Successfully positioning your company as a leading expert in the B2B technology industry means you’ve understood how vitally important it is to stay up-to-date. Your technology business is selling products that are top-of-the-line—brand new, fast, sleek and relevant to your customers—and in this increasingly digital world, your company’s website needs to reflect the high quality of the products you’re selling (and the high quality of your brand!).
Fail to adapt and you’ll look like a laggard, even if your product is, in fact, state of the art. And nobody prefers to buy from the tech laggards… The hard truth is this: you have 10 seconds to communicate your value to users if you want them to pull up a chair and stay a while. It’s imperative not only to know what your website visitors love, but also to show them exactly what they need, before they even know they need it. It’s important that you dazzle, inform and impress your visitor in the time it takes you to read this sentence.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. There’s already an overwhelming amount of diversely designed websites (both effective and ineffective) out there in cyberspace. You’d be surprised to find, however, how few websites actually meet the standards that users prefer, especially in the professional B2B market. What these companies don’t know is that it only takes a handful of tweaks to their website to transform it into something truly compelling for their target audience. Intrigued? Glad you got this far? (Our 10-second hook worked, yes!).
This guide will introduce 8 ways you can power up your technology or SaaS company website – as well as a few insider tips on how to implement them! Plus, we’ll provide a handy checklist for you to track your progress as you knock out each item.
Create a Great User Experience
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what your website visitors are doing when browsing your products and pages (and “browsing” is a keyword here). Don’t believe us? Here are some stats: most of the time, about 55% of website viewers are spending less than 15 seconds on a piece of content. What’s more, according to a study conducted by Stanford, almost 75% of users valued website and information design as the biggest part of establishing trust during the user experience. Make your website pull a Tom Hanks… get your target audience to trust you and look classy doing it. For a great user experience, your site MUST:
- Have a sleek, modern design – BE the products that you’re selling. If your site looks
like it’s emerging from the Stone Age, that’s the way your technology product is going to be perceived, too.
- Be mobile-friendly – More searches are made via mobile devices than on desktops now. That’s a big market to miss out on if your website hasn’t incorporated a responsive design that adjusts the display for each type of device.
- Demonstrate high-speed performance – Remember the 10 second rule? Your website’s lag time shouldn’t be the reason why prospects aren’t sticking around.
- Engage readers with interactive content – Offering interactive website content—assessments, quizzes, surveys, polls, videos, clickable photos, roll-over effects, you name it!—could mean the difference between a prospect and a buyer.
Help Customers Help Themselves
A good technology website needs to harness the power of two things: agency and objectivity. The whole point of a good website is to introduce yourself and your products to customers. Your customers, in turn, must be able to feel you out, explore the options you have available to them, and decide whether or not you’d make a great pair. In order to help them do this, a good website should allow customers to engage in self-service. Consider the 80/20 rule: 80% of your customers are only really looking for about 20% of your content. So make it easy for them to find what they need AND, as a separate point, understand what you can provide them with tools like these:
- Streamlined search – Nothing is more frustrating in the internet age than not being able to find what you’re looking for, so add a site search bar into your navigation or footer. Moreover, optimize content and pages with the right keyword strategy so that customers can get what they need when they need it by searching on your own website.
- Custom calculators – Calculators can help determine buyer needs while also allowing your company to remain objective. That said, it never hurts to insert a little plug with every result your calculators might come up with (i.e. “Your results have been calculated and we can help you with that…”).
- Product catalogs – When you’re selling multiple similar products with different variations, a catalog or a more specific tool reserved solely for your products will help differentiate your solution for prospects and buyers (this particularly applies if you’re selling devices, as opposed to software).
Provide Outstanding Customer Service
This one’s a no-brainer, but when you’re working in the B2B marketplace, it’s always worth mentioning. It’s especially important when considering that most companies have a 60%-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, whereas only a 5%-20% chance of selling to a new prospect. With that said, a loyal customer is worth, on average, up to 10x more than their first purchase. Outstanding customer service not only enables the engagement of new prospects, but it also ensures that your existing customer base sticks around (and, well, buys what you’re selling). To provide outstanding customer service, a great tech website must have:
- A support section – If possible, include names and headshots of your support staff. Sending a note to a customer service department sometimes feels discouraging, but by putting faces to the support team names, it will help make your clients feel more comfortable.
- Interactive help chat – With speedy responses from real people – live chat is one of the most-used outlets available to customers, topping out at 33% of user engagement.
- Accessible contact information – Don’t be afraid to provide bios, headshots, and very obvious “Contact Us” and “About Us” sections in your website menus.
Build an Accessible Knowledge Base
In the technology industry, anticipating the questions that prospects are going to ask is vital in connection to both customer service and self-service, so this point is very much tied to the previous two. In a study by Nuance, 67% of customers say they actually prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. This means that a knowledge base that is both accessible and (actually) helpful showcases proactive customer service AND self-service encouragement all rolled into one! Plus, it’s also a way to flaunt what you’ve got and show what you know (and great practice for applying the needs of those buyer personas that marketing agencies always make you write). For a solid knowledge base, here’s what you need:
- A FAQ page – You’ve undoubtedly experienced issues with customers in the past – nobody’s perfect! Gather the questions they’ve asked you, plus some things you think you need to clarify, and get them informed by consolidating it all to one page.
