The Ultimate Guide to Industrial Website Design

You may not have thought your manufacturing business needs to pay attention to internet marketing but the fact is that more B2B customers are going online to find the types of services or products you offer. The best industrial website designs not only look great but they drive business growth.

A great manufacturing website can bring in quality leads while saving your company time and money. We have plenty of experience helping industrial companies create capturing web designs that showcase their services to bring in potential customers.

We’ve put together a list of steps that used to create the best manufacturing website designs for our clients and how your website can work to build your business.

Step One: Know How Your Industrial Website Will Address Potential Customer’s Most Common Questions

Website design for manufacturing companies is a little bit different from other types of website design because of the unique needs of industrial companies. Before you dig into creating a website, you need to make sure that your website is going to be an asset for your company’s lead generation goals.

More than likely, customers are looking to your site to see if you can serve their needs and solve their most pressing problems. The best website designs for manufacturing companies turn their site visitors into new leads by addressing three key questions.

Above all else, your website needs to answer the following three questions that every industrial company leads ask before becoming a customer.

Without answering these three questions, you’ll have a hard time generating new business from your website so it’s important to start the web design process with complete clarity on these answers. Whether or not your website answers these common questions is the difference between a top industrial website that drives growth and just a pretty website.

Is your industrial company capable of serving my needs?

Simply put, potential customers want to know if you have the capabilities they are looking for. A website design that showcases how you help solve problems with products or services helps website visitors easily discover that your company could be the right fit. For example if you are a distributor, looking for a distributor website design that easily allows potential customers to browse your catalog or see a detailed list of lines immediately answers their first question.

Can I trust you to help me towards my goals?

Clients that are searching for your products or services want to know that they can trust you to put their needs first, rather than the needs of your own company or even their competitors. Your website needs to build trust to show leads that you’re not only capable of helping but that you’ll do what’s necessary for your customers to succeed.

Your website should give your potential customers a good reason to trust you with their business, which often takes the form of case studies, certifications, reviews, and logos of your current and past customers. If your industrial company can’t use these kinds of social proof features on your site because of non-disclosure agreements, you’ll need to think of creative ways you can build trust.

Why should I choose you over competitors?

Your clients more than likely want to know what makes your industrial or manufacturing company different from the others. Industrial companies tend to struggle with separating unique values they provide to clients with capabilities. What do you offer that none of your competitors come close to matching? It’s not just about quality or service but about the unique value you bring the table for your customers. Unique value propositions are part of what make customers want to call and use your service and a great website design needs to showcase the benefits you offer.

In our experience as a website development company, we’ve helped our clients figure out the answers to these questions with expert guidance and translate them into website design elements and website copy.

Step Two: Determine How Your Website Will Support Your Manufacturing Sales Process

The next step to designing your industrial company’s website is addressing how it will fit into the overall sales process and how your website will support new business acquisition.

There are different methods and strategies you can use on your website to support sales. Having a strong direction for how your website will produce new leads, nurture potential customers, and guide them towards becoming a customer is an important part of industrial website design.

If you skip this part, your website may be no more useful to your company’s growth than a dusty, outdated brochure at a trade show. Talking with inside and outside sales teams to find out what they need and developing creative solutions to support them is part of a great industrial website design process.

Depending on what kind of industrial business you have and how you serve clients, your website can support your sales process through a variety of ways. Some sales support strategies include:

  • CRM integrations and automation to make communication and lead management easier
  • RFQ upload capabilities to allow quick and easy requests
  • Catalogs, line cards, and other product information in an interactive, sortable, and searchable format
  • Live chat to increase engagement and capture leads faster
  • Content marketing to educate prospects and reduce sales cycle timelines
  • Email marketing automation with white papers, opt-ins, and downloadables
  • Features to support lead generation with SEO & advertising strategies

There are endless opportunities for your website to do more than just be a place for someone to find your phone number. But it does require that you give at least a little thought to how your manufacturing website can help your sales teams perform better.

It can be hard to know what kinds of solutions you need and what’s possible with your website if you’re new to industrial digital marketing. Our professional website designers can help you identify what technologies can help your sales be more efficient in a free initial consultation.

Step Three: Set Performance Metrics to Make Sure Your Industrial Website Is Working

As a leader in your industry, you have spent a lot of time and investment in designing and creating high quality products or services for your customers. You are used to seeing a real ROI for your work that’s easily measured. Don’t expect any less of your website.

We use tools to measure the effectiveness of your manufacturing web design that get you real results so you can understand the ROI. You’ll need a plan of what your website performance should look like and what you expect to see from new business acquisition from your site, both for leading and lagging indicators.

Tools like Google Analytics help us track the overall effectiveness of your site, how much traffic you are getting, and number of leads that contacted you through your website. Some of the most common metrics we use to measure site performance include:

  • Number of visitors
  • How long they spend on the site
  • Number of pages per visit
  • How many pages until conversion
  • Rate of website conversions
  • Quality of website conversions
  • Leads from website conversions

If your site is outdated, doesn’t perform well now, or you don’t have one, setting your goals can be difficult without projections of what the total market is, what percentage of the market you may be able to capture, and what it will take to get that percentage of the market with digital marketing.

Keep in mind that most web design companies don’t do marketing and don’t have the expertise to help you make sales projections from digital marketing. They’re just designers who can help you get a website built.

