Creating an Amazing Industrial Website for Your Business
Table of contents
What is an industrial website?
An industrial website is a website built for a business involved in:
- servicing companies in this sector.
This sector, known as the secondary sector of the economy – which produces goods or constructs things.
Industrial websites are B2B websites. They have complex range of products and services.
The content has to be carefully selected so that it is easy to digest but also detailed enough for technical readers who are helping out in the purchase decision.
The objectives of an industrial website
Industrial websites are a form
- Act as a match maker
- Help make the logical choice
- Deal with client’s emotional needs (emotional currency)
- Validation, safety, trust
- Show expertise and provide knowledge
- Show detailed price and services
- Educate, persuade.
Characteristics of an industrial website
- Complex products and services
- Multifaceted content to suit different audiences
- Clean and minimalist layouts
Industrial website design
Industrial website templates
Industrial website templates are to be avoided. Template design is not suitable (at least not in the early stages) of making such a custom website.
Even though a template looks good, the process of making an industrial website should not start with a template.
By looking at templates you are influencing the way you design your website based on visuals – and this can lead to a pretty website but a vacuous website.
Industrial website competitive analysis
It’s far better to look at real websites to get ideas on navigation and content structure only. When we carry out a website competitive analysis we cover:
- Direct competitors
- Best of breed
- Industry giants
- Comparable businesses in different countries
The more content, the better.
Content strategies should be made for the different type of users
- Technical procurement clerk
- Competitor from China
- Someone in the learning phase
- Someone in the planning phase
- Someone with purchase intent
All manner of people will visit your website for information to help them solve a current technical / operational problem.
They will use content on the website to make choices based on features, price, performance, length of warranty, size and all manner of specific criteria.
The more information you have on your website, the more likely they are to find you and to contact you.
The things you need to think about are:
- How much content can you get your hands on to start the project?
- How much content can be created without delaying the project too long?
- What is the ideal amount of content?
- What is the content growth strategy after launch?
To answer these questions you need to plan your content out carefully. Either in a wireframe or a document.
Wireframes for Industrial websites
Initial wireframes should be in black and white, with as little influence on the layout as possible. They should merely separate the content into logical portions so that it’s as easy to read as possible.
This is harder than it looks as most people are visual and will want to start influencing the layout from ideas they have seen in when looking at templates or competitors websites.
Website Look and Feel
An industrial website needs to look clean and understated emotional appeal. Often emotion is used to see the connection that the industry has with the end-consumer.
However, you connect – connection is often achieved through the use of people in photos. Be careful, if using stock photography because it can damage the brand if the photos appear to look fake or cliché.
Looking at templates, and websites in a competitive analysis will show you that there is a color language at play. Yellow is often used, whatever the dominant color scheme – there is a certain angularity, vividness and boldness to an industrial website.
Marketing an industrial businesses online
For a general introduction to digital marketing and online promotion, read our about the general principles of digital marketing promotion.
Specifically, for industrial clients, it’s about helping people understand your technical solution.
Many users are non-technical and they won’t be able to see your product or service can be adapted to their needs. Not unless you make it clear.
Dry technical information of capabilities is important for technical researchers but won’t bring the matter to life for managerial-level researchers.
Give examples so that the user can imagine how your solution will help their particular needs.
For example: technical solutions are normally illustrated by showing how they are used across different industries.
Websites are used to help initiate person-to-person relationships.
Anyone who is going to commit their company to buying something potentially expensive: something that will alter how the company operates will want need reassurances that only a human can give.
Increase points of contact
Make it easy for people to contact you. You will learn from more client interaction on how to improve your website and marketing. You will help your sales process.
Ways to increase human interaction are through:
- Chat functions on the website
- Social Media
- Contact numbers
For B2B industrial businesses – the point of social media is not advertising – it’s public relations and to reassure any potential buyer that the company is alive and well and have a moral compass.
LinkedIn for your key staff helps your company appear modern, transparent and well managed. If a company is going to be a partner: if an employee is going to risk his/her reputation on you, they will want to make sure that the people in charge know what they are doing have earned their trust.
Online events are your chance to influence the industry to your advantage.
This is a long term play and a lot of viewers will be students, job seekers and so on. These are the people you should influence now, as they will be working for you, your clients or your competitors in the future.
Industrial website maintenance
Why maintain your website?
Technology changes regularly
The technology running your website works within the whole internet ecosystem. Technologies advance quickly and websites that were once working smoothly may start to develop faults.
Websites are complex
The average industrial website is as complex as a corporate website. There may be products management software, security software, contact management software that all need regular maintenance and checking.
Websites grow and change
Regular adding and deleting of content and features on your website may introduce unexpected problems such as slow speeds and software incompatibilities.
What will happen if you don’t maintain your website?
- Slow speed
- Website not appearing correctly
- Broken links
- Security Risks
How to prevent errors from happening
Service your website regularly
You will need between 20 and 30 hours per month to look after your website. Starfish’s maintenance service can help you here.
Harden your security regularly
Use software to scan your website for attacks. Attacks could be from competitors or hackers. Read more on security and administration.