It is extremely challenging to build and maintain a B2B company website. Every company leader has strong opinions on how it should look, how it should be worded and what needs to be put in the spotlight. It can be overwhelming for a marketer. Worse, it can result in a website that is a muddled mess.
I’ve always found it helpful to keep websites (and eager internal contributors) in-line by focusing on three important use cases:
- Existing clients looking for product help/information
- Late stage sales prospects (SQLs) looking for company validation
- Early stage contacts that you’ve met briefly (MQLs) who want to remember what you offer
Landing Pages vs Main Website
Before going further, I think it’s important to highlight a distinction I make between landing pages and the main company website.
In the old days, a company’s main website was the place where prospects were directed to. It was the place where you sent people when they clicked an ad or saw your website on a TV commercial. But over the years we have moved away from this practice (thankfully). We now use specifically designed landing pages as the destination for our Google Ads, social media posts, YouTube videos, etc.
Although these landing pages are technically part of a company’s website, I view them as separate because every landing page can have a different look-and-feel (to match the ad). Even the navigation can be different, with a unique menu that is focused on a specific persona.
Because of this, I view landing pages as separate from a company’s website. In fact, it’s not often that a website visitor can even navigate from the main pages to a landing page.
The most important use case to consider for a company’s website is a bit counterintuitive – existing clients who are looking for product help and additional information about your offerings.
Think about it, if you are using a company’s product and you need support, where do you go to find it? You are not going to go and dig up the email from the company where the specific support page was listed, you are going to just hop over to the company’s website and look for it.
Making it easy for your clients to get a hold of you is a key consideration for websites. Thankfully most healthcare websites I have seen in the past few years have a prominent phone number, a pop-up chat window or a click-to-email button right on the homepage.
Often overlooked however, is the case where clients are looking for information about new products or new ways to use your product. Here is the use case:
- Head of Department B hears about the success of your customer, Department A
- Head of B talks to Head of A and gets the name of your company, but Head of A doesn’t know if your company can help Department B so directs Head of B to go to your website
- Head of B goes to your homepage hoping to find out more information about whether you have a solution to their challenge
This type of visitor is not interested in connecting with a support team, rather, they are looking for information about the challenges your product solves. Where do visitors like this go for that kind of information? They first try to find case studies or a list of customers – hoping they will find that you’ve worked with a department like theirs. Next, they will try your main product page where they hope to quickly find out if there is a specific module for them.
It’s important to keep your existing clients in mind when designing your Case Studies and Product pages.
Late Stage Sales Prospects
This use case involved late stage sales prospects who have already met with your sales team several times. These prospects are in the final stages of making a selection.
By this point in the process, your internal champion is already convinced you are the best option or one of the best options. THEY are not the ones that will be visiting your website. Instead, it is your champion’s peers and higher-ups that will be coming to your site in order to see what kind of company you are. They want to validate that your company is a viable and prudent choice.
Visitors in this scenario, want to see a professional looking website that projects stability (vs start-up) and competence. For the former, they will look to see if your website follows corporate norms – like an easy navigation menu, professional imagery, and a real corporate address. They will also pay close attention to the About-Leadership page where they will want to learn more about the leaders of your company.
It’s important to keep late stage sales prospects in mind when designing your About-Leadership page and the imagery + navigation of your website.
Early Stage Contacts
Although it is possible that a visitor will stumble onto your website via a Google search. If you have played your cards right, it will be more likely that searchers will be pointed to a specially designed SEO landing page or blog entry vs your homepage.
Which early stage contacts (MQLs) are likely to land on your homepage? Answer: The ones that have somehow gotten a business card (maybe from visiting your booth) or via a link in an online article they were reading.
This type of visitor is just looking for basic company information – who you are and what you provide. Are you a software company? Make medical devices? Do you have solutions for hospitals or just clinics? The harder you make it to find this information, the more likely that this visitor will never return.
It’s important to keep early stage contact in mind when designing the “above-the-fold” portion of your homepage and the language you use to describe what you do (ie: state it clearly and succinctly).
By keeping the focus on these three important use cases, your website will yield better results and it will be easier to control the flood of suggestions that you will inevitably receive.