Select the best B2B website developer: how?

8 min read
Apr 29, 2024 11:49:08 AM
You put a lot of time and energy into your website without getting the desired results in visitors and leads. Moreover, the process that we consider "the standard" way of website development is full of risks and costs your company unnecessary time and money. It is out of date.

accent-line-red-xl

You put a lot of time and energy into your website without getting the desired results in visitors and leads. Moreover, the process that we consider "the standard" way of website development is fraught with risks and costs your business unnecessary time and money. It is out of date. By asking yourself the right critical questions beforehand, how can you select a B2B website developer who understands what your future website needs to meet - namely, generate more traffic, leads and customer requests? That's where I help you with this blog.

This blog covers:

  • The difference between a traditional and a modern website process;
    Test, when selecting a website developer whether they speak the following language
  • What homework should you do, to get off to a flying start with the B2B website developer?
  • Looking at how your prospects and customers behave in this digital landscape, the website is not a static element but ideally a source of new business. "Your website is your business card" - thus no longer makes sense.

Therefore, it is important not to simply give the channel a set-and-forget facelift, but to see it as an elementary link in the buying process of your customer. A link that, with the right optimization, can generate growth in new leads and customers.

The role of your website: an elementary link in the buying process of your customer

Your website is your most important marketing tool and is the center of all your marketing activities. It is the first place prospects and customers go when they are looking for more information about your products or services.

As important as the website is - the traditional way of building and optimizing a website is no longer effective.

A quick look back at your last website journey....

Picture for yourself the last website journey your company went through. Pleasant to think back on .... or not? What we often hear is that it's a period full of stress and headaches. But why is that so?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How did you experience the complete process?
  • What went right, and wrong in the process?
  • How much time/energy/resources did it take to get the website live?
  • Was the website launch on time and on budget?
  • How much optimization has been done since the launch?
  • How eager are you to embark on a new website development project?

The reason many marketers perceive such a process as laborious is because it is laced with risks.

We list some of them:

1.High (start-up) costs
The average website costs between €15,000 - €50,000. A considerable cost, which must be paid in advance. Not only is it difficult to free up marketing budget for such an expense, it is also a big gamble because you don't know what impact the new website will have on achieving your business goals.

2.Out of scope, over budget and not flexible
A large website project involves many people and many steps to complete. This makes it not always easy to make a reliable estimate in terms of time and costs. As a result, a website often overshoots the predetermined scope and goes way over budget. This creates annoyance for yourself, your boss and other stakeholders within your company.

3.Based on assumptions, no guarantee of results
Websites that are only beautiful and do not substantially contribute to your business goals - there are already plenty of those.

Unfortunately, every day websites are launched whose content is based on assumptions. How do you know if all the time, money and manpower you've put into the site is going to substantially contribute to more visitors and more qualified leads (read: conversion)? Right, you don't know! Unfortunately, many examples can be found of websites that turned out to perform very poorly after launch.

4. Launch ... and then? A static website
After launch, websites remain on average 1.5 - 2 years without major updates. You are often dependent on the IT department to make changes.

'No time', 'the budget has run out', 'we have other focus points', it all comes down to the fact that many companies neglect their website, their #1 marketing tool and best sales person for a long time... of course, the website does get some minor updates - in most cases
, the news page is updated and new landing pages are added, but the bulk of the website remains unchanged.

Of course, this is not how you get the most results from your website.

The difference between a traditional and a modern website process: this is how it should be done!

Traditional website building results in a static final product that is delivered all at once.

The modern website process is a smarter, iterative way of website development that avoids the risks of traditional development thanks to faster launch and continuous optimization based on data. The result: a manageable website that constantly grows with your business.

A traditional VS a modern website process:

Website grafiek

Voor en nadelen websiteproces

When selecting a website developer, test whether they speak the following language:

"Focus on impact (traffic, leads), not a pretty website"
A systematic approach can minimize all the risks of traditional website development. The approach you want to take ensures a shorter launch time and focuses on real impact, continuous learning and improvement. Make sure the website developer talks to you about:

  • Your market, and challenges there;
  • Solving the visitor's problems on your site;
  • Monitoring behavior, and improving the website accordingly;
  • A website that generates traffic and leads, rather than a "pretty" website.

