How to Attract and Retain More Customers by Making Your Manufacturing Website a Hub for Useful Product Documentation That Can Be Read, Shared and Printed by Your End-Users:
Product documentation is a vitally important component to include on any manufacturing website. Rich content and informative-guides improve your customers’ experience. They make your manufacturing website a trusted hub for useful information, and will reduce the number of support tickets you’ll receive.
Clear, sharable documentation can also provide a great boost to your manufacturing website’s SEO and authority. Consistent, high-value information establishes your manufacturing business as an authority figure, which is not only appealing for customers, but to similar or vertical businesses in your industry too, such as your distributors and retailers.
Use These Tips to Improve Your Product Documentation and Give Your Online Presence a Boost:
Don’t Skimp on the Basics
Be careful about the assumptions you make about your audience. While assuming that your audience has a base level of competency in some areas, such as basic computer skills, for example, you don’t want to alienate or overwhelm them with complexity. Explain anything that can sound like jargon, or better yet, avoid jargon altogether.
Also consider that you audience likely includes two to three different buyer-personas. This could include end-users, distributors, and retail-buyers, for example. Consider why they might be visiting you site, and what kind of information and explanations they are seeking. You could lead with product features and benefits followed by a Read More call-to-action button or link that leads to deeper product specs and information. A good first start is identifying your online buyer’s journey.
People like pictures. We’re hardwired to be visual. And when you’re explaining technical concepts, sometimes an image can cover a lot more ground than an all-text explanation. So, use photos, diagrams, infographics, screenshots or even videos when relevant. They’ll help set your documentation apart, break up large blocks of information, and make your content far more interesting and engaging.
Offer Examples and Case Studies
Whatever helps your audience better understand your product is a tactic worth trying. And people respond well to examples. If it makes sense for your product, offer ample examples—such as end-user case studies—to provide your audience with a clear walk-through of your product’s performance and how it benefits your customers.
Clean Up Your Manufacturing Website’s User Interface
After the quality of your manufacturing website’s content, the second most important part of your product documentation is a clear user interface or UI. UI involves the layout, formatting, and usability of your website. Your menus and links should be easy to find. Navigation should be intuitive. While a creative layout can help your brand stand out, the core pages of your website should always be easy to find.
For product guides and instructions, a table of contents outlining the main categories or commonly asked questions can be an effective format. Hyperlink your table of contents so users can skip to the exact information they need. Take care to use headers and sub-headers that clearly describe what’s included in each section.
Provide a PDF Option
It’s best to showcase your products and content directly on a web page, but offering a downloadable PDF or print option is common practice for manufacturing companies. PDF files are easy to download for offline access and are already formatted for users to print. Ensure that any PDF files look consistent with the rest of your website. Keep to the same theme and colour scheme, and include your company logo, website address, contact information and any other branding in your PDF files. After all, you want your readers to know how to reach out to you when they’re ready to buy.
If your site runs on WordPress, you can also use plugins to give your visitors the option to save a web page as a PDF or make your pages printer-friendly. Documentor, Print Post and Page, and WP-Print are popular PDF and printing plugins.
Consider adding an email to option as well. Your readers may be one of several decision makers tasked with product research. Making it easy for him or her to share your content with others will be appreciated.
Get the Right Help for Your Website and Online Marketing Strategy
If you’re in the process of building your website, or would like help improving your current manufacturing website, reach out to our team at McAllister Marketing for a no-obligation consultation. Our team is comprised of web developers, designers, online marketing strategists, bloggers and SEO specialists working together to help our clients attract, convert and retain more customers and grow their businesses. You’ll appreciate our ROI focused approach and how easy we are to work with.