Your company’s website acts as an online storefront. It’s your chance to make a great first impression with potential new customers. Having a great website can be the difference between a growing business and spinning your wheels. Our recent post,Five Pillars of an Effective Digital Marketing Campaign for Manufacturers, introduced you to the five most important elements of growing a manufacturing business online. The first, and probably most important, is a mobile-friendly, responsive website.
Today’s buying process is complex, even in the B2B marketplace. Buyers, product developers, engineers, and even marketing staff may have input in the buying process. Designing a manufacturing website that informs and appeals to a range of backgrounds is imperative in 2019 and beyond. Prospective customers are looking for a website that performs well, is easy to navigate, and is loaded with helpful information presented in an easy to digest manner.
Your Website Beyond Web Design
Website performance is vital to getting a potential buyer to your manufacturing website and keeping them there. Having visual appeal is nice. But Foremost Media CEO Jon Ballard says there’s more to a website than aesthetics. “So much goes into creating a successful website. In addition to the things that engage buyers like design and ease of use, the site also has to appeal to search engines. Site speed, data markup language, security and mobile friendliness are big factors in search engine ranking.”
Your Website Beyond The Desktop
Mobile traffic has now surpassed desktop web traffic and search engines like Google and Yahoo are following suit. The worldwide increase in mobile traffic isn’t just from news websites. Foremost Media manufacturing clients are getting an average of at least 40% of their website traffic from a mobile device. Foremost Media Online Marketing Specialist Tyler Reynolds believes being mobile friendly is more important than ever, even in the manufacturing space. “Google now ranks sites using a mobile-first indexing algorithm. This means Google will use the mobile version of your site as its baseline for rankings.”
Once someone is on your website, they should be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Intuitive manufacturing website navigation can build new customer relationships, help existing customers learn more about your product line, and substantially reduce customer service and warranty costs. Every manufacturing website should have navigation links for products, who you are as a company and what you stand for, the services you provide, a resources page, careers, and a blog.
Your Website Beyond Being A Brochure
Product pages should have pertinent information on the products as well as a call to action like “Order Now” or “Contact Us for a Quote”. Always lead the prospective customer to the next step. Your About Us page is also a big part of the conversion process. Customers want to know how long you’ve been in business, where you’re located, and the full scope of what your company does. Reynolds says an “Our Work” portfolio page shouldn’t be overlooked.
“A section of your site detailing past projects, testimonials, awards, and other recognition can be very beneficial. Besides the fact that a portfolio instills confidence and trust in your brand, it gives you an opportunity to be creative. A great website portfolio will feature several types of content including video, images, and text. The more robust your content, the more it will resonate with users. Google will also rank sites with several content types more favorably, as these sites tend to provide a more meaningful user experience.”
The resources page or pages may include assembly instructions, tips and tricks for using the product, troubleshooting information and more. Video tutorials are extremely popular and are effective tools in reducing customer service costs by allowing users to solve problems on their own.
Your Website Beyond Content
Many companies don’t understand the power of a blog. Being able to share the stories happening within your company helps make your company more human. A blog also allows you to provide information on timely events in your industry. Blog posts tend to be the most highly shared pages on a website. Most people aren’t going to share a product page unless they’re extremely interested in that particular product. However, a blog post about the best ways to save money in your industry or best new products can get shared across a variety of platforms and put your company in front of new potential customers.
As you plan the content for your pages, think about the goal and the potential audience for each page. A buyer is looking for solutions to help their company perform better. What the product does and how it does it better than a similar product is important information. An engineer within the same company needs to know the size, tolerances, and other technical information. Being able to produce specific information for one audience without overwhelming another audience is the difference between a good website and a great one.