- How-to’s – How-to information and video tutorials are a great excuse for making interactive content to more practically engage with your prospects.
- Technical dictionary – Similar to the Insider Tip in Point 1, this could be a hub of all the technical jargon you might use to help “translate” it for the layperson just trying to buy some software or a new device.
Highlight Features and Benefits
Beyond your website’s accessibility and design, its purpose is to sell your product. A good website will highlight your products’ features. When in the B2B technology industry, product feature highlights are especially important. Compared to B2C spending practices, B2B spending is much more measured, planned, and collaborative. Product features could speed along the decision process for your prospects and clarify crucial, need-to-know parts of the products. Be sure that your product features are presented in a way that highlights the benefits for the customer. Point out what types of problems each feature solves, and your message will truly resonate. Examples of how product features could be displayed:
- Feature comparison charts – Infographics, data sheets highlighting competing brands, and new vs. old technology could all fall into this category. The more visual, the better.
- Product demos – This could also double as part of your knowledge base; you could make demos into how-to videos or downloadable PDFs, etc. Killing two birds with one stone and getting new customers doing it? Score!
- Screenshots – With software set-ups, things can get complicated. Providing screenshots helps your customers understand what things are supposed to look like.
- Service levels – Many SaaS companies have varying service levels. If this applies to your business, a pricing page that discusses the differences, along with the value a customer gets from each level is important to display. Nothing is more frustrating for a buyer if they have to talk to a sales rep to get this information.
Demonstrate Thought Leadership
For many technology company executives and marketers, establishing themselves as thought leaders in their fields can take time. Yes, an adept thought leader shows off their own expertise and highlights his or her company’s capabilities; however, they also curate and share the best third-party content from other leading sources published on the web. This shows your target audience that, yes, you actually do know what you’re talking about, and that perusing your site is worth the time. It also provides objective information that your customers will be able to access in order to educate themselves. Ways you can highlight your industry chops and credibility:
- An industry blog – A blog provides the perfect opportunity for you to address common industry problems, answer prospect questions, and discuss your take on current events in your field. Sure, you can promote case studies and product benefits in your blog on occasion – but frankly, that’s what the rest of your website is for.
- Interactive content – We’ve talked about it already, but as a technology industry
pro you already know the value of looking savvy. Interactive content helps you do that. Instead of just reading through content, it allows prospects and users to engage more fully with the material.
- Educational content – This includes eBooks, white papers, etc. – anything you deem as publishable and important for your customers to understand.
- Explainer videos – Explainers are typically animated videos (3 minutes or less) that follow a problem and solution narrative. They help make your products relatable to those customers that would be needing that technical dictionary we talked about. Plus, with the right concept and execution, they’re fun to watch!
- Social media integration – Everybody’s favorite thing: posting. But it’s more important than you know! This is a way to share your valuable content with the world to your following via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – and if you do it right, someone will like/favorite/share it again. Free marketing!
More than any other industry, a promise of security in your technology website means a promise of security and quality in your product. Security for online payments is relevant to every customer base: 91% of people making purchases online are concerned about security. Working in the B2B market, make that 100% – B2B buyers need to know that what they’re getting is secure because their purchase impacts the entire company. To make a business buyer feel more comfortable with you, and to legitimize your priorities as a technology company, add these to your website:
- Certifications and seals – To further prove that you’re registered and reliable, show off those badges on your home page, contact page, resource landing pages and any other conversion points on your website where a prospect might appreciate some reassurance.
- Online payment methods – B2B buyers spend more money than regular consumers, so having a secure online payment software like VeriSign (which is one of many security options) is vital to promising security in their purchase. They shouldn’t need to think twice about buyer safety, even if the stats say they do anyway.
- HTTPS – This is in contrast to HTTP, both of which are the little acronyms preceding the rest of a URL. HTTPS helps ensure that all communications between a browser and a website are encrypted, so that hackers can’t easily access your (or your customers’) information.
Provide Social Proof
Two of the strongest methods for convincing a person to buy your product? Word-of-mouth and peer observation. In fact, specifically in the technology industry, peer observation (or observing other customers) is significantly more important than word-of-mouth recommendations. So where and how can you include opportunities for peer observation on your website?
- Customer testimonials – Here you can let someone else do the talking for you. Include these on your homepage so that your users don’t need to extensively search for proof that you’re the best choice. (Note: don’t have testimonials? That’s okay! It’s easy to collect them by contacting happy customers).
- Case studies – This is a scientific, data-focused way to share your magnificence to your more tech-fluent audience. As far as a format to follow, first present the customer’s challenges, then discuss the solutions your company provides, and finally end with results and a testimonial if applicable.
- Social media share counts – Include these at the bottom of posts, in product reviews and product pages. These share counts will not only show how much people love a specific piece of content or one of your products, but it will also encourage users to continue to share them.