Machine Shop Customers First Stop, Your Website

These days everyone has a website, however, the quality ranges drastically between them. Many people believe having a family friend or creating the website themselves is a viable option. Yes, this is cost-effective, but the hidden and often undiscovered opportunity costs far outweigh the initial investment. Your machine shops website should have 3 main goals: first impression, functionality and being up-to-date. Each is essential to having your website be your shops best employee.

 

Your Machine Shops First Impression

 

There is an age old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover; this never happens and your machine shop will be judged entirely by your websites appearance. Studies show that 75% of machine shop website opinionInternet users admit to making credibility judgments based on design, and that first impressions lead to higher customer satisfaction. Lets further break this down into credibility of the business and of the business owner.

 

Machine Shop Credibility

 

Here are two examples of machine shop websites, one with a great design, the other poor on a good day.

 

good example - machine shop - capabilities
Poor Example - machine shop - capabilities

Both of these examples have been created to provide customers with the machine shops capabilities. The difference is obvious. Who would you rather do business with? 

 

Machine Shop Owner Credibility

 

Based on what was seen above how do you envision each owner?

 

Lets start with the poor website, assumptions of the machine shop owner include he/she . . .

 

. . . is technologically backwards . . .

. . . does not care what others think . . .

. . . is alright with advertising themselves poorly, imagine what their product is like.

 

As for the second example, one would assume he/she . . .

 

. . . realizes times are changing, and strives to be one step ahead . . .

. . . puts extra effort into something most others avoid, imagine what he/she will do for a customer . . .

. . . does not cut corners, and is proud of his/her brand.

 

These are just to name a few, but I am sure that you get the picture. You can see that appearance is important, but it isn’t everything, your machine shops website needs to function as well.

 

Functionality Of Your Machine Shops Website

 

Time and time again people look at a website as just something to “check-off” from a list of necessities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your website is potentially the best employee you could ever hire. 24/7 your website will be working for your machine shop. It never gets tired, never takes a day off, nor slacks on work. However, your website is only capable of delivering results that you have prepared it for.

 

You may have never looked at your shops website from this angle and I hope a light bulb is turning on for you.

 

The website should be funneling you sales at a very minimum. Pictures of your team, and the history of your machine shop are great, but is that what generates you business? Absolutely not, people want to know if your machine shop can deliver the results they are looking for, which takes planning. It would be best to put yourself in the shoes of your target customer, and brainstorm questions that your target market would be asking. If you are able to pinpoint these questions, and answer them correctly, business for your machine shop will flourish.

 

I also suggest checking out our previous post, which sheds light on other aspects required to create a functioning website, you can click here to get there.

 

Making Sure Your Website Is Up-To-Date

 

People no matter what industry or business find new methods of marketing and move on from the old. Many people, especially machine shop owners, once began strong online, but allowed their efforts to fizzle out. It is key to remember the Internet is not for overnight success, it takes effort and patience.

 

old machine shop website

 

As you can see this has not been updated in quite sometime. I can assure you that potential customers for this shop have noticed this as well.

 

The above example is obvious since it is dated, but customers also look at content that is found on a website. These customers will notice old content. This is likely to deter them from coming back frequently; nobody wants to see the same thing over and over again. Frequent visitation keeps your machine shop on their mind. You being on their mind will bring your machine shop more business.

 

Ingredients For A Successful Machine Shop Website

 

It is best to start simple, which is why I am providing basic elements to a successful website.

 

  1. Show your business in the best light.

 

You should do your homework and look at your competitors. See who has created the most professional appearing websites, and determine what they have done to achieve this. I suggest doing the same for determining trustworthy websites as well.

 

  1. Ensure your website is easy to navigate.

 

We have all struggled to find what we are looking for online. Make sure your website provides navigation with ease. Keep it simple and to the point.

 

  1. Re-enforce your brand.

 

Do this as often as possible. Place your business name throughout the website frequently and make sure that it stands out, just don’t go overboard. A good rule of thumb is to keep all branding placement natural sounding if you were to read it aloud.

 

  1. Keep your website updated.

 

This has been mentioned twice now for a reason. Not only will it benefit you in acquiring customers, but it will make your website more search engine friendly, since search engines such as Google look for freshly updated websites. If you are struggling with this pictures of recent machining and descriptions is a great place to start.

 

Summary

 

The Internet is the future of advertising. This makes your website the future of acquiring new business. Don’t believe me? Up to 83% of people are visiting a companies website prior to making a purchase. Take your time with this, and be just as proud of your website as you are of the products you produce.

 

Thank you for reading. We look forward to sharing again next week.

Why SEO Works For Your Machine Shop

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may or may not be a term that you are familiar with. Those who have heard of it may believe it to be something they do not need, and to those whom never heard of SEO may think that they have not for a reason. However, a few minutes of your time will change your outlook and can have a significant impact on what matters to you, your bottom-line, if you don’t believe me after you finish click here for Modern Machine Shops advice. Before I dive into explaining the 3 reasons SEO will work for your machine shop, an understanding of what SEO is will build the needed foundation.

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing your website being found by potential customers for searched SEO - Definition of SEO - Optimizationkeywords. If someone searches CNC machine shops, they receive a list of results. SEO is the strategic tool that puts your shop at the top of that list. The higher your machine shop is on that list, the more likely a customer will click onto your website. I will provide an easy to follow example below.

The Dilemma:

You are a CNC machine shop in Dallas, TX. You have just hired a professional to build you a website to showcase your 5-axis capabilities, and the website looks great. You wait for new customers to contact you. A week goes by, and then months, and you are starting to feel like you wasted your money, and now believe that the Internet is a terrible investment.

