In this third and final part of the Quick B2B Website Audit we’ll be discussing how to audit your B2B website in regards to design trends. If you haven’t read the other parts, we recommend check out the website audit information on Messaging & Layout and Technicals before continuing. Auditing your B2B website for design trends will likely be the easiest portion of your auditing process. Because the internet is so ingrained with our daily lives, we’re unconsciously up to date on website design trends. You’ll notice it any time you visit a website and it just feels, “old.” You may not be able to put your finger on what feels off at first, but something about it looks or feels outdated. You need to turn that same critical eye on your own B2B website.
B2B Website Audit: Typography
Most of the information on your B2B website is conveyed through text. Your website’s type should represent your brand’s tone. How many different typefaces can you find on your website? Having a large variation of typefaces dilutes your branding. If this is a problem you’re having, contact us! Bold Entity can review your branding and identity and help you update it to fit your company. The website should also use mostly standard typefaces, they are highly legible, minimize display issues, and highlight the content of your type rather than its look.
Another element to consider is the length of your text lines. Sixty characters per line is a good target for computer display, but mobile screens are more comfortable to read with line lengths closer to 40 characters. Good spacing between your text lines also improves readability. If the paragraph text on your website feels squished or too spread out, the line spacing needs to be adjusted.
Make sure your website text also provides adequate contrast between the color of your text and the background. Black text on a white background is the most common approach because it’s very easy to read and doesn’t distract from the text.
Semi-Flat Visual Design
We are fully in the transitional state out of flat design as the go-to design trend. Semi-flat visual design is very similar to flat design with a few three-dimensional appointments to add depth. This is most popularly implemented with the return of complementing color gradients, highlights, and shadows on flat designs.
Does your website features icons and visual elements that fit the current, semi-flat visual design? If your website uses full flat, or full 3D design (heavy gradients, drop shadows, beveled elements) it’s time for a design refresh to bring your website up to date. Having an out-of-date website sets off warning bells in a prospect’s mind that you may not be up-to-date on your industry’s best practices and leads them to question your company’s capability. Keeping your website up to date means your company is up-to-date and on its A game.
Eye-Catching Hero Images
When a prospect lands on your website you have seconds to capture their attention and pique their interest. Does your website use bold, hero images at the top of its pages that engage the visitor and draw them deeper into your website? Your hero images should also be representative of your business and work best if they feature bespoke photography. Stock photography is easy to recognize and impersonal, while bespoke photography features your company and shows prospects who they will be working with. Contact us if you want to schedule a custom photography session. In addition to upgrading the look of your website, custom photography can be used to upgrade your marketing collateral.
You should also audit the text (if any) that accompanies your hero images. The text with your hero image should be sharp and compelling to help engage your prospects and spur them to read deeper into your B2B website pages.
B2B Website Audit: Video
Another element that can help to separate your website from competitor B2B websites is the use of video. Every year the amount of online videos watched grows. Visual media is slowly supplanting text as the primary way users online want to gain information and make decisions. Having great videos on your website positions your company as modern and an attractive business partner to prospects. If your website doesn’t have any video contact Bold Entity to discuss a video shoot for your website and other marketing needs.
In Quick B2B Website Audit: Technicals, we mentioned that site speed is very important to reducing website visitor bounce. Adding video to your website can greatly increase the amount of data that needs to load on a page. Make sure your website’s hosting will be able to quickly display website video before adding it to any of your B2B website pages.
Does your website showcase video in the hero image position on any of your pages? Eye-catching hero images are great, but adding movement to the top of your page is even more likely to grab a prospect’s attention and engage them. Hero videos are often displayed on mute unless a visitor clicks to unmute the video. That means whatever video is used in your hero position must be able to convey its point and interest without the addition of voice and music.
Like hero video in the hero position, background video is used to add interest and hold attention on your B2B website’s pages. Review your video for content quality. There is a fine balance of providing visual interest and not being distracting from your website’s foreground content. Your background video should avoid distracting text, transitions, and splashes of bright color.
Your website should feature new information through regular content. This helps with search engine optimization and gives prospects a reason to keep coming back to your B2B website. As previously stated, demand and consumption of online video content is on the rise. Types of video content on your website to consider include product/service explanations, holiday videos, company news, and employee highlight videos.
Testimonials are an important piece of social proof on your website to help prospects on their buyer’s journey. Written testimonials are a good start, but video testimonials are even better. Well-produced video testimonial can put you ahead in prospects’ minds as they compare you with competitors. There is a sense of legitimacy in a video testimonial that cannot be duplicated in a written testimonial. Bold Entity has produced may video testimonials, and can help you coordinate with your start clients to create a video testimonial to increase your new client acquisition rate.
What does the top level menu of your website look like? The contemporary design for websites feature either a hamburger (three lines) menu or a sticky (follows you on the page) menu. Because mobile devices now make up the majority of web traffic, check your B2B website menu for nesting options that are difficult to navigate on a smaller display with fingers. Also look to the size of your B2B website menu. It should be easy to find and navigate while holding only a small part of the website’s display view.
The last contemporary design trend to include in your Quick B2B Website Audit is card elements. These design elements typically sit in rows with negative space separating the element from other cards. They often feature a dominating graphic, a headline, and a brief phrase of text telling visitors what information they can find if they click on the card. The cards are often neutral in color or in a vibrant contrast to the website’s background. Cards are a great way to add visual and interactive interest to the main body of your B2B website.
Card elements are used on some of the internet’s biggest and most popular websites. Good examples of card element web design include YouTube and Pinterest. Both show the benefit of using eye-catching graphics and a brief description of text to entice clicks.
Quick B2B Website Audit Review
Depending on the size of your website, a quick audit of your site with the presented criteria should take you under half an hour. Depending on the state of your B2B website you may be able to complete this audit without even reviewing your website. Below are all the website audit items for your review.
Messaging & Layout
- Message Clarity
- Sensible Flow
- Third Party Validation
- Search Engine Optimized Content
- Website Loading
- Image Optimization
- Legacy Code & Third Party Scripts
- Hosting Service Quality
- Semi-Flat Visual Design
- Eye-catching Hero Images
- Website Video
- Card Elements
How Does Your B2B Website Look?
What did you find after completing your B2B website audit? If you found your website falling behind where it needs to be, or just want a professional opinion on your current website, contact Bold Entity. For 10 years we’ve helped businesses like yours with websites and digital marketing. See some of our recent website work featured in the Bold Entity Portfolio.