How Dealers and Factories Can Attract Operators Online
There's no doubt that having a web site has become a necessary marketing tool for every foodservice equipment and supplies dealer and manufacturer. The question that still stumps many suppliers, though, is what should they really be offering to attract visitors to their sites?
What we want to build is an “operator magnet.” The first step forward is to determine who is our target demographic audience. Obviously, it's operators but, more specifically, what types of operators? Independent operators tend to have very different equipment and service needs than chain or noncommercial customers. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the content and layout of an equipment supplier’s Home page speaks directly to the target demographic, so that these potential customers instantly recognize your site as being relevant when they arrive. If your business serves multiple channels, you may want to consider designing your site’s Home page in sections, with each dedicated to a specific market segment, so that content is immediately available to each particular audience.
If you're trying to promote your company’s products and/or services, think of your best elevator pitch and cut it in half for the initial presentation of your selling proposition on site pages. The attention span of a web site visitor is very limited – typically one to three minutes per visit -- and you've got just a few seconds to grab operators’ and specifiers’ attention before they click to the next page or, in a worst case scenario, to your competitors’ sites. Of course, equipment suppliers will want to include more in-depth information on whatever product, service or industry issue you're presenting so there's a reason for your site’s visitors to stick around once you've gained their interest.
If your focus is on providing product information, be sure to have it laid out in a clear format with every supporting document you have available including spec sheets, instructional manuals, installation diagrams, CAD drawings and photos and/or renderings. The more content you provide which is easily accessible, the more likely your visitors will find your site useful, which leads to an increased likelihood they'll choose to purchase your products and services.
The final tip for this post is to ensure that the business information you're presenting on your site can be accessed without the need to fill out forms or register first. Make your potential customers’ product research experience fast, efficient and useful. You'll not only attract operators and specifiers to your site in the first place, you'll also bring them back time and time again.