According to Insight Venture Partners, B2B companies will completely redesign their websites every 24 months, spend 13 percent of their digital-marketing budget on the sites and spend an additional 4 percent on SEO. This frequency and expense can make it a nerve-wracking and high-stakes project to undertake given the fact that your website is likely the backbone of your online lead generation.
Since website redesigns are often projects that are outsourced to specialized vendors rather than completed in-house, it's important to work effectively with your chosen agency to ensure that the project is a success.
In today's post, we're going to look at five key steps that companies and vendors can take to help them work together more effectively and accelerate any website design and development project.
Use these strategies to ensure a successful B2B website redesign:
1. Give the vendor your brand assets and style guide
Of course B2B branding is very different in the business world than in the consumer space. Regardless, it's important that you have your brand identity in order before undertaking any website redesign project. Once in place, at the bare minimum you'll want to provide a high-resolution vector logo file to the vendor before you get started and give it your official brand colors to ensure that all the design work being done is aligned with your style guidelines.
2. Use mood boards
This may be a step that the vendor asks you to do going in, but if not it's worth suggesting as a step that will save time once the concepting phase is underway.
A mood board is a canvas that has images, assets or ideas that you want your brand to embody or what you aspire to have your website look like. This will give the designers a theme of what you envision to work with and helps provide a better creative direction from the start.
It doesn't have to be a long or complex document, and can sometimes even be as simple as some screencaps in a Google Sheet. It also doesn't mean that the specific assets will be used in the design, but it gives direction on the overall feel that you want to be incorporated.
For example, here's a look at the mood board of a logo project we're working on for a customer:
3. Embrace new design trends
You're redesigning your website for a reason, and you researched your vendor's experience before signing on. With this in mind, be open to the new trends and ideas being presented to you and place in trust your vendors that have your best interest in mind.
When presented with different choices in design, remember that combinations of unique concepts (or "Frankensteining" as we like to call it) generally result in an overall poorer design than clear creative direction on each of the unique concepts.
4. Write copy that will convert
B2B solutions or service offerings are almost always complex. That doesn't mean they can't be conveyed in a concise and clear manner. Always balance information with design and ensure that the two will work in tandem to increase your site's conversion rates.
Remember that you don't have to say everything all at once. Let the architecture help guide the user through the site and the buying decision. Your website copy should be clear, concise and scannable. Keep in mind that cutting back on copy isn't necessarily a bad thing.
When in doubt, get the new site live and A/B test. You'll find just as many studies claiming that shorter pages are more effective as those that prefer longer pages. It's a matter of testing and finding what will perform best for your business.
5. Shoot straight
And at the end of the day, tell your vendor what you want. There's no need to beat around the bush. This is our job and you can't hurt our feelings. Expect any vendor to work together with you and push back if your requests contradict best practices. Ultimately, this teamwork will allow for the best end result.
These are five simple steps that, based on our experience, go a long way in ensuring that the project you're undertaking will be a success. Keep these steps in mind next time you're looking for a new website design and development vendor.