If you have a marketing website, especially a B2B marketing site, it has two jobs:
- To direct sensory and mechanical responses.
- To direct those responses into your sales channel.
It has to do those two jobs by doing four other things, in this order:
- Make it readily apparent what’s being offered and by whom.
- Present additional information clearly and accessibly.
- Make it easy for visitors to contact and/or follow you in social media.
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
They need to be done in that order because that’s what visitors want. Contrary to popular expectation, B2B visitors aren’t likely to arrive at your site because of keyword cleverness, density, or selection. SEO is all but immaterial.
Rather, visitors arrive because they search for a name — a company name, a product name, a service name, or an individual’s name. Site statistics show 95 to 98 percent of traffic on B2B sites arrives by such searches. And the higher the price point of what you’re selling, the lower the likelihood of keyword-driven traffic.
A site designed to optimize the four precepts above will be clean, uncluttered, accessible, and neither exhaustive nor exhausting. Websites don’t need to be packed with everything you can think to put it in them — only enough to get your prospects interested enough to want to talk with you.
Form (design) needs to follow function (purpose). It needs to serve presentation and navigation. Words and images for their own sake might be art. But words and images employed to follow function to accomplish the achievement business objectives have to be purposefully, deliberately, effectively designed.
Likewise, form and function have to be separated from gimmicks. Website design isn’t a tchotchke fair; although, many designers see websites as opportunities to flaunt their cyber trinkets. Adding clutter to a website adds insult (bad sense) to injury (bad design).
Simplicity, subtlety, cleanliness, uncomplicated navigation, accessible presentation, and uncluttered sensory and mechanical responses. Create your website to fulfill those criteria, and your visitors will have the experience they want — not the bells and whistles you may want to give them.