It’s no secret that your website is the most important aspect of your lead generation strategy. But are you taking the time to continually optimize its pages and features?
Studies show that we have less than 15 seconds to make a good first impression with our website visitors.
If your website’s headline, call-to-action, or even its color scheme doesn’t hit all the right notes, your prospects will simply find a website that does — which, unfortunately, could be your competitor’s. While you may rely on your products or services to close the sale, your website design should leads prospects to the beginning of that sales journey.
Maybe you don’t have the budget for a full redesign, or don’t require such a drastic change right now, but even just a few simple tweaks can go a long way in boosting site traffic and engagement. Below are some effective strategies and tips to increase clicks and (ultimately) sales.
1. Add Google Analytics
If you’re not keeping track of your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and site activity, it’s time to start. Google Analytics allows you to measure the results of marketing campaigns in real time to see how site visitors interact with your content while also keeping track of your manufacturing website's SEO ranking, which will give insight into how often you’re appearing in search results. Google Analytics allows you to spot trends in user behavior, track outbound clicks, how well your website is performing, and much more. And understanding this data will help you learn what to optimize on your website so you can get more relevant visitors.
SEO best practices put the "why" behind your content marketing strategies and ensure you're on the right track to getting your ranking at the top of search results. Google Analytics lets you track those efforts.
Interested in the basics of SEO first? Check out:
- SEO Basics for Manufacturers and Industrial Companies
- Top SEO Questions Manufacturers And Industrials Ask
We also recommend coupling Google Analytics with Thomas Webtrax, a free lead generation tool that lets you see the information of companies visiting your website and the content they interact with.
2. Clean Up Your Navigation
What if you visited a potential partner’s facility, only to find old equipment, material waste, and garbage laying everywhere? You probably wouldn’t be very impressed, nor would you be interested in doing business with them.
A website is no different — when a page is overcrowded with links or low quality photos, visitors get overwhelmed. A simple, straightforward layout allows visitors to navigate from page to page easily.
Rather than designing an overcrowded navigation bar, we suggest creating a “Utility Bar.” This design menu houses all the most important pages, while still highlighting options that are important to end users.
Cyclonaire does a great job of this: the top menu of blue boxes comprises the pages that the business wants visitors to click on. But it also adds utilities in the top left and right corners — including a Representative Locator, Customer Login, a Search function, and social media buttons.
This makes it easy for both prospects and returning customers to find what they need quickly.
A clunky navigation menu can make it hard for visitors to get where they need to go on your site, preventing them from accessing the information they need. A frustrating navigation experience will likely increase your bounce rate and hurt overall site engagement, putting people off with a bad first impression.
If your navigation bar does need a tune-up, it’s actually a simple fix on most platforms. Be sure not to overwhelm your visitors with too many tabs; keeping it contained to four to five will allow for a clean, sleek look to allow visitors to get the information they need quickly and efficiently. To highlight your main services and content, put your most important tab first or make it stand out from the rest.
Check out our other website resources here for more examples:
- 5 Industrial Website Design Examples For CNC Machining Companies
- 3 Must-Have Lead Generation Website Examples For Steel And Metals Manufacturers
- Website Design For OEMs, Manufacturers And Industrial Companies
- Private Label Manufacturing Website Design Examples
3. Update Your Homepage Headline To Be Keyword-Relevant
Your headline is one of the first things visitors should see when they visit your website. It is also the first thing Google sees when determining how to rank your website in search results.
So you need to find a balance between a compelling headline and one that’s relevant to your business. In the example below, DFT Valves adds the two most powerful keywords that its customers search for directly into their headline, adding “World Class Manufacturer” to immediately instill trust in its site visitors.
Remember to keep the headline short and direct — you can always use your H2, or the subhead, to explain more details, like Ardel Engineering uses in the example below.
3. Add A “Contact Us” Page
While offering insightful, directly useful content is, of course, a great way to drive leads, the best prospects are the ones who want to get in touch immediately to discuss their options and receive more information on pricing, services, and products. But many industrial marketers make it difficult for these valuable leads to do so; without a dedicated “contact us” page, potential clients are forced to hunt around for a way to contact you. Not only does this make for a frustrating consumer experience, it may also prevent people from getting in touch at all.
