Many manufacturers don’t understand the full potential of their website.
They tend to get comfortable with their regular roster of clients and rely on referrals for getting more sales. But by not tapping into the opportunities a well-optimized website can bring, they might be missing out on a whole lot of revenue.
If you think this sounds complicated, you’re not alone.
But it boils down to three key things you need to consider:
- How customers are coming to your website in the first place
- What customers expect to see when they land on your website
- How easy it is for customers to navigate to and around your products
Optimization simply means turning your website into a sales machine. Suddenly it starts to sound less complicated and more attractive, right?
Why Manufacturers Need to Optimize Their Website
According to research, 80% of engineers claim that an easy-to-use website is a huge deciding factor in choosing a supplier. This proved to be more important than CAD model downloads and even the ability to purchase online.
The study also showed that a manufacturer’s website has a major impact on whether or not buyers think they are credible or not (and, if you didn’t already know, credibility is vital in online sales today).
It’s easy to think that optimization is just a fancy name for web design, but there’s more to it than that (although ⅓ of visitors will leave your site if it’s particularly unappealing). It also involves getting more customers to your site in the first place and seamlessly guiding them through the sales cycle without them even realizing.
This is why it’s so important to provide a good website experience. 88% of online consumers won’t return to a site after a bad experience and slow-loading websites alone have cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year.
So how do you get started with this whole optimization thing?
We’ve got you covered.
How to Optimize Your Website for More Sales
Put Your Products Front and Center
As a manufacturer, your products are your most important asset. This is what visitors come to your site for, so give them what they want right away.
Research shows that 86% of visitors actively want to see information about your products and services when they land on your site, so keep this statistic in mind when planning and designing every single page – particularly your homepage.
Ask yourself whether your products are front and center – are they the first thing visitors see when they land on your site? Do you offer more than one way to navigate to your products? How many “clicks” does someone have to take before they find your catalog?
All of this comes together to funnel your visitors to the next step of the buying cycle: your product pages.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to have your catalog available online. We’re not talking about basic PDF downloads here, though. We’re talking about an interactive product catalog that visitors can search through rather than a list of products on a page.
This will help speed up the sales cycle and means your team have better support when they are presenting your products to potential buyers.
We can’t stress enough how important visuals are on your website. Small, outdated, blurry, dark, or pixelated images aren’t going to send out a good message to prospects. Is that the impression you want customers to have of your brand?
We’re guessing the answer is no.
This is particularly important for manufacturers because architects, engineers, and other buyers come specifically to your site to check out your products and compare them against other suppliers. If they can’t see what you’re offering properly, they’re going to go elsewhere.
Ask yourself whether you’re showing the exact product a visitor is looking for in an attractive and informative way. And remember, there’s a big difference between 2D sketches, 2D rendered images, and 3D previews, so figure out which ones will show your products off in the best way.
Research has shown that architects and designers like it when suppliers provide CAD models of their products, and they are more likely to buy from manufacturers that do this.
It actually takes between five and seven interactions with a brand before online consumers are ready to make a purchase.
If you’re not collecting leads in any way, people are going to come to your site, leave, and never come back. On the other hand, if you are collecting leads (or email addresses), you’ll have a way to keep those interactions going once a visitor has left your site.
You can do this by offering a free downloadable piece of content that’s useful to your prospects.
It doesn’t have to be a 70-page ebook. Instead, it can be a whitepaper packed full of useful statistics, or even a product tutorial or demo.
In order to get their hands on the piece of content, visitors have to hand over their email address, which you can then use to nurture your relationship and send product suggestions straight to their inbox.
Have a Keyword Strategy
One of the biggest elements of website optimization is getting more visitors to your site in the first place. To do this, you need to play into the algorithms of search engines and provide content that your audience want and need.
This means search engine optimization (SEO) and building a keyword strategy.
Firstly, create a list of relevant words and phrases that your customers might type into Google in order to find your products, and then strategically place these keywords throughout your site on the right web pages.
As a result, your customers will be able to find your products more easily via search engines.
Optimization is Important For Sales
More manufacturers than ever have a website, which means competition is high. If your website doesn’t provide customers with the information they want right away or they can’t find it when searching on Google, you’re going to lose out on sales.
However, if you optimize your website in the right way, you can make sure you keep attracting the right people to your site and continue to turn them into loyal customers. Need help with your web optimization strategy? Find out how Elevation can help!