The rules have changed, in today’s online world, outdated manufacturing websites are not good enough. As buyers now research online before ever contacting you, your website is likely where they will form their first opinion of your company.
These websites tips are relevant for any business and will help you improve your most important online asset …your website.
1. Update Your Outdated Website
First impressions matter. In fact when it comes to your website you have less than 7 seconds to make a favorable impression or your visitor will move on to the next site. The look and feel of your site will help determine whether your visitor stays or goes.
Your visitors will judge and compare your site to your competitors sites, and other sites they visit. If your site style is out of date it will be perceived as less professional.
Styles change over time. Many of the manufacturing websites we encounter were designed and built more than four or five years ago (10 years ago isn’t to uncommon). What seemed cutting edge at the time now looks tired and outdated.
2. Identify Problems Your Prospects May Be Having
Visitors to your website know they have a problem and are looking for information that helps them better identify what the specific problem or problems are. This is the perfect stage to help educate visitors and begin establishing a position of thought leadership in their mind.
The problems you’re addressing should relate to the solutions you provide. Content marketing staples such as blog posts, white papers, articles, etc. that discuss identifying B2B problems through use of statistics, trends, stories, knowledge sharing and more help educate your website visitor. Help your visitor better understand potential problems and you’ve established a baseline of credibility. By itself though, its not enough.
3. Create Content That Solves Problems for Prospects
Content that compares solutions, case studies, more in-depth “How To’s”, and product guides that map to solving specific problems help your visitor convert to a prospect. At this point your visitor understands the issue and is aware that your company provides a solution that can help them solve their problem. It doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy, just that they have concluded that your company offers a solution to their problems.
Your website prospect has likely identified several potential solutions to their problem during their research. Your goal is to capture the prospect as a lead at this point. You can then begin to nurture the lead improving your chances of converting the visitor from a prospect to a customer.
4. Position Your Business as an Industry Leader
The final step for your website visitor/prospect is to make a purchase decision. From a website perspective there are specific types of content that your prospect is likely looking for to move forward.
Each industry and company to some degree will have different information that is relevant to their business, and that should be factored in to the content of your site. Trust icons, industry association logos, awards and client lists are additional pieces of information that can help make your prospect comfortable with choosing your company and solution to address their problems.
5. Optimized Your Site For Mobile Devices
This week we took a look at 50 manufacturing websites to see how many were mobile responsive. The results were a little shocking given Google’s recent algorithm update that penalizes sites not mobile-friendly. 45 out of the 50 manufacturing websites we tested were not mobile-friendly.
Responsive website design optimizes your site for visitors based on the size of the device they are using to view your site. You can manage one site, verses a desktop and mobile version of your site where you have to update each separately.
In January of 2014 mobile usage exceeded pc usage in terms of internet usage. A 2014 IDG Global Mobile Survey showed that executives preferred mobile over the PC for conducting research during and after office hours.
- 92 percent of executives own a smartphone used for business.
- 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
- 86 percent use their tablet and 72 percent of executives use their smartphone to conduct research for products or services for their business.
These numbers vary from industry to industry and sector to sector, but the trends are moving towards mobile and away from desktops. If your site isn’t mobile responsive you may be at a competitive disadvantage.
Without a site optimized for mobile, you’re presenting a bad viewing experience to executives potentially viewing your site to research your products and solutions.
Google Recommends It – In June 2014 Google identified responsive design as their recommended configuration for websites that target smartphones. Here is specifically what they said, “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.”
In April of this year (2015) they updated their algorithm to begin punishing websites that are not mobile friendly. Having a mobile website is no longer a recommendation its a requirement.