10 Must-Have Elements Every Great Buyer-Focused Website Has
We all want to find what we’re looking for quickly and easily when visiting a website. But what makes a great website? It’s more than just the font choices, page layout, or other design elements.
Ten timeless principles can help you evaluate your website so it is optimized for user experience and trust to maximize buyer education. By understanding these principles, you can ensure that your website will stand out from the competition and keep visitors coming back again and again. Let's take a look at each of these key components of creating an exceptional web presence.
- Clear & Concise Buyer-Focused Messaging
- A Simple, Well-Designed Navigation
- A Detailed Pricing Page
- Equal Mix Of Written & Visual/Video Content
- Trust-Building Elements
- A Learning Center
- Self-Service/Self-Selection Tools
- Responsive Design
- Transitional & Direct CTAs
- Technical SEO (Site Speed)
1. Clear & Concise Buyer-Focused Messaging
Let's start with the most obvious, yet one of the most overlooked principles of a great website: tell the prospective buyer how you can help solve their problem in a way they can understand it. Now, as I said, this is obvious, but open up your website and a few of your competitors' sites and do a blink test. First, close your eyes. When you open them, can you tell in two to three seconds what this company offers?
A great website clearly addresses the buyer's fears, concerns, and problems and quickly communicates how your products, services, or solutions help solve these. It, therefore, is essential to be able to clearly and concisely state your value proposition, especially on your home page. Remember, the goal is to get your visitors to page two of your website.
Pro Tip: Count the times you say "we/our" versus "you/your" on your homepage. If you use "we/our" more than 20% of the time compared to "you/your", you aren't using enough buyer-focused language.
For example, Impact uses the words "you" or "your" six times above the fold on their homepage. (See the added highlights.)
2. A Simple, Well-Designed Navigation
A well-built navigation structure is one of the most overlooked, yet essential elements of a great website. A simple, intuitive navigational structure provides the best user experience (UX) and ensures that customers can easily find what they are looking for.
Creating your navigational structure should begin with creating an information architecture corresponding to the customer journey map. This will help you identify the key pages, categories, and content pieces that should be included in your website’s main menu or dropdown menus.
Additionally, it's important to keep the number of items in each menu at five or six points; too many items can look overwhelming and make it difficult for users to locate what they need quickly. When designing these menus, consider how each item will fit into the overall customer journey so that visitors are guided down a path toward completing their desired action(s).
Pro Tip: Although mega-menus are all the rage now, especially with software and technology companies, we highly recommend only using mega-menus if absolutely necessary.
3. A Detailed Pricing Page
Having a pricing page on your website is essential for building trust with potential buyers. When prospective customers are researching how much something costs, and you don't give them an answer, they feel like you are hiding something from them. That erodes the trust between the two of you, and they will move on to the next website. The company that gives them what they are looking for in an honest, transparent, and unbiased way, will get the first call, if not their business.
If you cannot give exact dollar amounts for your products and services, there are still ways you can be transparent about pricing on your website. For example:
- Giving a range of prices based on different factors that make the cost go up or down can help paint a clearer picture for potential buyers.
- Explaining why there may be differences in market prices can provide valuable insight into understanding why certain products or services may cost more than others.
- Providing clear explanations around payment plans or subscription fees will go a long way towards establishing trust between yourself and buyers who visit your site.
Doing this will enable customers to make informed decisions when making their purchases.
Pro Tip: Make sure your pricing page is in the top navigation bar, as searchers give up looking after only 10 seconds!
4. Equal Mix Of Written & Visual/Video Content
Digital buyers are more likely to make a purchase when they see video content. According to recent studies, customers find it easier to build trust with companies when they see people and visuals that correspond to the products or services being offered. Since digital buyers are already researching online before contacting a sales team, providing them with an equal mix of video and written content will help them gain the confidence needed to go through with their purchase.
When more video content is included on a website, visitors will tend to stay longer, which can have a positive impact on SEO ranking. This means that if companies prioritize creating quality videos for their website, customers will spend more time engaging with their products and services, leading to increased conversions.
Additionally, videos can also be used as an effective way to showcase product demonstrations or explain how certain services work in detail so that customers get a better understanding of what they are buying. All of this goes a long way in helping businesses create meaningful relationships with digital buyers.
Pro Tip: Include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the video to encourage visitors to take the next step.
5. Include Trust-Building Elements
The importance of trust-building elements is paramount for any website that seeks to attract and retain customers. Customers need to feel like they can trust the company, its products and services, and the people who represent it. Creating a sense of trust starts with providing tangible evidence that your company is trustworthy. This includes real customer testimonials, videos showcasing customer stories, success stories videos, and reviews from other customers.
Trust-building elements help to establish credibility and build an emotional connection with potential customers by giving them a real view of the product or service that they are interested in. Testimonials give first-hand accounts of how actual customers have used the product or service to improve their lives and solve problems, while customer journey videos show how people have successfully interacted with your company over time. Success stories videos share inspiring stories of satisfied customers who have achieved measurable results with your product or service. Finally, reviews offer valuable information about what previous buyers think about your product so potential buyers can make informed decisions before committing to a purchase.
By offering these types of trust-building elements on your website, you will provide potential buyers with the assurance they need to confidently choose your business as their provider.
