Websites are wonderful, because their appeal is broad.
Anyone can visit a website. Shouldn’t they be general enough to please everyone, answering any question a visitor might have?
In most industries, especially ones with very specific client bases such as manufacturing, a website should be more than a giant reservoir of information. Your businesses’ website should answer questions, of course, like what you do and how people can get in touch with you. But exactly how it answers those questions, and which additional questions it should answer can be determined by one thing: the intended audience.
What does it mean to “define the audience” for your manufacturing website? It’s the process of determining who is most likely to visit the website – and, critically, who you would like to visit it – and figuring out how best to talk to them. In some cases, one site might have more than one intended audience.
Manufacturers generally speak to one or more of the following audiences:
- Clients & End-Users
The targeted audience for your website should impact the way you build the site from day one. For example, if you’re building a site primarily because distributors need a better way to “vet” your brand when they’re visited by one of your sales reps, you’re going to provide a different experience than if you’re building a site where end-users can order finished products.
The audience for your website should impact a lot of things about the overall design of the site. Your sitemap is perhaps the most critically-affected; different audiences navigate sites in different ways. While you never want your site to be confusing for any visitor to navigate, you want to design it so that it’s particularly intuitive for the group you aim to service. Vendors, for example, might expect to see whole pages dedicated to things like “Capabilities” and “Technology.” Product end-users, instead, might expect to see big “Order Now” buttons.
Your audience will also dictate your content strategy, both visual and written. Certain audiences will like to see more photographs of your product and your manufacturing facility; others will want to find thoughtfully-written industry info in the form of white papers, blog posts, and pages on the site. This same thought process will change the way your website is marketed, both online and offline.
How do you determine the appropriate audience for your manufacturing website? There are a number of steps involved, but a great digital agency can help you get started. From buyer personas to the discovery process, Synchronicity specializes in getting manufacturers where they need to be online.
Give us a call today.