Your website is a shop window to your business and a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. In our article, we are going to tell you what we think makes up a great website. And we’ve cobbled together examples from some of the leading B2B technology organisations to show you examples of a quality website in action.
These organisations are leading Microsoft partners who are successfully putting the qualities of a great website build into action. We’ve taken these examples from our Top 50 Microsoft Partners website, which ranks partners on the quality of their inbound marketing strategies.
So, if you’re currently designing or building your website, and could do with some advice or inspiration, this is a good place to start.
Pillar 1: Functionality and purpose
When we talk about the functionality of a website, we mean the functions that allow a visitor to achieve what you want or intend them to achieve. Whether it’s to buy a product or request a demo, you need a website that allows your audience to complete a journey and respond to your call of action. So, make sure to include a form if you want your visitor to submit information. There should be simple and clear navigation, intuitive enough to allow your visitor to find their way around and consume the information you’ve created for them.
Nintex, a global leader in business process automation, provide a good example of a website with strong functionality. As we mentioned above, it’s important for a website to be easy to navigate, contain quality content and include clear calls to action. And Nintex ticks all these boxes. The layout of the site is well executed considering the volume of solutions and content that they want to showcase.
Along with good practical functionality (and a clear purpose), it’s also important to convey who you are and what you value as a company.
One of the key takeaways from Nintex’s website, that I particularly like, is their positioning of people across the site. It’s important that your brand echoes or compliments your product or service. For Nintex, who operate in the world of process automation (and the potential negative headlines of automation replacing people), it’s vital that they put people at the centre of their site. This idea of combining the practical elements of website build with branding and ethos, can be a tricky balancing act – but Nintex pull it off very well.
Pillar 2: A clear user journey
There’s more to a website than a homepage. The mark of great design and the right build is the user journey that the visitor is taken on. As we mentioned when discussing functionality, clear navigation is key to this journey. You want your visitors to understand what you are offering. By making it easy to access the various areas of the site, you improve the user journey, keep visitors on the site longer and provide them with the expertise they are looking for.
It is clear from the outset that Veeam are a collective of IT experts who are speaking to a specific audience (namely, IT professionals). They have a clear user journey laid out that begins with ‘how to’ video content, ends with a ‘buy’ call to action and contains a free trial and expert support along the way. That’s about as straight forward a buying journey should be, and Veeam do it well.
The other take away from this website is the clear sense of Veeam’s expertise. Extensive, detailed and valuable content is packed into this website and speaks to a specific audience, and in turn, leads them on the right journey.
Pillar 3: Quality content
Content is the key to any great marketing campaign – and it should be central to your website. When content is effectively, we should see succinct and concise language that avoids relying on technical or business jargon. The best content is clear and to the point and tells the reader something, whether that be marketing advice, a ‘how to’ guide or thought leadership.
ShareGate pride themselves on making the Microsoft Cloud easier to use for organisations of all sizes. This focus is reflected in their website—in the look and feel, language and navigation. ShareGate are clear about what they do and why their customers choose them.
This simple and helpful ethos is consistent across their design, and is also consistent across their blog and social media profiles. Their content is always helpful, articulated in a clear and colourful manner.
Pillar 4: Consistent brand and design
Your website needs to be visually appealing if you want to engage your audience. That means your designers need to think about the right colours, the visual structure of the site and how it all works together to produce branding that defines and sets your business apart. The language you use should fit your audience. If your visitors are IT developers, you can use more technical language. If they are business leaders, you should focus on the business benefits of your product or service. And remember, consistency across your site is essential.
Getting your tone of voice ‘right’ can be tricky. It takes is a clear understanding of your audience and their needs. The LiveTile tone of voice is spot on, right from the first words on their website to the latest blog they’ve posted on social media. It’s a combination that shows these guys aren’t messing around. Clear, consistent and full of value, their website is a great example of how effective branding can differentiate you from your competitors.
Check out the Microsoft Partner Top 50
The quality of your website is also one of the pillars in how we rank the Top 50 Microsoft Partners—our list of Microsoft partners showcasing extraordinary inbound marketing chops. We hope this article has helped give you some food for thought.
If you are thinking your website could do with a little work, we’d be happy to help you out. Get in touch with us today.