10 Functions of a High-Performance Website
Considering their unique challenges, it’s undeniable that the B2B websites of small to medium size businesses are a powerful brand asset and there are 10 powerful functions of a high-performance website that make it so, meaning that building a fully fit for purpose B2B websites require thought and technique, from structure to SEO, covered below. At a time when struggling businesses are being advised to aim for resilience and survivability, with more new businesses are compelled to start and existing businesses are compelled to look for new ways to find clients and grow, it’s never been more important to consider what makes a high performance website as driver of survivability.
Building a high-performance website is very much akin to building a high-velocity brand or high impact branding. We know how to those too, Business websites need to be high-performance websites, whether they are transactional or purely informational, if high performance is defined as being found by your target market, having content which engages, educates and delights them and allows them to easily connect with you.
1) Prospecting – First Function of a High-Performance Website – The Searchlight Effect
The first function of a high-performance website is that of prospecting – defining, identifying and knowing who your customers are. Knowing them allows you to call them by name or at least call their problems by name, through your high performing website using your content, which will target them and their needs and allow them to find you. If your targeting is sufficiently tight, your website will help you appeal to your target but ideally repel non-ideal customers and not attract them at all. This reduces your bounce rate.
2) Perception – Becoming a Contender
It starts with perception. As soon as they land on your page, they should feel that your website gives them a view of the capacity of the people who own it to help them solve an immediate problem and that they can trust the advice on your blog. Dependent on where they are on the funnel, they may just need an answer to a preliminary question but if they feel the answer is there, they’ll stick around to see it. And they’ll come back. The perception expands to accommodate some trust in your business’s ability and then it is easy to begin building a position in their minds and later, a relationship if you make the right moves or offer them an opportunity to do so. This is especially important for B2B websites for small and medium size businesses as they build their profile.
3) Positioning – Positioned to Provide Value
High Performance Websites are highly effective, partly because they a positioning tool with regard to whom your customers are, where they are today with regard to how they are feeling as well as where they are in a purchasing funnel. Are they looking to understand more about the problem area, are they looking for solutions, are they ready to buy or do they just need valuable information? They are looking for categories of information depending on where they are and your job is to be an answer to your prospective buyers’ problems, if not at a granular level, initially, then at a broad level. Your main site pages must provide this breadth and the depth should come in your blogs, for when they are in the frame of mind to delve, which they are unlikely to be right at the start of the purchasing journey.
4) Pitching – the Platform to Present Solutions
For B2B websites of small to medium size businesses, your high performance website has great potential as a pitching tool for what you can provide to address that prospect’s need and a way to inform them on what they should want and expect as auxiliaries to that need. It’s your sales ladder and you need to ensure they easily navigate it, upward through the stages of conversion until they are ready to hire.
You should be able to convince them you have everything they need – what they have thought of and what they have not, what their business needs and what they should want to meet to meet that need.
5) Pupillage – The Privilege to Educate
When people are on a search to resolve their pain, they want, they need to learn. Your opportunity is to take advantage of their state of being willing to be a student and their willingness to learn. Teach them. Tell them with all the passion for what you do. Educational content is key at this stage and the goal is to connect, engage, nurture and foster. Show and tell is the name of the game, not sell!
6) Performance – The Need for Speed and Security
Your website has got to look good and inspire confidence, but more importantly it has to load fast and load images faster. It absolutely has to be secure and this requires a lot of resources to implement and ongoing resources to assure and maintain, in order not to lose authority and risk reputation damage. Security is a brand risk issue that the B2B websites of small to medium size businesses working to build their brand image should be careful not to fall into.
Ensuring that there are internal links that expose the structure and topics in your website to your prospective clients and also external links that give an opportunity for further reading and enrichment, help websites to be performant in search engines because they expect you not just to provide supplementary links to your own content but also to that of others.
There are many tools out there that can give some assistance, for example, Yoast has a free tool that can help guide you through the linking process; based on other content on your website, it will suggest pages and articles you can link to. quite well and intuitively. Build links naturally through your content as relevant.
Responsive sites optimised for mobile devices need to be a core consideration for performance as many people now reach for their phones to research a problem, and connect through their phones and tablets and must not be overlooked.