We’re a full-service marketing agency so we’re more than happy to run projections and help you better understand what your website should be doing for your business in a free initial consultation.

Step Four: Make Sure Your Industrial Company Site Covers Essentials for Success

You’ve done the hard work of identifying your unique values, determining a path for sales support, and know what opportunities are available for your business to tap into. But before you start digging into manufacturing website design inspiration, starting off with a clear list of what your website needs to have can help you more easily work with a manufacturing website design company.

We’ve found that the best industrial web designs have common features that make them effective sales engines for manufacturers and industrial companies.

Clear Branding

While your website pages should express the best qualities about your business, your design choices should be consistent to create a cohesive, recognizable brand. Not only do your color and font choices need to be consistent with your company's brand and the target clientele you want to attract but you also need to have a clear overall look and feel of your site.

Your branding tells customers who you are and how you operate. Most clients who are seeking industrial services tend to be visual people, which means the colors, fonts, and photos hold a lot of weight when deciding if you’re the right fit for them. Your branding needs to convey the unique value your company brings instantly as soon as someone lands on your website page but also differentiate you from your competitors so your company is memorable beyond a basic industrial website design template.

User Friendly Functionality

If searchers can’t easily navigate your website, they are more likely to leave your site and even less likely to make contact. User experience plays a key role in who engages with your site and who contacts you. It is important that your website have these features:

  • Responsive and optimized to work on mobile devices quickly and easily
  • Easy to navigate to find relevant information
  • Clear path to conversion to contact your company easily about your service or products
  • Clear call to action to get visitors to take a desired action, such as calling, filling out a form, or downloading a whitepaper

Your potential customers may not take the time to read through everything on your website but will look for key indicators in your industrial company website design that tell them exactly where to go and what to do next. A clear path call to action that tells them what step to take next will help bring in more leads. For example, having a clickable phone number at the top of every page can make it much easier for people to contact you rather than having to dig through your site to find it.

Technical Functionality

There are also technical functions on your website that you should consider when it comes to user experience and for search engines. Technical errors can negatively impact how your website ranks in search results, including:

  • Slow loading pages
  • Poor quality website code
  • Failure to meet security requirements
  • Not loading correctly or page errors
  • Manipulative practices to “trick” visitors

Most of the time, technical functionality is an easy thing to get right, though there are common traps to avoid when building a new website that your industrial website company should know.

Industrial Specific Features

Web design for manufacturing often has specific requirements that are outside of the regular scope of website design that are must-haves for supporting sales tasks. When thinking about designing a website for your manufacturing or industrial business, you need to think about how you want your customers to interact with your site to ultimately become a client. You can include:

  • RFQ forms for submitting requests
  • Product catalogs with interactive features
  • Search functionality
  • Filters for discovering products that fit specific needs
  • Taxonomies for organizing and sorting products or content

Websites for industrial products are often the most complex, compared to service-based companies, but both should showcase what makes your company’s partnership valuable to your customers. Whatever helps you stand out among the competition should be a main feature of your website design, including in the way potential customers interact with it.

Step Five: Build On Success With Active Marketing

Once you’ve launched your website, you’ll want to think about how it can support active digital marketing efforts. As more and more potential customers turn to digital means to find new companies to work with, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important. Your website should help you build a digital driven industrial marketing strategy.

Content Marketing

It’s true that a keyword optimized industrial manufacturing website design can help you rank higher at the top of search results, but the work doesn’t stop there. Content marketing is a great way to keep relevant content on your page, maintain authority in your industry, and optimize your site for ranking purposes.

Our digital marketing company helps clients use their industrial blog as a way to address the questions and needs your target customers may have to reduce sales cycle times and increase conversions.

Email Marketing

Email is a powerful marketing tool for industrial marketers to stay top of mind with potential customers, educate leads, and re-engage current customers to reduce client churn. Using your website to support email marketing can help your company reach more of your target audience with less effort and time.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is surprisingly effective for industrial companies, especially those that use account-based sales techniques. While we think of social media as primarily posting content on pages to attract new customers or stay top of mind with current clients, social media can serve as a way to get in front of leads your sales team is actively working. LinkedIn is particularly effective in our experience for manufacturing and industrial companies.

Digital Advertising

Google Ads, remarketing, and social media advertising are all cost effective tools industrial companies can use to target potential customers. Your website should support advertising efforts with strategic landing pages and conversion optimization to get the most out of your digital advertising spend.

All in all, your website should plan to support whatever your future marketing efforts are, whether you’re focused on digital or more traditional sales tactics like tradeshows and sales calls. Thinking about what your marketing will look like after your website is launched is an important part of the website design process.

Need Help Designing Your Company’s Website?

The process of designing a website for your industrial company can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the digital world. We’ve helped our clients navigate the professional design process through all the choices they’ve needed to make to get the most of their websites.

Since 2013, our web developers have offered web design services for industrial, oil & gas, and manufacturing companies and have a portfolio of work that shows off our experience.

Start off the process with a free initial consultation to talk to a professional industrial website designer to learn what features your website should have, what your website can do to support your new business acquisition, and pricing.

Kim Herrington

Kim Herrington is Creative Director of Orsanna where she leads the production and strategy for clients' marketing and advertising. She founded Orsanna over seven years ago to bring quality marketing services to business owners.

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