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Putting the user first: why UX matters in B2B

Every customer wants to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily – and B2B buyers are no different. However, 77% of B2B buyers said the last purchase they made was complex or difficult. What makes their journey different – and arguably more complex – is how they get there. With multiple stakeholders and tight budgets, B2B buyers have a longer and more complex experience than the average B2C buyer. So how can we keep them interested and ultimately, encourage them to buy?

A website designed with UX in mind is key.

But what is UX?

UX is the experience that users have when navigating and interacting with your site. Considering user experience is critical because there are so many factors that affect their journey and determine whether they move down the funnel or not. B2B buyers are looking for a website that is easy to read, navigate and where they can find all the information they need at the click of a mouse.

Take, HubSpot, for example. The website is clean, simple and effective, with an easy-to-read navigation bar and well-designed structure, which shows the user exactly what they’re looking for at a glance. It also uses tools like chatbots and provides clear call-to-actions down each page. Following extensive user testing and analysis, the company developed a site that met expectations, served a purpose and increased conversions. It doesn’t have to be a visual masterpiece, but it does have to deliver what it says on the tin.

Conversions, conversions, conversions

The importance of a well-built site that is tailored to the needs of target users should not be underestimated. It can make a huge difference to conversion rates. The best way to start is by establishing a buyer persona. What does your ideal customer look like? The site needs to speak to their interests, background, challenges and goals. Delve deeper into the target user’s psyche and develop a wireframe from there – mapping out the content and design of the site to match your audience’s expectations and requirements.

Try A/B testing: you might be surprised with the results. Digital marketing resource, Guess the Test, has done the hard work for us and is an interesting read for B2B marketers looking to improve their UX strategy. One recent example looked at the results of a video vs. a static image at the header area of the landing page. The video won, with an overall 2.4% lift in engagement, leading to a strong 6.2% increase in leads. What does this tell us? The data suggests that including videos on landing pages work. They break up long sections of text and can really help B2B companies communicate their value proposition in a more exciting way. After all, not all users have time to read reams of copy anymore.

3 top tips for creating a website with B2B appeal

Adding a video to a landing page is just one way to bring your website to life. An intuitive layout that provides a clear roadmap can help take users through the site journey, making it easier for them to find information and take the next step in the process. Housing relevant, connected information together is crucial to ensure people do not have to visit multiple pages to get the information they need – or adding another layer to the buyer journey. Here are our top three tips for creating a B2B website with user appeal:

1. Be transparent

B2B sites often leave out important information on their supply chain and operations, but this can either put users off, or add another step to the buying process. Show your values up front to come across as more authentic and trustworthy – customers will thank you for this.

2. Provide lots of detail

Users can scare easily, so the more details that are provided on the website – in the form of web copy, downloadable product information and thought leadership content – the easier it is to build their trust, and the more likely it is they stick around and make that purchase.

3. Keep it simple

Avoiding technical phrases and jargon is key to explaining your offering and how it can benefit the B2B buyer. Don’t confuse the user with unnecessary explanations: assume they are an informed buyer and outline what you have to say in a succinct and clear way. However, know your target audience – some more technical users may expect to see familiar language and phrasing, so it can completely depend on your brand.

There are many more factors to consider when improving the structure, design and build of a site – this is merely the tip of the iceberg. What matters most is instilling confidence and trust in the user, and there are no shortcuts to this. Ultimately, we must remember that UX is not optional, it’s at the very heart of every website.

Continue the winning websites conversation with the B2B !MPACT podcast. In this episode, we discuss the role of a website and whether it is still a brand’s ‘shop window’? As well as how web design is evolving with smarter tech at our finger tips. Watch the video version here.

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