How many websites have you visited in the past year? Probably a lot. Perhaps you searched for travel deals, or hunted for a left-handed can opener, or maybe you were scouting out the competition in your industrial manufacturing space. In any case, consider the amount of time you wasted attempting to navigate sites that weren’t professionally — or sometimes even coherently — designed. Chances are you didn’t bother returning.
I know what you’re thinking. Who cares if your website is top-notch when you have excellent customer service, high-quality products, and vast industry knowledge? These are obviously the key components of any sound business practice, but how are you going to demonstrate that superiority if you’re losing potential business with a lousy website?
Below are some of the most common mistakes companies make with their industrial and manufacturing websites.
Your Website Isn’t Designed For Mobile Devices
Are you mobile-friendly? No, simply being able to access your site from a smartphone doesn’t count; your website needs to be specifically designed for mobile devices. Today, most internet users spend an average of 69% of their media time on smartphones. Desktop computers are on the way out, plain and simple. It’s hard to say when they’ll be completely obsolete, but the ubiquity of mobile devices — smartphones, tablets, notebook computers, and so on — should paint a clear picture of how people will be conducting the bulk of their online activities. And that includes trying to find the product or service you provide. Here’s a jarring statistic: 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
So make sure your website is responsive. In other words, make sure it’s designed to gauge the size of the screen or web browser your audience is using and adjust accordingly. This allows your site to be easily converted and viewed on any device, anytime, anywhere. Images and links need to perform just as well on a mobile phone as they do on a desktop computer.
Your Site Isn’t User-Friendly
In a similar vein, your site should also be intuitive and user-friendly. If it’s confusing, hard to navigate, slow to load, unhelpful, or just plain messy, you’ll just run people off. What’s the point of having a user interface if it’s frustrating, counterintuitive, or overwhelming? This will only encourage potential customers — and possibly even current clients — to explore your competitors’ offerings.
With that in mind, keep navigation as simple as possible, and provide the information they’re looking for. A search function should be easy to find and identify. Make sure site visitors can go exactly where they want to go — and find the valuable information they need — in just a click or two.
Your Contact Information Is Hard To Find
It boggles the mind how many websites, supposedly designed to draw business, have their “contact us” pages hidden away as if it were a closely guarded secret. The end goal is to have users reach out regarding your products and services, right? The easier it is to find your contact information, the quicker your visitors will move along the marketing funnel. In addition to including a “contact us” tab in the navigation panel, also consider including the information above the fold so people can quickly access it when visiting your site.
Plus, easy-to-find contact information has a positive psychological advantage; not being able to get in touch with someone who supposedly wants your business just feels sketchy. Don’t play hard to get.
Your Site Isn’t Secure
Cyberattacks and other digital misdeeds are growing more and more commonplace. Failing to take at least the minimal steps to ensure your website is secure will be a huge red flag for the increasingly tech-savvy business community. Site visitors want peace of mind that their information is safe and encrypted. They don’t want malware seeping into their system because you weren’t diligent enough to take the proper steps for security.
At the very least, upgrade your site from HTTP to HTTPS if you haven’t done so already; the latter provides an encrypted platform where your information and visitors’ information will be kept safe. While you may not require users to enter sensitive information into forms — or maybe you don’t even have such forms on your site — you’ll still want to show you’re on top of things.
Does your website fall short in any of these areas? If so, it’s time to think about revamping your site. This may seem daunting at first, but the team of industrial marketing experts at Thomas is here to help. Reach out today to learn more and discuss options for your specific needs.