Meaningful Website Development for Manufacturers
Think of your website as your virtual storefront. This does not mean that you are required to sell your products and/or services through an e-commerce platform, but it does mean that your website should help your customers research solutions to their problem as if they were talking to an in-person company employee. Ease of navigation, engaging call to actions, and enhanced SEO all contribute to an effective website that optimizes lead generation tactics. When making future website updates or developing your company’s next website, keep the following four important tips in mind.
- Make information easy to locate by using an effective website navigation menu
Key information, such as phone numbers and customer support options, should be simple to locate on your website. Limit the number of onscreen options to around 6 to 9 at the most. When considering navigation menu options, avoid offering an extensive list, as the site visitor may become overwhelmed by having too many choices. The types of navigation menu styles vary, but the most commonly used layouts include the classic navigation menu, hamburger menu, and dropdown menu.
Classic Navigation Menu
Important menu items to include on your manufacturing company site include:
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Responsiveness, rapid speed, and security are now considered basic website elements
Your manufacturing website should be comprised of standard components users have come to expect and associate with a positive overall digital browsing experience. Page loading speed should be approximately 2 seconds (or less) otherwise you chance losing the visitor’s attention. One study found that the bounce rate was 38% if a webpage took 5 seconds to load. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who abandon a website after viewing only a single page. Mobile responsiveness is also key to enhancing the web browsing experience since your website layout will automatically be adjusted to the ideal format based on the type of device you are using to access the website (i.e. tablet, mobile phone, desktop computer). Another element your website should have is an SSL certificate, for security purposes. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that provides authentication and secure connections using encryption methods. This certificate keeps data secure, increases search engine rankings, and builds credence with your website viewers. Providing a fast, responsive, and trusted website will help build a satisfied overall user experience.
- Call to actions provide an opportunity to educate your prospects via engaging marketing content
A strong call to action (CTA) can present an effective opportunity to convert your website visitor into a lead. Lead generation forms should be used to capture the prospect’s contact information prior to downloading gated marketing content. An example of an effective call to action to include on your manufacturing website is “Download Whitepaper Now.” This type of CTA assists the visitor with product research by featuring marketing content, such as whitepapers and trade magazine article features that are informative rather than salesy. Call to actions should include quality, meaningful imagery that connects back to the content as well as the brand.
- Rank at the top of search engine by enhancing search engine optimization (SEO) efforts
SEO best practices should be used to improve your website’s ranking on search engines for relevant keywords and/or keyword phrases. One source to locate effective keywords to include on your website is Google's Keyword Planner. Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on option that also helps you discover relevant keywords for your site. In your website’s page URLs, include words that relate to the page’s content and are not generic (i.e. “welcome” or “home”). Content within a page should consist of text that is unique, showcase expertise, and is easy to read. Each image should have an “alt” (alternative) attribute associated with it that briefly describes the file. Avoid using descriptions such as “image1.jpg” as the alt tag. Effective SEO strategies help your website and related content appear toward the top of search engine results to enhance visibility and drive more traffic to your site.
In summary, simple navigation, mobile responsiveness, strong call to actions, and increased SEO efforts can lead to an enhanced overall website experience allowing your company’s website to act as a powerful marketing tool.