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 Internet 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.
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.