Industrial Marketing Blog

Industrial Website Redesign

Industrial Website Redesign—When Failure is Not an Option

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you considering an industrial website redesign? This is a topic of discussion as Q3 ends and, as Q4 starts, many companies begin to do their annual planning and budgeting.

However, the sad truth is that many of these redesigns fail to deliver the desired results. You are not alone. Many manufacturers and engineering companies have embarked on this journey, hoping to transform their websites into powerful sales tools.

There are many reasons for these epic failures. To learn more about how to avoid some of these common pitfalls, read my post, Why do so Many Industrial Website Redesigns Fail?

In this article, I want to focus on success and not failures.

The importance of strategy before design

Before diving into the design phase, it is essential to spend time developing a comprehensive website redesign strategy. This strategy should align closely with your sales process, business goals, and content marketing strategy. Understanding your sales process and how the new website fits into that workflow is crucial.

This is especially true for industrial companies with long, complex sales cycles involving multiple stakeholders. By developing a robust and realistic strategy, you can ensure an efficient and effective website redesign that meets your business goals.

Planning website content for success

Website content should never be an afterthought in the redesign process. It is a critical component that must be planned and executed strategically. Many industrial companies fall into the trap of delaying content creation until after the redesign is almost complete.

This can result in a lack of budget or a misconception that writing good marketing copy is easy. However, neglecting content creation can hurt the success of your website. Your content must speak directly to your target audience, providing site visitors with valuable and relevant information that showcases your expertise and differentiates you from your competitors.

See Why Retrofitting Industrial Website Redesigns Usually Don’t Work.

Understanding what engineers want from a supplier’s website

Engineers and technical professionals have specific needs when it comes to supplier websites. They are looking for technically accurate, current, and valuable information relevant to their work-related challenges.

Engineers rely more on supplier websites for the information they need, especially since many trade shows were canceled due to the pandemic. To meet their expectations, it is crucial to understand what engineers want from a supplier’s website:

  • Technical accuracy and relevance: Engineers want information that is specific to their industry and applications. Highlight your technical expertise and knowledge to establish credibility. Bring your in-house Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to the forefront.
  • Clear and concise product information: Engineers are looking for detailed product specifications, features, and benefits. Make sure your product information is easily accessible, easy to understand, and up to date.
  • CAD and BIM files: Providing CAD and BIM files can be valuable for engineers. These files allow them to incorporate your products into their designs seamlessly. (Using CAD and BIM Files in Manufacturing Content Marketing)
  • Intuitive navigation: Engineers value websites that are easy to navigate. Ensure your website has a user-friendly interface and logical organization of information.

Understanding and meeting these expectations will help you create a supplier website that engineers find valuable and informative.

Industrial website redesign – content preferences of engineers

(Source: 2023 State of Marketing to Engineers, TREW Marketing and GlobalSpec)

Tips for a successful industrial website redesign

A. Visual Design

  • Emphasize clean and professional design:
  • Avoid cluttered layouts and excessive visual elements that can overwhelm visitors.
  • Incorporate relevant, high-quality images to enhance the overall design and create visual appeal.
  • Include industry-specific design elements or your own drawings and schematics.
  • Use colors and typography that align with your industry and resonate with your target audience.

B. Navigation Design

  • Prioritize user-friendly navigation over the cool factor – Implement intuitive and easy-to-use menus and navigation bars to help visitors find what they need quickly.
  • Include search functionality for users to locate specific information they are looking for quickly and easily.
  • Optimize website layout for easy exploration – Organize your content logically and categorize information effectively so visitors can navigate your site effortlessly.
  • Provide clear and concise labels for navigation links to guide users effectively.

C. Calls to Action and Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Strategically place and design call-to-action buttons – Use contrasting colors and persuasive language to attract attention and encourage action.
  • Position them strategically based on user behavior patterns and the flow of your website.
  • Optimize forms and landing pages for conversions.
  • Create forms with minimal fields and clear instructions to reduce friction for users.
  • A/B test different designs and layouts to improve conversion rates and optimize user experience.

D. Mobile Friendly and Responsive Design

  • Create a mobile-first design approach – Prioritize the user experience on mobile devices, as more and more people use smartphones for browsing. However, if you check your site analytics, you’ll find that most site visitors are desktop users. Responsive design is very important, but keep in mind how your visitors are accessing your site.
  • Ensure responsive design for seamless usability across various screen sizes and resolutions.
  • Test website performance on mobile devices.
  • Optimize load times and minimize data usage for a smoother mobile experience.
  • Use responsive images and fonts to enhance mobile performance while maintaining visual appeal.

Tracking and measuring your success

Once your industrial website redesign is complete and the new site launched, tracking its performance and measuring its success is essential. Implementing site analytics and reporting tools will provide valuable insights into user behavior, traffic sources, and conversion rates.

Regularly reviewing these metrics will allow you to make data-driven decisions and identify areas for improvement. Don’t wait six months or a year to assess the effectiveness of your redesign. Ongoing monitoring and fine-tuning based on key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you optimize your website’s performance and maximize its impact on your business goals.

Measuring and tracking have been a challenge for many manufacturing marketers. The difficulties are not limited to industrial websites but manufacturing content marketing in general. The results from the 2023 Manufacturing Content Marketing Report published by the Content Marketing Insitute found, “The top challenge manufacturing marketers face with measuring content performance is difficulty integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms (48%).”

A successful industrial website redesign requires a strategic approach encompassing planning, content development, and execution. You can transform an informational industrial website into a high-performing sales tool by involving all stakeholders, understanding what engineers want from a supplier’s website, creating engaging content, incorporating effective calls to action, and ensuring intuitive navigation.

Yes, there are many moving parts and details to keep track of, but the time and effort are worth it when you can pull off a successful industrial website redesign because it is the hub of your online presence.

Now that you know, you’ll better appreciate the differences between a $200 website and one that costs $20,000+.

My team and I have completed many successful industrial website redesigns. Take a look at some of our work samples. Let’s talk if you have any questions or need assistance with your industrial website redesign.

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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