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poor website user experience

Co-Author: Rachel Cunliffe

“Jane,” a member of her company’s sales team, called about the company’s website and how it wasn’t delivering the results the team had been expecting.

Backstory: The web designer required the team to provide all the copy, which he then pasted it into the low-cost theme content boxes without any consideration to usability or readability.

The problem, Jane realized, was two-fold: the copy didn’t fully communicate the company’s services or expertise and the poor design was detracting from the user experience in a big way.

“We want to take our company to the next level,” said Jane, “and we’re not sure this website is going to help us get there.”

Problems with the website included:

Content – Incomplete messaging that didn’t explain the company’s offerings.

Organization – Incomplete product ranges, which made it difficult for prospects to find what they needed.

Usability & accessibility – The low-cost WordPress theme was broken in multiple places and difficult to use and read on different sized devices.

Lack of E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust) signals – The website lacked names and original photos of management and employees, testimonials, case studies, and customer lists.

Major technical SEO issues – The site’s meta titles/descriptions were missing or incomplete, as were Google Analytics tracking goals. In fact, this is why Jane called in the first place: the website was nowhere to be found in Google for their number one product.

By the end of the call, Jane realized they needed an experienced web design & marketing team to provide the whole package – messaging, professionally written, optimized copy, baked-in lead generation, and expert design and development.

An exceptional website user experience is critically important

Pre-COVID, we preached a website had to be designed correctly from a technical perspective. Old content, low-quality images, and a poor mobile experience say volumes about your business – and not in a good way.

This hasn’t changed; in fact, thanks to the dramatic shift in how we conduct business online (thank you, COVID pandemic!) a website must provide a frictionless and seamless user experience. People have little patience for things that don’t work, instantly.

However, building a website based on your sales and marketing objectives is also important — because again, thanks to COVID, when vetting companies, buyers (and job seekers) need information that answers their basic questions before they proceed with contacting you.

A company’s website is now a member of the sales team, the customer service team, and the employee recruiting team. It communicates your brand, history, and values. It builds trust and credibility within seconds.

The cost of relying on an old and clunky website is simply too high in terms of lost sales and potentially, a closed and shuttered business.

Example of a poor user experience

Imagine that the image to the right is what you see on your phone when you’re researching OEMs for your product.
mobile-website-example
We’ve blurred the manufacturer’s name, location, logo and phone number from the screenshot but have left everything else the same.

The broken-looking website design is in complete contradiction to the company’s “built to perfection” brand message. This disconnect immediately alerts your subconscious that perhaps the company’s product quality is also lacking. It also reduces trust and credibility.

The statement “serving international clientele” without customer logos to prove the claim makes buyers question if the company is simply spouting marketing copy.

The big gap, which appears to be a broken image, means a lost opportunity to WOW! potential buyers with work samples. You’re left wondering what the OEM even does.

The “Double click to insert body text here . . . ” is further indication the company “cheaped out” on its web design and that it doesn’t pay attention to detail.

Maybe the company believes it doesn’t need to strive to gain new business because it relies on legacy work contracts.

Lacking any enticement to contact this company, you head back to Google or other search engine to continue your search.

The company has lost your business in a matter of a few seconds – all because they haven’t figured out the website is allowing prospects to qualify the company rather than vice-versa.

Don’t let this be how prospective customers view your website!

The Huff Industrial Marketing difference

It’s for these reasons and others that we build all our manufacturing websites from scratch using WordPress’ new Gutenberg visual editor. We create a custom theme for each customer based on the challenges they want solved — with the design based on the copy and messaging strategy we create at the beginning of each project.

Our programmer, Stephen Merriman, takes the time to format Gutenberg so that you, the user, can visually edit your website while ensuring new content adheres to the approved-by-you design and branding strategy. (In other words, Stephen turns off a lot of unnecessary features!)

Due to his care and attention to detail, it takes him approximately three weeks to properly code a website. And, it’s the reason why the websites we build are flawless.

“You don’t really hand code websites,” said one business owner. “No one does that anymore.”

Yes, yes, we do. And that’s why, when people view a manufacturing website created by us, they see the difference immediately.

If you’re considering updating your manufacturing website, schedule a call with us first to discuss your challenges or complete our RFQ form.

Dianna Huff is the founder and president of Huff Industrial Marketing. She’s a passionate advocate for Made in USA and a geeky backyard birder.

See more articles by Dianna »

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