Reason #1: Because you want to grow your business
“Growing a business is hard work,” says Tim Walsh, CEO of Appli-Tec, a manufacturer of specialty adhesive products, “but it can be very rewarding when you see the work you’re doing pay off for your employees, your customers, and yourself. To grow your business by the double digits, you must have a great website.”
Having an updated website that communicates what you do, and offers people a smooth user experience, gives you a huge benefit: it gets you on the short list of buyers and engineers.
Says Walsh, “Back in the 1990s, every company needed to be ISO certified if you wanted to quote specific types of projects. Being certified was a big differentiator. Now everyone is certified. To differentiate your company today, and get a seat at the table, you need a professionally-developed website.”
This is especially important if your customers are in their 30s and 40s. They just don’t have the patience to deal with an old clunky website.
“Yes,” says Walsh, “it’s difficult to allocate thousands of dollars for a new website — but it’s also the best use of money and resources if you’re really serious about business growth.”
Reason #2. Improve customer service
We often hear from prospective clients that they spend time on the phone with their customers directing them on how to find specific information on the website.
This was particularly true for Titan Abrasive, a manufacturer of industrial blast rooms and blast machines. According to CEO Brandon Acker, people would call asking for specific products, which were listed on the website, but were hard to find.
Says Acker, “By re-organizing our products and simplifying the website navigation, as well as creating a seamless and redesigned e-commerce function, customers can now easily determine what they need prior to contacting us, saving us and them time on the phone.”
Titan also completely redid the RFQ form based on feedback – reducing the time it takes to provide a quote and much of the back and forth email / phone calls as well.
According to Acker, Titan’s sales have increased approximately 25% since redesigning the website.
Reason #3. Update messaging
Websites go out of date very quickly because how you do business changes, constantly. Products get discontinued and new products get added. A service that starts as a “favor” to a good customer becomes a significant revenue driver.
The problem, however, is that many manufacturers don’t update the website when these changes occur. We’ve worked with companies where the website was so outdated, the company no longer made many of the products listed!
Again, this leads back to lost sales. If your website isn’t up-to-date, then it’s very difficult to sell your capabilities or products to engineers or others who have no idea who you are or what you do.
Reason #4. Incorporate new technologies and meet Google’s requirements
If your existing website was built over 5 years ago, it’s outdated technology-wise. Some of the new technologies your website needs to incorporate include:
- Responsive design – This means your website is coded so that it looks great and functions perfectly on any size device – including all the forms, e-commerce, etc. Responsive design means you do NOT need a separate mobile website.
- HTTPS – Google wants a secure browsing experience for its users, which is why it’s pushing for HTTPS for all websites. Currently, if a website collects data through forms and the website is still using HTTP, Google will show a scary “site not secure” message – which tells people to go “back” to safety!
- HTML5 – A faster Internet has made video streaming more accessible – on all devices. The arrival of HTML5 in all browsers has superseded Flash, which is a very clunky browser plugin. If your website is still running Flash, it simply won’t render properly on browsers where people don’t have the plugin – especially mobile devices.
Reason #5. Perform updates in-house (save time and money)
We hear regularly from prospective customers that they work with a web design firm, but it can take weeks to get updates made (or sometimes even a response!).
Or, if they try to make an update themselves, it can take hours, because the “backend” is so difficult to learn and use.
When you update your website using WordPress, an easy-to-use, cloud-based content management system (CMS), you now have the ability to make your own updates.
With Appli-Tec, for example, the front office would receive dozens of calls a week from customers asking for Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
As part of his company’s website redesign, Walsh wanted customers to easily download the SDS without having to call or email the office.
And, because the hundreds of SDS on file were frequently updated, he wanted his team to be able to make the updates to the website database – versus having to send these requests to the website design firm.
Problem solved. Customers now enter their adhesive product number into a short form field on the website. The form is connected to a backend database – so customers instantly receive a downloadable PDF via their browser.
“Customers tell us they love this feature as it saves them so much time,” says Walsh. “It’s also very easy for us to update the database within WordPress ourselves, which we do regularly – so it saves us time and money as well.”