Will Your Website Redesign Engage Engineers and Industrial Buyers?

As a manufacturer of engineered products or a provider of technical services, your website plays a critical role in attracting prospects and converting them to customers. Engineers and Industrial Engineering Process Improvement industrial buyers expect suppliers to have an extensive online presence with a website that provides relevant content in different formats. And the site content must be searchable.
Every aspect of your website must match the needs of the prospect’s buying process. Is your current site ready for this challenge or do you need a website redesign? How do you engage engineers and technical buyers on your website in order to build stronger relationships and gain higher conversion rates?
Here are the five rules of engagement:
Rule #1: Search engine optimization (SEO)
In the research phase of the industrial buying cycle, engineers and industrial buyers tend to use broad keywords and phrases that describe their current problem. Unless your website shows up in the initial phases, you are probably not going to be considered in the next step, which is the comparison stage.
It shouldn’t be an afterthought because retrofitting SEO after the redesign is typically not very effective and usually costs more.
Is SEO a DiY (do-it-yourself) job? It takes extensive knowledge, expertise, experience and a lot of detailed work in order for your website to be ranked high for specific keywords and phrases in Google and other major search engines. And yes, it does cost money.
To complicate matters even more, it is a moving target since search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and most of it is not public knowledge.
Rule #2: Content comes before redesigning your website
Avoid the site redesign cycle of frustration by first developing a clear game plan for creating or repurposing existing content for the new site. The key here is to serve up relevant content that matches the prospect’s state or stage on the decision making process.
One-size-fits-all site content will not help you engage. Build a library of various content assets. Video testimonials are far more credible and impactful than plain text. The same holds true for video white papers.
Your site visitors are typically coming from general search engines and/or industry verticals. Try to reinforce or continue the same experience by helping engineers search your content by part number, specifications and keywords.
The more detailed and specific information you can provide with the least number of search queries or clicks, the better will be the user experience. This will lead to your visitors bookmarking your site for future reference and becoming a valuable resource.
Rule #3: Create interaction and shareability
Nothing happens until your site visitor takes some sort of action. Passive reading of your content will not move the prospect any closer to his/her decision to buy from you. To improve engagement, build interaction into your site.
Add a slideshow of screen shots for those visitors who prefer a more visual experience. Even the simple action of clicking on “Next” to move from one slide to the next will increase engagement and retention. See rule #4 for other ideas on creating interaction.
As an added bonus, you can upload your slideshow to a site like slideshare to attract a larger audience and drive more traffic to your site.
The shelf life of your content is pretty short because new information is generated very quickly on the Internet. Extend its life by making your site content shareable via social media, RSS feeds and forward to a colleague.
Rule #4: Build credibility and gain authority
The Internet has made everyone into a publisher of content. That’s good news but it also creates a credibility problem. Whom do you trust when you are looking for authoritative and credible information?
Studies show that engineers prefer access to “live experts” on technical questions. They want to ask technical Electrician School questions and expect a response live online or by e-mail within 24 hours of submitting a question.
Engineers and technical professionals also showed a preference for interacting with peers and end-users by using community boards and engineering forums.
Another great way to showcase your in-house experts and expertise is to add a blog to your main site.
Rule #5: Use social media judiciously
Select the best social media outlets depending on where your target audience hangs out and use them for starting your conversation. The objective here is to drive people to your website, which should be the hub of your online marketing.
Use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to increase awareness, start the conversation and drive traffic to your website. That’s where you can use your content to profile your visitors based on their actions and capture pre-qualified leads. Social media is great for quickly announce new blog posts, articles, webinars and events.
While social media marketing may be cheap, it is not free. It does take time and resources to do it well and produce results.
So if you are still counting on your static, brochureware website to generate leads, you may be sorely disappointed. It may be time for you to seriously consider a website redesign. Don’t just stop at lead generation, use your redesigned website to move your visitors deeper into the conversation and help your sales team convert more opportunities.

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