Volume IV, Issue XX

What Your Web Site Should SAY Far and away, the single most common complaint I hear in my work is about the woeful lack of usable information in machine tool builders’ and suppliers’ Web sites that can be found by prospects. Sadly, this is just as true today—and repeated more often—as it was 3 years ago.

Columns From: 10/1/2003 Modern Machine Shop, ,

What Your Web Site Should SAY

Far and away, the single most common complaint I hear in my work is about the woeful lack of usable information in machine tool builders’ and suppliers’ Web sites that can be found by prospects. Sadly, this is just as true today—and repeated more often—as it was 3 years ago. As I write this, I’m pondering just two of the most recent of these objections.

“Machine manufacturers need to have better product Web pages linked to (from) you,” writes one MMS Online user. Two days ago, another told me on the phone, “I found more information in their ad than on (their) Web site.”

It’s true that these sites, in general, have a ways to go. But the suppliers to the industry aren’t the only ones facing an online information crisis; the Web sites of shops and plants—quite possibly your Web site—come up just as short when visited by prospects looking for sources, technology alternatives and partners.

Part of the problem is “parts.” To artisans and masters of the machining disciplines, the product made is the end that justifies the means.The same goes for machine tool builders; in most cases, it is the machine that is the focus, the center of attention and the source of pride.

But think about your own experiences: When you’re looking at product-focused Web sites and all you see are specs, dimensions and product-specific criteria, then that’s all there is to go by. And what a shame that is, because then the value is deflected away from what can and should differentiate one technology company from another—the ability to make you better at what you do.

Now think of your own site. If your business is being judged against two others for the same project, and all the prospective buyer finds on all three sites is the equipment each of you has, the tolerances you can hold and how long you’ve been in business, then that’s all you’ll ever be judged by.

So, what do you say with your Web site to influence the unseen prospects researching their options online? How do you ensure that this channel is being used most effectively in today’s hyper-competitive conditions?

In the next OTW Infoletter from MMS, we’ll provide some advice and inspiration for capitalizing on the behaviors of buyers online, and we’ll look at some ways to point you toward harvesting those behaviors most effectively through your Web site.

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