Your B2B homepage. Your digital “welcome” mat. Never has a single web page had to accomplish so many things, for so many people, in such a short amount of time.
It has to make potential buyers feel welcome, convey the best way to navigate the site, speak to them in a tone and style that makes them want to delve deeper into the site, explain how you can help them address their pain points and, of course, convince them to consider giving you their business instead of to a competitor. In about thirty seconds, or less. If your homepage fails to accomplish even one of these things, odds are good you’ll be tossed from the consideration set, and that potential customer will move on to evaluating a competitor’s homepage. Yes, in the B2B world, the homepage can be a harsh, cold place.
Always Be Closing (Just, Not as Often)
Selling in the B2B world has never been more complex, competitive, or digital. Sales cycles are considerably longer and decision-making has more people involved. According to Hubspot, 75% of B2B companies take an average of at least four months to win a new customer. In a typical firm with 100 to 500 employees, Gartner cites that an average of seven people is involved in most buying decisions.
Buyers are also doing more self-research than ever before, the majority of which takes place online. This is why it’s in every business’s best interest to have the most aesthetically pleasing, compelling, effective, intuitive, informative, and useful homepage possible.
B2B Homepage Best Practices
To ensure that your homepage is capable of accomplishing all of that heavy lifting, here are some best practices so that your B2B homepage will be nothing short of killer:
Clearly Communicate the Value Prop
Place the value of your product or service front and center. Within seconds of arriving on your site, prospective buyers should know where they are, what they can do there, why they should buy from you, and be able to see proof of your claims.
Always Offer Visitors an Action or More Content
Your homepage should be a gateway for a prospective buyer to take action (e.g. download a PDF, sign up for a newsletter) as well as gain access to more information-intensive areas of your site. Give them options (buttons, text links, images, etc) to click so that they always have somewhere to go next. The longer they stay on your site, the less likely they are to close the window and visit a competitor’s website instead.
B2B selling is all about capturing and nurturing new leads, especially if your sales cycle is complex and takes time. Be sure to include multiple opportunities for prospects to submit contact information throughout the page.
Offers and Promotions
If you have any offers or promotions currently underway, your homepage is prime real estate in which to let visitors know about it. Granted, in B2B sales, this may not be a “20% off” promotion, but you may consider offering a free demo or free trial, as an example.
Do you have any reviews or testimonials? Results from previous projects? Won any awards? This evidential proof helps validate any value proposition claims made throughout your site. Buyers want to see that you have experience solving the issues they are currently facing.
Develop content that aligns with your prospect’s buying journey. Your homepage will likely be the first-page prospects visit, so content should help them understand who you are, what you can do for their business, and how you differ from competitors. However, you’ll also need additional content that answers their deeper questions – e.g. product demos, product guides, feature comparisons, pricing, client case studies, client testimonials.
Visuals and Design
Create a design that emphasizes the most important points you want to communicate to prospective buyers. For example, if you want them to see the results you’ve achieved for other clients, make sure you create a design that emphasizes that. Use design to provide visitors with visual cues to help guide them through the page towards the most important messaging or actions.
As advertising icon David Ogilvy famously said, “On average, five times as many people will read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Make your headlines as compelling as possible and don’t be afraid to work your value proposition into them when it makes sense.
Messaging and Copy
Speak directly to your prospective buyers emphasizing that you understand their pain points and experiences (not your own), and create messages that they will identify with. This helps them know that you have experience solving the very same issues that they’re currently facing.
“On average, five times as many people
will read the headline as read the body copy.
When you have written your headline,
you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Meet Your Most Dedicated "Salesperson"
Your homepage isn’t just where your website begins; it’s where the sales process begins. What your homepage says to visitors, how it says it, how the page is designed, and the way it influences visitor behavior will often determine whether that sales process will move forward or come to an abrupt end. So, take care of your homepage. Give it the attention, time, and investment it demands so that the only impression it will make on a potential customer is one that will lead to a sale.
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