Today, websites have become an important element in operating a business online and globally as it enables businesses to connect and sell with their target audience regardless of the physical boundaries. Smart buyers need information on products or services before they purchase. Hence, they want the data at their fingertips whenever and however they want. Thus, a company’s website serves as a virtual storefront and educational hub for these smart online buyers. Hence, it is crucial to have a crisp and engaging website. However, industrial websites focus more on showcasing their portfolio than designing an intuitive and engaging website that offers enhanced user experience.
Manufacturing Website Redesign Workbook
- Website Redesign Checklist
- Website Design Brief Template
- Agency Comparison Worksheet
The following list of must-have manufacturing website features will let you know how to attract or educate the visitors and how to pursue them to invest in your products.
12 Must-Have Features For Manufacturing Websites
1) Relevant & Impressionable Images
One picture is worth a thousand words. Every image used on your website transmits a subconscious message to the audience. Therefore, it is possible to turn the images into a powerful element when designing a website. However, you have to know how to use the images. A recent study performed by the Marketing Experiments showed that 95% of users preferred the photos of real people over stock photos, as the stock photos are regarded as irrelevant by the users.
It may be a time-consuming task to photograph your employees or staff members. However, it is a worthwhile effort. If it is impossible to use the real images, then you may use the stock photos that do not look staged and the images that seem relevant to your business.
2) Simple and Effective Navigation
It is essential to have a flawless navigation system if you want to keep the visitors on your website. You will lose the visitors to your website if they cannot find what they are searching for and a solid navigation system can support all types of search preferences. Thus, you have to ensure that the navigation system of your website has the following factors.
- Put the primary navigation system near the top of a web-page and maintain a simple structure
- Include navigation at website’s footer
- Use breadcrumbs on all pages except for the homepage. It keeps visitors informed of their navigation trail.
- Put a ‘search box’ near the top of a website. It enables visitors to search by keywords.
- Avoid offering numerous navigation options on one web-page.
- Ensure that the navigation is not deeper than three levels.
- Include links to the web-pages on your website within the page copy
- Optimize the anchor text of each link
3) Curt & Comprehensible Message in Headers & Body Copy
You have to create some headlines and sub-headlines for the important pages on your website. You may follow these points in order to effectively deliver a message using headers or body-text.
- Use a powerful value proposition for the prospective buyers
- Avoid using clichés or corporate jargons
- Include comprehensive and simple CTA texts
- Mention the next steps in the header
- Include the links in body-text
- Put the next-step links at the end of the copy
- Put CTA texts at correct locations
- Provide a few directions through headlines.
4) Create Quality Content
Quality is better than quantity. The search engines have become smarter over the years with the advancement of technology. In this scenario, it is important to use quality content on your website.
- Offer unique content to the visitors, as it is loved by both search engines and people.
- Create content for humans instead of prioritizing the search engines.
- Educational content can answer prospects’ questions and can be regarded as valued content.
- Provide fresh content with updated information.
- Learn about your target audience before creating any type of content. It enables you to provide relevant data.
- Mention the source of stats/numbers/testimonies/awards if they are included in the content.
- Give credit through content whenever it is necessary.
- Ensure the accuracy of the data.
Blogging is considered to be an important element of inbound marketing strategy and has the following benefits.
- Fresh content is essential for SEO and you can add fresh content to your website through blogging.
- You can establish yourself as an industry authority through blogging.
- It brings more leads and online traffic to your website.
- It is an excellent way to communicate and engage with the audience as well as customers.
- It enables you to collect worthwhile inbound links.
6) Buttons/Widgets for Social Sharing
You may use different types of content on your website as a marketing tool. If you let the visitors share the content of your website on social media, then it may bring more traffic to your website. Hence, it is prudent to use a sharing widget on your website. You may even provide the visitors with the opportunity to like the content or your products or to tweet about them on social media.
7) Easily Noticeable & Clickable Calls-To-Action
CTA texts are used to encourage visitors to perform a particular task or to take the desired action. They are usually kept above the fold on a web-page in order to become easily visible and to inform the visitors regarding where and how to take the next step. CTA texts can effectively convert online traffic into leads with proper designing and placement.
- CTA text has to be bolder and bigger in comparison to other elements on a web-page.
- Choose the colour of CTA wisely irrespective of its type (link/button/image). Proper selection of the colour is essential if you want to encourage the visitors to click on CTA texts.
- Use CTA texts that provide value (estimates/guides/whitepapers) instead of using the same CTA text at all times.
- Design the CTA text as a button or add a hover -effect to one element in order to make it appear clickable.
- Use simple and comprehensible text when designing a CTA so that visitors can easily understand what is being offered.
- Test the effectiveness of CTA text using different colours, language or locations.
It is essential to have forms on your website if you want the visitors to subscribe, sign-up or download an offer. A form may include multiple fields. However, the type and number of the fields depend upon the type of information required from your target customers.
It is possible to convert more leads with a limited number of fields, as a shorter form can be quickly filled with information. However, you may collect detailed contact information of the leads if a form contains multiple fields. The following recommendations may help you with designing an effective ‘landing page’ form.
- Collect the information that is useful to you or to the sales team.
- Do not enquire about any sensitive information, as the companies or consumers may be hesitant to disclose such facts.
- Evaluate the value of an offer. You are likely to collect more information if you provide the leads with valuable offers. For example, you can ask for a person’s e-mail address or first-name with a form for newsletter subscription.
9) Provide Visitors with Option to Subscribe via E-mail
You may even use a CTA text to encourage the visitors to subscribe to the content of your website. Using newsletters or mailing lists you can collect e-mail addresses of the prospects and you can nurture them into leads over a period of time. Therefore, you have to use the website to encourage the visitors to subscribe to the blogs, newsletter or mailing lists.
Embedding the educational and technical resources (Whitepapers, eBooks, Case Studies, Industrial details and stats, useful online tools for estimations, etc…) in your website would be a Plus Point for your website because due to those efforts your website will become more interactive. Additionally, you can ask visitors to enter their contact details to access those resources. Your sales and marketing team will definitely get the bulk leads through those audience-oriented resources. So, adding useful audience-oriented resources on the website is definitely a prudent approach for manufacturers.
11) High-Speed of Website Loading
The fast loading time is another important factor to consider when designing any type of website, as 40% of the people will abandon a website if it does not load within 3 seconds or less time. The quicker loading time also has a positive influence on a website’s search engine ranking.
12) Responsiveness & Accessibility of Website
The mobile devices are responsible for generating around 50.81% of the global website traffic in the third quarter of 2020. Hence, it is prudent to develop a website that works flawlessly on all devices. A responsive website can adjust to the screen size of all devices due to having a flexible layout. Therefore, you can receive significant online traffic if you have a responsive website, as everyone can view your website irrespective of the type of the device.
It’s not over yet!
A recent study conducted by ‘The Real Business of Web Design’ shows that 94% of the negative feedback regarding a website is related to its design. Hence, it is essential to pay attention to the details when designing an industrial website. You have to include the right visuals, use the correct style of copy and place the buttons or CTA at the right place. Following these guidelines, you can design a website that is capable of generating more sales and revenue for the business.
Workbook for Manufacturing Website Redesign
The complete workbook with Website Redesign Checklist, Website Design Brief Template, and Agency Comparison Worksheet