B2B Online, an exponential growth
The last few years have seen an exponential acceleration of importance on the Web, with the recent pandemic involving all businesses, from the largest to the neighborhood. Even for the traditional company, which does not sell online, there is a need for an effective B2B website that is a service to its customers and that intercepts buyers’ increasingly online-oriented searches, as illustrated by the infographics.
And it applies to acquiring new contacts from abroad as well as domestic ones: the company’s new purchasing manager may not necessarily know all the suppliers in the market, maybe he is a young engineer who comes from another industry and wants to make a good impression by renewing the supplier base; what do you think he will do? He will do what he is wont to do for personal purchases, search the internet!
The offering of B2B sites
In spite of the growing importance of online, in recent years the market supply, following a demand attentive only to price, has adapted to propose a low-cost B2B website, perhaps aesthetically pleasing, but mass-produced, a kind of copy-and-paste, with a trivial content and, above all, not SEO oriented, that is, lacking any search engine optimization.
Such a “showcase” site today makes no sense; if the site is to be the modern version of the Yellow Pages, then we might as well not have it at all.
A B2B website makes sense if it meets the following requirements:
- It communicates the spirit of the company. Yes it is necessary, it is not just a “display” of products, just as the company is not just a VAT number.
- Provides customer service. A place where they can find documentation, explanations, tutorials on use (moreover, this will relieve the structure of demands).
- It makes your professionalism known. You are great at it, you produce excellent products, you have been doing it for dozens of years–why not pass on your skills even to those who do not know you? A site that contains useful information is valued and enhances reputation.
- It is a marketing platform. To nurture existing customers, to communicate new products or services, and, most importantly, to acquire new customers by having them find you by people looking for products like yours.
Requirements for an effective B2B website
These considerations coincide with the demands of the largest search engine: Google.
In 2021, a B2B website to be considered by Google must be:
These 3 concepts are not my opinions, they are not debatable or negotiable, it is what Google has decided; therefore, in order to be found, you have to respect them as much as possible.
Being found is an entirely different thing from having a site. Some are probably already familiar with the acronym SEO, Search Engine Optimization, which is that optimization that allows search engines to bring up your site’s name in relevant searches. Leaving aside the “I’m going to make you appear 1st on Google” publicity stunts that are, in fact, baloney, SEO is serious, ongoing work that requires time, professionalism and investment. Many people are now aware of this, but so many still do not know that good SEO is not something separate from the site, the form is the shell of the substance.
To make a successful film, it is not enough to have a bunch of ideas: it is essential to present them carefully and have total awareness of the form.
Effective SEO rests on a well-done site, and a well-done site consists of 3 aspects, which, not coincidentally, are what Google requires:
- Consistent content that is interesting and educational
- An easy-to-use and aesthetically appealing container
- A good engine (actually, as in automobiles, speed depends both on the power of the engine and on the heaviness and aerodynamic shape of the body, in sites it depends both on the power of the servers where the site is hosted and on the care in the construction of the site itself).
Checking the performance of your site or those already made by those who are proposing it to you might be a good starting point for evaluation (for the purely aesthetic aspect, a solution can always be found).
There are many free resources online, just enter the URL of your site and you will have an easy-to-read assessment, as in the example below.
To Measure Speed
Click for a selection of sites where you can measure the speed of your site.
An effective site must meet the characteristics outlined above, and therefore must have SEO friendly text copy and, possibly, basic initial SEO from the time of creation. It is the minimum. And this requires different kinds of skills, care, and time, lots of time, in close cooperation with the company. Any investments in more driven SEO can (and should) come later, and will depend on the nature and goals of the business. But that is another matter.
So now you know that having a low-cost site made by a guy who knows nothing about business, giving him 4 photos and 2 texts, and then expecting to have a B2B website that looks good, is fast, and stands out in your potential customers’ searches, simply will not work.