Great websites are invaluable when trying to attract and retain visitors, and today entrepreneurs have a variety of tools at their disposal – Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Local Fresh – to use in creating impressive, compelling mobile-friendly websites quickly and easily. However, the ease at which a business can create a quality, professional looking website has also created a problem for consumers, specifically how does a user identify the most reputable, authoritative and trusted websites?
In a recent survey, the 2015 Business-2-Business Web Usability Report, KoMarketing and Huff Industrial attempted to determine the website elements buyers really desired from vendor websites, which were important for revisits and retention, and which elements were most likely to lead to a conversion.
The primary answers: Consumers desire authenticity in a business website, and the most effective way of create this desired authenticity is to demonstrate credibility and trust.
The report also discovered that many businesses are missing easy opportunities to improve their websites and create credibility and trust. Here are four key and stunningly simple elements most companies are missing.
According to data collected in the report, 51 percent of survey participants said that “thorough contact information” was a key website element missing from the majority of websites. A remarkable 98 percent of participants reported that “No Contact Information/Phone Number” would cause them to leave a website (44 percent) or cause them enough annoyance that they’d consider leaving a website (54 percent).
Even though marketing and shopping occur virtually, many consumers still want and need to know that a website belongs to a legitimate business with a real location. Including your business’ physical address with your email address and phone number is this best way to accomplish this.
Visitors also want finding your contact information to be easy. Hiding it in small print and camouflaged in unnecessary content sends a bad message. Make it bold, clear and easy to find, with all of your business’ social media links, in the footer of each page. If you design a separate contact page, make navigating to that page easy.
Providing information about your company, your team and yourself is another important factor when trying to create trust and credibility. Nearly 52 percent of participants stated that “About/Company Information” was details that visitors most wanted to see on a business’ homepage and was second only to “Contact Information” at establishing credibility.
Take the time needed to develop your business’ story and provide visitors with the detailed histories, backgrounds, bios and some personable stories of each key team member. Add links to each of their professional websites, like Twitter and LinkedIn, and use high-resolution pictures.
Another valuable element when establishing credibility is to include a list of your clients and a few testimonials. This may not always be an option, but few things offer a higher gauge of your value and credibility than a long list of satisfied clients.
Most entrepreneurs believe that curating a regular blog and having an engaging social media presence are the keys to converting clients. While these are certainly helpful strategies, the survey discovered that videos, blog posts and social media activity ranked lowest on “content assets that create credibility.”
Try focusing your marketing efforts on research reports, case studies, white papers and articles that establish your credibility as an expert in your industry. Write frequently and utilize customer feedback to create relevant content they desire.
To distribute this information, you need to consider providing it for free without the requirement of an email address or other personal information, as the survey found that over 70 percent of participants stated they would not provide information to receive content.
Keep It Simple
As more businesses move towards a mobile-first strategy, especially given Google’s most recent search algorithm update that prioritizes mobile-ready sites, the survey found that for now, in instances of B2B sales, 61 percent of respondents indicated that a mobile-friendly website did not impact their buying decision.
It would be a mistake to abandon any kind of mobile strategy, as mobile search is certainly the direction of the future. Rather, entrepreneurs should try embracing a duel approach that purses both mobile and B2B transactions in the same strategy. In other words: keep it simple. Resist the urge to fill your site with content limited to only what your visitors need.
As mobile websites improve and more consumers begin interacting with content on mobile devices, everybody will come to expect the same experience from mobile sites as we do our desktop sites. Simple, responsive designs and easy navigation won’t be enough, however, so companies will need to focus more on creating and establishing credibility to convert and attract visitors.