Launchpad websites could be a game-changer for your manufacturing website design.
Built-and-done websites are a thing of the past. Continuous website improvement is where it's at now. This method is becoming an increasingly popular option for industrial and manufacturing businesses looking to redesign or update their website. As you consider your business strategy and operations, you may have identified your website as a weak spot. Maybe you've realized that your website should be working harder for your company. A poor website leaves sales opportunities and revenue on the table.
Traditionally, manufacturing website design and redesign processes have involved a ton of front-end planning and strategizing, focusing on getting every detail perfect before launch, which delays revenue as you wait for the final version to go live. This approach has many problems, but the primary issue is that these websites are designed based on theory and best practices, not actual user behavior or insights. There has to be a better way to build a website, one that will achieve the results and growth you want. The solution is continuous, ongoing improvements.
Continuously improving a website combats some of the core problems that traditional website designs create. By taking this approach, you place less pressure on creating the perfect website upfront. Instead, you’re focused on creating a minimally viable product — known as a launchpad site — that is easily tweaked, improved, and optimized as data and analytics are available on how visitors use and engage with your website.
The less rigid approach to website design for manufacturers is much more efficient, and it typically costs two to three times less than an average traditional design (and reduces the time it takes to get a new site launched). This creates exponential value when you consider the total cost of ownership.
Does this approach seem intriguing? If you’re interested in understanding how continuous website improvements could work for your next industrial website design project, keep reading.
What is Continuous Website Improvement?
Continuous website improvement focuses on building a high-impact, high-performing website in a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional website. By making continuous improvements, you create an MVP (minimum viable product) website that allows your business to launch in the shortest time.
The highest value pages are created first. These pages do one or more of the following:
- Drive a majority of your website traffic
- Convert website traffic into leads and customers
- Nurture traffic into understanding your product/service and business
Once these pages are live, you'll be able to use web analytics to collect data on their performance (what's working to convert visitors, what visitors interact with the most, etc.) and make adjustments for maximum impact. These insights will continue to inform ongoing website design decisions and changes.
With a launchpad website in place, you'll be able to add new high-quality pages incrementally. This is a great fit for manufacturing businesses because you can work from an ongoing wish list of items to make your website the best it can be.
A good rule of thumb with launchpad website design is to follow the 80/20 rule. You should stay focused on the 20% of times that will produce 80% of the value and impact for your website visitors. These changes should be high-priority when designing and building your website design.
Launchpad Site Design Methods
There’s not necessarily a “one-size-fits-all” solution to launchpad website designs for manufacturers, but there are some baseline approaches that are good starting points.
You might be in a position where your website already performs relatively well, or maybe it hasn’t been too long since your last website redesign launch, but it needs a few tweaks to bring it up-to-date. A website refresh might be a good fit for you. Rather than a complete overhaul, you could implement a few big items on your wishlist to bring your website back in alignment with your strategy.
If you’re a business looking for a fast redesign, the kick-start approach might be a better fit. This method leverages pre-built assets, website templates, and pre-written content to launch a brand-new website. This can drive value for your business early and save time but does have limitations when it comes to functionalities and interactivity. But, it’s important to remember you can always work those items into a continuous improvement plan post-launch.
Launch & Expand
For larger, more complex websites that need to undergo a massive redesign, the "launch and expand" approach works best. This method breaks the launch into phases. Rather than having the whole site done by a specific date, you break the project into stages, focusing on a different area of the website in each. This compartmentalizes the process, lets you focus on the highest priorities in stages, and works through the website design more efficiently. With this approach, you must know how many phases will be required and what will happen in each before the website design begins.
Achieve Maximum Value & Drive Growth Through Your Manufacturing Website Design Process
No matter what approach you choose to take to complete your website update, one thing that must result is a website with value. As a business leader, you know it’s important to reduce friction in business operations and offer maximum value — your website is no different. When looking to drive value in your website, a great place to start is defining your website design goals clearly. Complete our website design goals worksheet to create a clear picture of what you’re looking to achieve, then let’s connect to work through how to get your goals accomplished.