The best, and also the good enough, B2B websites of 2017

Websites matter, and in B2B they matter more than ever.

If a potential customer cannot within seconds understand what your business does, why it matters and why they should partner with you, from visiting your website, then there's something seriously wrong. 

Your sales team should feel confident being able to make a sales pitch with the marketing copy on your website - a pitch which clearly outlines your customer’s business problem and the benefits of your business solution.

So I’ve compiled a list of the best B2B websites I saw in 2017. Take a look at why I think they’re  working smartly to generate business and what your business can learn from them.

These B2B websites are impressive because they do the following 9 things well:

  1. Says what it does on the tin

  2. Have useful and interesting resources business decision makers can download

  3. Have a clear sitemap and taxonomy

  4. Use fresh images. Death to stale stock images which have been recycled over and over again - also, let the bearded, tatted up hipster man go please

  5. Strong messaging and position - this ties to strategy. These websites are on the list because I can see what the business wants customers to think of them, how they want their customers to feel, and what they want their customers to do at any given time on the site

  6. Know their target audience

  7. The benefits of hiring them are all over the site, like everywhere

  8. Curate a targeted newsletter that offers value and a clearly articulated benefit from signing up

  9. Run a very helpful and genuinely interesting blog

So, here they are, the best of and the good enough of 2017, in my humble opinion. Don't @ me. 

Lever - powerful recruiting software for strategic organizations - The positioning tagline alone is effective - don’t you want to be part of this club of strategic organisations? Well thought out blog posts like “Startup Recruiting: Scaling a people function for explosive growth” make Lever's website a pleasure to browse. And many a tech company could do better by reading their 5 steps to launch an effective diversity and inclusion council. If I needed hiring software I’d use Lever - it feels like they genuinely care about solving recruitment problems and helping businesses grow. Why do I feel this way? Because their great content and website convinces and converts me. I also really love their own Work for Lever content.

Onfido - the world’s best identity verification engine for enterprises - very strong targeting, very clear business benefits. Their content hub could do with a bit of work on positioning, tone of voice and focus as well as structure. However they’re publishing regularly and the posts are interesting. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Qubit - Get closer to your customers  Everyone might want to be inspired by their CMS for the great search, segmentation, taxonomy, filtering and structure on their resources page.

BlueYonder - the leading provider of AI solutions for retail

Autopilot - automate customer journeys as simply as drawing on a whiteboard  for its clever demo feature. Sometimes you want to see what the product is, a clear demo of benefits and features, and for some reason some software solution providers make this extremely difficult - not Autopilot. Be like Autopilot.

Chartmogul - build a better subscription business - I really liked their data literacy cheat sheet and their curated approach to newsletters. You can also view past content to get a sense of the good things coming to your inbox when you subscribe. Smart people love a good newsletter and they read them too. Your customers want to become smarter, be smart about communicating to them. Incidentally, their newsletter is driven by Drift whose content is also definitely worth checking out and Mailchimp (Mailchimp’s marketing - needless to say - we’re not worthy)

Egencia - better business travel - cliched stock images unfortunately let down this website. I’m also not sure what Position Papers are - feels like a very "jabber at your customers" style of communicating.  

Lifeworks - make your employees feel loved

Many more didn’t make this list (like Paddle - the better way to sell software and their awesome Black Friday resource hub). I tend to squirrel websites away in my Notes app as I read and research on B2B tech marketing. I do spontaneously and impulsively (but not compulsively) share what’s caught my eye, so do connect with me on LinkedIn.