Imagine you have a salesperson that's been with your manufacturing company for more than 5 years; and for the last 24 months he has reported 0 measurable leads. He doesn't dress or act in a way that represents your business values; instead, he subtly conveys a message of carelessness or disinterest.
Would you be satisfied with a salesperson or rep like the one described above?
Of course not! The sales position is absolutely critical, and no company can afford to fill that role with someone ineffective.
You can likely guess where we're headed with this illustration—your company website is like an Internet version of your sales reps. And likewise, no company can afford to keep an ineffective website up for long.
Websites are about much more than just sales and online lead generation. Websites impact customer service, customer education, marketing, branding, and many other aspects of your business. It is worth your time to focus on your company’s website, and make that first online impression of your company unforgettably positive.
Your company website is like an Internet version of your sales reps, and no company can afford to keep an ineffective website up for long.
Scientists say it takes a mere seven seconds for humans to form an opinion about another human. It’s that all-important “first impression” that can take a very long time to change.
In an internet-connected world, seven seconds or fewer is all it takes for a potential customer to form an opinion about a manufacturer, based on that person's first experience with your business’ digital presence (often a company website).
The more time a prospective 21st century client spends reviewing an unfamiliar company’s website, the more likely he or she is to take another step forward to become acquainted with the company, its services and its products. That memorable first impression can lead to more interest and business.
And isn’t that the reason manufacturers invest in websites in the first place?
So, upon what exactly should a manufacturing company’s website focus in order to make that all-important first impression? How about using an easy-to-remember acronym like the word, “F-O-C-U-S”?
Websites should appear quickly, easily and efficiently on desktop and laptop screens, as well as smart phones and tablets. The quicker a site appears, the more likely a client will invest his or her attention into that website. Page speed is important to Google and should be important to you. Without that crucial speed, all that great information on your website will remain untapped—and so could your company’s services.
Okay, your website uploads quickly—and you have the potential customer’s attention. Is the information attractively presented, efficiently organized and easy to navigate? Does every segment matter? The more efficient the presentation, the easier manufacturer's websites are viewable on smart phones and mobile devices—now commonly used as much as desktop and laptop computers. Think through what a potential customer would want to see on your website and present the information to make it easy for them to find without much thought.
At first impression, what message is the website sending? What’s your company’s mission? Is it demonstrated at first glance and on every impression thereafter? Experts say seeing a brand at least seven different times causes one to finally pay attention. Is your company’s branding consistent and frequent?
When was the last time someone in your company updated your website with a news story, an article, a new product, or some relevant industry information? Has it been a month? Six months? A year or more?
Your site might be subtly telling your audience that "there's not much happening around here" if your content is outdated.
Also, make it a top priority to fix any embarrassing error pages or under construction notices.
(Okay, maybe a better word would have been “attractive,” but it didn’t fit our easy-to-remember acronym “FOCUS.”) Is your website content professionally presented, pleasant, polished and memorable? Does it send the message that your manufacturing business is “a cut above the rest?”
In short, the “FOCUS” is your company’s website should load quickly into a fully-optimized space with lots of brand exposure. Not only should its content updated recently, the presentation should be stunning (or attractive).
Imagine a potential customer that often shops on Amazon.com landing on your website, browsing around. He finds the photography professional, the content informative, pleasant and well-presented. He finds your company offers an array of services – many of which are the same ones he needs. He is rewarded for investing his time in your website.
Hmm, the client thinks, his time looking into your website is likely to be similar to an experience he would have with your brick and mortar company. He checks around a little more, decides he would like to find out more about your company’s services and reaches out to make contact.
And congratulations! You will have made an excellent first impression with your company website and set yourself on your way to expanding your company’s network and building your business – just as you hoped.
Your company’s first online impression could be even more crucial than simply attracting clients. Its presence on the web could be a part of determining the manufacturing industry’s future.
That’s a bit much, you might think, but consider this—the next generation of manufacturers sees the world and its opportunities through the internet, and websites like yours can affect their perception of modern manufacturing.
A manufacturer that has a website with FOCUS can be the first indication to a high school student that manufacturing is a desirable career to pursue. It could whet a youngster’s appetite for a STEM career pathway or stir an interest in creating things he or she uses every day.
It can say the same to someone deciding whether or not to make a career change.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression...”
It may seem like a daunting task to redesign your manufacturing brand's website—especially if it's long overdue. But with a clear strategy and the right agency partner, a website redesign doesn't have to be overwhelming.
After all, companies like yours know how to use the latest machines and technology to design intricate parts and solve complex problems—you do it every day! We know you've got what it takes to tackle a website.
If you need help making your online impression unforgettable, Harvest Media specializes in creating stunning, optimized websites for manufacturers who are serious about results. Contact us today to learn more.
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Sarah is Director of Marketing at Harvest Media. She loves working with business owners and key decision makers who have a vision for the future and want to take their marketing strategy and business growth to the next level.