We like a good nosey at how B2B brands are positioning themselves online and no matter what you sell; big or small, your website and supporting digital footprint are the shop window to how you’re initially seen by many customers.
Offer a crap website experience and how do you think you’ll easy convince a customer your customer service is second to non? The role of digital is playing a huge part in all buying decisions with many people touching the brand online in many ways way before a slick salesman gets anywhere near a prospect.
If your sales guys drive around in flashy BMWs and look the part then why would you make your web presence look like a godawful 1970’s Lada? We look at this like a shop window, the way that B2C retail brands invest heavily in their high street presence to attract and draw in shoppers to their stores. For B2B brands more likely to be found in the back of an industrial park in Slough than Oxford Street, a decent website is the shop window to show off your brand at the earliest convenience to potential customers, whether you sell online or not.
We’ll take a look at how B2B brands are faring and to help give a decent comparison we’ll be using a trusty formula that can be seen below in the table which you’re happy to use with your own site. There’s no deep scientific theory behind this, and without delving into a sites analytics it is very much perceptive, but it’s just a simple way to help compare and review the good, bad and ugly way B2B brands are portrayed online. They may have the best offline marketing strategy this planet has seen but quite frankly we don’t care, our reviews will be all about digital perceptions that prospects take from using a given website.
Website review formula
Aesthetics (out of 20)
Is it professionally designed? Good marks for a creative, engaging design that clearly demonstrates the offering in an engaging and informative way
Low marks for too much stock photography, people shaking hands, etc and please please please not the bubble man!
Has to be mobile responsive with a consistent view across all devices
Informative for the reader rather than a me, me, me aren’t we great approach to content
How clear is the messaging?
Is there a consistent tone of voice, is it easy to interpret or filled with business / technical jargon?
Backed up by testimonials from clients
Not too much content aka content blindness
UX and CTA’s (20)
How strong are the call to actions on the site?
How many different call to actions are on the site, specially the home page? This needs to be clear
How easy is it to navigate around the site?
Is there an email sign up for follow up communications?
Page title structure – should be clear to the reader in terms of what they are viewing
Relevant and unique content throughout the site that would be worthy of good link building
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking for keywords, must be near page 1 as possible
Traffic score, using an online tool such as similarweb.com which gives an indication of volume of traffic, bounce rate, referral traffic and comparison with similar brands
Innovative technology (20)
Does the site have a live chat function?
Are they using innovative data capture or resourceful techniques such as online calculators etc
How much is video used across the site?
Total score out of 100
Score 80 – 100: Digital B2B Rockstar
Score 60 – 80: Digital Native
Score 40 – 60: Upgrade needed
Score sub 40: Digital is parked somewhere next to the fax machine in the business