7) Content – The Seventh Function of High Performance Website – Educate to Influence
Your Prospective customers need different types of content at different points in their journey which is why a broad array of media can help your business and solutions resonate with your audience, from your ever-important blogs to ebooks, white papers and videos. Your website’s educational content can be everything from your blog (more on that below) to videos, guides, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies and more. Having a wide range of information and material mediums can help you connect with a broader audience.
Blogs are critical for high-performance websites as they drive lead generation and you or somebody in your business will need to regularly write valuable content for the consumption of your customers, whose needs you are positioning yourself to be the best to meet. Long-form blogs are valuable but ensure your blogs at least exceed 500 words to be effective.
Well written and researched copy is important for valuable content and it should give clarity and also provide opportunities to reach out for more help and questions. It should aid understanding and build the prospective clients’ confidence, in your business and also in their readiness to take the next steps to address their needs. This is addressed further below.
8) Connection – The Eighth Function of a High-Performance Website – Touchpoint for Conversion
Lead Generation and SEO
Your website should help to generate leads and it should not be difficult to find by people looking for your services so that prospects can connect to you. You probably know that SEO is the holy grail for this but it starts with websites that are structured and code that is SEO ready so that you can get the relevant traffic. Relevant traffic is key otherwise you get a high bounce rate. Keywords are king but their courtiers are content, within which you should embed the keywords that your prospects are searching for. There are many tools out there that can give some assistance, for example, Yoast has a free tool that can help guide you through the SEO and linking process quite well and intuitively. Build links naturally through your content and seed keywords as you would speak naturally to a person, and do not to try and ‘force’ the algorithms. Your website could be penalised for that.
It’s clear your content is a huge driver of connection and you must endeavour to include a call to action so readers connect with you and you can then follow up with more valuable content or ideally start conversations, either through their responses to your newsletter or answers to their question. Whatever action you think is most likely, should inform what call to action you use. From a connection perspective, social sharing buttons and a ‘subscribe’ button are critical in helping you reach a greater audience.
Calls to Action
CTAs (calls to action), offering a free audit or even short consultation for example, and subscription prompts are all useful devices for both your business and for the prospective client to take the first step in making a connection, so provide them on your website and in your blogs. Many people at this stage are comfortable with providing some key personal data in order to receive valuable content in return.
Value is a very important driving principle with regard to making and maintaining connections. The educational phase of the purchase funnel is so important for both your prospective clients – it helps them fully understand the dimensions of their problem and what to look for in solutions – and for your business – it helps you establish authority and gain trust. Just don’t ask for lots of data, as the time taken in keying it in, or even the anticipation of that can lead to the abandonment of the page.
9) Communication – The Ninth Function of a High Performance Website – The Crux of Perception
Communication on your website should be succinct and as informative as possible without an excess of jargon. The homepage should clarify what your business does and why you are the best delivery partner for this prospective customer – your remarkable difference or unique attributes for their specific circumstances, and hence why they should choose you should be clear.
If you walk into a crowded room and shout, looking in no particular direction, ‘I love ya, baby,’ if you do indeed love someone in that room, they’re going to miss you, and everyone else might ignore you. It needs to be clear you are for them and they are for you. Clarity of client, of the offer, of the messaging is an important objective as is what differentiates your business. If you do not know clearly what this is and how to arrive at it, this is a key part of defining a winning brand strategy.
10) Exceptional Copy – The Tenth Function of a High-Performance Website – Fit for Every Phase
Great copy helps you sell but if you remember that your prospects might only be in a state of pupillage, it should be helping you sell more understanding, inspiring confidence to take the next steps, whether that is to get help or try it themselves and later in the sales funnel, it should help you leverage the perception and positioning you have gained in the prospect’s mind. It should be inspiring and to avoid jargon, longer explanations may be necessary but it’s important to avoid overlong sentences and confusing text.
It’s clear to see exactly why a high performance website is so important and the factors that contribute to its power, and even though it can seem a lengthy and in-depth process to deliver the benefits, it is a worthwhile project for a company seeking competitive advantage, which post-COVID, is everyone, and is definitely something you should consider investing in.
How Iconify Can Help You and Your Company
A high performance B2B website is a necessity and we can help your business create a proactive digital and web strategy, architect the right structure and flow to drive engagement and connection online, and design an attractive and innovative website while keeping secure and delivering excellent content that will help drive both brand and business strategy and build brand equity. should be one of your firm’s greatest assets
Subscribe to our newsletter here or contact us for an initial audit process of your current site.