We all know how important a website is to a manufacturer's online strategy. Almost every manufacturer, whether B2B, B2C, local or global needs an online presence to reach buyers in the internet age. A manufacturer’s website is its virtual storefront.
If you're still not quite convinced of the importance of a website? Consider these statistics from Google:
- People around the world initiate 2 trillion searches on Google each year.
- That's about 2.3 million searches per second.
- Google has about 75% of the total global search traffic.
- Google has indexed 130 trillion web pages.
Bottom line, if you don't have a website or you have a poor performing website, you don't even get to be in the game.
Whether you’re looking to build your first website, or if your existing site just isn’t getting the traffic or leads you were hoping for, you may wonder what it takes to have a great, lead generating website. 'Great' being a website that attracts your target audience and generates active inquiries for your product.
Today, the World Wide Web is social and interactive. It’s not static like most manufacturing websites tend to be. As such, a website can no longer sustain as an island, it must be interactive to really succeed.
We now need to consider integrating search, social media, content, blogging, and more with our websites.
Gone are the days where all it took was a URL, fancy Flash graphics, and an expensive advertising campaign to boost traffic temporarily. The reason for this shift is primarily due to changing buyer behavior. Today’s buyer wishes to consume information when they want and how they want and often without the involvement of a sales person. And more importantly, they want to be educated and not pitched on a product by a salesman. As you can see from the following chart, websites and new forms of inbound marketing content (such as podcasts, blogging, and social media) have become a considerable factor in the buying cycle.
Having a website alone isn’t the key to great results. Instead, it’s the ability turn your website into an inbound marketing machine meaning you have to attract those relevant searchers when they are searching for a solution you can provide. The best website wins the search and, in most cases, wins the business.
Your website has a hefty goal, and it needs to wear many hats. A website needs not just to exist; it needs to perform. It needs to attract visitors, educate them, prove your credibility, and eventually convince them to buy. But I know what you’re thinking - easier said than done.
You’ll also find in HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report that inbound marketing is more effective in reaching today’s buyer. Results show that inbound marketing has a 62% less cost per lead compared to outbound, or traditional, marketing.
What might not be apparently visible here is the role your website plays. It’s a big one! In most cases, traffic from blogs, social media, organic and paid search end up converting into leads or sales on your main website. Without a website acting as an online hub for attracting and converting business, it will be difficult to attract new business.
This is why having an effective website is so crucial and that it contains key elements to driving more traffic, leads, and sales. There are 4 categories and 25 essential components your website must have if you desire more traffic, more leads, and more sales.
Getting Found Online
- Building Inbound Links
- On-page SEO
- Title Tag & Meta Tags
- XML Sitemaps
- 301 Redirects
- First impression (look and feel)
- Consistency of look
- Relevant Images
- Easy and Intuitive Navigation
- Flash and Animation
- Educate and Offer Value
- Importance of Quality
- Avoid Corporate Gobbledygook
- Be Clear Not Clever
- Making Content Social and Shareble
- Other Forms of Content
- Customer Proof
- Effective Calls-to-Action
- CTA Positioning
- Landing Pages
Don't worry, you can read about each of the 25 components in more detail in our eBook.
The internet has changed everything. Internet usage is snowballing, and you need to be there when potential buyers come looking. A business website may be the most important factor in your inbound marketing strategy, but it’s more than just having a website, it’s the integration of SEO, social media, blogging, content, CTAs and landing pages that will drive traffic, leads and sales.
After all, it is these components that generate sales and revenue for your business. Inbound marketing is the key to filling your sales funnel with qualified leads and your website is where education, engagement, and conversion take place.
Follow these guidelines and you will soon have a great website that generates traffic, leads, and sales. But don’t stop there. A website never truly stops growing. Keep learning and stay tuned for more updates.