Your website is arguably the most important sales tool in your B2B marketing arsenal. Most of your prospective customers visit your website to determine whether your product or service is a good fit for their business.

The thing is, they are checking out your competitor’s websites as well. So, how do you stand out? Having a beautiful design may catch their eye, but to keep them engaged, you need to offer content that’s meaningful to them.

At Bop Design, we look at B2B websites on a daily basis. Below are the most common mistakes we see clients making – that you should avoid.

1. Not having a strategy

You can’t build a house without a blueprint. I mean, you can, but chances are you’d run into a number of architectural snags along the way that could bring the whole house down. If you’d planned ahead, some of these snafus could have been avoided.

When building your B2B website content, start with a plan. Create a site map that lays out every page on your site and determine what content to cover on each page. Starting at a high level before drilling down to specifics will not only save you time in the long run, but you’ll see the quality of your content go up when ideas are organized and laid out in a manner that makes sense to visitors.

2. It’s not clear what you do

Sometime last year I came across a B2B website that had the coolest design concept. I won’t name names, but the visuals, and even the headline, were humorous and engaging. This site won design awards, and I went back to it a few times to see what else they’d done.

Then it dawned on me: I had no idea what this company was selling. Their website looked awesome, and I’d even gone back multiple times, but I didn’t know what the product was. In my mind, this was a fail.

Unless you’re a big-name brand that everyone knows, being vague about what you offer is a monumental no-no. Business folks are busy, and if they don’t see that you can offer a solution to their problem right away, they’ll leave your site to find another company that can.

Try this test: if you copied and pasted your headline on another company’s website, would it work? If so, you’re probably not being clear about what you offer and how you’re different.

Make sure readers understand what you do within 10 seconds of landing on your B2B website, or risk losing them.

3. Too much corporate gobbledygook

Do you ever go to a website and catch yourself reading the same paragraph three or four times just to understand it? If you do, it could mean the writing is using too much corporate speak and not enough plain English.

Take this sentence: “Flanagan & Wright Ventures is a premier provider of best-in-class enterprise solutions that empower midmarket businesses to dynamically streamline workflows, collapse silos and improve efficiencies throughout all stages of the managed services ecosystem.”

Uh, what?

By removing the overly complex (and overused) corporate speak, we improve readability: “We provide easy-to-use software that allows your team to collaborate more effectively than ever before.”

Though it may sound simplified, allowing your reader to understand your content will always trump staid corporate jargon.

4. You’re saying too much

Staying within the theme of simplification, avoid muddying up your pages with every detail about your product or service. You want to provide enough information to get someone interested, but not go into minutiae about how the sausage was made.

The goal is to encourage a user to contact you for more information so your sales team can work their magic. Give readers a solid understanding of your offering and make the case for why you’re different, but avoid overwhelming them with TMI.

5. Too many cooks

This one is a touchy subject, but it’s incredibly common and can have a devastating effect on your B2B website content. When too many people have a say in the direction of your website content, it becomes cluttered with too many ideas and incoherent messaging.

A mentor of mine, who ran a successful digital marketing firm, once offered some wise words: “Your website is not a democracy – not everyone gets a vote.” Too many cooks can indeed spoil the broth, and you wind up with an unsavory bouillabaisse that entices no one to come back for seconds.

While it’s okay to get initial input from various stakeholders, giving them too much power throughout the process in unwise. Establish early on who will lead and have the final say on your B2B website content, and get buy-in from your CEO or another person of influence who will back you up.

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