B2B MARKETING

How Your B2B Website Can Generate Trust & Credibility With Prospects

MAR 2019

What do B2B buyers actually want from your website? What causes them to leave your website and not return? How many times do typical buyers return to your website before taking the next or final step in the buyer’s cycle? What kind of content is important to them?

According to the results of the B2B Web Usability Survey, it’s been discovered what it would take for you as a B2B vendor to create credibility and trust.

1. Buyers won’t give you a chance until they’ve seen legitimate identification.

Buyers judge your company’s credibility from their first impressions of your online presence. Before you panic, a winning introduction simply requires making the ABC’s available right away. This includes complete contact information, an updated ‘About’ section with company information, and a summary of the products and services your business offers. Interestingly enough, they typically don’t want to see the pricing first.

Improve your credibility.

  • Make sure your website has both a built-in header and footer, featuring your company’s physical address, contact information, quick links to your products and services, and a summary of your ‘About’ section.
  • Stock images ring alarm bells for B2B buyers. Hire a professional photographer for a day, but don’t stop at headshots. Employing banner images that picture your employees going about their daily tasks go a long way towards proving your company’s legitimacy. Also, this simple visual introduction can smooth over the awkwardness of that first personal consultation.

2. Buyers want to see the basics before they get in touch.

Making a good first impression isn’t enough motivation for your buyers to introduce themselves. While video tutorials, visual depictions, and audio descriptions are valuable tools for strengthening the relationship with buyers with different learning styles, respondents indicated that these wouldn’t dazzle them into submitting a contact request either.

In reality, for buyers who are leaning towards contacting you for a quote, the deciding factor is whether or not you have supplied them with the following basic content essentials… product pricing, product reviews, ship times, and details about technical support.

Improve your credibility.

  • Prioritize your content calendar. While not every buyer that visits your website will be ready to speak to a sales rep immediately, some will be in the future. Sharing valuable and relevant content online allows you to maintain brand awareness, while simultaneously establishing trust.
  • Is your failure to display pricing information on your website costing you sales opportunities? A simple experiment can settle the issue. Add pricing information to your website for a trial period to compare the number of leads generated in both scenarios.
  • Never assume. Are you a software reseller or I.T. services company? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your prospects and customers are as technically fluent about your industry, products, and/or services as you are. Data shows that providing your customers with direct access to technical support from your website will help you to build credibility and trust with prospects.

3. Blogging and social media alone will not win you more than casual followers.

B2B buyers have spoken, and the word is that they are seriously underwhelmed by vendors who don’t offer them educational content over and beyond weekly blog and social posts. While both of these marketing channels are valuable for generating traffic and nurturing leads, an effective marketing strategy must rely on a much wider range of tactics.

Improve your credibility.

How are you supposed to know which content assets you need to leverage to establish yourself as a reputable business? Research, test, improve, test, repeat.

  • Research your users’ content preferences. You can do this by interviewing your existing customers, sending them a survey, and evaluating your website’s user-analytics to identify high and poor performing content assets.
  • Test your assumptions! Create a content asset according to your research findings, put it out there, and measure the results.
  • Improve. Are you getting closer or farther away from your goal of engaging and educating your buyers? Conduct an A/B test. Focus on one element at a time, (e.g. content format, title, marketing channel) and create multiple versions of the same offer to test the impact of the variable.

4. Buyers don’t trust websites filled with distractions.

When it comes to establishing trust and credibility, clarity wins. B2B buyers have little patience for features that waste their time and distract them from getting down to business. Website elements that annoy your users enough to make them leave right away include a lack of contact information, animated ads, excessive or overly aggressive pop-ups, poor design or navigation, and video or audio that plays automatically. Almost half of the respondents declared that they would abandon a B2B website simply because it fails to clearly and quickly communicate what the company does.

Improve your credibility.

When it comes to design, work towards a solution that’s user-focused from top to bottom, as opposed to a traditional website design that is driven by your personality or creative preferences.

5. Buyers will fill out a form if it passes the ‘cost -vs- value’ test.

Your buyers’ personal contact information is a valuable commodity to them. If you want it, you will have to earn it. Excessive form fields, invasive questions, and automatic email subscriptions are all factors that make your buyers flee from your forms.

Improve your credibility.

Don’t be afraid of getting on a first name basis with prospects. They’re more than willing to complete your forms when they meet the following criteria:

  • Do your forms pass the credibility test? Buyers indicate that the slightest oddity in design or copy could deter them from completing a form. Make sure your forms are sleek and professional on your landing pages. Test your forms to identify any red flags.
  • A worthy trade. If you are form-gating your content, the asset in the offer had better be a value-add for your prospects. While an in-depth eBook would pass this test, spec sheets and product descriptions that blow your own horn should always be offered unrestricted.

BONUS TIP: Many of the prospects that come to your website with questions. But as we’ve already established, they may not be ready to take the time to fill out a form, let alone be willing to surrender their valuable private information. Strongly consider adding live chat functionality to your website. Many users will ask a question and engage if it’s easy, and if they can remain anonymous for now. Intercom, Drift, Zendesk Chat, or Olark are all solid choices for adding chat to your website.

6. Buyers will leave and return to your website numerous times.

A prolonged and well-considered decision-making journey is typical of the B2B buyer cycle. Buyers will typically visit your website at least 5 times before gathering up the courage to get in touch.

During this period, prospects will be evaluating your competitors’ products and solutions, researching your ratings, and looking into feedback from your previous customers. What they find out about your company will determine if they return to your website at all and if you are trustworthy enough to approach for a quote.

7. Mobile friendly websites matter.

When it comes to mobile and tablet devices, 41% of buyers who own a smartphone or tablet are using it to search for B2B products and services. While most respondents indicated that lack of a mobile-friendly website would not necessarily put them off as a potential vendor, a vast majority stated that they do expect your website to enable dialing your number automatically by tapping it.

41%

41% of B2B buyers use mobile devices to search for solutions.

Improve your credibility.

While the look of a site that is not mobile-responsive might not put off your buyers, poor mobile functionality will result in conversion opportunities slipping through your fingers as well as a poor ranking in search engine results.

While basic mobile-responsiveness ensures accessibility of digital assets, (website, blog, calls to action, forms, landing pages, content offers, emails) optimization of your entire conversion path for mobile users is a worthwhile investment.

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