7 B2B Website Best Practices to Create Compelling Content for Visitors
Using the first two blog posts in our B2B website best practices series, you should be well on your way to helping your company get found online and improving the user experience on your company’s website. Now, it’s time for you to begin building compelling content for your website visitors.
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and center in the minds of marketers.
Content is also what search engines and people are looking for, what drives visitors to your site – and what turns prospects into leads. Here are seven best practices you can use to create great web content.
There are four basic questions you need to ask yourself about the content of your company’s website.
- Will people know what we do within seconds?
- Will they understand what page they are on and what it is about?
- Will they know what to do next?
- Why should they buy/subscribe/download from this site instead of from someone else?
Ideally, you want your visitors to know the answers to these questions. It should be readily apparent what your site is about, what they can do there and why they should take action. On your home page and most important pages, consider these helpful tips in delivering the right message:
- Create a few headlines and sub-headline ideas for your most important pages. To answer question #4 (above) use a powerful value proposition and avoid generic clichés and corporate-speak.
- Include a clear Call-to-Action (CTA) and next steps. Include links in your body copy, next-step links at the end of the copy and CTAs wherever appropriate.
- Test your copy. For the most accurate indication of a winning headline, use A/B testing to determine which variation drives the most conversions. You can use Google’s Website Optimizer to do this.
Educate and Offer Value
The purpose of a corporate website is to provide information about your products and services, but not everyone is ready to buy when they first visit your site. Also, it’s not all about you. What’s in it for them?
- Offer more than just product content. Provide ebooks, white papers, videos and other types of educational content. This will nurture prospects through your sales funnel until they are ready to buy.
- In product-specific content, write as if you are speaking directly to your audience. Use words like “you,” and “we.” Be transparent. Make yourself sound human. Speak their language.
- Write your product content as if you are helping them solve their problems. Avoid “we are the best” verbiage and instead use “this is how we help you.”
Importance of Quality
Everyone knows having a lot of content is a good thing. But, with search engines getting smarter and buyers becoming more selective, quality content is a definite must-have for any website. This includes:
- Offering unique content. People love this and so do search engines.
- Writing for humans, not search engines. People don’t read like robots.
- Providing value and educational content that helps others.
- Keeping content fresh. Having old news on your home page may make a bad first impression.
- Knowing your audience. Providing content that is specific to your buyers makes it more relevant.
- Including evidence when needed. If stating facts and numbers, back them up with a source.
- Knowing your subject well. You probably don’t want an auto mechanic writing about brain surgery. Accurate content equals quality.
Blogging is without a doubt one of the most important assets to any inbound marketing strategy. And, it’s a perfect complement to your website. Here are some reasons why you really need a blog:
- It creates fresh content and more pages of content, which is great for SEO.
- It helps establish your company as an industry authority and thought leader.
- It helps drive more traffic and leads back to your website.
- It’s a great channel to converse and engage with your audience and customers.
- It’s a great way to get valuable inbound links!
Make Content Shareable and Social
Social networks have seen exponential growth in the past decade and continue to grow larger every day. Many people will “like” a post, product or blog entry, causing all of their friends to see what they like and even provide them with a link to find it themselves.
Consider this type of viral effect for your own website. Make it just as easy for people to share and socialize about your content and resources. Providing people with excellent content that can be shared with their peers will surely increase your flow of traffic.
- Add a sharing widget or plugin to every page of your site to enable visitors to share your pages via all of the major social networks.
- Tools like AddThis or ShareThis are easy to install and provide you with analytic tracking as well.
- If you’re on a blogging platform like WordPress, there are plug-ins available that enable people to share your articles and auto-publish content to social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Use Multiple Forms of Content
Content is more than just the written word. Media and utilities are excellent forms of content that can turn a text-heavy site into something that pleases the viewing preferences of multiple audiences.
Content can take many forms, including imagery (including infographics), video, audio and even games. Try using many different forms of content to help create a content-rich experience for your visitors.
No matter what you’re selling, potential buyers like to see confirmation that you’ve made other customers happy. Testimonials, customer reviews and case studies are powerful sources of content for moving prospects closer to the final buying stages.
- Provide authentic customer stories – and do not hide these behind a form!
- Place real, short and powerful testimonials on your site – and be sure to include a real name, job title and photograph with the testimonial if possible.
- The more proof you have, the better. Make it part of your strategy to collect case studies and testimonials when possible.