B2B Articles - February 09, 2023
By Jenny Goldade, Content Specialist
A solid homepage design will set B2B companies up for success when potential customers visit their website. Even though visual design trends change, some key homepage best practices stay consistent. These tips revolve around knowing that a lead-generating homepage includes strong content, optimized design, and high usability.
A website homepage's content, design, and usability must come together to create an experience that attracts, engages, and generates leads.
Here, we’ll discuss B2B homepage best practices in these three areas and why they matter. By balancing the priorities of a company’s different departments, they can ensure the homepage design doesn’t suffer.
Table of Contents
Copy Best Practices
1. Write buyer-centric copy
2. Reference pain points
3. Be concise
Design Best Practices
4. Take advantage of white space
5. Put the most important information above the fold
6. Use a main call-to-action (CTA)
Usability Best Practices
7. Have a responsive design
8. Create an easy-to-navigate menu bar
9. Pay attention to the B2B homepage load time
Bonus Best Practices
10. Optimize for search engines
11. Test new ideas
12. Make sure educational resources are easy to find
An Ironpaper report found that only 8.2% of B2B leaders feel their messaging is very effective. Effective messaging is buyer-centric, which means it speaks to the buyers’ needs rather than being autobiographical. Buyers aren’t interested in what features a company offers; they’re interested in how those features solve their problems.
A few best practices for buyer-centric messaging include:
It’s not about the company’s story; it’s about understanding the buyer’s story and what challenges they want to solve.
Remove industry jargon buyers may not understand.
Skip fluffy content that doesn’t provide buyers with real value.
For example, the buyer-centric copy below is from the Ironpaper website. It focuses on the benefits buyers receive from our services. For comparison, we created an autobiographical version.
Buyer-centric: We create sustainable lead generation and revenue growth for B2B companies with long sales cycles.
Autobiographical: Ironpaper is an award-winning marketing agency specializing in digital marketing, content creation, website design, and more.
Pain points are the challenges a company’s target buyers experience. When developing messaging, it’s critical to understand that not having a company’s product or service isn’t a pain point. According to an Ironpaper survey, 30% of respondents said speaking to buyers' pain points is the most important part of marketing and sales messaging, so B2B businesses should reference them in their homepage copy. While a product or service may be the ideal solution, buyers simply do not respond to that messaging.
“30% of respondents said speaking to buyers' pain points is the most important part of marketing and sales messaging.”
- Ironpaper, 2022
To understand buyers' pain points:
Ask customers and prospects.
Talk to colleagues who work directly with customers.
Join LinkedIn groups dedicated to the buyer’s industry.
Follow industry associations.
Keep up with current events.
Reference buyer personas.
People don’t spend hours or even minutes reading a website. Often, they only take a few seconds to scan the homepage. It’s rare for website visitors to read all or even most of the content on a page; they often jump around and skip sections.1
That’s why keeping the homepage content as concise as possible is essential. This also helps make the content easier to digest, making visitors more likely to explore more pages.
Follow these best practices to keep content concise:
Break up content into short paragraphs. No one wants to read walls of text.
Use bullet points and numbered lists. Often, long sections can be transformed into digestible lists.
Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. There isn’t a set word count for homepage copy; businesses should use their best judgment.
Negative space, also sometimes called white space, is the area of the homepage that doesn’t have any design or content. It helps define the different sections of the website and highlight essential elements like CTAs.2
Without negative space, homepages are too cluttered and difficult to comprehend, but with too much negative space, the page may seem too empty and incomplete. Developing a strategy that uses the right balance of negative space and content is essential. According to GoodFirms, 84.6% of website design companies named crowded design as the most common website design mistake they see.3
This screenshot from the Ironpaper homepage shows a balance between white space and content/design.
“Above the fold” refers to the first part of the homepage visitors see without scrolling or swiping.4 The most important information on the homepage should be here. Users are more likely to miss it if it’s further down the homepage or on an interior webpage.
