An industrial website no longer meeting your needs is due for a redesign. There are many reasons you might take on a revamp project, including that the site looks outdated or unattractive. The focus of production may change over time, or customer bases may expand. No matter your reason, occasional redesigns are a necessity. If your pages no longer represent who you are as a brand, updating is a must.
U.S. industry accounts for about 18.2% of goods produced in the world. However, there is a lot of competition from other countries. Staying on top of your game includes keeping your website current. If you want to stand out to potential clients, you must present a professional image and a site with a good user experience (UX).
You’ll know it’s time for a redesign when your industrial website no longer meets the needs of your business or customers. Figuring out where to start is challenging. Rather than flailing around, keep the following 10 factors in mind when initiating a reworking of your site.
1. Adopt a Color Palette
Ideally, your brand has a style guide and a color palette used in all communications with the outside world. What happens if those shaded don’t convey what you want? Colors have a specific psychology to them. A dark blue shows you are dependable, while red elicits excitement. Figure out what message you want people to gather from your brand and choose appropriate hues.
If you go with a new palette for your website, use the colors consistently in a rebrand. Otherwise, stick to the same one you’ve used that people already associate with your brand. It’s OK to stick to your tried-and-true choices and add in a pop of new color to a website redesign. A call to action (CTA) button in a contrasting shade adds interest and draws attention.
Dudek & Bock produces custom springs for several purposes, including for other manufacturers. It needs to get the message across that its springs are reliable. It uses a deep blue, which is reassuring and regal.
You’ll see this color used by financial institutions and universities. The hue says it’s been around for a while and knows what it’s doing. You can trust the company. It is the same color you’ll see on the sign outside its factory or on correspondence from them.
2. Pick a Responsive Theme
Whether you go with a popular content management system (CMS) and choose a premium theme, or you stick with HTML 5 design, think about how the site appears on mobile. Do the images resize to a view fitting within a smaller screen? Is the text readable? How do the interactive features convert on mobile?
The majority of people who own smartphones use them to surf the internet at least part of the time. More people than ever access your site from their mobile gadgets. If your current design is desktop first, it is time for a redesign.
3. Add Lead Generators
If your goal is collecting information from new leads, you must add lead generation capabilities to your pages. You’ll need a strong call to action and thorough multivariate testing to see which elements work best at capturing conversions.
Add enough fields to gather the information you need. However, don’t make the form so complex people hesitate to fill it in. Keep in mind some will access your site via mobile, so keep registration as simple as possible for those users. Others don’t like sharing highly personal information or a telephone number. Keep some fields optional.
MacAllister Rentals places its call to action and form in the right sidebar. The phrase “Get a Quote” encourages users to move forward. It asks for some basic details, keeping the form short and to the point. The clickable button is in a different color than the rest of the color scheme, drawing attention.
If your goal is lead generation, keeping the enticement in the visitor’s line of vision improves your chances of gaining new contacts.
4. Secure Your Site
Google now throws up a warning if your site isn’t behind a secure socket layer. Getting the warning may prevent people from visiting your page. Fortunately, this is a very easy fix. All you need to do is get an SSL certificate and make a few minor changes. If you’re on a WordPress platform, register and then change your address to https://yoursite.com under Settings/General.
Depending on the coding language on your site, you may need to update internal links and repoint people to the correct prefix. However, updating to a secure site is a fairly easy process requiring less than an hour of your time.
5. Revamp Navigation Hierarchy
Over time, you add content and grow your site. Unfortunately, this means the categories you used when first launching your website probably no longer apply. Step back and rethink your navigation hierarchy. Does it reflect the current needs of your customers? How can you direct your buyers better to the areas they most need?
Keep your main categories to about five. You can always add subcategories if you need to. Think of your main ones as hallways to rooms where your other information resides. Make the descriptions clear, so people know what is on the page they choose.
Roplast Industries manufactures polyethylene films and bags. It has several different types of clients due to the variety of products it creates. Note how the navigation falls into four main categories. Hover over any of the buttons, and additional categories drop down if available. Under the link “Reusable Grocery Bags,” you find subcategories of “Soft Loop Handles,” “Bring Back Bags” and “Restaurant Carryout.”
6. Change Headlines
The headline is the first thing people see either on your page or in search engines. One might argue it is one of the most important SEO elements on your page. However, it should also grab your reader and hook them into delving into your content. A good headline is descriptive. It’s long enough to get the point across, but short enough to fit on a single line.
