B2B companies say that improving their websites is a priority for 2010. I'm not sure exactly what they're thinking, but I do know that — before they do anything — they need to evaluate the website they have now in order to create a renovation plan.
I suggest that an audit be conducted for each web page, or at least your main pages if your site is really intense. The benefit of doing this audit will help to position your web pages to generate more responsiveness from your prospects and customers.
Some of the things overlooked on B2B websites include:
- Web pages are not stand-alone. They need to be integrated in a way that leads your website visitors to the information they find useful based on interest.
- Just because your navigation creates siloed areas of content doesn't mean your web pages need to follow suit.
- Your website is not a brochure all about YOU and your products. If it's not designed with your prospects and customers in mind, you lose. That means every single page.
- Each page has about 3 - 5 seconds to catch attention. Don't bury your hook.
I've created a simple Web Page Audit Form to get you started.
Here are the steps for auditing your web pages:
- Main Topic: Each web page should have a focus. You should be able to summarize the main topic in a sentence.
- Question Answered: When prospects are searching for information, they are seeking answers to questions. Which question does your web page answer? As you audit your web pages, you should begin to see the possibilities for ways to connect your content into pathways that apply to buying stages - or you'll see gaps that need to be filled.
- Call to Action: You need to show your prospects how to take next steps given the information they've just accessed.
- Takeaway: If all they read is this one page, what impression are you leaving with them? A takeaway is different from a call to action.
- Use of Company Focus: Print off your page and circle all the instances where you've used words such as; we, our, our company, company name, us, product names, features, etc.
- Use of Prospect Focus: Use a different color pen and circle all the instances where you've used words such as; you, yours, your company, roles (VP, CIO, Entrepreneurs, etc.), benefits and outcomes, etc.
[Which side weighs in heavier? How focused on your audience is your content?]
- Keywords and Phrases: Now circle the keywords and phrases you're using on the page. Are they words your prospects use to search with? Or, are they only what you think are important. If you search for these terms in a search engine, does your page show up? Which words and phrases might work better at catching your prospects' attention?
- Time Spent: Get into your analytics and determine how much time people are spending on the web page. Is it enough to read and comprehend the content? Or is it only enough for a brief scan? Do they exit or do they visit another web page? Is the content they view next related to the topic of this page?
- Related Web Pages: What options do you provide to entice your prospects to spend more time with you? Which pages do you have that could be incorporated to enhance the experience you're providing to your website audience?
If you'd like a copy of the Web Page Audit form, download the PDF.
Once you've audited a number of pages, it's likely you'll see a pattern for revisions. You'll also discover new possibilities for creating an integrated experience for how your website visitors engage with your content. Finally, it should become really clear how to improve your online dialogue with your prospects and customers because your website will have the potential to become all about them. And that's a good thing.