Why Industrial Website Design Should Be Your Priority
One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that companies in the industrial and/or manufacturing sector, particularly in the Niagara region, haven’t paid a lot of attention to their website and entire digital marketing strategy over the last 5-10 years. There literally aren’t many mobile responsive industrial website design ideas percolating.
From an industrial manufacturer’s perspective an easy objection to website marketing could be, “we don’t really even need our website because we get all of our business through word of mouth referrals.”
While that may have been true at one point in time, some forward thinking industrial companies we’ve worked with say that word of mouth referral business isn’t as strong as it once used to be. They feel it’s been changing quickly for a variety of reasons.
What many industrial business owners in Niagara are missing is something that I’m willing to bet they’ve experienced in their own personal lives. Very simply, times are changing and industrial website design ideas should be top of mind.
This article will help marketing leaders interested in new digital marketing strategies in the industrial and manufacturing business space.
Why Industrial & Manufacturing Businesses Need a Website
We live in a highly digital and hyper mobile world. Google has officially said that more searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers.
AdWeek says that over 81% of shoppers conduct research online before buying. So what do these types of stats have to do with your industrial and or manufacturing business? I’m about to tell you exactly what every industrial business owner needs to know about stepping up their website marketing and growing their business to the next level.
It all starts and ends with your website but in between are essential elements of any solid digital marketing strategy. This includes search engine optimization or SEO strategies, lead generation, email marketing, and quality content creation.
We’ve worked with a B2B/B2C manufacture in the dairy packaging industry and were able to increase their webstore sales by over 56% in one quarter (YOY), using social media marketing combined with a strategic mix SEO strategy and content marketing.
If you had the ability to guide prospects through the sales funnel, where you could control pretty much all the variables, wouldn’t you jump at that opportunity?
The key to your industrial business growth over the next 25+ years is a mobile responsive, Google compliant, user friendly, and fully optimized website. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it is absolutely essential, and here’s why.
Your Buyers Are Getting Younger, More Tech Savvy, and Mobile
Younger, tech savvy individuals are moving into management positions within the industrial and manufacturing sector, if they’re not there already. Many of these younger professionals are now responsible for issuing purchase orders from suppliers and distributors just like you.
From the statistics mentioned above, I’d say it’s fairly likely that these new buyers will be searching Google for as much information as they can get on new products and supplies that he needs for his plant, shop, warehouse, or mill.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure your industrial business has a clean, easy to navigate website, fully optimized for users and for search engines.
It’s not as challenging as you might think. While I say it may not be challenging, I also understand that it’s not the easiest thing to do for any business, let alone your industrial business.
You likely have limited resources, your team members are trying to complete multiple tasks, meanwhile you’re working with you marketing team trying to get ready for the next trade show. So how do you prioritize a new digital marketing and website strategy?
Website Design Tips For Industrial Businesses
To keep this real simple and effective, I found an article on HubSpot discussing this very topic of marketing industrial and manufacturing businesses in the digital world. They list 5 decent tips. I’ll let some of them here and add a few of my own.
“If you’ve ever looked at your website and thought, “maybe it’s time for an upgrade,” chances are that time has passed and you’re overdue. With search engines constantly rolling out new algorithms and new design trends taking shape every day, it’s understandable that managers are getting overwhelmed just trying to keep their heads above water.”
Use this checklist to ensure your website re-design is not a long, labor-intensive process.
1. Why You Rock
The first thing you want to present to your website visitors is a clear description of what you do best. You want every visitor to completely understand, quickly, why you rock at what you do.
“For custom manufacturers, having a wide range of equipment and capabilities that can serve a variety of needs is a good differentiator. For distributors, it might be your global presence and stellar customer service.”
The key is to make sure whatever your competitive advantages are clearly laid out on your website, home page in particular.
You also want to lay out your sitemap so that you can create optimized content, that speaks to your competitive advantages, within your website’s internal pages.
2. Large Full Width Engaging Images
I’m a super big fan of large full width images on a website. I think many people are as well. Remember, an overwhelming majority of people are researching their purchases online before making a decision to buy. This works in both the B2B and B2C sectors.
Think about it this way. When a qualified customer lands on your website, you want to make it very simple for them to find the solution to their “problem.”
Research shows that many industrial and manufacturing companies believe customers and prospects will call for information.
I definitely believe some prospects will call to get more information and hopefully your sales team closes those leads. But I also most definitely believe that many customers will not call.
They’ll continue to happily research more information and your company risks losing that business to a competitor.
To make sure your website marketing is effective for all types of customers, you should ensure your site includes as much information as possible, for customers in different stages of the sales cycle.
Create info packages, product information documents, explainer videos, infographics, and high resolution product catalogues that your leads can download, stream, or view on demand.
If your products are all customizable, you’d need to create a process for customers to sample the customization, via your website. This could include customizing the product for many different features.
Finally, ensure that you create landing pages and forms on your website and lead visitors to those pages to download the information and media they’re looking for.
This way you can collect valuable data like email address or anything else you’d need for your sales team to close the lead.
3. SEO Optimize The Little Things
This tip isn’t about SEO for your entire website. I expect that to be a no-brainer and already understood. That is, never, ever launch your website if it’s not optimized for users and search engines.
However, I’ve seen some website that were optimized to an “ok” extent,but that had completely no SEO optimization in the image metadata.
This is a huge SEO opportunity for any business, especially a B2B industrial manufacturing business.
It’s vital that all the images on your website, especial the product images, are fully optimized. This means everything from file name, file size, image dimensions and image resolution, to the image alt attribute, title attribute, caption and description.
Why you ask? Well as mentioned it’s a key SEO opportunity. Search engine spiders read the image alt attributes, smaller image file sizes make for faster page loads, and page load time is a Google ranking factor. Those are reasons enough.
Lets face it, your future buyers and prospects are searching the internet for a solution to their industrial and/or manufacturing problem and your company can help!
Therefore you need to be found. Search engine optimization, a mobile responsive website that loads quickly and provides a super user experience is the key to growing your industrial business.
For more insight into why SEO is a huge factor for industrial B2B companies, read my guest post for the Niagara Industrial Association: 3 SEO Myths for Industrial B2B Companies.
For more tips and digital marketing lessons for your industrial business, read this article.
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