What does an effective manufacturing website need to accomplish? It's a seemingly simple question that actually requires a complex answer. Sure, it serves to highlight your capabilities and attract new customers who are in need of your manufacturing services. But that's not nearly all of the required nuance.
In the digital age, your future customers can easily uncover a wide range of supply chain partners. Even local businesses are no longer limited to local competition. Instead, you need to make sure that you can position yourself as a credible, high-quality manufacturer for businesses of all sizes, across locations.
Your website is the key to accomplishing that goal. According to Google, more than 70 percent of B2B buyers start their search for a potential partner with a generic (non-branded) search engine query. In other words, they don't yet know what manufacturer they might partner with. They have a supply chain problem or question, and expect an online search to solve it.
Search Engine Optimization to Increase Brand Exposure
The first takeaway from the above is obvious: when your potential customers start their search on Google or Bing, your website needs to be among the first results. Three quarters of them will never make it past the first page. Getting to that point is a long process, but it is possible even for smaller companies looking to compete against larger manufacturers.
Your first step has to be extensive and strategic keyword research. You need to make sure that your website is optimized specifically for the types of terms and phrases potential customers in search of manufacturers actually search for. Then, build relevant content around these keywords to optimize for success.
Search engine optimization should be the thread that holds your online presence together. Countless other tips to improve your manufacturing website, from improving your mobile experience to the below ideas, directly contribute to your Google ranking. As such, it should be a priority from the moment you begin to design the website.
Social Proof to Build Credibility
When it comes to building credibility in the eyes of potential buyers, social proof may be your best weapon. We are scientifically predisposed to think more favorably about companies and products that have been endorsed by others who are either like us, or perceived experts. Your website should take advantage of that fact.
Incorporating social proof can be as simple as inserting testimonials throughout your website. But you can also get more in-depth. For instance, including extensive case studies of how you've helped other clients improve their supply chain show just how well you can help your partners solve their manufacturing problems and bottlenecks.
From Billboard to Valuable Resource
Finally, an important note: if credibility in the eyes of potential customers is truly your goal, you need to move beyond the traditional promotional approach most manufacturing websites take. Rather than treating your online presence as a digital billboard, consider turning it into a resource that your audience wants to come back to.
For instance, a regular blog allows you to showcase your industry expertise. Analyze news and trends, detail new regulations, and offer relevant tips to anyone looking to improve their supply chain or find a manufacturer. Show, don't tell; showcasing your expertise can be immensely effective in subtly promoting your business and predisposing potential customers that partnering with you is in their best interest.
How to Build Your Manufacturing Website with Credibility in Mind
Ultimately, your manufacturing website needs to help grow your business. But to get there, credibility is an important consideration. This is your opportunity to position yourself as a legitimate supply chain partner for potential customers, even if you are competing against larger or more established manufacturers.