The information above the fold can also impact a website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
If the information in this spot doesn’t engage visitors, they may leave, which can hurt SEO by increasing the website’s bounce rate.4
A CTA is what action a company wants its website visitors to take next. It guides leads further down the buyer’s journey to becoming a customer. B2B homepages should have a primary CTA that appears above the fold and potentially one or more secondary CTAs, such as for downloading content.
Whatever the CTA is, the copy should be clear, concise, and follow these design best practices:
The CTA should be easy to locate.
There shouldn’t be more than one CTA on the homepage.
When applicable, the CTA should be paired with a form. 84% of marketers use form submissions as a conversion type.5 The CTA could also link to a relevant webpage.
A responsive website design changes proportions and design depending on what device visitors are browsing on. The site will automatically adjust to the screen size, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or computer.
With mobile contributing to more than half of the world’s website traffic, responsive design should be a top priority for B2B businesses.6 Without a responsive design, users would need to drag and pinch their screen to view it on mobile, which may cause people to exit the website.
Forty-two percent of visitors will leave a website that has poor functionality.7 An easy-to-navigate menu bar helps people find the information they want. Often, the menu bar includes a few main tabs for learning about the company’s history, offerings, educational resources, and contact information, but the actual content and organization of the nav bar will depend on the buyers’ needs.
The menu tabs should be in a logical order and use subtabs to organize sub-pages and make it easy for users to locate the information they need. User testing can uncover intuitive ways to organize the navigation menu and ensure the target audience can easily navigate the website.
According to Tooltester, the average webpage load time is 2.5 seconds on desktop and 8.6 seconds on mobile.8 If a website loads slowly, people may exit before they even get to explore the site, which negatively impacts lead generation and SEO.
These are a few ways to improve website load speed:
SEO can help a B2B website increase its organic traffic, leads, sales, local traffic, and online presence.9 The homepage, and all webpages, should include SEO elements like keywords to target specific topics, a meta description that appears on the search engines results page (SERP), and page titles and headers that help tell search engines what the content is about.
SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done task. With an effective SEO strategy, B2B businesses can be found by more website visitors and increase their chances of appearing higher on SERPs. As a result, they could generate more leads.
A/B testing helps businesses understand what design and copy choices resonate the most with their audience. They should continuously conduct tests to see what performs best. However, testing too many elements simultaneously makes it difficult to track results - stick with one testing element at a time. Businesses should also have a goal in mind and not just conduct a test for the sake of doing one.
For example, testing can help determine:
Educational content demonstrates a company’s knowledge in their industry and helps cement them as a resource and potential solution provider in readers’ minds.
And while homepages aren’t a place to house all these resources, some brief copy and a CTA on the homepage to direct people to the resources page can encourage readers to stay on the site and continue reading and exploring. These resources should be easily accessible and directly related to the pain points buyers are researching.
A complete homepage redesign may not be possible right now, but many of these best practices are simple to implement on their own. Start utilizing these homepage best practices today to improve performance and encourage buyers to continue reading and browsing.
1Nielsen Norman Group, How People Read Online: New and Old Findings, April 5, 2020.
2Gartner, 5 Elements to Help You Build Landing Pages That Convert, October 4, 2021.
3GoodFirms, Website Design Stats And Trends For Small Businesses.
4Semrush Blog, Above the Fold Content & How to Use It to Attract Attention, September 16, 2021.
5Ruler Analytics, Marketing Attribution and Reporting Analysis 2021.
6Statista, Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 2nd quarter 2022, November 30, 2022.
7Top Design Firms, Website Redesign Checklist: 5 Trends to Consider, April 21, 2021.
8Tooltester, Website Loading Time Statistics (2023), January 11, 2023.
9WebFX, Chapter 5: SEO Impact: How SEO Drives Long-Term Results.
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Grow your B2B business boldly. Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency. We build growth engines for marketing and sales success. We drive demand generation campaigns, ABM programs, B2B content, sales enablement, qualified leads, and B2B marketing efforts.