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ELEKTRONIKPRAXIS Column : Part 028: The most important rules for an optimally designed Internet presence in B2B


9The Internet presence of a company in B2B is optimal when it succeeds in winning new contacts and future customers from the visitors to the website. That’s why companies should follow certain rules when building and planning their website. Sanjay Sauldie, expert for B2B internet marketing and inventor of the iROI strategy, explains these rules.

When building and planning B2B websites, there are certain rules to follow that are partly responsible for the success of the company. Many web designers simply transfer the rules of B2C websites to B2B websites without considering the special requirements of B2B. For example, among B2B websites you can find some pages that are designed with Flash animations. These Flash animations are not even noticed by search engines and their content is not registered by Google & Co.

In addition, there are many companies that internally prohibit running animations. This means that it can happen that a website is called up which is not displayed correctly in the browser because the animations are missing. Despite this fact, B2B websites are developed with Flash and people wonder why visitors do not become contacts.

Avoid Flash animations on your B2B website

Over the last few years, people have become accustomed to certain processes on the internet and, especially in the B2B sector, they do not expect animation where it is not necessary, e.g. animated logos. Additionally, especially in B2B, time plays an important role. Nobody really has time to understand the logic of your web designer and then finally contact you.

This is different with B2C websites: If you are a rock star, then visitors will gladly wait in front of your website just to look at the “cool” animation. If you are in B2B, then how quickly people get to the really valuable information – and how easy it is made for them so that they don’t waste time – plays an important role.

Please remember: Man is a creature of habit and the internet does not change that. Give the visitor the information where he expects it and therefore does not have to search for it first. Since 1999, the iROI strategy has preached building websites according to certain rules, and has defined a template for B2B websites that guarantees the maximum return on investment. Those who violate it are punished with visitors who leave the website very quickly.

Basis for the optimal layout from the user’s point of view

We christened this layout “3-column design” and tested it again and again – especially in the B2B world. The result: people know the design, know how to use it and find their way around easily and thus quickly. Of course, this design is only a basic template. The details have to be agreed individually for your internet presence. Nevertheless, you have a direction of travel with which you can optimally proceed.

The logo must be on the left, on all pages, and the call to action area must always be in the same place, as must the breadcrumb trail (Home > Category > Subcategory), thus providing the visitor with a navigation aid. Meanwhile, even Google has adapted its search results to the 3-column design. The call to action is very important, because here the visitor must be able to get in touch with you quite quickly, or find out where he can meet you soon, e.g. at a trade fair.

Turn visitors into business contacts

In addition, a call-back service can be included, or a video and newsletter sign-up. It is important that the visitor does not disappear without identifying himself. White papers that are offered for download are also a good help, but of course only after free registration.

The navigation belongs to the left and to the top (main navigation) and then comes the content, which should be neatly divided according to headline and subtitle as well as teaser text. Pictures can also support this, as well as in video, for example.

The search box belongs in the top right-hand corner (Wikipedia has now adopted it too.) If your agency tells you “It must be a coincidence!”, it’s time to change it!

Keyword clouds support search engines

Below the content, i.e. below the texts, it has become common practice to use a so-called keyword cloud, i.e. an area in which the keywords are taken from all texts and then displayed in different sizes depending on their frequency. This is a great support for search engines when indexing your content.

The least interesting area for visitors is at the top right. This is where you place the imprint, terms and conditions, etc.!

With this design, you can not only better pick up visitors in the future, but also turn them into business contacts with the appropriate information. Even if you have just taken the creativity out of your web agency, it is your decision whether you want to win a design award or rather new contacts and thus future customers!

Last updated on 7. February 2023

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