screenshots or lottie animations.
Be specific with your Product Communication the Website
Don’t lead with vague statements.
Mention numbers - these sections get everyone's attention. You need to go all in with specificity, numbers, and case studies.
Your potential customers want to read what your previous customers have achieved with your product.
The messaging should be clear and cannot be vague. Be specific. Many website messaging approaches create confusion regarding their value proposition and the workings of their product. This comes from a vague messaging approach that weakens your brand’s communication. This is why there’s a need for specific examples and use cases, that help the visitors better understand your product’s benefits.
Sonesh, a B2B Marketer says, ”One of the first thing which strikes you about Drift's home page is the fact that it’s communication is simple and to the point - something which is a rarity in many B2B websites.”
💡 Additional Reading: 5 Best Practices For Designing Effective B2B Homepages
Stop using modern, futuristic, holistic etc on your website messaging. It means usually nothing much. People are worried about what it takes to set up, does it add to the workload, and is it yet another tool to look at? If you leave blanks in the story, people will fill those in by themselves.
Spell out the differentiated value of your product in website messaging
Your potential customers are most likely already using something similar. Change requires them to believe that this is superior to whatever they have right now, sometimes much superior.
People want to put you in a box, and you should let them. Is this a Notion alternative? Does it replace Slack? Or Confluence?
Present your unique value proposition with clear website messaging
Show stats which are relevant to a potential customer, make unique claims (e.g. 6x better response rate). Those claims intrigue the target customer. However, big claims are met with big skepticism. So you need to do a better job of explaining the source of this number. And they need to be higher in the information hierarchy.
If you made a visitor think “I'm not sure I saw anything that would be different from what the competition would claim. How are you different?”, you got either your product or your product messaging wrong.
Too much visual design can kill the website messaging
Many website visitors find certain designs to be overwhelming and cluttered. At the same time, you cannot overwhelm visitors with too much information presented at once. The page cannot be too long as well. If the visuals are way too noisy or demand too much attention, most people will ignore your content which is the key factor to driving conversions. Hence, you have to simplify.
Talk about the ease of implementation and integration
Your potential customers will be concerned about the ease of implementing and integrating your product or service with their existing tools and processes.
They need to be clear with specifics on how much effort all of this takes and what the integration looks like. Without spelling it out, people will naturally make assumptions, and that rarely works out in your favour.
Use clear imagery
Once you have got your website messaging right, it is important to use the right kind of imagery or illustration on your B2B website which will support the copy. It's good to further bring into focus the clarity of the message by using visuals as an aid - but the clarity/logic of the images cannot fall short. It should be obvious in what it’s trying to communicate.
Address the objections at the right time on the Website
Most times, websites will convey all the information required, but if the navigation and information hierarchy is not done right the visitor will fail to read/register the information
A lack of information doesn't mean it's not present somewhere on the website. It's when it's not presented well when the confusion and questions crop up in the visitor’s mind. You lose most people right there.
This is the very point of website message testing. You discover where your messaging misses the mark, so you can fix it and get more conversions.
Show social proof on your website
Generously show social proof on your website. It can be in the form of client logos, video testimonials, awards, reviews, customer success stories, industry report mentions etc.
Pricing page on a B2B product company website
Pricing can make or break a company and it’s a key component of revenue acceleration. Yet, pricing page design is often one of the most neglected pages in the strategy of most SaaS businesses.
If we look at basecamp’s pricing page, it is super simple and they also bring in some social proof - “another 1564 organisations signed up last week".
“Two simple plans each” conveys that its nothing complicated. The tag, “best value for larger teams” is also helping a visitor to make a quick, positive decision.
If your pricing page isn't perfectly designed to convert potential customers, all that effort you put into sales, marketing, and product development might as well be for nothing. Take your time building your pricing page — it’s one of the most important factors in a customer’s buying decision.
Tone of voice in b2b website messaging
Do not start your website redesign project before getting your fundamentals right. If you’re unable to do so, make sure your website design agency does the following for you before getting into website messaging.