Create a page that specifically outlines contact information and/or contact forms, and put a link for it in the main navigation menu. Plus, “contact us” pages can help boost your rankings for local SEO terms, so be sure to include your physical address and a map pinpointing your location.
Note that engineers, procurement managers, and MRO professionals are all in different stages of the buying journey, and each has different preferences. Make sure your contact us page has different ways your site visitors can contact you — an RFQ form, email link, phone numbers, etc.
4. Add CTAs To The Bottom Of Every Page And Blog Post
If a visitor takes the time to read through a whole web page or blog post, you want to make sure they’ll stay rooted in your digital universe and remain connected to your company. To do so, include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every web page and blog post. CTAs should drive to other related content, such as an eBook, or link to your “contact us” page. This will help keep your brand top-of-mind while encouraging users to seek other content that may be useful to them.
Words aren’t the only factor in your call-to-action buttons’ clickability. Using a color that stands out helps bring your visitors’ eyes to the exact place you want them to click. Here's a designers tip: Use colors on the opposite end of the color spectrum.
For example, if your website is mostly blue and white, a yellow or orange CTA stands out boldly against its surroundings, as seen in the example below of CJWinter's website.
See more CTA examples in our post 32 Industrial Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas
5. Fix Up Your Photos
No matter what industry you’re in, the photos on your website must be crisp, professional, and relevant. Get rid of any blurry photos, outdated clip art, or images that don’t speak to your brand, and replace them with modern photos that better represent your company and its offerings.
Also, make sure all of the images on your site are optimized for web pages; photos with large file sizes may be slow to load, frustrating visitors and increasing your bounce rate. Design your product pages with skimming in mind: break them up with numbers, images, bullet points, and/or subheads.
6. Make Your Site Secure
If your site URL still starts with HTTP rather than HTTPS, it’s time for a serious security upgrade. You may be scaring customers away before they even get a chance to explore your offerings.
To put it simply, HTTPS protocol encrypts data sent between a browser and a web server, preventing unauthorized third parties from accessing that data while it’s in transit. This greatly reduces the risk of site visitors encountering cyberattacks and scams, such as “man-in-the-middle” attacks, in which scammers take information users have entered into forms on your site.
Consumers today are more cautious than ever about their digital security, especially with highly publicized cyberattacks. B2B professionals need to protect not only their business and financial information, but also their customers' personal data. So take the time to evaluate the message you’re sending and implement any needed fixes immediately.
7. Implement Paid Advertising
If you're getting visitors on your website but the traffic isn't converting to leads, you may want to consider implementing (or readjusting) your paid marketing efforts. Manufacturers and industrial companies have the opportunity to promote their content in Thomas Industry Update, industry's leading daily email newsletter.
Thomas Industry Update delivers the most popular industry news and trends from Thomas Insights including product announcements and information on the latest innovations — and the advertising options provides opportunities to get clicks and engagement from 310,000+ active subscribers who have job functions in general manufacturing, engineering, and MRO. Companies have chosen our Spotlight Article option to to increase product exposure or highlight new service or product capabilities and drive more clicks to their website. Learn more about the advertising options here.
Alternatively, you can create a free company profile on Thomasnet.com, where more than a million buyers and engineers are sourcing for suppliers every day. Visitors who come to your website from your Thomasnet.com company profile spend 65% more time on your site, increasing your liklihood of a sale.
Custom manufacturer, Tiodize, listed their business and is now partnered with Boeing. Thomasnet.com users are able to click to your manufacturing site from your company profile, but they can't contact you if you're not listed.
"Because we manufacture and sell specialty coatings and composites, we are always looking for ways to be in front of decision-makers when they need our products," said Tiodize. "Thomasnet.com is an efficient and effective way for us to do that. We have added customers every year and increased our sale per customer at the same time."
How Is Your Manufacturing Website Functioning?
Implementing these fixes can help you increase clicks and engagement on your industrial website, allowing for a better consumer experience for potential leads.
Need some help with any of the above action items? We’re here to help. Contact the industrial marketing experts at Thomas today — we offer a free digital health check to show you exactly what efforts you need to improve on online to get more clicks. And we've helped more than 5,000 manufacturers and industrial companies build and optimize their websites, meet industry benchmarks and drive more leads.
You Might Also Be Interested In:
- The Must-Haves On Your About Us Page
- The Manufacturing Leader's Step By Step Guide For Driving Traffic To Your Website
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