Request a Consultation

Elements of a Successful Enterprise Website

Joe Genovese
July 15, 2020

An enterprise website has to accomplish a plethora of various goals at once, including providing useful information to the visitor, converting leads into customers, demonstrating the organization’s expertise and trustworthiness, and housing content. 

Not only does it need to accomplish all of those, but it must do it in a way that satisfies the various stakeholders: users, marketing, sales, etc. But often, those stakeholders have opposing needs. Incredibly strong sales-driven calls to action could put off a visitor just looking for product information. Too many secondary calls to action (ex. Download this resource) and the user may never see the primary call to action (ex. Request a consultation). The list could go on.

Before you know it, your enterprise website becomes a behemoth that takes on a life of its own and fails to satisfy anyone. As you’re designing, updating, or refining your enterprise website, keep these elements in mind to help you create a balance of user experience and business objectives. 

Clear Navigation

76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website's design is the ease in which they can find what they want. The more a visitor has to sift through your site to find the desired information, the least likely they are to convert.

It’s a best practice to keep important information accessible in three clicks or less. So if you have things like client portals, pricing page, product information, important resources, etc., it’s best to keep them up front and easily accessible.

Your navigation should lead users through the sales funnel rather than forcing them through it. Your ultimate goal may be for a visitor to click on a purchase link, but if they’re looking for something else and can’t find it, they’re likely to leave your site altogether, leaving you with no sale and an unhappy lead. 

Website navigation allows visitors to flow from one page to another without frustration. If you’ve done your job well, visitors leave your site with the intention to return and might even buy something from you or sign up for your email list.

Conversion-Centric Design 

When it comes to your enterprise website, conversion doesn’t always mean a sale. A conversion goal may be to provide an email address, take a product needs quiz, or move to the next phase of the sales funnel. Website design should focus on persuading visitors to convert in a very specific way depending on the goals of the particular landing page. 

With a conversion-centric design, you first must determine what the end conversion goal is and then deliver the path to that goal in a personalized and memorable way. If the landing page’s goal is to get users to provide their email to download a useful whitepaper, then you probably don’t want to include too many other calls to action that would lead them away from the desired action. 

The path to conversion should be straightforward and with as few distractions as possible. Limiting choices may seem counterintuitive, but too many options can lead people to not make a decision at all. This doesn’t have to mean removing other choices completely. You can highlight one or two actions, then put the rest on other pages for users who continue to look for more information.

A conversion-centric design combined with conversion tracking can help you better understand user behavior. This offers detailed insights into what steps a visitor takes on your website, from the first time they land on your homepage until they take a specific action. Tracking these touchpoints and their impact gives insight into how they influence visitors. Once you understand which touchpoints have the biggest impact on conversion rates, you can focus and optimize your marketing efforts.

Strong Information Architecture

The information architecture of your enterprise website is how you create, store, access, and present information. Site architecture has a long-term impact on the site and should take into account future content updates as well as user experience.

Grouping information in a logical way might seem like an easy thing to do, but the more information and content you house on your website, the more complicated it can get. This complexity is a major disadvantage to the end-user experience if the structure isn’t solid. 

The common information architectural structures for enterprise websites include:

  • Hierarchical
  • Sequential
  • Matrix
  • Alphabetical
  • Audience
  • Chronological
  • Topical 

No matter what type of information architecture you use as a foundation, avoid structures that are too shallow or too deep. Structures that are too shallow require massive menus in which visitors can get lost. On the other hand, structures that are too deep bury information in layers upon layers, burdening the user with several levels to navigate to find the content that they desire.

Mobile-Friendly

If you do everything you can to make your enterprise website the best it can be, but don’t optimize it for mobile use, then you may as well say goodbye to a large portion of your leads. In the first quarter of 2020, mobile devices generated nearly 52% percent of global website traffic.

Your site should support consistent experiences on every screen size, with the same ability to optimize for conversions, measure engagement, and structure content as the desktop experience. Not only would this have an impact on your lead generation and conversion, but it may harm your organization’s reputation as well. 48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.

Content Management

Publishing valuable thought-leadership content such as white papers, blog posts, ebooks, etc., attracts users to your site, providing value, and creating a level of trust. It also boosts your search ranking. But in order to be effective, your content needs to be efficiently stored, gated, and accessed by leads and customers. 

A strategic and methodical approach to content generation, management, infrastructure, production, repurposing, and scope will support broader business objectives. To accomplish this on a grand scale, you’ll most likely need a website powered by a content management system (CMS), such as Sitefinity, to streamline processes and provide invaluable data. 

An enterprise website allows your organization to upsell, cross-sell, generate, and nurture leads, build awareness, inform, educate—even inspire. But most of that can’t happen if your website lacks the basic elements of a successful enterprise website. 

Balancing personalized user experiences with your sales and conversion goals and effectively tracking all the information that comes from your website can be a daunting undertaking. And that’s not to mention the day-to-day tasks that come with updating and maintaining the site. 

If you’re struggling with the cost and complexities of your enterprise websites, our web professionals can help simplify your world through a proven, time-tested process that optimizes your software, leading to clarity and measurable improvements in team efficiencies and business growth.

Get a free site assessment today to get actionable insights.