- Customer research
Mary Keough, Head of Marketing at Map My Customers explains the importance of customer research, positioning, segmentation and targeting in her LinkedIn post.
How are you better than your competitors at solving a very specific problem your target market cares a lot about?
Answering this means diving deep into the competitive alternatives.
Not just other companies but other ways of doing the thing your product or service does.
For Google Sheets, the obvious competition is Excel. But what about pen and paper? or an entry level data entry employee?
How can you then show your target market how much better you are than these alternatives?
And show this from the perspective of your customer, not yours.
This should come out of positioning: these are the target markets who could buy your product or service.
If you sell machining systems, this could be:
- Oil and gas
- Food production
- Pulp and paper, etc.
Which of these segments are you going to target with your LIMITED marketing efforts.
AKA where's your focus for the next quarter, the next year, or the next 3 years?
And where are you going to be so your audience can see and interact with you?
These are the channels where you should be doubling down.
From customer research, you should be able to extract the information about where your audience spends their time and where they like to consume information.
The most common channels are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, news outlets, trade shows, conferences, online publications, podcasts, etc.
I recommend starting with one, maybe two channels depending on your budget, and scaling once you max out that channel(s).
This is how you'll tell your target market about what you do, who you do it for and why you're better than the alternatives.
This could take the form of blog posts, social media posts, videos, etc.
The key is finding the specific kind of message or content that resonates most with your audience.
For Gorilla, it's podcasts, videos and LinkedIn posts.
👉 Showing expertise in each part of the marketing fundamentals will set apart the great marketers from those who just do marketing.
Get back to basics, be a boss at them to stand out.
Showcase your case studies
Klientboost’s case study page on the website is really interesting; a perfect case study page which shows the proof.
Even their filters are very well thought through - helps any visitor to find what they are looking for without going through frustrating loops of content.
Start investing in a good nice newsletter, which will help to distribute your website
Aishwarya G, a content marketing consultant talks about the importance of starting a good, value-packed newsletter that educates your audience will pay you back long-term.
It educates B2B buyers and sellers on creating the best buying experiences by addressing common "bottlenecks" and how best to navigate them.
☑️ Toplyne ’s Top of the Lyne Newsletter⚡
Writing a great newsletter is WORK. It's a lot of research, hours spent editing and perfecting the nuances to really strike a chord with your ICP.
But, what does it all achieve?
📈 Effective distribution of content🗃️
By consistently delivering relevant content across your niche, you can nurture your existing customers and also reach new subscribers.
See how Wistia’s newsletter effectively distributes content by sharing the best video marketing content from their own blog and others.
🧲 Generating leads for your business🙋🏻♀️
Customers are likely to subscribe to a newsletter when they opt for lead magnets like ebooks or webinars. And when you consistently give more value through your newsletter, they are likely to convert sooner or later.
Take Box’s newsletter for example- Whenever someone subscribes, they send product updates and additional courses and articles to help teams collaborate better.
Hence, targeting leads with a high-intent to: convert 💪
🤝 Building Partnerships
When you showcase successful case studies, joint ventures and app integrations in your newsletter, you attract potential partners to join hands with you.
You can co-author pieces like how!
Take Zapier’s newsletter for example, they constantly share blog content on different API integrations. This leaves the door open for other companies who might want to collaborate with them.
When you focus on educating and nurturing relationships with your audience keeping your product aside, you are more likely to:
🏆 Come across as a thought leader
🥇Have them turn to you for content that helps them solve their pain points
🎖️Have them opt for or at-least evaluate your solution/software when they are ready to buy
7 best practises for B2B landing pages
There’s a lot that can go into a landing page from top to bottom; Klientboost have identified seven best practices for a B2B landing page.
- Ditch the top navigation. Keep visitors focused on the reason you want them there.
- One clear call-to-action (CTA). Ok fine, sometimes two works, but there still has to be one clear, preferred, primary action. It should be, at a minimum, above the fold and at the bottom of the page.
- Strong copy. All the way through. And make sure your headline and subheader communicate your business’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP) (opens in a new tab)
- Hero image and visuals. We’re not saying they need to be fancy, but come on, no one wants to read a page full of only text.
