One of the biggest oversights by so many businesses is their online presence. Any business worth noting is online in some form, so if you aren’t focusing on the online marketing side of your industry, you’re likely to start falling behind after a while… Everyone is online and so at the very least, you need to have a website so that the people that you’re targeting can find you. After all, trust comes from friends, family and Google!
So, whether you hire someone else to do all of this for you, or you’d like to have a crack at it yourself, here are a few tips that we’d like you to know before you do anything.
1. Make It Simple:
There is a common misconception in the web design world that the more ‘stuff’ you have on a web page and the more complicated the website looks, the more expensive it is and the better it will work. All you really need to know is that this isn’t always the case.
Having an elegant, simple website will outperform the most complex site with way too much on the page.
More often than not, having an elegant, simple website that drives users towards a contact form, or gets them to call you for a quote, will outperform the most complex site with way too much on the page. There is an idea in the web design world that basically tells you to act as though the user knows absolutely nothing about the internet. This way, the site is easy to use (for everyone) and offers a no-nonsense solution to the users’ problems. This, in turn, means that they’re much more likely to pick up the phone and get in touch if they need something that you offer.
2. Show Your Accreditations:
Make sure that you have accreditations to show and then make sure that you get them on your website. This is going to promote trust in the user because they know that you've been awarded a quality rating or the like.
With these accreditations listed on your site, you open up a huge range of opportunities because they are an authoritative stamp on your site that tell people you’re good at what you do and that they won’t be disappointed if they use your services or buy your products.
So, whether you go after a Chas certification, an ISO rating or even becoming a part of the EEF/ Make UK Organisation, these logos and certifications can help to better your online profile and develop a trust between user and manufacturer.
3. Create Clear Call-To-Actions:
CTAs are so simple, but so effective.
A call-to-action (CTA) is just a simple button, banner or even a phone number that prompts the user into contacting or interacting with the website/manufacturer. This is one of the most important parts of web design but sadly, it is often overlooked! A CTA is the only thing between the user and them contacting you. So scattering CTAs across your site will help to increase your conversion rate.
This is one of the best pieces of advice that I can offer in this article - CTAs are so simple, but so effective. Get them in the main text, make a CTA panel for your pages and include your phone number in the header at the top of each page.
4. Showcase Your Work:
Having really well-put together case studies will have a huge impact on the way that you operate. Showing people that you can complete each of your projects to a great standard and that you’ve made a number of clients happy can be a great sales tool and could help users convert into paying customers.
Seeing that your company has been trusted by others before them is likely to promote a sense of trust within the user and so the more they trust you, the more likely they are to contact you or purchase a product from you.
5. Find the Best Images:
If you have images of your previous work, make sure that you’re using them. It’s a great thing to be able to say that the imagery on your site is your own work and if the images are good quality, you might as well use them to your advantage.
Having really good quality images on your website is important for so many reasons.
Having really good quality images on your website is important for so many reasons. They will reflect the kind of business you are and so if they’re blurry, poorly optimised, the wrong size or even not showing in certain browsers, you'll be seen to be unprofessional. This will only put people off and potentially make users bounce from your website without interacting with it. This, in turn, will mean that you get fewer enquiries and less business as time goes on.
6. Make Sure That You Stand Out:
While keeping your website simple is, well… relatively simple, it worth noting that this shouldn’t take away from your brand or limit your website in any way. Making sure that you’re showing users why you’re different and why they should choose you rather than a competitor. Whether it’s the quality of the service, the material used to create the product, or the fact that you offer a superior solution to their problem, make sure that you’re able to differentiate.
7. Don’t Cheap Out:
Your website should be a sales tool for you to use on a daily basis - ‘cheaping out’ on your main online presence shouldn’t even cross your mind! Whether you’re in the manufacturing industry or not, going for the cheapest website possible will always disappoint you and the users on your site.
You get what you pay for in essence, which means if you pay the lowest price, you’ll get the lowest quality. However, the same can be said for the other end of the spectrum. Don’t overpay for someone to deliver a subpar product. Make sure you get a good feeling for the people that you hire to design and build your website, so that you can get the best site you possibly can.
8. Don’t Forget to be Mobile-Friendly:
While this is pretty much the industry standard in website design, there are countless instances where a creative agency has neglected even the most basic principles and not even thought about ‘mobile-first designs’ during the project.
Without a mobile-friendly approach, your website will struggle to rank well, which will result in fewer leads.
Because so many people are now regularly searching for something on their phone, search engines introduced a principle that caters to mobile browsers first. This makes sure that a website works properly on mobile and all of the proportions are correct for a pleasurable experience.
Without a mobile-friendly approach, your website will struggle to rank well, which will result in fewer leads, if any at all.
In summary, making sure that you’re willing to invest in your website is a must. If you start the project in a hesitant way and you’re only half-sure about the decision, it won’t go well. What’s more, you should really take the advice of a good design agency. They know what they’re doing and it’s in their best interest to create something that converts users into leads as fast as possible.
So, go into the project with an open mind, be sure to get as many good quality pictures as possible and make sure that you find the best agency for you that won’t rip you off and will actually deliver something worthwhile.