Creating Successful Manufacturing & Industrial Websites

     

Published: September 3, 2018

If you feel like all the digital marketing advice out there doesn’t exactly apply to your industrial or manufacturing company, you’re right. There’s lots of information for retail and professional services, SEO tips for pushing products, and content marketing strategies for keeping readers engaged.

But what about companies that sell unattractive widgets and functional electronic bits and pieces? Or assemble and repair machinery? What’s to even write about that people would be interested in? Here’s what you need to know about creating manufacturing and industrial websites that work.

What Makes Manufacturing and Industrial Websites Different?
For starters, your products and services aren’t always going to be cool and trendy to the average person. Doing a photoshoot of widgets to share on Pinterest probably isn’t going to get you very far. Of course, it’s not the average person you’re after, either. Some people in your target audience might be geeked out with photos of parts and assemblies, but chances are they’re more interested in your methods and specifications.

Your website visitors are no different from any other in that finding answers to problems and questions are the main reasons for stopping by. What’s different is how you go about getting the attention of your visitors, and how you give them the solutions they are looking for.

Start By Defining Your Audience
Understanding how your audience thinks, how they work, and how they go about looking for solutions is your first priority. For manufacturing and industrial companies, your audience is likely to be made up of technicians, engineers, and operators--people with a high level of technical understanding and not a lot of patience for fluff and marketing talk.

Your audience is also very likely to know what they need. Their minds are full of specifications that need to be met and limitations that must be avoided. They know their shops and applications, and they need a good fit at the right price.

Aside from these generalizations, what are the nuances that apply to your audiences? Are your solutions rare and your customers often have trouble finding them? Are there dozens of alternatives causing frustration in sorting them out? Is there a particular niche your prospects tend to come from? The more detail you can add, the better your website will function.

Cut the Fluff
If you’re selling trendy apparel or rugged camping equipment, there’s plenty of room to talk about how these products will make the buyer feel. Will you be the center of attention at the party? Safe and warm at high altitudes? Your buyers probably won’t feel much about their purchase beyond the satisfaction of knowing they can get on with their tasks.

Stick to the facts. Your audience wants to know how things work, and they want to know how your company gets the job done. Stay away from surface-level definitions and basic information that your visitors learned their first day on the job. Instead, talk about how your company relates to your customer’s problems and how you are the right team to solve those problems.

What to Include On Your Pages
Your home page should be clean and straightforward. It should serve as a directory of your website and help visitors find your contact information, your sales steam, your product pages, and technical specs and user manuals. You should keep all your branding points in mind so your customers experience consistency with each point of contact, but the main focus should be to get visitors the information they want as quickly as possible.

Product pages should contain professionally photographed images of your items along with photos of your products in context--preferably showing people handling, fixing, installing, or otherwise using your products. Context photos help to humanize your offers and provide a way to make a bit of an emotional connection in a space that’s difficult to achieve that goal.

Services pages should feature photos of the people who are providing the services. No stock photos, please! Both product and service pages should provide lots of details and specs that engineers, operators, and technicians need to determine if it’s a good fit for their precise application. There’s no need to be overly persuasive here. Instead, inform and provide all the necessary resources that demonstrate how your solutions will work.

Adding Some Proof
For most businesses, stirring up the right emotions is the best way to lead prospects toward a sale. In the manufacturing and industrial industries, the emotion you’re looking for is confidence in your solutions. Once you’ve provided the product specs, service details, installation information, and user manuals, the only thing left is to give a bit of social proof to seal the deal.

Case studies and portfolios that demonstrate your solutions being used in several real-life applications are a great way to get prospects to identify with other businesses facing the same problems, and then walking them through how you worked with that company to resolve those situations. Use case-studies for an in-depth look at the many facets of a single solution, and use portfolios to showcase just how many happy customers you have.

Credibility, Competence, and Confidence
You may not have flashy jewelry or juicy consumer electronics to build an exciting website around, but that doesn’t mean your target audience isn’t looking for ways to make their jobs easier, better, and more successful from your products and services. When you start by understanding what your customers need, how they search for solutions, and how they reach purchase decisions, you’ll be able to build a website that your customers find flashy and exciting, even if that means a bunch of charts, technical diagrams, and lists of numbers.

The goal of your industrial or manufacturing website is to establish your company’s credibility in the industry, to demonstrate your competence in delivering solutions, and to build consumer confidence until they’re ready to choose you. The route to success lies in focusing on the details, providing the necessary information, and keeping the fluff to a minimum.

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Tags: Industrial Web Design
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