It’s vital to have a page hierarchy. Your headlines should be bolder and larger than your subheadings, and your body text should be smaller than either.
Carefully consider your current headings on each page of your site and figure out which ones need improvement. If you can’t undertake an expensive redesign right now, starting with just tweaking your headlines is one of the best things you can do to reduce bounce rates.
7. Update Images
If you used generic stock images when first designing your website, they might not fully reflect your company. It’s much better to hire a professional photographer or enlist the help of your graphic design team for updated photos. The visuals on your website should be highly specific to not only your industry but also your business.
Users respond best to an image of your workers on the line rather than a general close-up of a machine part that may not even relate to what you do. The outside of your building is unique to your business. Use it in your header background rather than a generic shot. Think about all the ways photos speak to people and how you can utilize them to customize your site.
DEL Corp. offers oilfield tank systems. Note the slideshow of its products with beautiful blue skies and perfect lighting. These images are specific to the company and highlight what it does best. They are unique images no competitor has. Go to any of its product pages, and you see additional photos. The colors are bright and vivid, and images showcase each product in its best light. You get views from different angles for a variety of products.
Go to the sales team page, and you see images of each salesperson along with a few details about them and their experience in the industry. The site is unique to this company. No competitor can simply copy its design and confuse customers.
8. Improve CTAs
Your calls to action are what drive people to share their information with you. CTAs are vital to a good redesign. Think about what value you offer to customers, and consider the goal of each page on your site. What CTA ties into your objective for each section? It’s fine to have the same target for multiple pages, but some won’t have the same one.
For example, a contact page may have the goal of getting the user to contact the company for initial screening. A blog page has a different objective of educating the lead. Know your purpose for each page and how your CTA ties into it.
Look at the language of your CTAs. Are the words active? Can you shorten the command? Is the invitation conversational? Analyze the placement of the button, the color and even the size. How does it work on mobile devices? Is it large enough to tap easily? Does the element contrast with the rest of the page and draw the eye?
9. Plug in Relevant Video
Technology advances rapidly, and the stale designs of yesterday no longer interest users. With faster mobile connectivity and higher screen resolutions, most people can stream video without issue. Adding a video background or informational element offers another way to engage users as they land on your page.
Wyzowl’s 2020 State of Video Marketing Report surveyed 656 marketing professionals and consumers. It discovered that around 92% of marketers use video as an important part of their strategies. The most common type was an explainer, at 72%. Video is another way to put a more modern twist on your site while showing off the uniqueness of your brand.
GMI Group uses a video in its hero header background. It highlights some of the processes of its machines, show individuals doing custom work and offers a shot of its warehouse. The video is highly relevant to the type of work it does. It layers the headline over the video, highlighting the fact it’s known for integrity and expertise.
One thing this design does particularly well is overlaying the images with a blue tone. The blue cast matches the color palette of the site and helps the video integrate seamlessly with the rest of the aesthetics.
10. Beef up Content
In a survey of 3,400 marketers, HubSpot uncovered around 60% pointed to content marketing as either “extremely important” or “very important” to their promotional strategy. One thing many industrial websites lack is updated unique content. How do you provide value to your target audience without giving away industry secrets?
Take a step back and think about the questions you regularly receive about how to use your products, the best ways to ship them and so on. The questions your customers come to you with would likely make good videos or articles to share on your website.
Adding content gives you something to share on social media and drives traffic to your site. You want customers to think of you as a first-stop resource for all information in your niche.
Go back to older content and make sure it is relevant to your customers. Anything they really wouldn’t care about should be taken down. Hire a professional editor to fix typos and grammatical errors. Your goal is to appear as an authority and professional in your field. Lower-quality work isn’t impressive to anyone.
Study Competitors for Inspiration
If you’re still not sure what changes you’d like to make to your industrial website, spend time perusing your competitors’ websites. Take notes about what you like and don’t like. The goal is to come up with something different that incorporates trends and levels of design others have.
Once you’ve studied those in your sector, branch out to other types of websites outside your niche. What types of design elements do they include? Which features might work for your industry?
Finally, think about the needs of your users. When someone lands on your site, what are they looking for? Move important elements up and remove clutter people don’t click. Keep the design tight, focused and helpful, and you really can’t go wrong. A redesign shouldn’t be an occasional aggravation but an ongoing tweaking that keeps your site helpful and current.