Prior to the internet’s widespread adoption, industrial and manufacturing companies focused their marketing efforts primarily on traditional sales strategies such as conferences, trade shows, and advertisements in trade publications. Websites were, at best, an afterthought, with many manufacturers viewing them as merely proof of the company’s existence.
Fortunately, most of today’s manufacturing companies recognize websites’ value as a lead generation tool for business growth. Even when a company isn’t selling its products directly online (as most manufacturers are), research shows that websites are often the most effective conversion point on the digital sales funnel since they shape consumer perceptions of the brand, quality, and customer service.
Here are five best practices for designing websites for manufacturers, as well as five valuable examples of the five best manufacturing and industrial websites that can be found on the internet:
1. Cisco | Simple and Clear Navigation
A manufacturing website must have simple, straightforward navigation.
To simplify navigating a large website with a lot of content, they use a three-level navigation structure that can be accessed by clicking one of the menu options listed at the top of their homepage.
Because Cisco is a large company which develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware and software technology solutions that support a wide range of business sectors, this menu design is handy for Cisco’s website audience. Cisco did an excellent job of improving user experience by assisting users in navigating the site’s pages and content with this menu.
High-Quality Images | Lockheed Martin
Many manufacturing websites are still quite old, and their imagery is often even more aged. It’s critical to have a high-quality image, photo, or graphic that clearly explains what you do. It can also set a manufacturing company apart from its competitors in a crowded market. High-quality product imagery clarifies the exact device, piece, or material you manufacture for many manufacturing companies with extended supply chains.
Lockheed Martin is a defense contractor. A good example is the high-resolution photograph of the Defiant X assault aircraft on the homepage. It informs users about the advanced technology that their company is in charge of. The image’s modern, exciting feel serves as a powerful brand message, reinforcing Lockheed Martin’s position as a cutting-edge company.
A Well Placed Call to Action | IBM
Your manufacturing company’s website should be a place where visitors can interact with your company. Many manufacturers use a lead generation form as their primary call-to-action because they assume that many of the site’s visitors are looking to connect with someone in sales or support. “Start a Project,” “Request a Quote,” and “Contact Us” are all perfect phrases for buttons or links that encourage users to fill out and submit a contact form.
The IBM website takes the visitors to different articles on this site by using different calls-to-action based on user persona and intent to direct visitors to other content on the site. Each CTA starts with an action verb, such as Explore, Build, Start, See, and Learn. By clicking the CTA, users will feel like they are accomplishing something and progressing toward their goals.
Dedicated Computing is an original design manufacturer ( in shhort ODM) specializing in highly engineered computing systems for OEM customers in the healthcare, life sciences, training and simulation, and industrial markets.
Dedicated Computing provides highly complex solutions, but everything on their website is easy to understand. The homepage’s title text perfectly summarizes what they do, with a subtle hint of branding thrown in for good measure.
The “DC Spotlight” module makes excellent use of the space at the bottom of the home page. A company blog or news section on the homepage is a perfect way to increase your site’s organic areas’ traffic and viewership.
Plex is a cloud-based ERP manufacturing software that connects manufacturing operations to provide visibility and control over production processes. It must come as no surprise that a software solution company’s website is designed with cutting-edge technology.
Plex uses videos instead of a single hero image in their header, which effectively attracts users and grabbing their attention. To help increase online submissions, it uses a variety of CTAs (Get The Report, Read More, Product Demo, etc.).
We like how their homepage header lets visitors choose who they are, such as “Supply Chain Leader,” “CEO,” “Quality Manager,” and so on, so that the website content is tailored to their specific needs. According to BCG, brands which create personalized experiences for customers by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data see a 6 percent to 10% increase in revenue.
Manufacturers and industrial companies are looking to connect with more buyers online should remember that knowing who their buyers are is critical. When you take the time to collect and organize data about your key targets, you could more easily create the appropriate content to reach your target audience.