The websites were online brochures that were built to look good and nothing more in the past. They might be influencing online buying decisions, or maybe they did not. Search engines and the web have evolved as this is the approach that has become quite obsolete for buyers. It can no longer reach and influence the prospects it once could and control the purchasing process that has shifted to the buyer as the salespeople and traditional lead generation methods. To research and make decisions, the website has mainly become the main component of modern buyers’ self-service approaches.
Getting your website to do all these things well takes work, but it needn’t take months to do or blow your budget. All it takes is a buyer-centric approach and the following steps: It takes a lot of work when you get your website to do these things, and it need not blow your budget or take months. It takes the following steps and a customer-centric approach:
A lot is still to be learned from the current situation, both internally and externally, as you create your new and more effective website.
1. Your Site
It is on your current site where the research should start. Before you start to plan on your new one, make sure you have head Google Analytics and Search Console running on your site. Look for the pages with the highest and the lowest traffic in Google Analytics. Ones with a low or no share are the candidates for scrapping, while pages with a large percentage of overall traffic are the ones to keep in your sitemap.
As low traffic can point to the SEO or navigation issues, you still have to apply your judgment with pages that no one reads, and it even can cost money to produce as you still need to make. Any technical issues that can be skewing the results you see in Google Analytics will be revealed in the search console, and you should avoid these in the new site and plan to resolve them.
Missing or inaccurate sitemaps, crawl errors, in the worst case, manual spam actions are the typical issues that are included here. Plan to follow the best practice for resolving every type of problem by taking notes. Also, install Hotjar on your website as we recommend it. You can create a limited number of heat maps and visitor recordings with a free account. Revealing where they have spent their time and where they have clicked and what they ignore altogether, can show you how visitors can check out your site.
2. The Competition
It would help if you also were looking at the sites of your competitors next. You will also want to make 100% sure that your differentiation is evident as you want to be on the lookout for signs of working in your sector.
It will not result in a useful website accidentally emulating a competitor’s design or intentionally adopting identical positioning.
Into which keywords their websites are optimized for and use this information to support your keyword planning, you can also get some insight. SEOBook’s Keyword Density Analyser can tell you the most frequently used words and phrases on any page. SEMRush can offer insight into the competitor’s organic and paid search performance with the tools to help with this.
3. Thought Leadership and Trends
It is continually evolving with what works online. Many people are trying to help us build a useful website, and there is always plenty to read on the subject as you have to Google around, thankfully.
We can all benefit from the work done in the area of useful SaaS websites in particular. Every marketing dollar’s impact is scrutinized. They have explicit knowledge of how their websites contribute to business growth as SaaS companies are data-driven and are typically run lean.
4. Value Proposition
For effective website design, having a clear and concise value proposition is the essential component. The moment they arrive and build their trust as they explore, a useful website creates a connection with the visitors. By being clear about who you are and what you do, making sure that you do not muddy the waters of their understanding, you can get this done.
You will have to get real about what you can do best and use this to inform all that follows to build a useful website. It is a sound way to go about it by creating your value proposition. In your keyword strategy, sitemap, navigation, and your homepage design, as well as informing the site-wide design and copywriting, your proposition will play a useful role. It is through which you monitor your performance and plan improvements as it can be the lens here.
5. Keyword Strategy
The buyers at all stages of the buying process are the key to a useful website while being found in search. Plan your keyword strategy before you plan your website to achieve this. You give your website the best possible chance of ranking highly from them by identifying your target keywords first and building them into your site structure. You can also make sure that your blogging, content marketing, and social media all support your rise up the ranks for these desirable and competitive terms.
It is more productive and efficient than applying the keywords to pages after the site has been built as you approach search engine optimization this way. Tools like SE Ranking, SEMRush, or Moz can help immensely, showing you where you rank currently for specific search terms and how much service volume they have, and how competitive they are while creating your keyword strategy.
To produce a shortlist of keywords for which ranking well is both highly desirable and achievable with a good keyword strategy that blends these three metrics. Identify which keywords your site ranks well for currently and decide which of these are attractive from a visitor quality and volume perspective using the tools mentioned above. To inform the rest of your effective website build, your keyword strategy becomes a master document once complete.
They will be living within sight of the sitemap’s role in ineffective website design by showing the pages that will be built. To align with your keyword strategy and your buyer’s decision process, the sitemap should embody the findings of the research you have done so far.
Less is always more in most cases with every sitemap that will be different. To spend lots of time reading about every nuance of what you do, cutting down on the number of pages wherever possible as buyers do not come to your site.
In every stage of the buying journey, focus on providing the content. For instance, the buyer journey’s key pages might be a homepage, services, case studies, and a consultation offer for the professional services business. They might be the homepage, features, pricing, and a demo or trial offer for the SaaS business.
