Best Practices For Designing Corporate Websites
B2B corporate websites often overlook users from outside the design team’s country. They ignore attributes and specialized content relevant to foreigners. Even though the majority of usability guidelines remain the same for users in any culture or location, a B2B site designed for users in one country may not be equally helpful to users in other countries. Business environment, trade regulations, and the competitive landscape differs dramatically in different locations, and B2B users need websites that are accustomed to the local challenges.
Below are 5 ways to improve your site for international audiences:
- Demonstrate Presence in Your Users’ Region
Users of B2B sites repeatedly look for evidence that the company was committed to serving its customers in a particular region, and had expertise on local practices. Having a local office with contact information clearly shown on the About Us or Contact page, a list of sales reps that users can easily find on the website, or a prominently displayed local phone number for customer-service calls are all good ways of helping users find companies with a presence in their area.
- Localize Your Content
If you have customers in different countries, there are usually two possible strategies:
- Internationalization: Include a language selector on the main corporate website design to see the content in multiple different languages.
- Localization: Create unique localized websites for various regions.
While Most companies chose one of these two strategies, we strongly recommend that you adopt both methods. It is not feasible to create a localized website for every single country in which your company does business, always provide an internationalized main corporate site, but create localized sites for key markets.
- Be Consistent with the Main Corporate Site
Main site and the localized sites should all be consistent in design flow. Information architecture, key content ought to be coherent. While you may adjust some of the content to fit with cultural expectations, the same basic information about your products and services should be available on localized sites.
Make sure that your content translate well into a variety of other languages (including right-to-left ones), your designs should allow room for languages other than English, to accommodate difference in word length and writing systems across languages..
- Single Sign-on
Website users may need to use both the corporate site and the localized site. Do not have them log in twice or one time for each site. If a user logs in on one version of the site (e.g., the Northwest African site), their login state should pass over to the main global site.
- Export Control Numbers and Regulatory Information on website
Keep in mind that due to complex international-trade agreements, many B2B customers in foreign countries need additional information about export regulations in order to purchase from vendors based in other countries.
If there are additional trade, import, or regulatory requirements for your customers overseas, please provide the information on your website.
B2B customers are often overlooked during the corporate design process, and they unfortunately have to deal with terrible website design that don’t fulfil all their needs. Make your company more compelling to international customers by showing your local presence and knowledge of specific regions. Localizing content to conform to local expectations, maintaining parity of information between sites, making it easy for users to switch between regional sites, and giving detailed trade and export information are some good practices for optimal corporate website design.
If you are doing any serious business in Canada, you should contact the local Toronto website design and development company DTW for the finest website design for your company.