This is the kind of story every real digital solutions provider dreads to hear, and here is why. You were just handed a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500, and it is a thing of beauty. You jump in the drivers seat, put the key in the ignition, turn it, but nothing happens. Confused you pop the hood, and are shocked to see that there is no engine. You cannot believe you just bought what looked to be a pristine car, but soon realize it is worthless.

Let me connect the dots. The car represents your top-of-the-line website, and the engine represents SEO.

Without the engine the car/website is . . .

  • Strictly for your viewing pleasure only, or
  • Reserved for those you personally invite

With the engine your car/website . . .

  • Is shared with more people than you realize, and
  • While you are driving more people are turning their heads and noticing

The video below is another easy to follow explanation of SEO incase you still need some clarification. Found Here.

 

 

Now that you have an understanding of SEO, it is equally important to see how SEO will affect your machine shop. Here are 3 key reasons SEO will be important to your machining business.

  1. Getting Buyers To You.

Whether you have or have not embraced technology, your customers have, and that is what matters most. If you have embraced technology I want you to think about this. You and your significant other are on a trip to the Florida Keys, after exploring for the day you are both famished and looking for the best seafood option to cap off an amazing day. You pull out your iPhone and search “best seafood restaurants.” Google knows where you are located and immediately delivers results for you to select from. Being hungry you click the first option after noticing good reviews, obtain the address, and you are on your way.

You were just SEOed. That restaurant was not at the top by accident, a professional got them to that position. You were SEO - Research looking for a specific type of restaurant, and Google knew this based on what you were searching. The SEO specialist knew that searches for that particular phrase indicate a true buyer, and based off that knowledge he/she needed to get his/her client to be at the top for that word.

This is called inbound marketing. This means that you are only being marketed to the people that matter. As a comparison, lets look at placing an ad for your machine shop in the local paper. Say 50,000 people monthly are reading the paper, but only 2,000 look into the classifieds, and 5 people might care about machining, but those 5 are already in the machining industry, and 4 of those 5 are your relatives. However, SEO allows you to have everyone who sees your ad actually be interested in your ad. My research shows that per NTMA chapter area 110 searches for machine shops are being conducted.

Below is an example graph of the information that can be found on Google Keywords:

 

SEO - Keyword research - machining new mexico

  1. Make Your Shop The Authority.

Seeing the importance of ranking for a particular keyword or keyword phrase should be starting to become clearer. The second reason we at KriXis Consulting have selected is just as important as the first.

The word “authority” is more than likely throwing you off, but there are plenty of different versions of authority, ranging from the local police to the President of the United States. Looking at both examples, and all other examples you can think of regarding authority, a common trait is respect for what is asked for. Being the top spot of Google for a given search is website authority, as long as you are commanding for it, SEO triggers this.

Google has placed a particular website above the others due to Google’s belief in that website being exactly what a customer is looking for when searching for certain words. People making these searches trust Google as well, and believe that Google’s selection is the best option for them.

SEO is asking for the top spot on Google, and a professionally optimized website gives you this, leading to your machine shop becoming the authority.

  1. Look At The Numbers.

The above graph shows how many searches on average are done per NTMA chapter area per month. If your website is not at or near that top you are invisible to those perspective customers.

Below is a table, which shows a study by Google on how often your page is getting clicked according to where it appears on the rankings:

 

Search Engine Optimization - Google SERP

 

It is easy to see that being in the top three is essential, and being in the top ten is vital to being seen at all.

You may be saying to yourself, “how many of those searches are actual buyers,” and this is a legitimate concern for anyone contemplating hiring SEO services for their shop. I want you to think about this though. I have regularly built Mercedes AMGs on the local dealerships website, but I have never had intent to make the purchase. This may be a strange comparison, but think about the difference between the Mercedes AMG and a CNC machine shop. People always search cars for fun, but people are not searching machine shops. The only reason someone is searching for a machine shop is if the individual is a machinist looking for work or looking for machining services.

Having that cleared up look at the number of searches and multiply that by the percentage of your desired rank on Google. To make this easy lets say your machine shop is number 1 on the search results and 100 people searched that month, that is a total of 36 customers going to your website. To play it safe lets say 2/3 of those heading to your website are looking for work. This leaves you with 12 potential customers for that month. We can again play it safe and say 1/3 of those potentials become customers, giving you 4 new customers for that one month. All you need to do now is simple math to determine if: (average profit margin per customer) X 4 > (cost of SEO fees). This should be a no-brainer either way.

Summary

Our integrity at KriXis Consulting means everything to us. Saying that, it is only right to tell you that SEO is not an immediate fix; it is a process that takes time to achieve. However, when combined with other solutions, all of which included in our phase 1 package, this process is sped up and will show better results.

The purpose of this article was to show you how important SEO is in order to grow your business, especially in today’s technological era. If you are currently advertising in the newspaper and/or Yellow Pages I’m sure you have been seeing less and less of a return on your investment; this is due to people going digital to find what they are looking for.

Lastly, from my experience within machining I have realized that the business is heavily referral based, and you are probably saying to yourself that all of my business comes from referrals, and you may even be saying that you cannot handle anymore business. So let me end it with these two points:

  1. Those long-time referrals are selling their businesses and new ownership is coming into effect. These new owners are looking online for machine shops to work with; you are only lying to yourself about this and it will only hurt in the long run.
  1. How many hours a day are mills and laves sitting idle, they can always work; I don’t know a single owner who doesn’t want to run multiple shifts.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to sharing with you again next week, more of our work regarding SEO can be found by clicking here as well. Feel free to comment below, we would appreciate all comments and would be happy to clear up any questions.