Whether you’re redesigning your current website, planning a rebrand or a new build, it’s of utmost importance you use the right strategy and website components, because no matter what your mother or primary school teachers told you, all websites are not created equal.

34419114_thumbnail_small

Look at your competitors’ websites and you’ll see a disparity in everything from design, messaging, content and functionality. Developing a powerful website that functions as a platform for business development requires the right “building blocks” – and to take the stress out of it, we’ve compiled a list of the essentials for you.

1. Planning and executing your online marketing strategy

Building a dynamic B2B website requires every aspect of your website to work as a well-oiled machine. Everything must be meticulously planned and executed – your website designer must take the time to gain insight into your business, goals, sales processes and how your site ties into your online and offline marketing efforts.

Now is not the time to skimp on getting a professional – make sure you partner with someone whose expertise strong across both marketing and web development.

2.  Content strategy

Content is what draws visitors to your website and a good content strategy will guide your plans for the what, where, when and why of content creation. Your strategy should include: customer persona profiles, action plan, information architecture, content mapping, and content audit.

3.  Key messaging and copywriting

This fundamental of a great B2B website often gets overlooked. Many web-development shops don’t have the expertise to provide copywriting and messaging strategies in-house. But you can’t underestimate the value of having a professional help you craft powerful key messages – they’ll speak directly to your audience and bring a cohesiveness and clarity to your copy.

4.  Beautiful + functional custom design

Your website is the face of your business and represents who you are and what you offer, so investing in professional and creative design is crucial. Great web is about more than just good-looking visuals. It creates a positive user experience (UX) that will impact usability, navigation, engagement and ultimately conversions.

5.  Responsive design

It’s a multi-screen world, so build a website that works well on all devices. Responsive design provides a viable solution and has become a “must have” for new websites. Effective responsive design is a wise investment, but will require careful planning, testing and adapting throughout both design and development.

6.  Thought leadership blog

Blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing; it builds thought leadership, fuels SEO, propels social media marketing, drives traffic and helps to generate and nurture leads. Your blog should be integrated into your overall website design and navigation, as well as be cross promoted in various sections of your website.

7.  Lead generation

A lead generation strategy will help guide visitors to your website on to the next step. Start with premium content offers – whitepapers, eBooks, blog subscriptions and complimentary consultations. Premium content offers, in the context of lead gen, are a piece of content that has enough perceived value that a visitor is willing to give some personal information in exchange for it.

Promote your premium content offers throughout your website with clear CTAs leading to landing pages that are optimised to effectively convert website visitors into leads.

8.  Custom CMS development

Building your website on a content management system (CMS) is another crucial building block of a marketing-focused website. It’s important to partner with an agency that will build a fully custom website. And in addition to the custom design on the front-end, the back-end interface should also be fully customised, allowing you to be able to update and control virtually every word and image on your website – quickly and easily.

9.  SEO best practices and content optimisation

Failing to optimise your new website can have a negative effect on your existing search engine rankings and traffic. It’s essential your agency employs the latest industry best practices for SEO techniques: page load speed, on-page factors and clean code. You’ll also want to ensure that the copy, page titles and meta descriptions are optimised based on keyword research or search phrases you’ve identified.

10.  Marketing automation/CRM integration

To build a website that is focused on generating and nurturing leads, you’ll require the integration of marketing automation software and, ideally, a CRM system. Marketing automation will allow you to get the most out of your website investment as well as provide you with complimentary online marketing tools like lead capturing forms, list management and automated email campaigns. You’ll also be able to get real marketing and sales intel that will boost business development and allow your team to have a much more targeted and relevant conversation with prospects and clients.

Integrate your marketing automation with a CRM system for better web-to-lead functionality and the ability to capture lead behaviour and intelligence right inside the CRM console. The integration of these two platforms will allow you to fine-tune both the quality and quantity of leads being pushed into the CRM and over to the business development team, resulting in increased alignment with your marketing efforts.

 

Is it time to breathe some new life into your digital strategy? Whether it’s a complete website overhaul or a few tweaks in your content marketing strategy, BallantyneTaylor has got you covered.

Contact Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne for a one-on-one conversation about how we can take your brand to new heights.  e: steve@ballantynetaylor.co.nz

Steve Ballantyne, founder and Managing Director of B2B Marketing Agency BallantyneTaylor is widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading B2B marketing strategists. Steve’s passion for innovative branding strategy – on and offline – has culminated from 25 years spent starting and building many businesses of his own – in New Zealand and Australia. With 20 years as Managing Director of BallantyneTaylor, he’s become adept at helping others grow their businesses into strong brands too.