OK – that’s a bold statement and big leap for me to make, especially if we’ve never even spoken. But I’ve had this same conversation with many, many B2B companies. And in the end, most of them come around. So if you’re currently considering a B2B website rebuild project, bear with me for this short, five-minute read. Let me attempt to reframe your mindset briefly. I promise it will be worth your time.
I first want to throw this out there: my company, Gorilla 76 does plenty of B2B website design. But, here’s the thing. We only do them for companies who we believe really NEED them. If we don’t think you need one – we’re not gonna build you one, and we’ll recommend you don’t build one at all. At least not right now.
The first question I will always ask when someone approaches our company about a B2B website rebuild is, “What do you want this project to accomplish in order for it to be considered a success?”. So right now, ask yourself the same. If your primary reason is one of the following, I’ll suggest you might be approaching this project from the wrong angle:
- Look more professional
- Update your outdated info
- Keep pace with your competitor’s shiny new site
Here’s where I’m going with this. The JOB of a B2B website isn’t to look professional, just as your job isn’t to wear professional-looking clothes or drive a fancy new car to work. Nope. Professionalism is a characteristic of how you present yourself. It’s not a job description. Whether you’re a marketer, salesman or B2B company executive, your JOB is to grow your business. Likewise, your website’s JOB, first and foremost, is to grow your business. Results first, cosmetics second. A B2B website is a business tool.
Think carefully. This is a big investment.
A B2B website redesign might cost you $25-50K if it’s done right. That’s not chump change. So what’s a bigger priority? Making sure that website is producing targeted traffic, hard, qualified leads and paying customers? Or looking professional, updated and shiny? Your first thought might be, “Well, if we make it more professional, more people will want to work with us”. And this is the biggest misconception in web design. It just doesn’t work that way. Think about it.
Let’s say you owned a small bakery on a side street, tucked away in a neighborhood somewhere a few blocks off Main Street, and you decided it was time to grow your business. Would your first priority be a costly, cosmetic facelift of your storefront? Probably not, right? You’d build a plan to generate foot traffic off that nearby busy road. You’d promote your business to get in front of the right audience and work tirelessly to generate positive reviews in the food community. And when those patrons started filing through your front doors, you’d do whatever you could to engage them, satisfy them, make sure they told their friends about you, and get them back through the doors the next week. And once you’ve build that thriving, sustainable business around a great product, you might reinvest in that cosmetic facelift to amplify what you’re already doing.
Newsflash: your B2B website is no different
One year from today, what results will you need to report in order to consider your website investment successful? Did you double website traffic? Did you triple qualified inbound leads? Can you directly tie revenue from new customers back to their origins in Google searches that led them to your site, converted them into contacts and formed new customer relationships? These are the jobs of your website. Not looking pretty. And the good news is that you can make these things happen NOW, without blowing your entire marketing budget on that website rebuild. Don’t buy the shiny Cadillac or new suit until you’ve generated the revenue to justify it.
How and where to start
1. Optimize your old, crusty, dated B2B website in search engines
Start by driving as much possible targeted website traffic as you can to your current website. And do it by generating exceptional, new, educational content for your audience. If you need to update some info on the site to correct inaccuracies, fine. But don’t spend too much time dwelling on little tweaks. Instead, look forward. Create a business blog that targets the most important keywords your potential customers would search and answers the most common questions they ask. Publish at least one resourceful article weekly on your site that helps solve customer problems. When prospects search for those things in Google, guess who they’ll find? If you want some more info on how to make this happen, reference chapters 3 and 4 of our inbound marketing guide.
2. Optimize your site to convert visitors into real, hard leads
Growth in website traffic means absolutely nothing if it’s not producing leads. Create opportunity on your website to convert your visitors into real contacts by trading them something of value, like an educational guide related to your services for a name and phone number. Put hard leads on the table for your sales team. And make sure your sales team takes these leads seriously, calls on them and closes deals. We’ll teach you more about optimizing your site for conversions in chapter 5 of our guide.
3. Nurture, nurture, nurture your leads
Your new, resourceful, educational content is just as valuable for your existing database of contacts as it is for those just discovering you. Use email to distribute teasers for your new content. Bring your existing contacts and leads back to your website. Reengage them, nurture them, educate them, stay top-of-mind, establish more and more trust in your expertise. Learn the power and strategy behind lead nurturing in chapter 7 of our guide.
In the end, start with the revenue generators
As painful as it may be to admit, your website rebuild can wait. Focus first on results and everything will fall into place. If you’d be interested in a free 30-minute consultation to talk through your dilemma, we’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to sign up here. It’s the best first step you can take to developing your industrial marketing strategy.