Website Results Depend on How Well You Answer These Questions
When a visitor comes to an industrial website, they most likely already know something about your company. They’ve probably done research and they’re looking for a solution to something specific. They may be checking out more sites than yours if they’re looking for a purchasing source or new vendor to work with. Whether they found your site through a keyword search or already knew about your company but wanted to learn more, you’ll have a better chance of taking them to the next step if your site quickly and concisely answers five key questions.
Who are you? Too many industrial companies use their “About” page to write a history of how the company evolved. This will often be the first page a visitor goes to, so don’t waste that opportunity by talking about things that will make visitors move on. Use your About page to SELL your company by focusing on information that supports your competitive positioning. Here’s your chance to convince potential customers why they should do business with you. Areas you may cover:[list style=”circle”]
- Significant corporate accomplishments
- The experience of your management team
- R&D or technology improvements
- First-to-market products introduced
- Length of time in business
- Awards or other industry recognition
- Growth and financial milestones
- Corporate responsibility initiatives[/list]
What do you do?
This is obvious to you, but imagines that the person visiting your website knows nothing about your company. Make it clear – make it concise – and make it easy to find. Make sure your site isn’t built with so many layers that visitors become frustrated, digging for information. Whether products or services, whatever you sell should be visible on your Home Page and there should be obvious navigation links to your core products and/or services. Don’t write with too much industry jargon or tech-speak. Remember, you’re assuming the person reading your text knows nothing about your business. Save the technical details for pdf downloads or technical papers, also available through your site.
Who do you serve?
It’s critical that you identify and communicate the primary target market(s) that you sell to. Your company has core strengths and ideal customers – make it clear who qualifies. Be very specific about this – don’t say you serve the oil and gas industry if you really only serve one very tightly focused segment of the industry. Speak directly to your perfect target customer; address their needs and requirements, and don’t be vague. If you do this right, you’ll convert more of the right visitors into customers and minimize follow-up with people who are a waste of time.
What makes you different?
You must clearly communicate your company’s value or selling proposition. How does your company meet your ideal customers’ needs and requirements? What do you provide that your competition doesn’t? Try as much as possible to put this into a tangible frame of reference. How have you saved customers money? What technology did you develop that solved a problem nobody else had been able to solve? If your main differentiator is “customer focus,” be sure to include testimonials from actual customers.
What should I do if I want to go to the next step with your company?
This is your “call to action,” and in some cases there will be different options for different types of prospects. The next step may mean a little more convincing. For this type of visitor, you might offer an online demo video, webinar, or technical paper that requires registration. If you are a manufacturer of an engineered product or industrial service company, there won’t be an online purchase option. However, you can make it as easy as possible for a visitor to request a meeting, phone call, or lunch and learn, or even to chat live with someone online at that very moment. Make your call to action options visible on every page of your website, minimizing the length of time it takes for a person to get from point A to point B.
Too often industrial companies overload visitors with too much technical information; bury the essential information so deep it’s difficult to find; or don’t answer these questions in a way that moves a prospect to that critical next step. Take the time to make this key information readily available, and your website will become the most effective sales tool in your marketing arsenal.