Are You Lost in Bad B2B Website Organization?


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On your way to work, do you look at the road signs much? Or check the names of the stations on your public transport commute? Compare that with the amount of attention you give to road signs and maps when you’re on vacation. The difference between the two is simple, familiarity.

You don’t look at the road signs on the way to work because you recognize the roads, you already know where to go. On vacation you find yourself cursing or praising the infrastructure, because you need it to get where you’re going. We can apply the same logic to website organizational structure.

When You Assume…

When you build your own B2B website, your natural instinct is to put things where you would expect them to be. You know that your IT solution provides strong security measures, so you place that information within the security section of your menu structure. But if that security feature is a differentiator for your product and the security section isn’t immediately obvious from your homepage, how will prospects find it?

You can never assume any prior knowledge on behalf of your website visitors. They’re not familiar with you, or your website; so you need to guide them. That means providing a simple, logical menu structure. And building your B2B website with the user in mind. Rather than assuming you know where everything should go.

Menus Aren’t Really Menu’s

One of the main culprits in bad web design is actually the word ‘menu.’ We imagine a menu as a list of things to choose from. That’s how a restaurant menu works, each item is listed in order from starters through to desserts. That works fine for restaurants because all menus follow the same structure. But it leads businesses to creating websites that simply list all available services in the order they assume is appropriate.

Website menus aren’t really menus at all. They’re roadmaps, they guide you from one place to the next. When you create a website menu, you need to think about where your prospect has come from and where you want them to go next. That means creating a natural journey through your site with each link following on from the next. No visitor to your site should ever feel lost, or compelled to click ‘Home’ to figure out where they are.

More Isn’t Always Better

With that in mind, the most common mistake you see on B2B websites is the inclusion of too many options in the menu structure. Your website is not a menu, it’s an online leads generator and sales channel. You don’t need to offer every single option as soon as a visitor arrives on the site.

Instead, you need to put the vital information and products up front and let the user choose how far they want to delve into your product range. With plenty of helpful prodding from your CTAs. You should never hold information back from your website, but you can add it to the natural journey without throwing everything into the menu structure.

Always Be Clear

Another common problem is vague menu items. If you provide B2B services, you may have a huge list of individual services that are difficult to quantify with one word. That can lead to using two or three terms that might be considered synonyms to name different sections. So you have ‘services’, ‘solutions’ and ‘products’ all given equal billing at the top of your menu structure. If your prospect has never been to your site, or used your business before, how will they know where to go to find what they need?

B2B website visitors who are unsure where to go are all most likely to go to the same place. Back to Google. The only way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to give them clear instruction on where they need to go and why.


The best way to achieve strong menu structure is to put yourself in your visitors shoes; in a totally unfamiliar, foreign location. Have a look at your own site and see if you could navigate it effectively with nothing but the menu to follow. If you find yourself relying on your prior knowledge to find the right pages, where does that leave your visitors?

Are you doing enough to bring B2B visitors to your website? Why not avail of SiliconCloud’s Complimentary Review of Your Website, Your Online Marketing Strategy and a Competitor Analysis

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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