When setting out to build a B2B website to support a manufacturing business, it makes sense to start with your homepage and the pages associated with it. The basics are pretty easy to guess. The homepage introduces your company. You need an about us section to tell people about the company and the people who run it. You need a product section showing the services or products your company offers. Then, for sure, you need some kind of contact us page, so customers can call or email to start the sales conversation.
That’s a good place to start. Here are some ideas for your manufacturing marketing efforts that put a bit of a spin on the above.
Homepages have been described as “your storefront on the internet.” Unfortunately, that’s not a good metaphor. A storefront is a window, a sheet of glass that keeps the customer and product apart. Your homepage should be a doorway, with clear signs to direct customers exactly where they need to go.
Does your B2B about us page function as a vanity page for employees? Or is it a working, practical part of the site that provides a face to put to a name, contact details, and customer-relevant information? Self-indulgent essays are not always useful here. All anyone needs is an up-to-date headshot, contact details, and an honest description of who you are and what you do. Let your readers get to know your manufacturing company with tailored website content that matters to them.
Don’t turn this into a click-maze for a customer. Provide just one or two contact numbers, and a form to fill out if they have less urgent questions. Make sure the numbers are “click to call” on the mobile version of the page, and consider dropping the form altogether on mobile pages.
You’ll get extra points if you provide instructions beside the phone numbers warning callers about any automated systems. If you can provide a number that goes right to a sales or customer support person, then you’ll stand out among your competitors.
Your site isn’t just for your customers to passively explore. You can direct them to specific pages or sections. Your sales team can use the site to illustrate products and services as a part of their pitch, as long as you’ve worked with them to determine and create a sales-supportive experience.
Provide bookmarks or quick-links to products that customers order regularly, or consider building an experience within the shopping cart that allows for one-click reordering.
This can be a good opportunity for your sales team to walk a potential customer through the purchasing process online, so they can see how easy it is without having to commit to a sale. If you’re proud of your shopping process, show it off!
Every click that goes to a page that doesn’t have what a customer is seeking is a wasted click, and is frustrating for a customer. However you proceed with your site design (or site re-design), remember that your site should always serve your customer first.
Learn more about building foundation pages for manufacturing websites and why they are the secret to your site’s success.