Most business-to-business websites are convoluted and filled with enough content to stymie most content management systems. So says a study by the Nielsen Norman Group entitled “B2B Website Usability: Design Guidelines for Converting Business Users into Leads and Customers.” The study’s findings, of course, come as no surprise to anyone familiar with business-to-business websites.
According to the study…
Bad Web site design causes people to downgrade their perception of a company. Notable among the elements of bad design are: incomplete product design, which creates skepticism; overwhelming and convoluted content, which creates confusion; and pushy marketing tactics, which cause annoyance and distrust.
Lack of pricing information tends to be a major problem for B2B sites as well. Users in the study listed price as a type of information that most matters, yet it’s where B2B sites are most lacking, according to the report.
I think business-to-business companies should simplify their website layout. These companies should highlight only their core offerings (at most four or five) on their homepage. Companies that list everything they offer on the homepage only overwhelm and confuse the viewer. There should be ample white space to give the site a clean look and minimal text to encourage reading. That’s right, the less text you use, the more likely viewers will read it. I believe product descriptions should be as thorough as possible and include multiple images of the product and a demo if possible. I also encourage publishing pricing information. However, many business-to-business companies avoid disclosing such information on their website due to competition. Therefore, companies should only publish pricing information at their own discretion.