So you’re creating a B2B website. What’s the most important thing to keep in mind? That’s right – the first impression you make on your visitors when they reach your home page. Of course design is the very first thing your potential customer will take in, so make sure it’s clean, professional, and standard to your industry. B2B Web Strategy recently posted a checklist of top-notch B2B design elements that you can check out for some design pointers.
But once that initial flash of an impression is over, your prospects will need to know more, specifically:
Does this company provide what I am looking for?
To answer that question involves a few phases. The first is superficial, “Yes, I see that this is a blue widget company.” The second requires a bit more digging into details – and what details a prospect is looking for can vary as widely as the number of prospects who come to your site.
That’s why you need to make sure that the deeper levels of your site are packed with valuable info that these people can use to make a decision about whether or not to call you. But before they dig into that meaty information, they need to “stick” after they come to the first page.
That means that the home page needs to deliver two simple, direct messages:
1) What does my company do?
2) What does my company do better than other companies who do the same thing?
The first assures visitors that they are in the right place; the second piques their interest so that they keep digging for more details. Ideally, the two thoughts are delivered in a very short, punchy paragraph that is no longer than four sentences. If your web style allows for more copy on the home page, try leading with a headline that states exactly what you do, and use the supporting text to clarify your value proposition.
Blue Widget, Inc : The Best Blue Widgets Money Can Buy™
We build our blue widgets using the highest quality blue widget-making stuff available on the market, and stand behind our products with a lifetime guarantee.
Best Case Custom Software Development: The Usability Experts
We create elegant software solutions that are easy for our clients to manage and use.
OnePoint Research Portals
OnePoint is a highly customized market research portal that seamlessly integrates internal research with licensed secondary research in a single, easy-to-use, securely hosted solution.
Notice that nowhere did anyone “leverage industry best practices to deliver outstanding ROI.” While that is a good thing, leading with that phrase on the home page makes your visitors’ fingers itchy for the back button. Be concrete, descriptive, and specific.
Seen any web copy lately that was so bad it made your eyes hurt?
Want to hand out any blue ribbons for excellent use of home page real estate?
About the author: Kate Headen Waddell is a strategic copywriter specializing in web copy, white papers, case studies, solution briefs and other B2B marketing tools. You can visit her website at www.smartb2bmarcom.com.