Industrial companies are not thought of as digitally savvy marketing companies. This is because industrial companies have traditionally hunted for new business via referrals, trade shows, and trade publications. Let’s face it, most of these companies have their marketing and sales teams stuck in the 80’s and don’t know how to use digital marketing and web design to boost sales and reach new customers. The fact of the matter is, the right marketing plan and web design for industrial companies can help find new customers, save time and save money.
So where does an industrial company start? Industrial companies must capitalize on the shift to digital as a tool for customers to conduct research and purchase products. Start by creating a marketing plan that not only includes digital marketing strategies, but adapts the company’s website to meet today’s technology standards and trends. Web design for industrial companies, need to focus on the product with clear and concise content and a user friendly design. Denying the importance of digital and web design for industrial companies will lead to poor search rankings, loss of leads to competitors, and an inability to reach new customers early in the buying cycle.
Marketing Challenges for Industrial Companies
Industrial B2B companies can no longer hide from the evolving trends in digital marketing. More and more industrial B2B customers continue to turn to the internet for research about a company online. Industrial companies must adapt to where their customers are, not the other way around. The following are some of the key marketing challenges with web design for industrial companies:
- Broader Reach– Currently, industrial companies tend to reach a small number of customers in their current locale or who attend trade shows, but with the internet, industrial companies can reach customers globally.
- Data-Driven – Today, industrial companies are measuring their marketing in very archaic methods. A trade publication may have numbers around customer reach, but there’s no way of knowing if someone actually sees an ad. With digital marketing there are measurement tools that allow a company to measure ad impressions, clicks and actions so advertising can be optimized and improved immediately.
- Request Information – If industrial companies rely only on face to face selling then they are missing an opportunity to reach more customers. Easy to use contact forms to fill out and request information allow industrial B2B customers to easily interact with a company.
- Build Communities – There’s nothing as powerful as social media to build a community of people interested in a particular company’s products and services. Even for industrial companies, they should not underestimate the power of community, it helps to drive information sharing and referrals.
- Content Rich – A B2B salesperson can never carry enough marketing materials to compete with the content available via the web. Web design for industrial companies is one of the most important marketing tools. It can be used to educate and inspire prospective customers.
Essentials for Industrial Company Websites
Mobile Responsive Web Design
This is an absolute must have! Having a mobile responsive website means the website will adjust depending on the device it’s being viewed on. More and more customers are viewing websites on mobile devices which makes it even more critical to ensure a site is mobile responsive. Web design for industrial companies must include thinking around building a website from a mobile perspective. Images that look great on a desktop may not look as great on a mobile device.
Community Integration and Participation
Going beyond social media integration as discussed below, is building a section on the website that showcases your community involvement and giving back. Why is this important for your website design and brand building? A study by Cone Communications revealed that 85% of consumers have a better outlook on businesses that give to a charity that they care about – not to mention the free publicity, tax breaks, and even recruiting employees that want to work for a company doing something for the greater good.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Industrial Company Websites
Don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing a website properly so it ranks well for important keywords. Critical SEO components of driving successful web design for industrial companies includes page title, meta description, URL address, anchor text, alt text for images, and H1 headers.
And, most importantly think about SEO before you build a website. Building a website and then later coming back and optimizing for SEO is a big mistake and will only waste time and money. SEO will drive the majority of decisions you make for your site. Including content, social sharing, and navigation just to name a few.
Professional Industrial Web Design
Invest in a professional web design company. Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a company that not only has expertise in web design but is an expert in SEO strategies.
Key reasons to invest in a professional web design company, include:
- Expertise in building a user friendly navigation.
- Creation of a meaningful first impression through colors, imagery, fonts, symmetry and spacing.
- Assurance of accurately placed tracking pixels to properly report and track results.
- And, placement of call to actions throughout the site to optimize lead generation opportunities.
User Friendly Navigation
Think about a user friendly site map and navigation before you begin working on content. Simple navigation with a user friendly homepage will help visitors easily navigate through a website. The more pages visited and time spent on site will drive up the likelihood to convert a visitor to a buying customer. The most sought after information should be no more than one click away from the home page.
Content Creation For Industrial Companies
Customers visit a website to learn about a company’s products and services. Content should be short, concise, but rich with product information. Include the company’s value proposition, and don’t forget about using dynamic content like blogs, videos, and infographics. Yes, dynamic content is important for industrial companies too! Telling customers about a product or service through various formats will help increase the likelihood it will be heard.
Research and select a content management system (CMS) that allows pages to be updated easily with content, photos, and any other special features needed. In today’s day and age, companies need to respond to rapid changes in the marketplace and quick updates to pages will likely be needed. An easy to CMS allows companies to make updates without the need of an expensive web developer.
Calls to Action (contact form)
The end goal of every web design for industrial companies should be to start a conversation that drives to a conversion. Create an initial connection via content and site navigation and then continue that connection with strong calls to action through the website. Once a customer understands the value proposition then point them in the direction to request more information, or purchase a product/service.
Strong web design for industrial companies will include an option to order directly online. This may not be for every industrial company, but especially for those industrial companies that go directly to the customer, but even for companies that go to a wholesaler, allow customers to easily purchase products and/or services online. if this doesn’t turn into a big source of revenue, it can bring in supplemental income every month.
Don’t let a customer leave a website without introducing them to continue the conversation via social media sites. Someone may not choose to buy right away, but don’t lose the opportunity to have them Like, Follow, or Share content. Make social icons easy to find on the website. Sharing highly useful and targeted content that’s of interest to your customers can be a strong way of boosting website visibility.
The wait is over, don’t underestimate the importance of web design for industrial companies. Customers are relying heavily on the internet for fact-finding and relationship building. Not every customer needs (or wants) a face to face interaction.
Invest in a web design company now, that not only has expertise in design, but has SEO expertise. A professional web design company will not only create a website that appeals to customers, but will take into account proper tagging, tracking, navigation, social sharing, and content needs when building the site. Web design for industrial companies is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have for survival. If industrial companies wait – it may be too late and the competition will be years ahead.