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The Top 10 B2B Websites, 2011
Here are ten excellent examples of great B2B websites, 2011. If you thought B2B sites had to be ugly, boring and utilitarian, think again. The Top 10 B2B Websites listed here pack a punch by following many of the Web 2.0 design principles. Simply put, the basics are:
- Simple uncluttered design
- Use of bold colors and large text
- A central layout that is typically 960 pixels wide and works well on a variety of screen resolutions
- A separate top section
- Solid areas of screen real estate
- A strong visual hierarchy
If you’re considering redesigning your B2B website, take the time to closely examine what these successful B2B sites are doing right. As you review these sites you’ll notice that many are in the software industry as opposed to manufacturing. The software industry is on the leading edge of B2B website design and few manufacturing sites have caught up with new site designs. In addition to Web 2.0 Design principles, these sites have effectively integrated social media elements such as Facebook “Like” buttons, YouTube Channels, LinkedIn profiles and blogs that allow comments and more. Live chat software has become an important element for B2B sites interested in providing first-class customer service. The Top 10 B2B Websites share many of the same good practices, so we won’t list everything they’re doing right here. Take note of their strongest features, and as you become more familiar with what makes a great B2B website, you’ll be able to see for yourself what sets these winners apart from websites that have yet to make it to the top!
Constant Contact provides hosted email marketing software to businesses. Their site is on the Top 10 B2B Websites list because they truly drink their own marketing Kool-Aid. Note the solid on-page SEO and numerous social media integration points. As a result, they show up # 1 in Google Search results for email marketing. The site has an Alexa US rank of 71.
Salesforce sells online CRM software; the leader in its field, it is #1 in Google search results for CRM software. Salesforce.com is a Top 10 B2B pick because the site has clear messaging. Keep in mind, this is no easy feat, since the company is rebranding itself as a cloud platform. Strong visual hierarchy makes for a clean design with an excellent menu system that groups information in a logical way. It covers all the B2B website best practices.
According to their website, Airclic is a global provider of mobile software products that improve the performance of an organization’s supply chain, logistics and field services operations. This site has won awards in B2B Mag and WebAwards.org. So why is the site a Top 10 B2B winner? Note the nice 960-pixel-width layout, strong visual hierarchy and no clutter. It also has a menu that makes sense for a complex product. All the good stuff. That combined with live chat integration and an easy-to-use contact form make interacting with the company simple and easy.
Freshbooks is a pioneer in the online invoicing space. The site is a Top 10 B2B Website standout because they have a bold and clear message. You know what they sell in less than 3 seconds. The site has the guts to put pricing information right up front on the top menu bar.
Surveymonkey.com sits on the Top 10 B2B Website list because they effectively use customer testimonials on the home page while explaining what the product does. The website has a strong visual hierarchy and composition, with a solid offer right on the front page. They make it easy for customers to purchase by offering a free trial of the product on the home page.
Box.Net is a cloud-based file sharing application. Why is it a Top 10 B2B Website? They do a great job on their pricing page. They make it easy to understand what they sell, easy to try and simple to purchase. The site has clear messaging.
Basecamp is online project management/collaboration software produced by the team at 37 Signals. Why is Basecamp a Top 10 B2B site? Very effective use of screen shots to explain how the product works. It has solid Web 2.0 design principles and a strong visual hierarchy, yet a lot of information is communicated on the home page.
Big Commerce sells hosted online ecommerce software and shopping cart software. Bigcommerce.com earned its seat at the Top 10 B2B Website table with its bold simple graphics, strong visual hierarchy and good composition. You know what they sell in two seconds. Note how they leverage images of mobile devices to quickly communicate that their product works on a mobile platform.
Many office supply websites are cluttered, have poor usability and are just a mess. Just about all of them making shopping a lot harder than it needs to be. Office Depot stands out because they do a good job organizing the site with their menu system. (Avoiding the mistake of the dropdown menus from Hell where other sites fail to cluster items into logical categories past the first level.) Another plus: user-generated reviews to inform buyers.
Taleo sells online HR and recruiting software solutions. Taleo.com joins theTop 10 B2B Website list as the leader in their field, with a #2 showing in Google search results for Talent Management Software. The site has great design, strong and clear messaging and a simple and easy-to-use navigation system If you know of some great B2B websites, send us a link and we will add them to the list!