I am always amazed at how many large, publicly traded, B2B companies have inadequate websites and how many of them have the same issues and challenges. They have millions of dollars in sales revenue, but no one seems to own the success or failure of the website. That’s one thing about small business entrepreneurs – they will do whatever it takes to get to the next level.

1) Improperly Naming Products and Services
One of our large technology clients (we help both large and small companies) provides ‘disaster recovery services’, but they call it ‘availability services’. There are thousands of monthly searches performed on “disaster recovery” and no searches for “availability services”, so why would you rename a service and confuse potential customers? The amazing thing is that this client has a Google PageRank of 7 out of 10 and tremendous link popularity, so even though “disaster recovery services” is a very competitive keyword phrase, they could easily rank well for it in natural search. All they have to do is call a spade a spade and stop trying to invent a new word that no one uses or understands.

2) Poor CRM Tools
I would say that over half of the B2B websites we work with have poorly implemented CRM tools, or none at all. They spent the money on Salesforce.com or some other CRM tool, but no one seems to be accountable for it working properly. With today’s technology, both large and small companies can track web leads and even in-bound phone calls and tie them back to their source -natural search (search engine and keyword), paid search (search engine, campaign and keyword), website link, email link or other. With today’s technology, marketers can calculate the ROI of every online marketing channel to the penny. With today’s technology, B2B companies can exchange product information, videos or whitepapers for customer contact information, so they can segment web visitors by product or service and drip market to them based on their information needs.

3) Poor Content
People use the Web to find information on companies and their products and services. The more content you have to help a visitor make a buying decision, the better chance you have of converting them from a website visitor into a buyer. Most B2B web visitors want to know the answer to two questions: 1. What questions should I be asking to properly evaluate each vendor in this space? 2. Why are you better than all the other vendors? We have whitepapers that tell potential customers the questions they should be asking other search engine marketing vendors or web designers. We even have one on how to write an RFP. Do you think a potential customer appreciates the free education? Do you think they are more likely to do business with our agency versus another agency that just sends them a proposal?

4) Lack of Content
The cool thing about search engine optimization (SEO) is that you can do a little research and figure out what keywords your customers are searching for online. Ideally, if you want to be found for 200 keywords, then you should create 200 unique pages of content. If you don’t use a keyword on your website, you won’t rank for it. All you have to do is figure out the information hat people want and build content to provide it. There are lots of strategies, like FAQs, whitepapers, blogs, case studies, landing pages and more. You just have to give visitors what they need to make a buying decision so they won’t go elsewhere for the information.

The bottom line is that the Web is a very powerful tool if you put the energy and effort into doing everything right. It’s a little work, but it pays off in more sales and profits.