Six Rules For Your Web Site
1.Say What You Do. No rule is as important as this one, yet it is abused frequently among the online manufacturing community. List your core competencies, specialties, product lines, past project successes, and whatever else that differentiates you from the competition, and do it well.
2.Make Your Site RFQ-Strong. It simply isn't enough to use e-mail or phone contacts to get prospects connected to your business. Support your Sales/Request-For-Quote processes through file transfer and other tools. Give prospects a reason to contact you to find out what you can do for them.
3.Use Graphics Well. Sure, you should be proud of your equipment. But remember that most buyers either already know what a Haas, a Mazak or a Mori look like, or they don't care. It's about what you do, not what you have. (See rule 1.) Instead, focus first on graphics that show examples of your work, show your prowess in making complex products efficiently, and adequately portray your skills.
4.Corporate Information. Corporate info should be secondary. Sure, it can be important to some visitors, but, in terms of your site's strength, job openings, directions and the company history are secondary to educating prospects about what you do.
5.Lose The Flash. You've no doubt seen those introductory splash screens on plenty of Web sites. They're often animated, flashy and, to research-minded manufacturing prospects, annoying as heck. Ask yourself, if they're that useful, why do they all have a "skip intro" option? If you have one, kill it. If you don't, don't make one.
6.Meta Tags & Robots. As search engines become more efficient and effective at automatically indexing sites via "robots" and "spiders," sound use of keywords and meta tags will become more important. You don't have to be a Webmaster to manipulate these features to your advantage. For more, visit www.searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/meta.html or searchengineforums.com.
Focusing on these guidelines can improve your Web site's effectiveness in serving the manufacturing markets and properly marketing yourself to Web-enabled purchasing prospects.
Job Shop Site Of The Month
This month, OTW's spotlight falls on Minnesota job shop Checker Machine. Checker's site serves many of its business goals, including a handy "Quick Quote" utility and comprehensive "Photo Album" of parts and projects. Excellent lists of its equipment, facilities and product lines round out the solid online presence.
To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.