Pro Tip: Customer journey videos are a great way to not only show what it is like to work with your company, but also talk about the results you can expect to achieve.
6. A Learning Center
A learning center is an essential part of any great website, especially a buyer-focused one. When customers visit your website, they need to know they can trust the information you provide, and a learning center can be an effective way to demonstrate that trustworthiness. Not only does it demonstrate your commitment to helping customers learn more about the products and services you offer, but it also shows them that you value their time and education by providing helpful educational content.
A learning center should include all types of educational material, such as video courses, blog articles, pillar pages, and other resources designed to help buyers understand the products and services they are considering. These resources should be non-promotional in nature and should instead focus on providing objective information that allows buyers to make informed decisions.
The content provided should be up-to-date with industry trends so customers can stay on top of the latest developments in their industry and make better purchasing decisions. Additionally, having a variety of formats, such as videos, podcasts, webinars, or even interactive quizzes, can create a more engaging experience for customers while increasing their understanding of the topics presented.
Pro Tip: Consider the different educational levels of your visitors. Include a "Get Started Here" section as well as intermediate and more advanced learning paths.
7. Self-Service/Self-Selection Tools
In the age of digital buyers, having efficient self-service and self-selection tools on a website can be essential. According to Gartner's 2021 Future of Sales in 2025 report, B2B buyers spend only 17% of their total purchase journey with sales reps, and 44% of millennials prefer no sales rep interaction at all in a B2B setting. Therefore, businesses must provide additional methods for customers to easily find the products they need and make decisions about their purchases without relying on sales reps.
Self-service and self-selection tools such as product configurators and cost/ROI calculators allow customers to discover what they need quickly, select the right options for their needs, and calculate their expected return on investment before committing to a purchase. Such tools have been proven to greatly improve the customer experience by reducing time spent searching for or requesting information from sales reps and allowing customers to make informed decisions with confidence.
Pro Tip: Ask your sales team what questions they get most often, and then think about a way you can answer that question in a self-service way. If you have a product with many options, maybe a product configurator might be the best way to let your customers explore their options.
8. Responsive Design
Responsive design has become even more important over the past few years, with statistics showing that, in 2022, 85% of buyers said that page speed influenced their buying decision. Furthermore, 75% of people now expect websites to load in less than three seconds. Yet, astonishingly, only 50% of websites will be optimized for mobile devices.
Responsive design ensures that your website automatically adjusts to fit any device — from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. This guarantees maximum visibility for your brand, as well as an enjoyable user experience for visitors no matter what device they’re using.
Therefore, not optimizing your site for different screen sizes could mean losing out on potential customers browsing from their phones or tablets instead of desktops. By investing in a responsive website design, you ensure that you don’t miss out on these customers in the future. Additionally, Google rewards sites with good user experiences which means having a responsive site can also improve your search engine rankings!
Pro Tip: Switch on Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) if you haven't already. This will load your content instantly on mobile devices by stripping away unnecessary elements to keep your visitors reading your content longer.
9. Transitional & Direct CTAs
Imagine going on a first blind date, but instead of slowly getting to know each other, your date asks you to marry them. No one likes to be pushed into something before they are ready to take the next steps, yet the vast majority of websites only offer calls-to-action (CTAs) that lead to Bottom-of-the-Funnel offers, like "Talk to Sales," "Get a demo," or "Start a trial."
Instead, include both transitional and direct calls-to-action on your website to include visitors that aren't ready to talk to sales yet. Transitional calls-to-action help build trust with potential customers, while direct calls-to-action prompt people to take the desired action. When used together, these two types of CTAs can create a powerful combination that will drive conversions and generate more sales for your business.
Transitional CTAs are great for building relationships with your audience over time by providing helpful content like blog posts and webinars. This helps establish credibility and allows you to demonstrate expertise in your field. By nurturing these relationships, you’ll be able to convert more leads into paying customers down the line as they become familiar with what you offer.
Direct CTAs should be clear about what you want people to do — whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or buying a product right away — so there isn’t any confusion about the next step they need to take. With both types of CTAs working together, it's easier than ever before for visitors to your website to find out exactly what they need from their visit, allowing them to move through the sales funnel quickly and easily.
Pro Tip: Carefully map out your customer journey and strategically position transitional CTAs to move your prospective buyers along in their decision process.
10. Technical SEO (Site Speed)
Last but not least, let's talk about technical SEO. One of the most important elements of technical SEO is site speed, as it has a direct impact on user experience, search engine indexing, and overall website performance.
Low speed can significantly slow down the loading time of web pages and decrease the chances that users will return to your site. It can also lead to fewer conversions and poorer rankings in search engine results. For these reasons, it is crucial for website owners to prioritize site speed when building their websites.
Pro Tip: You can analyze your site speed on mobile devices as well as on desktops by heading to https://pagespeed.web.dev/. Simply enter your website and start working through the tasks to improve your site's performance.
Next Step: Get A Mini Website Throwdown
Implementing these ten principles can help your website stand out from the competition and engage your visitors on a deeper level. By providing clear and concise messaging, simple and well-designed navigation, trust-building elements, and more, you can create an optimal user experience that will bring in more leads and conversions.
If you're not sure if your website is buyer-focused or if it's optimized for user experience, we'd be happy to do a mini website throwdown (no strings attached) to evaluate and review your website based on these principles.
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