Before building a website for manufacturers a website design agency needs to understand the sector that it’s moving into. This is a far cry from cool nightclubs and restaurants most website design or Manchester SEO agencies are used to working in.
The first main concern when approaching a manufacturing business with a new website or Manufacturing SEO proposition revolves around understanding the people that you’re dealing with.
From our experience, most moderately successful SME manufacturers tend to be family owned and managed. The main person in charge tends to be a very technically minded and astute person who has built a business off the back of a quality product and subsequent organic growth. They don’t necessarily understand or accept the value of digital, as they’ve never needed to consider it over the past few decades of growth.
However, times are changing, they’re looking to hand down the business to either the management team or children. These people want change and want to see growth as well as embracing the potential digital has to offer them, but is there an opportunity here and can it be leveraged with digital?
It’s our job as a digital business development agency to address these concerns and establish whether or not its even worth creating a website for a manufacturer.
In order to establish whether or not there is an opportunity for us to deliver tangible results on a manufacturer website design we need to first address the following concerns:
The business has grown organically without any digital over a few decades. What can digital bring to the mix that they haven’t achieved without it already?
In todays world, we’ve seen all too many examples of businesses who have had the same thought pattern. From high street retailers to the likes of Blockbuster, an unwillingness to change with the world can lead to your companies demise.
From the very outset, in manufacturing you have had great pride in leading from the front, creating and innovating new products, but you risk being left behind if you don’t explore digital.
A great example of this is a manufacturer of pipelines for the oil industry. The guys we were speaking to were paying for potential buyers to fly from their respective countries, by Business Class over to the UK, paying for stays in fancy hotels all so that they could demo their pipeline operation to them.
A single conversation with ourselves established that digital could save them £100,000’s every year in expenses by bringing the entire process online. The testing rig could be hooked up with cameras, and the data opened up to a private API on the site. Prospective buyers could log in from their office, watch the rig in action, monitor data output all whilst having a conversation with the sales team without ever needing to step foot on a plane.
They only have a handful of clients who can use them and they’re very well established within that marketplace.
A good example of this is a manufacturer website design for amanufacturer who makes aerospace parts for the defense industry. Their product is worth millions of pounds, but their market is a single manufacturer of military grade jets. A website isn’t ever going to land them another Boeing as a client.
However, as with all manufacturer website design, and website design as a whole, you need to broaden your perspective. When looking for funding, or opportunities to sell, or merge with a larger entity, your projection to interested parties means a whole lot. The same applies to securing new talent or partnership opportunities – they’re all usually triggered by an initial interaction with a public facing website.
Can the team handle growing bigger than they already are? Is there even a desire to do so?
In some instances, we need to hold our hands up and say this isn’t manufacturer website design for Unbranded. If there isn’t a desire to grow, there won’t be a desire to make a significant investment into a website. Instead, it’s more about getting a website for the sake of having one, and that’s fine; but make sure you still explore the options above to ensure you don’t miss out on any great opportunities by not talking to an expert.
When you’re looking to build a website for a manufacturer you need to think outside the box of your typical SME. It’s not as easy nor as straight forward as a typical proposition. A typical well thought out discovery into the manufacturer’s product offering, client base, expertise, and possibilities need to be addressed.
One key point to consider, often missed by the manufacturers themselves are opportunities to repurpose or remarket their product in a different arena. You’ll often find they have a product in a space and have never thought about refactoring for a different purpose.
A client of ours noticed there was a strong opportunity to use bin tippers (a machine that tips big bins into much bigger bins) in the food industry. Instead of manually pouring ingredients into large vats, they could use a bin tipper. The repurposing of the product range made their proposition unique and opened them up to an entirely untapped market.
Once you’ve explored the entire range of manufactured products with the team, as an agency you should sit together to research and explore parallel opportunities that can be exploited.
Has the manufacturer looked at marketing their website internationally with international search engine optimisation?
It’s all too easy to forget that the UK is a global leader when it comes to innovation and driving industry forward. Innovative solutions form part of our DNA and it comes easily to us; which also means that we don’t address the potential we have on a global scale, as “surely they’ll have their own version of X, Y or Z over there already.”
It’s not always the case and means we need to investigate the opportunities to expand across the globe and exploit it using International SEO in order to get you noticed.
- Is their scope to present the product (range) in a more favourable way to speed up conversions?
- Can we onboard potential customers in a better way as to what our product has to offer?
- Can we share the value/benefits of the product(s) direct to the relevant search using organic SEO?
- Is there a willingness to grow among the team and management?