2D Sales Drawings
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In this 6 part series of blog posts we’ll present an up-to-date overview of how to use product CAD models to radically increase manufacturing sales.
The 6 parts are:
Below is Part 3 – the other parts will follow sequentially in the coming weeks.
Part 3: How to DO IT RIGHT – The Role of Search
The industrial buying process has changed and to remain in contention industrial suppliers MUST at minimum ADAPT to it. If they not only ADAPT but go a step further, they can GAIN BUSINESS ADVANTAGE and radically increase their industrial sales. The role of SEARCH is key for these two reasons:
Once a required product is found it must be selected or configured before it can be ‘designed in’ or otherwise specified (we’ll cover the detail of that in part 4) but only after that is it likely to be purchased (we’ll cover the detail of that in Part 5). The remainder of this Part 3 will cover Search in more detail.
1. SEARCH ENGINES – Industrial searches usually start with a search engine. That leads to specific industrial website pages. Think about the search process your target customers (those who spec-in or order your industrial parts) follow and what content you need to offer to be genuinely helpful at each stage. What search text do they type in to search engines? What results do they see? How do they then refine their search text based on the initial results? What results do they see? Where does you content rank? Obviously you need to rank highly, especially for ‘long tail’ terms such as the part numbers of your products. Search engines make money when paid ads are clicked so over time they have increased how much exposure they give to paid ads while still trying to ensure a good user experience. However, as the heat maps of eye focus points and clicks show, user behavior continues to favor natural or organic search results over paid ads. At least three things contribute to how your pages rank in search engine results:
For a good intro to SEO go here but please be aware that there are various technical issues to watch out for, for example, don’t get this issue wrong.
2. LOCAL SITE SEARCH. People reach a website page via a search engine or by clicking on a link or typing in your website URL. They may reach exactly the right product page, your home page or some other page of your website. That’s when local website search and suggestions become useful to help them refine their product search to be more or less specific. The point is that you’ve attracted them to your site and you want to keep them there. You need to maximize the value of the visitors by ensuring it is easy and intuitive to find what they are looking for. This is a broad site usability issue but here we’re focusing on the local search component of usability. Having got the visitor to your website offering good local search is preferable to having them return to a search engine where your pages have to compete with those of other suppliers. You can use search engines locally by setting them us to just provide keyword search results found on your website but that is a primitive approach. Today B2B users expect a variety of local search capabilities including Keyword, Parametric, Graphical and Faceted Search.
The easiest way to provide local search capabilities and SEO is via an industrial specific website catalog that optimizes SEO. The catalog must also offer an excellent user experience like that of B2C sites users are accustomed to. Whether you use paid search or just organic search, every product should have a product detail page in the search engine indexes. SEO optimizing, dynamic page generating catalogs, like CDS Catalog are easily cost effective once you need more than 50 product pages. Below 50 pages it can be cheaper to build and maintain HTML pages manually, beyond 50 individual product pages it becomes cheaper to automate page creation from a product database. (By the way, 50 pages may be just 50 different sizes or variants of the same product because you want SEO on each size or variant). The usability/user experience depends on the functionality and how easy it is to use. In contrast, POOR functionality and/or POOR content richness won’t work. For example, read this GTS case study to see the radically increased sales by improving the user experience.
PROOF IT WORKS and other references:
“The site launched last November and I can say that it paid for itself in new business within 3 months. This has yielded the fastest and best ROI of any marketing investment I have ever made!” – Karl Ganshirt, President, GTS
“In just the first 4 months we’ve received enough online orders to pay for the cost of the site. The assistance of the site has also helped our salespeople close other offline orders so we are on track to achieve the ROI we hoped for.” – Sal Garbarino, Sales and Marketing Manager, RTS Cutting Tools