Whether your company is an OEM, custom manufacturing or distribution focused, there are best practices you want to meet to have a successful industrial website.
Long gone are the days when businesses of all sizes could get by with a mediocre website. A strong website is not only critical, but absolutely necessary to drive business success and positively impact the bottom-line.
Visitors expect to immediately be engaged and captivated, or they will move on. NN/g Nielsen Norman Group research shows users will most often leave web pages within in 10–20 seconds. Businesses must clearly communicate its value proposition within 10 seconds, or less.
In the past, industrial and manufacturing companies focused on investing in traditional sales, trade fairs, and publication advertisement. As the landscape has shifted to a web-centric society and a customer-focused marketplace, many industrial and manufacturing firms now understand the value websites deliver, including brand loyalty, a larger audience reach, and ultimately — lead generation.
Regardless of your industry, or business sector, every single component on your website plays a role in influencing the site’s ability to convert visitors into qualified prospects, and then qualified prospects into customers’ purchasing decisions.
WebRealSimple practices all the following best practices for industrial clients — including aerospace, agriculture, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and education – to name a few.
14 Best Practices for a Successful Industrial Website
Take the time — or invest in outside resources— to conduct market research.
A deep dive to learn about your existing customers, target audiences, the demand for your products and services, as well as your top competitors will help you develop a Unique Value Proposition (UVP), distinguish your brand from other similar companies and formulate your website strategy.
Keep branding consistent.
Your brand makes the first impression with customers and prospects. A good brand builds awareness, fosters trust, enhances loyalty and leaves a memorable impression. Your brand must be aligned with the right influencers, your specific target audiences and your messaging. It also must remain consistent across channels. A constantly changing brand will not accomplish these goals.
Keep the home page clean.
The home page is the most critical element of a well-designed website since it is visitors’ first point-of-entry and may be their first impression about a business. The purpose, then, is clear. A home page must quickly capture visitors’ attention, clearly communicate the company’s products, services and solutions with compelling content and they must be visually engaging to draw visitors deeper into the site.
Measure the time it takes for your website to load on computers and smart devices.
An article in Entrepreneur reports 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds and 40% will abandon the site if the loading process exceeds 3 seconds. Research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Furthermore, a one second delay in webpage load time results in 1% fewer page views, decreases customer satisfaction by 16% and reduces conversions by 7%, according to Mach Metrics.
Do not take Call to Actions (CTA) lightly.
Not only to customers expect these today, but effective CTAs eliminate confusion and impact conversion rates encouraging website visitors to take the next step in their journey. Strong CTAs promote higher conversions from lead to purchase and increase revenue. However, creating and implementing high-performing CTAs is a complex formula. They depend on many influencing factors such as page placement, design visuals and color, and of course content. CTA conversion rates vary widely can range anywhere from 0 up to 25%, or higher.
Optimize your website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Do you recall the statistics previously mentioned about the power of Google? SEO is not only about search engines, but good SEO practices improve user experiences, website usability, increases visitors’ trust and helps businesses achieve higher Google placement rankings. The average company is expected to allocate 45% of its marketing budget for SEO by 2020 and will capture the largest share of online spending followed by online display — for example, banner ads and videos— according to web strategies.
Leverage mobile technologies.
Smart phones, watches, tablets and other mobile devices continue to increase in popularity, are easily available and more affordable. Many users frequently change their browsing behavior from one device to another. In the 2nd quarter of 2018 alone, mobile devices accounted for over 50% of all organic search engine visits in the United States and is expected to increase to 221 million users by 2020, according to Statistica.
Simplify the navigation.
The primary purpose of a website is to attract and convert visitors. In order to accomplish this, websites must be simple, easy to understand, highly functional and create an enjoyable online experience. Otherwise, visitors bounce (i.e. leave the website, or a specific page.) As a rule of thumb, a 26-40% percent bounce rate is excellent, a 41-55% is roughly average and a 56-70% bounce rate may be cause for alarm. Go Rocket Fuel conducted their own analytics, which supported these industry standards. Mobile bounce rates are about 10- 20 % higher than computers. The average is just under 60% for smart phones, roughly 49% for tables and 42% for desktops.
Embrace the power of videos.
YouTube — which is owned by Google — is the second-largest search engine. In fact, it is bigger than Bing, Yahoo! and Ask combined, according to Fact Slides. YouTube processes over 3 billion searches per month and is currently the fastest-growing video-sharing website.
Consider using landing pages.
Landing pages — standalone web pages, created specifically to support a marketing or advertising campaign — are where visitors land after clicking an online ad, or specific CTA. These types of pages typically perform well. Across industries, the median conversion rate falls around 2.35%., while the top 25% of websites experience a 5.31%, or higher conversion rate. The top 10% of websites produce a conversion rate of 11.45% and above, according to Word Stream.
Prioritize the top-selling products and services which produce higher conversion rates.
One of the main goals of developing a website is to increase businesses sales and improve the bottom line. Ideally, prioritizing your top performers will attract visitors’ attention first. Again, to do this the overall design, images, content and CTAs need to provide an engaging and dynamic user experience.
There are a variety of different strategies to capture qualified leads and turn them into purchases. Among them are to experiment and test different offers by changing the design, type face and message of a CTA, or online ad. By testing these, you will find the one which resonates best with your audience.
Never compromise website security.
Every website must include fundamental security and privacy protocols which protect business’ and visitors.
Set aside a realistic budget.
Obviously, a business’ budget plays a major role in developing and launching a great industrial (or other type of) of website. When it comes to promoting your company’s brand, it is important to remember the age-old philosophy “you ultimately get what you pay for.” Effective, intuitive website design and development is complicated, but the return is well worth the investment.
By implementing these best practices as non-negotiable factors when it comes to developing, or refreshing an old website, will significantly impact the way you conduct business, the way you attract prospects and the way you connect with customers online for the optimal Return on Investment (ROI) with every user engagement.
If your company is thinking about developing, or rebuilding your industrial website soon, or if it needs an update to meet these best practices, WebRealSimple is here to help you stay ahead of your competition, meet your business goals and stay in the game of today’s global and dynamic marketplace.