2. "Continuous learning and improvement: a good website is never finished."
The modern website process means constantly researching, testing and gaining new insights about how visitors move around your website. This allows you to make improvements that actually produce more results. By continuously improving, you can use your website to increase the number of visitors - and conversion to qualified leads. Pay attention to whether the Web site developer you talk to has a strong focus on this as well.

3. "Your Web site should be an extension of Marketing and Sales."
The average corporate Web site is a stand-alone element that does not interact with Marketing and Sales. In contrast, with the modern website approach, your website becomes an extension of the Sales department. The knowledge and experience that Marketing and Sales has is put into the website. Conversely, they become wiser over time from the insights into visitor and lead behavior. Your website as a 24/7 sales person!

4. "In your B2B market, these are the most important challenges for your customers. That's why your website is going to focus on..."
A website is a website.... so it doesn't matter which website developer you select. Right? Nothing could be further from the truth! Dare to be critical and select a website developer that knows and understands your market.

There are huge differences between B2C and B2B alone!

Business-to-consumer is primarily focused on experience and branding. In a business-to-business environment, knowledge transfer and building trust are central. In B2B, a larger decision making unit (DMU) is involved. The purchase is many times less transactional in nature and there are also major differences per market.

There is regularly customization (the product or service is made or put together together with the customer) and the investment is therefore a lot higher. Whether you work in (manufacturing) industry, software or services, you have in common that what you make or sell is crucial for your client to be able to carry out its core business properly. You can see that on a business-to-business website: there is of course a lot of attention for the product or service (the specifications, the costs, et cetera) but there is also a lot of attention for the different markets you serve, applications, the technologies and the working methods.

Stappenplan

What homework should you do in order to get off to a flying start with the B2B website developer?

It is important that you ask yourself the right questions, preferably before getting in touch with different website developers. You can do this by first thinking carefully about the following issues.

Tip: Involve key internal stakeholders early in the process, so that they feel heard and do not want to make all kinds of changes later in the process.

- Determine website objectives

What do you want to achieve with the website? How has the website performed so far, where do you want to make improvements and what effect will this have on overall Marketing and Sales objectives? Should website pages rank better in Google and thus bring in more visitors, or just more targeted visitors? Or do you want to focus on generating leads through the website? A good website developer knows your market and can often give you tailored advice on how to achieve these goals.

- Persona development: who is your most important DMU?

A website is all about your visitors: your potential customers! Therefore, work from the outside in. Develop Buyer Personas for the different types of website visitors. What questions do they have, and what problems can you solve with the content on your website?

- Do a website analysis: how is your website performing now?

It's time to dive into the data you now have available. Quantitative research should show how your current website is performing. How many visitors and leads is your website generating now? Can you say anything about which pages are performing well, and which are not? How long do people stick on pages and how do they navigate through your website? And: do you have any idea why that is? If you can present these kinds of figures to the prospective website developer, they can start actively thinking with you in where the improvement opportunities lie.

- Draw up a wish list

Take what you've learned and sit down with key internal stakeholders. Based on this, formulate a wish list: things you think the new website should meet. By selecting the most important elements from the wish list, you come up with an initial set of website components, including prioritization during the development process. Be aware that you cannot pick up everything right away: save the remaining elements on the wishlist for later.


Good luck with selecting the best B2B website developer for your new website!

I hope the following tips will help you be well prepared in the process you are about to start, and most importantly - stay in charge. I am sure that the website will then become a continuous source of traffic, leads and even concrete requests from your customers, becoming an elementary link in your Marketing and Sales processes.

At Webs we have over twenty years of experience in building websites for B2B:

  • Manufacturing and High Tech
  • IT and Software
  • Business Services

Our starting point: going through a headache-free process together - resulting in a modern and functional website that realizes more traffic, leads and concrete requests for the organization.

quote-example

Want to stay updated on all HubSpot changes? Subscribe to our newsletters, follow us on Instagram or join our HubSpot User Days!

Explore HubSpot User Days