Choosing the Best Industrial Web Design Agency
All website design firms are not the same. In fact, very few actually understand the unique needs of an industrial business. This article will give you some ideas on how to find a qualified industrial design firm.
Find an Agency with Industrial Experience
Website sales people will often stretch the truth about the knowledge and experience of the people in their company. There are five questions I encourage people to ask a design house to quickly assess their industrial design experience, capabilities and passion for industrial businesses. The questions are:
- Can you name at least five types of an “industrial business”? (And listen for the sound of typing in a Google search, lol)
- Can you explain to me a typical industrial buying process? And maybe ask them to define terms such as RFQ, RFP, CNC, CAD, etc.
- What is the name of a set of green books that served industrial buyers, designers, and specifiers before the internet?
- What is the background of people in your company relative to the industrial marketplace?
- What is the most interesting manufacturing process you have watched in person, and what in particular fascinated you?
Ask About Their Engagement Process
Most incoming leads regarding industrial website design concern a desire to redesign an existing website. Beyond simply “building a website”, this endeavor provides an infrequent opportunity to bring current your brand image, messaging, user experience, on-page SEO, analytics, visitor tracking, website security and much more. You need a design and development company that offers a comprehensive approach to industrial design. They should think first as your sales and marketing expert to create a logical site. Your site architecture and individual page structures should be an organized presentation. The next level should to to gather and organize (or create new) content for each page. Every page should have calls-to-action, strategically placed around well written content.
The entire “marketing side” of the site should them be pressed into a “functional format”. The functional format is arguably the most critical part of the process. This is the phase that takes all of that great marketing material and puts it into website coding. It’s important to note that there are tremendous differences in coding styles and platforms – far more than we will cover here. Firstly, the coding should be fully responsive (mobile friendly). Furthermore, the industrial design developers need to apply great skill and attention to detail in their coding. Where many will cut corners, or totally ignore best practices, the best industrial website developers understand how to make a site search engine friendly. Yes, search engines (and Google in particular) have great bias in favor of well coded sites. The process of developing search engine friendly code is where the design team must include a SEO expert. The SEO expert is the maestro that drives the harmony between code and content – this is how great ranking occurs!
And let’s not overlook that the process needs a very good flow of communication. An online collaboration platform, such as Basecamp or Zoho, are ideal. Having a single point of contact (agency and client) is the best way to minimize confusion, and get consistency in the project’s direction.
A little more about developing a new website
Certainly your industrial website design should have a sharp, professional look and feel. What matters as much or more is how easy your website visitors can find information they want, and the information is high quality. In this situation, “quality” refers to depth and availability of information. Every product should be presented with information such as applications, suitability, and specifications. Every service should be presented with detail explaining expertise, relevance and options.
Industrial website development methods are complex and multifaceted. We understand how to develop sites that speak well to a plant manager, engineer, purchasing agent, company officer or other influencer. These people have different needs in terms of type, depth and specificity of information on your business. Understanding the industrial buying process including the roles of facility maintenance staff, plant managers, engineers, specifiers and purchasing agents is necessary in order to provide practical and effective industrial marketing solutions.
Depending on what you sell, you may benefit from a searchable catalog. Even if ecommerce does not fit your sales strategy, a catalog presentation allows potential buyers to explore your products, develop an interest, then call to learn more. Other types of development work for heavy commercial and industrial clients include mobile app development, enabling users to access an online library of manuals, warranty data, MSDS sheets or even firmware download links.
Ideas about website content developemnt
Who is writing your copy, and what do they really know
An industrial copy writing professionals can work with you to develop standard marketing copy, technical writing and product descriptions. Additionally a good content development agency can develop simple renderings, 3D modeling and interactive functionalities that enhance your presentation. To further support your brand development ask about creative services to design branded brochures, cut sheets, MSDS sheets, and related technical information.
Language Translations – Website Localization
If your company markets to an international audience you should consider website localization solutions. While some companies rely on the quick fix of adding Google Translator, it’s not the best way to handle website localization. The best industrial design firms create versions of your web design that are fully translated. These translated sites have necessary and appropriate coding that work together to get your site ranked in foreign (non-English) language search engines. Some of these coding touches will prevent the translated sites/pages from incurring duplicate content penalties.
Don’t forget to translate internet press releases, brochures, cut-sheets, and related web accessible content.
Think about enriching the user experience
Integrating special site functionalities can create a rich user experience (UX), increase your ability to influence specifiers, and generate more sales leads. The online industrial prospect typically wants detailed information, and they want it in varying formats. You may need to provide downloadable PDF files, demonstration videos, searchable catalogs,or niche specific micro sites.
You’re Involved in a Very Important Project
Typically the person managing their company’s website rebuild project has never gone through this process. Sometimes they have but it was many years ago, and things have changed dramatically. This is a major project – it’s a respectable cost, and it will impact your bottom line – you need to make certain that you hire one of the best industrial web design and development agencies.
For more information on industrial web design you can contact an industrial design expert at 770-429-5300.