For most business-to-business marketers, there’s no marketing tool more critical to sales success than the company’s website. As the digital face of your company, it is often your prospects’ first point of contact with you. It can also be their last if their online experience is frustrating or less than fruitful.

Let’s start with the basics. A marketing website must look professional, accurately project your brand, be easy to navigate and offer useful information to visitors who want to solve problems and find answers. Hopefully, your products and services will be just the ticket. But first, your website has a big job to do: Helping visitors with needs locate the solutions you provide. That’s how a website helps drive sales.

Here are some tips to help your website pull its weight in the selling process:

  1. Organize products pages by industry, application or market — It’s important to speak the language of your customers and to address their particular concerns. By creating multiple products pages based on industry, application or even customer type (OEMs vs. end-users, for example), you can efficiently direct your visitors to relevant content and demonstrate that you understand their needs. This organizational approach enables you to post supporting content — such as white papers or case studies — right on the products pages that relate to each industry, application or market segment.
  2. Align your site with your advertising — When your website is organized by your prospects’ industries, applications or job functions, you are likely matching the target audiences reached by your advertising program. This means you can potentially skip the step of creating website landing pages. While landing pages make sense for some promotions, they can add unnecessary complexity (not to mention extra time and cost). A well-designed site will parallel your advertising in messages and graphics, making it a strong next step (or first step) in your selling process.
  3. Remember news and resources sections — A website News section tells prospects your company is on the move and can help increase confidence in you as a supplier. Press releases about new products are usually the first type of news B2B marketers think of, but your visitors are also interested in company staffing news, industry awards, acquisitions, patents, etc. A Resources section on your site allows visitors to find product literature, technical papers, case studies and other educational content all in one place — with the added benefit of demonstrating your company’s expertise.
  4. Maintain brand consistency  Make sure your website verbally and visually reinforces the rest of your marketing communications program. You want a seamless transition between your online presence and the other tactics your audience sees, such as advertising, sales literature, email marketing, etc., because consistency maximizes impact.
  5. Walk through your site in a first-time visitor’s shoes  When was the last time you clicked through your site as if you were a brand new visitor? Is your site friendly in both tone and function? Most marketing people know where information is available (or hidden!) on their company’s website, but pretend for a minute that you don’t. Come to your site with a particular application or question in mind and see if you can get answers quickly and intuitively. If not, you’ll need to consider adding content, updating your site’s navigation or rethinking how to serve your company’s prospects online.

Questions? Need a fresh take on how your site is working? Contact your CCC account manager or email smcpherson@cccinc.com.