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Having a business website that works well with mobile phones and tablets will make it easier for clients to learn about and interact with your company. Think of it as the "digital heart" of your business. Customers will become familiar with your company. They will see what you think is important, and how you can help them solve their problems. Having your website as the foundation of your B2B platform allows your prospective clients to learn what you have to offer—ultimately driving them to act.

You want your clients to make a "purchase" on your e-commerce website, whether it’s business-to-business or business-to-consumer. However, there are several differences in how to approach B2B clients as opposed to B2C clients.

The most important difference is time. Unlike B2C purchases, where a consumer wants to solve a problem immediately, B2B purchases require input from stakeholders across an organisation and interactions with more than one decision-maker. That’s why it’s crucial that your B2B e-commerce website creates an informative and rewarding user experience.

Evaluating your site? Start at the beginning

How do people arrive at your website? Via search engines? Are they clicking on social media links? Is there content on your website that tends to get more traffic? By evaluating your existing traffic streams, you can identify and optimise opportunities for growth. If your website provides answers to users’ questions, they will be more likely to trust your brand, and that trust can lead to more sales.

Building brand awareness and site visibility

For your B2B website to drive more sales, potential customers mush first find it. That’s why SEO—search engine optimisation—is so important. More than half of visitors to B2B websites arrive via search engines. Following SEO best practices—page titles, meta descriptions, unique content, to name a few—will drive traffic to your website.

Another way to make your website attractive is to have strong content. When a B2B customer begins their search, they are often looking for a solution, not a product. They may ask "how do I make my data more efficient?" rather than "data efficiency software".

Your website can also benefit from interesting articles instead of sales-oriented messaging. Once again, building trust can lead to future purchases.

Another way to build credibility is to provide  expert content—like a guest column—on industry websites, blogs and publications. This can demonstrate your expertise and help drive traffic to your B2B website.

Videos are another way to interest and attract consumers new to your brand.  They can explain complex problems quickly and strengthen your brand recognition. These videos can highlight your expertise and experience in an engaging way.

Once your content has been generated, your videos produced, your guest content published, it’s time for promotion. We said earlier that more than half of users will use search engines to find your website. Another large driver of web traffic is social media. By using social media platforms like LinkedIn, you can reach—and impress—an interested audience. Promoting your content is an easy and free way to get your brand “out there” while showing consumers how you can help to solve their problems.

Turning website visitors into potential clients

Once you’ve built a strong online presence with rich and useful content, it is time to deepen the relationship with your new visitors. The first and easiest means of generating engagement on your site is to provide ways for site users to subscribe to your email newsletter or follow your business’s pages on social media. Even if they don’t buy anything from your website, they may end up being regular readers of your website content and newsletters. This can go a long way in building brand trust and authority.

To nurture your potential clients, consider requiring action—such as providing contact information—in order to access a white paper or a webinar. You could ask users not only to enter their email address, but also provide to additional information like industry and position title, in order to gain access. This can help you better understand who is interacting with your website and provide demographic information that can be used in future email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing is crucial when engaging with website visitors who have shown interest in your business. Putting your brand in a prospect’s inbox, a place they visit every day, allows you to be specific with your messaging. This process of “lead nurturing” via email can help your brand align the right messaging to the perfect target audience ready to make a purchase.