The old school way of thinking is that manufacturing is dirty, loud and sweaty, but a lot has changed over the years, hasn’t it? That’s not what today’s manufacturing industry is like...so why do so many manufacturing websites still leave a negative impression?
They’re outdated, that’s why. They’ve been neglected, their importance underestimated, and it shows — not only by they way they look but by the fact that the number of leads they bring in is slim to none.
Don’t be that manufacturer! If you want your website to attract potential customers and employees and reflect a modern-day, professional business with awesome products and services, you must keep your website up-to-date. Otherwise, here’s what you can expect:
Technology will leave you behind...and so will internet users
From the IoT to AI, technology continues to advance, and while you’ve probably stayed on top if it as far as your processes are concerned, is your website up to par? Trust us, If you’re not compatible with the latest online technologies, your potential customers will find someone who is. User expectation today is fast, easy, and — this is big — mobile. You must provide a responsive site, meaning it adapts to any device of any screen size without losing its functionality and user-friendliness. If your site is unresponsive, pages can be cut off, links can be hard to find, and your search ranking will be low. A tell-tale sign of unresponsiveness is slow load time, and you better believe no one’s going to wait around! While that little wheel spins, poof — there goes your customer.
Not following best practices will come back to bite you
Search engine algorithms are kind of like the weather in Michigan — if you don’t like it, wait five minutes and it’ll change. What was considered best practice even a month ago could be obsolete tomorrow. Search engines are a fickle bunch and if you don’t keep up and play along, you’ll be punished with a lower ranking making it harder to be found online. Ensure your website is fully optimized and meets current SEO guidelines.
Other best practices to follow include having icons that link to your social media platforms, and placing your logo in the upper left then linking it to your homepage. If you have “Home” on your navigation bar, it’s not only taking up valuable space, it’s also screaming, “We’re outdated as all get up!” While we’re talking navigation, remember this: it’s important to make your navigation bar “sticky,” which means it’ll stay at the top of the page no matter how far down users scroll. This makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, which makes them less likely to look elsewhere — like on your competitors’ sites.
You will be considered insecure
No, we’re not talking about having low self-esteem, we’re talking about your site being tagged as “not secure.” This will happen if you haven’t made the switch from an old HTML URL to a HTMLS. Sure it’s just one extra letter, but it can be the difference between attracting potential customers vs. scaring them away! Without that “S,” Google will deem your site as unsafe, and you’ll not only look outdated, you’ll look too sketchy for anyone to stick around and find out otherwise.
Confusion and frustration will drive traffic away
Not exactly the best way to woo customers! Outdated websites tend to have inconvenient features that can repel potential customers rather than attract them. A phone number without the ability to “click and call” is a good example. When you consider how many mobile users there are today (pretty much everyone and their grandmas), if your phone number can’t simply be touched and dialed automatically, guess what? It’s not going to be called. No one wants to have to memorize a number or write it down. Another example is trying to fit too much on your home page. Multiple calls-to-action can be distracting and work against each other, negatively affecting user experience, not to mention your goal completions. People need to understand exactly what it is you want them to do. Be clear, not distracting. That goes for multiple sliders too. Not only can they be distracting, but they can also be confused as ad banners and slow loading time — poof, there goes your customer again.
Your content will be considered ho-hum...as will you
The content you present is a direct reflection of your company. It shapes how the outside world thinks of you, and has the power to make or break acquisition of employees and customers. This is a vital part of your brand, and a website that ignores that fact will suffer in the form of low search results, leads and sales. Content marketing has become increasingly important, and not just written content, but videos and graphics too. If you’re not regularly updating your site with new, relevant and optimized information, your authority and reputation will be poor and readers (a.k.a. potential customers) who come looking for new material won’t be coming back.
With all this in mind, what does your website say about you? If it’s not user-friendly, not responsive, nor actively offering anything relevant or new, it’s outdated, and that’s exactly how potential customers will think of you (which means they won’t be potential for long). In today’s industrial marketplace, a well-thought out, up-to-date website designed with both search engines and users in mind, is crucial to capturing leads and growing your business. In other words, you cannot grow your company if your website is, to coin an old school phrase, long in the tooth.
Think your website could use an overhaul, or even just some updating? Give us a call. We’ll have it looking fresh and modern and working to drive sales before you can say “Golly-gee willikers, that’s swell.”