- Benefits and features. You are trying to inspire action after all, so don’t forget to communicate the why.
- Social proof. FOMO is real.
- Journey awareness. A good landing page tailors the CTA, the copy, and the visuals to where the visitor should be in the sales funnel.
Additional Reading: 32 Best B2B Landing Page Examples (& How To Build One)
7 must have B2B website pages according to Sam Dunning
Often the most viewed website page and regularly used as landing page for ads.
Needs to clearly show:
- What you do
- How you help
- Guide people to contact/learn more
2. Results/Case studies/Outcomes
Show proof that you can deliver what you say you can.
To qualify in good fit prospects.
Back up pricing with social proof (client reviews/testimonials etc).
4. Service Pages
To show how your services help people.
Pages for each key offering/location served to help with SEO.
Not to boast about your company.
Share your founder story and the problems you help companies fix.
Guide people to take the next step, with you. This page is meant to inform and inspire.
6. Contact/Book a demo Page
- Have enquiry/demo form before scroll
- Only ask for key fields needed
- Consider calendar booking tool e.g. Chili Piper
- Place story based testimonial next to form to address buyer anxiety of contacting you
- Remove page nav
Having a “Book a Demo” landing page allows visitors and qualified leads to raise their hand and say they want to try your product.
According to HubSpot, 69 percent of survey respondents say that converting these leads is their top priority. Therefore, it is valuable for all business-to-business (B2B) companies to have some type of demo landing page.
7. Thank You Page
- Often neglected on sites
- Share what happens next e.g. sales rep in touch within 12 hours
- Share an entertaining GIF
- Links to useful resources
- Excite your prospective customer before they even speak to sales
- Track thank you page on analytics (as a lead conversion)
Formula & cheat sheet to create an early-stage B2B website that converts
START WITH THESE 3 MUST HAVE PAGES:
Homepage, Company, Conversion homepage
- ASAP: Add a pricing/plans page - people look for this info and without you hurt conversions
- Soon after: Add a blog and help center with basic articles
- As you scale: Add product pages, including a product overview and pages for individual products, solutions, use cases, and personas
- Eventually: Add a customers page, a partners page, a full-resources center, and a careers page
USE THESE SECTIONS FOR YOUR HOMEPAGE
You can reorder the middle sections into whatever order works best to tell your story:
- Social Proof
- Benefits and Features
- Use Cases or Personas
- How it Works
- CTA Bar
💡 Additional Reading : How to write home page copy? How to create a more effective homepage? A step-by-step guide on improving your homepage content & copy to increase conversion
CREATE RE-USEABLE SECTIONS TO CREATE NEW PAGES FASTER
- By making your homepage, company, and pricing page you’ll have built out the “sections” you need to build additional pages
- You can think of these sections as templates or building blocks to create other pages
Follow these 3 steps and you'll avoid reinventing the wheel and have a well-designed, high-performing site faster.
You need to think about your ideal customers needs -
What do they like?
What design preferences do they see as credible?
What build trustworthiness in the industry?
These are the real questions you need to think about.
How to think about the structure and order of your B2B website home page flow?
It needs to be aligned with the hierarchy of strategic messaging - Peep Laja
Level 0: Clarity and relevance.
What is it? What do I use it for? Is it a fit for me?
They don't care until they get it. What it is, the problems you solve and the target audience needs to be made clear at the start.
Level 1. Point of view.
What do we believe?
This sets the context for the relevance of your product. Your strategic narrative distilled down to its essence.
Level 2. Unique value.
What's the value only we can deliver? What's our differentiation?
Lead with your “only-ness” before all the other stuff - especially if its in a crowded category.
Level 3. Standard value.
Features and benefits.
This is often tables stakes stuff - capabilities that most players in the category have, but nobody would choose you without them, so gotta have them.
There are no universal templates that work for everyone every time, but the best messaging captures all 4 levels.
What should be on your website if you're a new startup, and should you even have a site if you're pre-product?
