Before the internet became what it is today, manufacturers would rely heavily on their conventional marketing funnels such as trade shows, conferences, or advertisements to generate leads. A website was generally thought of as a ‘nice to have’ but unnecessary. With the rapid advancement of technology, manufacturers are starting to realize that websites are essential to a business’ success. Why? Studies have shown that having a strong online presence is the best way to generate leads. This starts with a great website.
Before we get into the examples of great website designs, let’s take a look at features that actually make for a great website:
- Clear and concise navigation
- Great imagery, videos and graphics
- Clear Call-to-actions that meet the business and user goals
- Path leading to conversion
- Great Hero image and messaging (first impressions are everything)
- Opportunities to learn more
- Content and design related to the target audience
- Clean responsive design
- Website load time
Why is it important to have a good website loading speed?
53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Load speed is one of the most important factors to achieving a website's goals. For reference, we are using GTmetrix to measure website performance. It reflects how fast the page loads for users, and how well it's built for performance. Statistics say that the ideal website load time is 2 to 5 seconds, however, each second beyond 2 seconds results in greater bounce rates.
One of the industry leaders in security aerospace manufacturing, Lockheed Martin does an outstanding job in its website design. Throughout the pages on their site they have a consistent, interactive, and clean design with clear CTAs that direct the user to the ideal page.
Designing a mega menu with numerous pages can be challenging to many designers, but they do an exceptional job of making their mega menu user-friendly as it is clear and easy to navigate.
What also stands out about the Lockheed Martin website design is their product page and the interactivity on that page. Interactivity provides the user with the ability to click and interact with sections on a website which gives it life. Here, they do a notable job of this by giving the user an opportunity to click and interact with three things: viewing the specs of the 3D helicopter image, looking at graphics of the helicopter performing different maneuvers, and a video of the helicopter in action.
Lockheed Martin homepage has an impressive GTMetrix load speed of 2.8 seconds and it remains under 3 seconds. They do a great job of optimizing speed and performance which gives them the best ability to convert.
Caterpillar is one of the top manufacturers of construction equipment. To go along with their website's clear CTAs and seamless navigation, Caterpillar does a fantastic job of strategically guiding the user to convert. On their equipment page, they designed cards with great imagery for each of their products. After the user clicks on the machine that they are interested in, a list of specific machines under that machine umbrella displays. This is where you can view the specifications and request a price. Reducing the amount of thinking for a user is essential for improving conversion rates. This is clear, simple and easy.
Caterpillar has a below-average load speed of 5.4 seconds which may affect conversions. However, since CAT is such a dominant leader in the construction manufacturing industry, prospects will have more patience with their load time.
Loupe’s mission is to revolutionize the automation industry by unlocking machine potential. Upon landing on the site, Loupe does a great job of making their brand personable by incorporating their core values and place of work as a video in their hero banner. Once they brief the user with their mission statement and what they do in the first section, they then go on to show reputable brands that they have already built successful partnerships with. This creates a form of trust and reliability with the user.
They also do a great job of telling a story throughout their page design guiding the user to the contact form which is their form of conversion. The CTA’s are clear, navigation is simple with no dropdowns, and they provide high quality images for all of the products that they’ve worked with.
All in all, Loupe has a fantastic website design.
The Loupe homepage has an average load speed of 3.4 seconds. Not the fastest time that we have seen but considering the hero banner is a video, this is an impressive load time.
4. CST Tires
CST tires is one of the world leaders in tire manufacturers. The hero provides great imagery with a tire-related CTA replacing the generic ‘products’ CTA. This is key because it tells the user exactly what they are searching for. They also do a great job here of including a short concise selling proposition in their hero text.
On their user-friendly product page, they display important specs for each tire based on their target audience's wants and needs. This can make conversions easier on a user as they don’t want to guess what they are buying.
CST Tires has an above-average load speed of 2.5 seconds. Although they have a homepage with many images which could be a problem for some websites, they do a great job of compressing their images for optimal performance.
Lear is a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems. Right off the bat, Lear displays an impressive futuristic type video representing the innovation in their company. But before throwing products at the user, they describe their company and culture before leading the user into their product catalogue in the following section. Once on the product page, tabs are designed for the user to easily jump to their desired section which prevents unnecessary scrolling.
The navigation is clear and it also gives the user an opportunity to define themselves in the top right. Whether they are investors or suppliers, clicking this will lead them into their desired user flow.
The overall design is clean with a lot of white space with minimal clutter.
Lear's homepage has an underwhelming GTMetrix load speed of 6 seconds. Similar to Loupe, Lear struggles to optimize their video and images for best possible performance which will have a negative impact on prospect experience.
Let’s get your website to the next level
As you can see from the website examples above, a great user-friendly website design could be the difference between making a sale and losing a prospect. If you are a manufacturer looking to stand out from your competitors, a great website design should be the first place you should start. Here at BlackBean, we can help your business since we have the expertise and skills to make your user-friendly website a reality. Reach out to us so we can help your business today!