Determine your objectives and how you'll track your progress.
Determine the action(s) you want your consumer to do and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you'll use to measure success before you start the design process. The actions you want people to take will be determined by your services and products. Customers may be asked to book a demo of a SaaS company's product, for example. Customers may be asked to fill out a contact form by a consulting firm.
In general, how do you want to use your website as a brand tool? Do you want to raise brand awareness and enhance total site traffic? Is it more vital to market your company's thought leadership to a select set of potential customers? These broad objectives will determine which metrics, such as total pageviews or whitepaper downloads, are most important to you.
Determine the KPIs you'll use to measure how the website is helping you reach your goals after you've outlined them.
Create a buyer journey map.
Map your buyer's journey across your site to increase the chances of conversion. To do so, you'll need a comprehensive understanding of your customer, which you can get by doing user research, creating buyer personas, and learning about the B2B buying journey as a whole.
Recognize the B2B purchasing process.
B2B purchasers have a more complicated purchasing process than B2C buyers, who may finish a transaction by just clicking "add to basket." “The typical buying group for a complicated B2B solution involves six to ten decision makers,” according to Gartner, and the process isn't linear. You're not just selling to one site visitor – you're selling to that visitor's employer, and their boss's boss, and so on. That implies you'll need to design an experience that captivates the first visitor while also anticipating the needs of others.
It also means that a buyer may return to your site multiple times before converting. The B2B sales cycle, which is on average 102 days, is lengthened by the intricacy of the purchase process. As you lay out your buyer's path around your site, it's critical to keep this in mind.
You may design your site with these aspects in mind, so you can answer questions and present the most appealing content up front, once you understand your customer's process, key decision-makers, and FAQs.
Carry out user research
User research assists you in developing a data-driven understanding of your customer rather than relying on preconceptions. As a result, you'll be able to develop a website that offers solutions that your clients actually desire, rather than just those you believe they need.
Before you start developing your website, conduct client surveys. Examine user input received during face-to-face conversations, by phone and email, and/or via social media. Analyze your search logs to see what phrases and keywords your customers are most likely to use when looking for your product or service.
With this knowledge, you can confidently create a website that bridges the gap between your customer's demands and your company's answer. Furthermore, having a greater understanding of your consumers allows you to uncover common goals and pain spots, allowing you to create content and experiences that are relevant to a variety of user types.
Create buyer personas.
Once you've identified users that share similar goals, you can design buyer personas to tailor message, content, and site experiences to your most important prospects. “[t]he objective is to think about and speak to this model customer as if they were a real person,” according to Hootsuite. This enables you to create marketing messages that are tailored to them.”
Instead of simply saying, "We need to tailor our message to procurement," you could create a fictional character named Paula Procurement. You'll use your user research to help you create this persona. Demographic information, such as physical locations and age ranges of typical clients in this role, should be included in the final output. Pain points, personal goals and priorities, history information, and the persona's preferred communication techniques should all be included.
You can provide a more tailored experience for the types of site visitors who are most likely to convert when you have this information readily available. You can, for example, discover site components that will fulfill the needs of your key purchasers, such as specialized landing pages or a content series tailored to a specific persona. When you know what a persona's interests are and how they communicate, you can tailor your site's content and messaging to catch their attention.
Ensure that your brand and messaging are consistent.
A unified design framework makes it easier and faster to create a consistent, on-brand website.
The importance of brand consistency cannot be overstated. In a Lucidpress poll from 2019, roughly a quarter of respondents said that "inconsistent branding increases market uncertainty." A design system is a dynamic collection of reusable components, ideas, and rules that provide designers and engineers with a common language for creating consistent product and web designs.
Websites should not be developed in isolation in order to be most effective. A good design system makes it easier for your design and development teams to collaborate, resulting in faster website development. A design system, especially one designed in a codeless environment, helps designers work more efficiently by reducing duplicate labor.
Start by analyzing your existing products and designs for on-brand visual components and flagging any anomalies in order to develop a design system. This will help you create your design language, which will include the feelings you want to evoke in your customers as well as the visual elements you'll employ to do so, such as color palettes, typography, iconography, and imagery.
You can create a pattern library of common design elements once you've defined your design language, making it easier for your web design team to generate web pages and components fast and reliably. Finally, ensure that your teams understand how to use and maintain the design system by creating documentation that explains how and when to use specific design aspects.
Test, release, and evaluate
Conduct extensive pre-launch testing and review of your website to guarantee that it functions as intended on launch day and beyond. A well-functioning website is more likely to delight your clients and reflect favorably on your company.
Customers have limited patience for websites that are unreliable, unstable, or slow. “A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% loss in conversions,” according to Kissmetrics. On launch day, there can't be any issues that detract from the user experience.
By thoroughly reviewing and testing the site prior to launch, you can optimize your customers' experience from the start. Make certain to:
- Check for mistakes and inconsistencies in design elements.
- Proofread the information thoroughly.
- Verify that any integrations, widgets, downloads, or forms work properly.
- Double-check all links and correct any 404 errors.
- Test the site on a variety of browsers and mobile devices to ensure that every user has a great experience.
While it's vital to test the site before it goes live, the testing process doesn't end there. After the site has launched, set aside time to review and improve it across numerous touchpoints. You'll be able to catch any problems, broken links, or issues early and continue to satisfy your clients.
Author: Jared Flenter, Writer