James Green believes in launching a website as soon as you've nailed down the problem you're solving. If you can describe your solution to your target audience, there's typically no reason to hold back.
(Trust me, your issue is not someone stealing your idea, it's persuading someone to take your idea seriously!)
A website almost ALWAYS comes before incorporating your company, because it's going to help you prove there's a market for what you're building.
We're big believers in DISTRIBUTION > PRODUCT.
In other words, you need to prove (if only to yourself!) there's a problem worth solving before you start solving it. Having a live website is usually an obvious step towards creating that proof.
It's never too early to start testing your messaging, creating conversations with users, and building a database of potential customers.
What can B2B SaaS startups fix on their website for some quick wins?
How long should be your home page of a B2B website?
Unreasonable long pages equals unfocused messaging and losing visitors' interest.
And finally, how to structure your B2B SaaS website to make your users love you?
Omnilab Consulting explains why building a website that is focused on forcing your users down an overly-technical, impersonal journey is a thing of the past.
There’s no better way to help your users than to get a little personal and provide specific information for their specific needs.
Here’s a general outline of the elements of a great B2B SaaS website.
🧭 = Top Navigation
🗂️ = Sub Navigation
📄 = Webpage
🎯 = Page Section
Focus on the different features of your product. Don’t get too technical, and remember, you need to appeal to people that have enough interest in your product and time to dive in and to those who don’t.
↳ 📄 Platform Overview | ↳ 📄 Integrations | ↳ 📄 Safety & Security
↳ 🗂️ Capabilities
Capabilities explain what a user can DO with your product. Capabilities are NOT worded like features. Capabilities focus on your customer's desired outcomes.
↳ 📄 Automatically enrich your CRM
↳ 📄 Get LinkedIn-level targeting on Facebook
↳ 📄 Etc.
Solutions focus on how your product can benefit specific segments of your core audience. Focus on tying back the capabilities of your product to specific segments' needs.
↳ 🗂️ Departments
Provide use cases for each, and don’t forget to include desired outcomes for each function.
↳ 📄 Sales | ↳ 📄 Marketing | ↳ 📄 Etc.
↳ 🗂️ Industries
Provide specific use-cases for each industry and speak to each industry's concerns - no two industries will have the exact same needs.
↳ 📄 Software
↳ 📄 Healthcare
↳ 📄 Etc.
↳ 🗂️ Company Size
Company size dictates how users will engage with your company and what specific capabilities they need.
↳ 📄 SMB
↳ 📄 Mid-Market
↳ 📄 Etc.
↳ 🗂️ Problems
Do your research and write content on common problems your audience is already having and then tie back to your product capabilities.
↳ 📄 My CRM data is not enriched
↳ 📄 I can’t target the “right” people on Facebook
↳ 📄 Etc.
Don’t hide your pricing. Build trust and educate your audience BEFORE a sales call is needed.
🎯 Transparent Pricing | 🎯 Social Proof | 🎯 FAQ
Make the primary focus ‘education’ that ACTUALLY helps your end-user WITHOUT having to do business with your company.
↳ 🗂️ Company
Provide context about your company and shed light on your culture and ideologies.
↳ 📄 About | ↳ 📄 Community
↳ 🗂️ Content
Continue to educate your audience with answers to the most common questions and problems THEY are experiencing.
↳ 📄 Blog | ↳ 📄 Guides | ↳ 📄 Podcast
🗂️ Free Tools
Create useful tools that your audience can use today. NOT sales collateral. Actual tools they will use and find value in.
↳ 📄 Calculator | ↳ 📄 Templates
Make your platform a destination that solves problems, inspires confidence, and nurtures growth. It's not about you; it's about them - your customers.
A well-designed website creates an important first impression of your business. It is a revenue machine that offers ultimate user satisfaction, resulting in devoted clients. That is why you should construct your website with the assistance of website design companies. People judge websites in less than 50 milliseconds. First impressions are 94% design-related. So good design always gets the attention, and good copy helps conversion.
In short, a B2B website should have a compelling pitch, which is clear, which will then nudge a visitor to book a demo with the brand.