The goal of every B2B website is the same: cater to buyers with credible content and trustworthy experiences that facilitate the buyer journey. To establish trust and credibility, vendors should create online experiences that establish a sense of authenticity. But how does one create authenticity in the digital world?
A recent study by Huff Industrial Marketing* found that 54% of buyers will immediately leave a website if it does not include comprehensive contact information (phone, email, and location). Reinforce your brand's credibility by providing contact information on each page of your site. Providing correct information is absolutely crucial. Double-check phone numbers and email addresses for typos and errors.
For an added touch of authenticity, list local phone numbers as your primary contact number and provide 800/888 numbers as secondary options.
Over 50% of B2B buyers say products and services are the first elements they look for on a website. Help buyers find the answers to their questions by making key information accessible from any page of the site (i.e., by adding products and services to the site menu). Beyond navigation, B2B websites must also consider what information the buyer needs to make decisions. Be comprehensive when creating descriptions for products and services, anticipating the needs, questions and concerns your customers may have.
A robust “About" section can go a long way in establishing credibility with buyers. Here are a few ways to instantly upgrade your “About" section:
1. Add personal anecdotes and pictures of team members
2. Provide context with company history and recent news
3. Share your company's mission statement
4. Add a “Why Choose Us?" section to highlight your company's unique values, offerings, and beliefs.
The positive, unbiased voice of a former client conveys a special component of brand authenticity called social credibility. Because positive testimonials and reviews must be earned, they are regarded more highly by buyers than claims made by the brand. Examples of past work show buyers that you have a credible, established work history. This additional information allows the buyer to move forward with a deeper understanding of your company's capabilities and reputation.
When asked the question, “What sales and product information do buyers need most?" the top response was pricing. Vendors often balk at assigning a public price tag to their offerings, but the truth remains that transparent pricing make buyers more confident in making purchasing decisions.
If you are unable to provide an up-front estimate, try a different approach:
If someone turns to you, reaching for help, will they be able to easily reach someone? In addition to providing general contact information, you should provide help and support information to address additional questions, problems or concerns that existing and potential clientele may have. You may also supply customers with supplementary resources, such as white papers and articles, to further aid them in the decision-making process.
When buyers reach your website, it's your job to guide them through the customer journey, which differs from one business to another. Fortunately for B2B websites, buyer behavior is more consistent than B2C and is, therefore, a little more predictable.
One survey* shows that 37% of buyers will visit a vendor's site 3-5 times before buying, and 87% will leave your site to evaluate the competition. With so little time to reach and retain the attention of your potential customer, it's smart to eliminate web elements that buyers find distracting, annoying and (sometimes) a downright waste of time.
Automatic media play can be disruptive, unexpected and annoying. To respect each visitor's individual preference, put the user in control, allowing him to engage with media on his own terms.
When asked to identify which web elements detract from a website's credibility, 63% of buyers said they found animated ads and pop-ups to be a waste of time and a potential cause for leaving the website. Pop-ups should be avoided, even as a lead generation method.
Like animated ads and automated media, a pop-up chat screen can seem intrusive and distract buyers. Live chat can be a helpful resource, but it's much more effective when visitors are able to opt-in. Give the buyer a choice. Otherwise, you risk creating a negative experience for your potential customer.
Including social media information within a footer or less visible part of your website keeps the buyer's attention on your site. If she leaves your site to participate in social media, there's a chance she may get distracted. Your website is the central hub of your online brand. As a rule of thumb, you want social media channels to push visitors to your website, not the other way around.
Motion attracts the eye, which means even common web elements can be detrimental to the buyer journey. When a potential buyer lands on a page and begins scrolling through content, a changing slide will pull his attention back to the top of the page, disrupting (and possibly distracting) the buyer from his goal. Put the user in control and keep the experience distraction-free by turning off automatic slides, allowing people to click through content if they are interested.
For any business website, a commitment to customer service is a commitment to positive user experiences. To learn more about ways to improve your website, contact us here, or give Michael White a call at 479-202-8634.