Industrial Website Development Do’s & Don’t’s

Not every site is perfect. But if you do these things (and avoid the others), you'll be in pretty good shape.

How seriously do you need to take industrial website development? Well, a professional website that focuses on customer solutions is now a cost of doing business for industrial companies.

Ideally, your content will be at the intersection of what you want to convey and the questions prospects ask about how to solve their pain points. Fundamentally, the site will be oriented around what a user wants to accomplish and provide them with a path to do so.

To break this general idea down and to make it actionable, here are a couple of do’s and don’ts when it comes to industrial website development, which we explore more in depth during Episode 7 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.

What an Industrial Website Should Do

  • Provide Searchable Content – Prospects are searching for solutions. Yes, you can have in-depth downloadable PDFs, but those can’t be your only content about your solutions. For one, they’ll are not indexible by search engines, which means that they are best used mid-funnel once a prospect has opted in to your marketing ecosystem. You must have discoverable content on your industrial website, which means publishing HTML pages and posts (i.e., blog articles).
  • Leverage SEO – If you haven’t developed your industrial website with SEO in mind, or haven’t recently revisited the architecture of your legacy website to assess SEO performance, you may be missing out. You shouldn’t be thinking about your website like an old, reliable workhorse of a machine on the shop floor that doesn’t require much. Open up the hood, do some maintenance, and don’t be afraid to modify things. The web is constantly changing and your industrial website should, too.
  • Be Designed for Mobile – Engineers and purchasing managers are now predominantly digital natives. They use mobile devices a lot, as do we all. Make sure that your industrial website development process results in a site that is built to load on smartphones, especially if your audience spends a lot of time in the field.

What an Industrial Website Should Not Do

  • Assume a Prospect Knows You – Back in the day, legacy networks built from trade shows and sales calls felt more personal because they were. At least for starters. Today, it helps to think of your website as the equivalent of an introduction to a new prospect at a trade show who doesn’t know you but is looking for help with something they think you might offer.
  • Make Your Website All About You – It’s really about what your company can do to help customers. Make sure to incorporate their perspective and take their needs into consideration when developing your industrial website.
  • Underestimate the Power of Video – Video can be a powerful way to convey customer testimonials. The same is true of videos that demonstrate a cool functionality. Video as a format is simple, direct, and there are frankly no longer any cost barriers to entry if you want to achieve respectable production values.

Position Yourself as a Problem Solver When Developing Your Site

Another way to approach your industrial website development process is to follow a shift in B2B marketing thinking documented in the Harvard Business Review several years ago.

Marketing used to revolved around the 4 P’s:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

We can all probably think of legacy industrial websites that appealed to engineers and emphasize the latest technical developments and product features, following the 4 P’s.

But the HBR article advocates for the SAVE methodology, which is a great fit for industrial website development:

  • Solution
  • Access
  • Value
  • Education

If your website already offers solutions and tries to educate prospects on their benefits, you have a good foundation.

Listen to the Podcast to Learn More About Industrial Website Development Best Practices

Listen to Episode 7 of the Industrial Marketer podcast for a more in-depth discussion of industrial website development do’s and don’ts. Take them to heart and your website will start working a whole lot harder for your company.

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