Website Optimisation consists of four main considerations:

  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Ensuring that online searches will bring up your company's website.
  2. Customer Experience: Ensuring that visitors quickly understand and access the information they need.
  3. Traffic Analysis: You must understand how your site is being used and benchmark this against your expectations.
  4. Which eCommerce Platform: If you plan to make online sales, this is a critical consideration.

One of the considerations to take into account when developing your website is the language(s) you use. Only in English? Other languages? If so which ones? With the help of our partners, PAB Languages, you will find these helpful in dealing with these questions:

In the following sections, we cover each of these points and give indicate what resources are available and what you should consider.

Search Engine Optimisation ("SEO")

At its simplest, this means ensuring that your website is found when someone searches on Google (or other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo etc.) for your company, your services or products.

This is a simple two-step process:

  1. Ensure that the structure of your website follows the guidelines set out by the search engines.
  2. Decide on the Key Words that fit your company's services and products (these will be matched to words used by companies using those words to search for suppliers of those services and products).

There is another major consideration when deciding on your SEO Programme:

  • Are you interested only in the UK market?
  • Or are you (potentially) interested in exporting?

If you are considering entering export markets, we strongly recommend that you subscribe to Kompass' International Booster service. As part of this service, the description of your company and its products and services will be translated into 23 languages - and published both within the Kompass Global Directory and ExpoScotland's Main Exhibition Hall. The advantage of this is quite simple, most people when searching Google and other search engines first make the search in their own language. Only if they do not find a suitable result will they then search in English. Therefore, if you do not have the necessary translations online, you will lose out to those suppliers who do.

For more information on Kompass' Booster International service - including pricing - click here.

Improving Customer Experience

The more attractive, interesting, and useful your website, the more likely you are to keep the interest of your visitors and make the website work for you in terms of: (a) increasing sales leads (b) keeping down operational costs, and (c) keeping your clients happy.

  • Text Content: - Only you can decide what content you should be publishing - but it should be as comprehensive as possible. Visitors should feel that they have enough information to decide whether they should contact you directly - or not.
  • The Design: - Make sure that (a) visitors can quickly and easily find information and (b) the "look and feel" of your website is in complete harmony with all printed collateral that your company distributes.
  • Video Presentations: - Videos connected to your site can improve the user experience and be a very cost-effective way of providing: (a) product presentation and (b) user manuals.
  • Facilitating Communication: - Use the website as an effective communication channel with your actual and prospective clients and suppliers. There are a number of communication tools you can deploy from: simple email links, to webforms to chat, to video calls and webinars.

Traffic Capture, Analysis and Response.

Having attracted visitors to your site, how do you respond to maximise your sales potential?

The key is to be able to:

  1. Capture the Data.
  2. Analyse the Data.
  3. Respond.

Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyse data for your business in one place, so you can make smarter decisions.

This is a good starting place. However, for more detailed (and in some cases, complementary) analytics, there are a number of other tools available which will analyse traffic to and from your site. Some will then help you use this information to feed your Digital Marketing campaigns.

However, if you are considering using external services, we would recommend that you consider using the services of Spotler’s Communigator Suite which provides the following three modules which help you identify and target visitors to your site.

Trial GatorLeads for yourself

No downloads. No installations. No obligations.

Try an unrestricted free two-week trial of this lead generation technology. In the two weeks, you’ll discover:

  • Who the companies on your website are.
  • Who the individuals of those companies are.
  • Their job titles & contact details.
  • What your website visitors are looking at.
  • How interested they are in your business with lead scoring.
  • How to track which marketing campaigns they came from.

Watch the introduction video to find out more about GatorLeads

Identify the individuals on your website and turn them into leads. Find the employees from the companies on your website and discover which key decision maker you should be talking to.

Communigator's website visitor identification software doesn’t just tell you the companies on your website. It tells you the individuals from those companies too.

Then, integrate this information into your CRM system to feed your Digital Marketing Campaign.

See the video: Communigator demo

There is no “one size fits all” or “best of breed solution here” (or at least not yet). Indeed, one of the first steps you need to take is to assess which elements of the sales process you can incorporate online. The best solution for your company will depend upon a variety of factors, namely:

  • The type (and complexity) of goods and services you sell.
  • Whether a sale can be fully negotiated and concluded via a website.
  • Whether payments are to be made via your website.
  • Sales volumes.

User experience is becoming a key differentiator. Poor, slow and cumbersome online journeys will quickly send your buyers away to those sites with easier, seamless services supported by convenient offline options.

Nonetheless, whatever your specific requirements, your eCommerce platform should:

  1. Enhance the customer experience.
  2. Facilitate sales.
  3. Reduce the workload on your sales and admin staff.

Bear in mind that nearly all the best features of B2C eCommerce have applications in the B2B world. By carefully identifying and integrating targeted B2C features that your customers are already familiar with, you can dramatically enhance customer experiences and achieve bottom line gains.

Choosing an eCommerce Platform

There are many eCommerce Platforms to choose from (see: The ExportersAlmanac - eCommerce Platforms). If you are thinking of implementing one for the first time or of changing your current platform, do check these out. Many platforms are focused on B2C eCommerce, so do make sure that the platform proposed meets your requirements; in particular:

  • Functionality: An eCommerce solution that delivers the site structure, functionality, and end-to-end fluidity needed to create truly enjoyable, consumer-like buying experiences – and integrates easily into your back office systems. Not all of the following may be relevant for your business, but they are all worth considering:

  1. Personalised Recommendations: Personalisation features (such as customised product recommendations and best-seller lists) save time for buyers and give B2B brands the opportunity to segment customers in ways that take into account their associations and existing contracts in a more seamless way.
  2. Powerful Search Capabilities: Extensive product catalogues make robust search capabilities an eCommerce essential. B2B eCommerce platforms must provide the same level of convenience as retail operations, offering customers the ability to locate items according to product specifications, price, and availability.
  3. Easy Buyer Experience: Product catalogues are often bursting with a seemingly endless number of items sorted by precise product specifications. In these cases, buyers should have a seamless experience when managing large volumes of information that might assist with the purchase decision.
  4. Buyer and Seller Analytics: In B2B commerce, order tracking, invoicing, and account management tend to be complicated. With an eCommerce platform, B2B companies can easily address those problems. Customers gain visibility of: order history, inventory, and billing deadlines, as well as the ability to easily reorder. At the same time, suppliers can tap into rich analytics that paint a clearer picture of website traffic, buyer behaviour, and ordering patterns.
  5. Ability to Nurture Leads Throughout the Buyer Journey: It is important to nurture online relationships with buyers throughout the sales process.

  • Scalability: This is a key issue in B2B eCommerce. Make sure you build your eCommerce platform not just for current capacity but in a way that allows for future growth (which, hopefully, will be significant).

In summary, to succeed well into the future, your eCommerce platform must be flexible and scalable, and you must be able to control the content, functionality, and look-and-feel of your online store. The benefits of doing so include:

  1. The ability to differentiate your company as a simple, user-friendly solution for B2B procurement.
  2. The opportunity to lower sales, marketing, and customer service costs through better self-service options.
  3. The ability to generate higher website traffic, conversions, and (most importantly) revenue through better cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.