It is often overlooked when it comes to the main navigation of a website visitor’s experience. To make sure that the visitor can find exactly what they are looking for, the standard approach used to be to have the main navigation included in almost every category. With several options and huge dropdowns or mega menus, this can lead to navigation menus. For the effectiveness of the websites, all of these are bad.
Visitors do not have much time to spend on a page. To engage them in the first place, you have only got seconds. They will probably leave if they click on a nav item and multiple dropdowns that appear with dozens of options. Knowing the type of content you are looking for and presenting them with the minimum number of choices is your job and not theirs.
It also prevents your visitors from becoming weary of looking for the right content when you understand your site’s desired customer journey. You know your buyer and are confident in what you are offering is what it can demonstrate. As long as they are simple, dropdowns are not a complete no-no, and there are other ways to get people to travel to the pages of your site and the carefully placed calls to action.
There is a growing trend to use the footer to hold more granular navigation links where the companies have adopted the pared-back primary navigation approach. It makes good sense as it is at the end of the page and not the start where the visitors should be looking for the next page to visit. Always include the essential pages supporting the buying process leaving everything else for the footer as you plan your navigation.
8. Agile Delivery
Regarding the website design and development that HubSpot pioneers, we are huge supporters of the Growth-Driven Design or GDD approach. To build a website, instead of planning out every step of the project in a long, waterfall-style, plan your work in short sprints delivering prioritized chunks of the website over time as GDD is essentially an agile approach.
Before launching it, there is little point in spending months and months creating every page of your website. It does nothing to maximize your website’s effectiveness, as this is the way people have been doing it for years. You can make sure that the cost and the time are maximized before any return on investment is seen if you are designing and building everything before you launch. You can also run the risk that your market, buyers, product, or strategy has changed by the time your new website is ready to go live, as you can also launch with no feedback.
9. Wireframes and Copy
You should completely wireframe and write the pages that make up the first phase of your agile website plan before you start designing the pages. It can also help you to plan the customer journey through each page and the site as a whole while working with the wireframes and real copy. To iterate as a copy or layout changes, you create the most effective website possible without being stuck with a sub-optimal design. The wireframes are cheaper and more comfortable.
It is usually wise to start with some simple wireframes only with more details once you have some confidence in the content as the wireframes can range from low to high definition. In the designing phase, creating the wireframes in Sketch, Photoshop, or Illustrator can save time. LucidChart is an excellent alternative if the person making them is not familiar with those applications.
10. Homepage Design
Ineffective website design, the homepage is the vital element and is likely to create the most debate during the designing process.
The following are the reasons why the homepage design is a challenging one:
- Many visitors see this as this is the first page.
- The visitor is at any stage of the purchase process.
As this is the only thing that the new visitors will read before deciding to stay or go, you have to get it right on your homepage. You need to tell them precisely what you do and who you do it for as your value proposition to ensure that the visitors decide to stay.
Sliders or the carousel is the other thing that damages the effectiveness of the home page. The sliders are bad for SEO and bad for the user experience, as it has been proven. To position and communication of your value proposition, the sliders are also lethal.
You are forcing yourself to develop multiple top-line messages if you include a slider in your website design. This confuses visitors as to what you stand for, diluting the website’s effectiveness as these manifest themselves as multiple H1 headings.
11. Conversion Optimization
It should convert anonymous visitors into leads, opportunities, or customers for your website to be effective.
There is a single contact page with the most current websites and the way they are designed. These are practically toxic to their prospects in our experience. It might be the bridge too far as it is the open end of it.
Providing multiple conversion points throughout the site is the solution to this. To what the buyer will get in return with the requested pricing, booking a demo, and trying it free is all the better than contacting me with each of the conversion points. At the right stage of the buying process, conversion points should be placed thoughtfully where you think the buyers will most likely see them.
The majority will not, as some buyers will pick up the phone and call you. It needs a combination of forms, a marketing database for collecting leads by converting visitors.
12. Search Engine Optimization
It is time for you to optimize it for organic search traffic by following once your website has been designed and built:
- Featuring the keywords you want each page to rank for by creating unique page meta titles.
- We are encouraging the click-through by writing unique page meta descriptions to support the title.
- Optimization of the H1 tag to feature the target keywords
- Optimizing the body copy to feature the target keywords
- They are using the target keyword where they appear naturally by internally linking the pages to one another.
- Addition of the image alt tags by featuring the targeted keywords.
In regards to your brand, your website is the first impression a user will have. You have to ensure that it continues to offer seamless, satisfying experiences to your prospects and customers in the long term and that it provides a good impression.
You can also set the foundation for a usable, convenient, and satisfying site for the end user when you follow these best practices for B2B web design. This will boost your conversions, build trust and help accelerate your business growth in this way.