Business To Business (B2B) websites are a big part of the Internet. But if your business is B2B, you can’t put your site together like a Business To Consumer (B2C) website. We see a lot of web design companies treat them the same too. Here are a few fundamental differences.
A B2B website’s effectiveness can’t always be judged by its traffic. Depending upon the industry, an effective B2B website doesn’t need much traffic. If you are selling large items to a few retailers, your site isn’t dependent upon traffic, it is dependent upon being easy to navigate, having useful information and having a good way for retailers to interact with you.
A B2B website can ignore standard SEO methods. If you don’t judge your site’s effectiveness by traffic, you don’t really need to worry about things like keyword density. You can design a Homepage built upon visual appeal rather than SEO. Mint.com is a good example:
The Home page contains very little text, but it is very attractive and to the point, using large images and space to convey professionalism and simplicity. You know your clients will go where they need to, so you don’t need a Google Panda strategy to point them there. This can make your site look very professional and VERY clean. Once you click into the interior pages of the site, they keep their basic design scheme, but it is organized into the usual way, so the layout is familiar to site visitors.
B2C websites are often product driven, but B2B websites are often relationship driven. We sometimes talk to potential B2B clients who tell us that they have steady clients, then they ask why they need a good website? A good B2B website makes it easy for clients to interact by placing orders, pointing out problems, facilitating solutions, and in general being a great platform for client communication.
A good B2B web designer will ask the client what people ask when they call on the phone, what their clients complain about, how clients get documents to them and other questions. A good B2B website can save time for your staff by eliminating the same kinds of phone calls over and over, providing multiple online forms that can upload documents for clients to communicate and more.
A B2B website visitor knows more about you. A B2C website has to introduce its business to site visitors. But generally a B2B client already knows about you, and they are more concerned with changes to your products and services than they are with being “sold”. So it is better to have an informative newsletter than it is to spend a lot of time updating your Facebook page.
To sum up, you can use a B2B website to strengthen the integrity of your brand, let clients communicate with you better, and inform them about updates and changes to your business.