4 min read
Over the last few years, many brands have changed the way they think about manufacturing websites – and it’s about time, too!
A traditional manufacturing website serves as a product catalog for a company and not much else. Due to the costly offerings, the main purpose of the site is to get a qualified lead to contact the sales team.
There was a time when this made sense ... or at least more sense than it does now.
But: Manufacturing is changing.
Barriers to entry are dropping by the day, allowing smaller enterprises to compete in specialized niches. They may not be able to do everything a large, established manufacturing firm can do, but they deliver a strong performance in their area of expertise.
Likewise, face-to-face meetings and annual industry events just aren’t as important as they once were. While big industry conferences still exist, the world moves too fast for these to be the staging point for most of the year’s new sales.
With all that in mind, it’s time to take a second look at what makes a good manufacturing website.
Manufacturing Websites That Work: 4 Quick Changes
Most companies don’t want to spend 3-6 months revising their manufacturing website to all new specifications. Luckily, you don’t have to commit to a complete transformation to achieve more than ever.
Start with these four tweaks:
Make Sure You’re Mobile Friendly
If your website isn’t ready for mobile, everything else will fall flat. More and more people now use mobile as their primary connection to the Web. Decision-makers are on mobile constantly, often squeezing in product research on the go.
To serve customers better (and placate Google), most manufacturing websites these days are moving toward responsive design. A responsive site adjusts on the fly so it looks terrific no matter the size of the visitor’s display or what kind of input devices they use.
Start a Weekly Blog
Content is the engine behind all your digital marketing efforts, and the most basic unit of content is the blog post. Blogs are ideal for manufacturing websites, since you can demonstrate your expertise and ignite anticipation for your offerings.
For maximum effect, manufacturers should aim for at least one blog post every week. Longer content tends to perform better over time. If you find your content consistently running long, consider developing a comprehensive guide on a topic your prospective buyers care about.
Which brings us to the next topic ...
Implement Landing Pages and Lead Capture
Old-fashioned manufacturing websites usually lack lead capture. They are focused on getting someone to contact sales and set up a meeting. In a world of long sales cycles and unprecedented options, that’s a huge leap to expect anyone to take from a standing start!
Landing pages are pages that specifically focus on a single product, service, or other offer. A conversion on a landing page should move the prospect forward in the buying process, whether that means downloading a product brochure or scheduling a live demonstration.
Manufacturers already know their customers and pain points well. All they need to do is translate that knowledge in ways that help people make the right purchases. Even your blog should have a lead capture form – for example, for an email subscription list.
Consider AI Chatbots or Live Customer Care
When visitors to a B2C site first arrive, they look around for new content or social media posts to get a sense that the site is still active. B2B decision-makers go through the same process in a different way: They don’t want to waste time on sites that are defunct!
From that perspective, the average manufacturing website seems pretty desolate.
Luckily, there are a few different ways to resolve this. Live customer support may be the best, since it adds a human touch and gives visitors the opportunity to get their questions answered.
More companies are also finding success with AI chatbots. Although it’s not quite the same as dealing with a human being, the conversational touch tends to resonate more with many users. On top of that, AI is highly customizable and scalable as your business grows.
Get Started Today and Create the Manufacturing Website of the Future
Of course, there’s no end to the many different ways you can enhance your site and make it more valuable for your customers. Start with these four steps, though, and you’ll resolve many issues that plague the manufacturing industry online:
- Responsive design will help you avoid Google penalties and maximize mobile traffic.
- A blog will boost your search engine position and encourage interaction with the brand.
- Landing pages and lead capture will move your prospects through the sales process.
- Built-in customer service, in whatever form, will make information more accessible.
Lay a strong foundation and long-term success will be that much easier!
Published on April 11, 2018