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March 26, 2013

Elevate Your Understanding of B2B Usability: Five Easy Tips

Driving visitors to a B2B website is not an easy task. B2B marketers often spend tons of money promoting their websites as a result. Some use traditional marketing tactics for promotion, but such strategies are not effective.

To get maximum benefits from your B2B website and gain a competitive advantage, it is essential to map out a plan for success.

The following tips will help you attain maximum potential for your website, giving you high return on marketing investments.

Understand prospect’s mindset

According to several studies, visitors have little patience to read your marketing message in its entirety. Visitors often just scan the content for the parts that interest them.

To improve the usability, you must understand the needs of your users and what they expect. Visitors, upon going to a website, immediately want to validate that:

• They have visited the right website.

• They understand what they can (and can’t) do on your website.

• They can get the information they need and/or take the desired action.

Visitors often ask these questions when they visit any B2B website:

• What does/can this company offer?

• What can I contribute to this website?

• Where to go next?

If your website answers these questions, the visitor will be keen to look deeper into your website. Secondly, you must ensure your website provides all the information needed to improve the user’s experience.

Webpage and content scanning: make it easy

Visitors tend to scan your web pages rather than reading them thoroughly, so your content should be easy to scan and understand. To facilitate easy scanning, divide your content into sections with relevant headlines. Here are some other tips to ensure easy scanning:

• Use points instead of long paragraphs because visitors don’t have time to read lengthy paragraphs.

• Link names should be in the context of the destination.

• Active voice should be used.

• Short to the point, actionable text.

Testing Usability

Usability testing is essential because it helps you gain an in-depth knowledge about customer preferences such as how they navigate and what they comprehend from your website content. Usability tests also evaluate the effectiveness of your navigation, messaging, content and organization.

Use easy-to-understand terminology

Ensure your visitors can easily understand the content of your website. Many organizations use the internal company’s terminology on their sites but visitors might not easily understand such complex terminology. If your customer cannot comprehend your website content, it is unlikely he or she will buy anything from you. Do a sanity check — ask people you trust to read your site and give their feedback.

Make navigation easy and obvious

A good navigation system is one that supports users in browsing your website easily and effectively. To improve the navigation of your website, you must add visual clues and hints:

• Underline all your website links.

• Visited links should be highlighted using a different color.

• Providing a breadcrumb trail on the top of the page of the site to help visitors navigate back up the website hierarchy.

Mark Wilston is a Content Writer and marketing professional working with PixelCrayons (a reputed Web & Mobile Application development company). He loves to read and write different blogs related to web design and technologies. Contributing in a blog post aids him spreading the words online with a new set of people.