Today your engineering company website is your shop window. So every time someone reads a story about you in the media, or in a newsletter (like edie.net) or sees your social media activity, they search online to learn more about you.
Did you know that over 90% of buyers will research your business, including visiting your website before deciding to make contact?
In a crowded marketplace, facing global competition, how can your website set your business apart from your competitors? How can you attract new customers and motivate more potential customers to contact you? What do you need to change?
A great website that actually generates leads is rare, especially with an engineering website.
Some of the challenges you face
- Businesses evolve, technology moves on and you probably want to attract people from different market sectors from when you originally designed your website.
- Your current website content is outdated and could do with new material and images being added.
- Have your competitors recently invested in improving their website and how does yours compare?
- The job of updating your website often ends up on the “too difficult to deal with right now” pile.
There are 5 key areas that you can look at when you next compare your website with your competitors. If you find that your own engineering company website falls short of delivering in these key areas, then you are already at a disadvantage.
Item 1: Tone and language
Most engineering companies have a wealth of excellent technical data, some have some great images but nearly all are old school “brochure websites”. They simply list what you sell by service or groups of equipment and are very company-focused with an emphasis on how good you think you are.
While your website may tell your visitors about you and how good your solution is, it doesn’t speak to them, discuss the issues they face, or show an understanding of their needs. Many engineering companies never let people know “why” they do what they do.
People buy from people and so benefits-laden case studies and glowing testimonials prove to be successful in demonstrating technology and industry expertise.
There is a massive psychological difference in you telling me how good you are vs your customers telling me how good you are!
Another analogy is the Samsung vs Apple battle of the smartphones (they are both great phones by the way). Samsung has been obsessed with what Apple is doing, what technology they are creating, bad-mouthing Apple technology against their own. (You will now see that Samsung’s website and marketing emulates what Apple has done for years). Yet Apple is totally focused on speaking to its customers and their user experience while positioning themselves as the solution.
So, when it comes to writing copy for your engineering company website, web pages, white papers, case studies, blog posts etc, using the right tone and language that focuses on the customer, their issues and problems will always resonate more than talking about yourself. Which leads to visitors staying on the page longer and clicking through to more pages…
Item 2: Mobile responsive
When your next visitor comes to your site, it will be to find out if your equipment or solution meets their needs. With 83% of smartphone and tablet users searching “on the go” what experience do you give them? If they try to look at your site on a smartphone or tablet and your website hasn’t been designed with different screen sizes in mind, stats show most users will leave straight away. Have you checked what yours looks like?
Item 3: User experience
Investing in an expensive engineering company website that you think looks impressive may be like dressing a Hyundai up with a Ferrari body. You may feel your website looks great – but if it hasn’t been updated for months (or years), doesn’t bring in new customers, is slow to load, doesn’t answer the questions visitors are there for and doesn’t give visitors the confidence to contact you – then it’s just not performing. Ultimately its lack of functionality will result in your lost opportunities.
MAKING IT EASY FOR VISITORS TO NAVIGATE YOUR SITE
- So how much business are you losing because people cannot find your telephone number to call you easily – or don’t understand your jargon – or just cannot see where to go next to find the information they want?
- A customer can enter your website from many external points, like a listing on Google, social media, articles and PR etc. That’s the first touch point, in a list of confidence building ‘touch points’ on their journey to making contact. So it makes sense to help them intuitively navigate to the information they are looking for.
- Designing your engineering company website with an understanding of your customers and the purchase journey they need to take will give you a higher contact rate.
Item 4: Consistent value-driven content to keep people coming back
To keep your engineering company website fresh and present your “human” face we recommend an easily updatable platform to which you can add:
- Photos of your project or equipment being designed and built
- Images of customer workplaces with your equipment in action or apprentices and staff learning the ropes
- Case studies to add reassurance and resonate with potential customers
- Articles (blogs) designed to increase your customer traffic, deliver value and knowledge that position you as the experts.
- Press coverage you’ve generated to show you’re an industry authority and respected by the media
These will all keep your website fresh and engaging while supporting email and social media marketing campaigns.
Item 5: Data collection and CTA’s
By encouraging your visitors to give up their contact details in exchange for a valuable download, you can build up your prospect list.
There are two types of data collection methods:
- The “get in touch” style which is usually your contact page. This method has many reasons for not succeeding:
- Visitors are not ready to commit
- They expect to be bombarded by phone calls selling your product/solution
- The “what’s in it for me” collection method:
- Giving value such as diagrams of how your solution works, downloadable white papers, checklists of valuable information, how to information in exchange for their details
- This is a non-sales call to action and is less of a commitment.
Once a visitor has given you their data, you can then start a campaign that delivers value over several weeks and inches them closer to making direct contact with your business.
The next post I’ll be looking at Step 4 – Social media – why it matters and how you can harness it to get closer to your customers and prospects.
“The new website gives us a great platform to showcase our technology and on-site solutions, resulting in more website enquiries in the past 6 months than in the past 3 years” Richard Gueterbock – Marketing Director, Clearfleau Limited