Once users land on your website, you have 10 seconds to show them the value your company offers before they leave. If you’re reading this, perhaps that’s happened all too often on your company’s website. Understanding how to execute a manufacturing website redesign (or any industry, really) that will interest and engage prospects will allow you to capture their attention in those first 10 seconds, turning them into leads and hopefully customers one day.
Site redesigns also offer you the chance to rethink your site’s structure to make it more appealing and visitor-friendly. You can improve your SEO and your layout to bring people through the site more easily, all the while demonstrating your industry leadership. To have a successful site redesign, however, you want to carefully plan your new layout to make sure it accomplishes everything you had in mind.
Having a pretty website is no longer enough. Here are the top five criteria you want to remember to maximize your manufacturing website redesign:
5 Manufacturing Website Redesign Tips
1. Clearly Define the Path
Too many choices do not help site users navigate or make decisions -- they actually hurt conversion rates. When users have too many choices, they become unsure and end up doing nothing.
Researchers once studied how the number of choices impacted users’ decision-making skills. To study this, they looked at a stand selling jam. When the table offered 24 flavors for people to try and buy, they attracted plenty of people to the stand, but only 3% actually made a purchase. When they offered only six flavors, however, the number of people who made a purchase soared to 30%.
Too many choices overwhelm prospective customers. To combat this in your site redesign, create a clear site map. Limit the number of main navigation options atop your site. Make it easy for people to navigate the site so that they can find what they are looking for. On landing pages in particular, make sure that users have one clear action for them to follow.
2. Be Mobile-Friendly
Since the beginning of 2018, Google has been rolling out a mobile-first algorithm. This means they use the mobile version of the website first when determining the ranking of websites. Even before Google began to roll out the new algorithm, the company had been taking mobile-friendliness into account (since 2015, when Google rolled out the mobilegeddon update).
An estimated 57% of the average site’s traffic now comes from mobile devices. People turn to mobile because it offers them convenience. They can search while on the go or from the comfort of their bedroom. To properly engage your audience, your redesign must take these users into account.
Basic mobile guidelines include:
- Spacing buttons and menus far enough apart that they can be used easily on touch screens
- Verifying that all media is compatible with mobile devices
- Using fonts and images that appear clearly on mobile devices
- Including information commonly sought by mobile users -- such as phone numbers and addresses -- and making it easily accessible
3. Protect Your SEO With 301 Redirects
Your 301 redirects will be an important SEO component as you go through a site redesign. One of the biggest risks with a redesign is having prospective customers land on your old URLs and not get redirected to the new page. The error message they will receive leads to a bad user experience, which then hurts your site’s credibility and your ability to nurture the relationship.
Google also uses backlinks in its algorithm. This means Google looks at the number and quality of sites that link back to your content as one means of determining your value. When you do a site redesign, you want to make sure all links pointing to your old site are reserved. This will help ensure that the “link juice” -- the SEO credentials you earned through the backlinks -- won’t be lost. These 301 redirects help preserve some of the link juice of the old site and transfer it to the new one.
4. Focus on Education More Than Selling
Manufacturers typically have long sales cycles. Someone landing on your site is not likely to make a purchase on the spot, the way they may at L.L. Bean or the Apple Store. Instead, they spend more time researching and learning about their options. This type of sales cycle needs to be incorporated into your site design.
Do not waste time pushing your site readers to take immediate action. You instead want to focus on building relationships through education. Identify their pain points and offer solutions, and they’ll be more likely to purchase from you when they’re ready.
Find ways to demonstrate that you are a trustworthy authority in the field, using industry-relevant keywords:
- Blog about industry trends
- Blogs about common problems and solutions in the industry
- Infographics, videos, and other easy-to-consume visuals
Part of redesigning with lead conversion in mind is getting visitors to fill out a form so you can collect their information for future email blasts, etc. To convince people to fill out a form, make sure the bullet points above offer customer value. Only then will customers be willing to surrender valuable info like their:
- Email address
- Job industry
Capturing this info through your website lets you further engage prospects and demonstrate your expertise.
5. Don’t Obsess Over the Design
Although design is important, it shouldn’t be your main focus. A site that looks pretty but fails to offer site users what they seek will not perform well.
Instead, your top priorities should be:
The site should coordinate high-value information to engage and educate the user. At the same time, quality navigation with few choices should help users find more content that helps them.
A redesign of your manufacturer's website can provide you with an excellent opportunity to better engage users and demonstrate your trustworthiness. By keeping these tips in mind, you can maximize the opportunity you have in front of you, improving your ability to engage users and thus boosting your appeal for your audience.
A pretty website is useless if it doesn’t get you more leads, right?