Web Design for Manufacturers: Best Practices for Website Success
Today, most manufacturers realize that a website with just a few aesthetically pleasing pages doesn’t cut it anymore.
So much of the B2B buying process has transitioned to the digital space, making it more critical than ever to exist online and to utilize digital marketing and sales tools that will improve your manufacturing web design.
As with any industry, good web design attracts visitors, converts them into leads, and nurtures them through the sales funnel until they ultimately become customers.
To industrial company buyers, your website serves as your virtual storefront. Even if you don’t sell your products or manufacturing services online, your website acts as a home base of sorts that helps prospects research your company, find answers to their burning questions, and review your solutions to their problems.
Whether you are a custom manufacturer, an OEM, or an industrial distributor, the crux of a good manufacturing website is the junction of company goals and your buyer’s objective.
You can get to this place by focusing on your buyer’s journey and applying manufacturing web design best practices throughout your site.
By tracking the three stages of the online buying process (getting found, consideration, and the sale) and employing the following manufacturing website design best practices, you’ll see your site take off and watch your business grow exponentially.
Goal 1: Getting Found
The first step of the process is getting found by potential customers. What good is a website if the right people don’t know about it?
If you want your industrial website to attract the right people, the key is creating a new website with content that is helpful and relevant to your audience.
Ask yourself what the plant managers, maintenance supervisors, and engineers that you’re targeting are searching for, the challenges they’re facing, and the ways your products or services can solve these issues.
Then, use that information to guide in creating an SEO-friendly designed website.
While you want to speak the language of the online users relevant to your company, you don’t want to neglect the search engine crawlers that play such a pivotal role in getting your website seen. That’s why you should use SEO (search engine optimization) to guide your web design process.
These crawler bots search your site for relevant keywords to determine where to place your website on the search results pages for these terms.
Keep your site SEO-friendly by performing keyword research in your niche and applying these terms to your content, headings, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
Goal 2: Consideration
The next stage of the buying process to consider as you implement manufacturing web design best practices into your company’s website is the consideration stage.
Help your site visitors stay engaged with your site and learn more about what you can offer them with the following manufacturing website must-haves:
Simple, Easy Navigation
Start creating simple site navigation by making your most important information easy to find. Things like contact information, locations, and customer support should always be just a click away from your home page.
Your visitors want to avoid clicking all around the site to find the details they need. Improve their user experience by making your website subsections easily accessible.
Consider using these standard navigation links for manufacturing companies:
- About Us
- Contact Us
These links are highly used and should be easily accessible to your site visitors.
Whether you choose video or photo content, part of a great website is high-quality media. Video can especially help with SEO and is a great storytelling tool. Consider using graphics like infographics, charts, or pictures of real-time use if you have complex products or services.
Providing social proof solidifies your digital presence and tells potential customers that you’re relevant and reputable. Do this by linking to your social media platforms and including positive reviews from past customers.
Well-Placed, Clear CTAs
A well-placed, clear call to action will make it easy for potential buyers to contact you or take the appropriate next steps in the process.
Keep it simple by placing some of the following great CTAs around your site:
- Contact Us
- Learn More
- Get in Touch
- Request a Quote
Don’t be afraid to add more than one to a page as needed, and try to make your CTAs noticeable via text boxes, colors, or change in font.
Goal 3: The Sale
The third and final step in the online buying process is the decision-making moment. Will you get the sale?
Make their decision easy by sharing your company story and backing it up with these supportive website features:
Highlight how your company accomplished a particular goal or objective.
What sets you apart from the other guys? Make this abundantly clear.
Include logos of notable clients and share positive testimonials from satisfied past customers.
Don’t forget to mention any certifications or awards your manufacturing business has earned.
Website Performance Best Practices
In addition to these manufacturing web design tips, remember to apply these web development and site performance best practices:
Keep people on your page with a website that loads in less than three seconds. Anything over this time will increase bounce rates and hurt your conversion rate.
Mobile searches officially outnumber desktop searches, which means your website needs to provide the same great, responsive web design to visitors on all browsers, whether they’re accessing it from a desktop, phone, or tablet.
An SSL certificate is the easiest way to protect your manufacturing website from hackers and keep your visitors safe. A secure site will also improve your Google search results ranking.
Keep your target audience at the forefront of everything you do throughout your website redesign process. Answer their questions before they have to ask. Solve the problems they didn’t even realize they had. Make it clear that you are the best company for the job. Create this kind of content on your home page, in your blog, and on each product or service landing page.
Give Your Website Visitors What They Want
What is it that industrial companies are looking for in the best manufacturing websites?
Beyond the website design basics like speed, security, responsiveness, and content marketing, they’re also looking for a manufacturing company that understands their needs and the buying process.
By honing in on the three main stages of getting found, consideration, and the sale, you’ll be able to carefully include all the elements of good manufacturing web design. Once you complete your site, you’ll begin to see the positive results roll in.