What do you want your website to do?
- Show Visitors that your Machine Shop is alive and doing well!
- Show list of Equipment and Capabilities
- Ensure anyone who searches for your Machine Shop can find your address, email and phone number contact informatino
- Show off past work to impress visitors and demonstrate CNC machinine, turning and other past work
- FAQ to help streamline responses to common questions
- Specific list of information required for anyone looking to submit an RFQ
- Photos to show off machines, shop floor, sample parts. Make these great photographs!
- Online store to launch a present or future product
Website Hosting Platform
For a website to be accessible on the Internet, two things have to happen. The website needs a host, or a place to store its information, and a domain, the name for your website so that other people can find it (for example, our domain is nyccnc.com.)
The great thing is, unless you plan on building your website from scratch and doing it all yourself, you don’t need to even think about these things. Countless services exist to streamline the website making process, here are just a few:
These “all in one” website services are great! You don’t have to have any website building experience or knowledge, and don’t have to pay the expensive bill of a professional web designer. Websites like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace let you pay a monthly fee to keep your website up, and beyond that you don’t have to worry about it. You decide the name and the content you post to the site, and they take care of all the technicalities for you, hassle free. Their systems are intuitive and easy to use, and make building the perfect website simple!
No matter how helpful your website is or how clean it looks, it isn’t doing you any good if no one can find it. Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a style of writing that incorporates common search terms for your topic into the text on the page. This allows engines such as Google and Bing to find your page more easily when someone searches terms similar to your page. It is important to incorporate a common term into the title or heading, as this is the primary source for search engines to check. Then, scatter the other terms throughout the article or page wherever you can place them without affecting readability. Remember, search engines don’t take into account punctuation so get creative!
For example, we want people looking for tips on how to build their website clicking on this page, and a possible search term would be “how to host a website.” So, we placed these buzzwords into the text (look in the second paragraph) to help guide search engines, and as a result, users, to our page.
What Pages Should You Have?
Users like user-friendly websites. It’s as easy as that. When building your website, have the customer in mind, keep the navigation clear and concise, and make it obvious where the information they need can be found.
Ideas for Navigation & Pages:
- Home Page – This is the landing page for your site. Every viewer is going to see it, so make sure it looks great. It should also provide a clear and concise “sneak peak” at the rest of the site; this page should let viewers know what your business is all about.
- Parts Gallery – Whether a gallery of all the parts you’ve made, or a page dedicated to the parts you sell it lets visitors (and potential customers, remember) know what your capabilities and specialties are based on your work.
- Equipment List – This should talk about what kinds of machines your shop has, again so that potential customers know your capabilities.
- Location – Just as it looks, this should let viewers know where you are located.
- Contact Us – Give users a page with all of your contact information. Email, phone, mailing address, the works. (another great place to shamelessly promote your social media!)
- Services – Possibly one of the most important pages, this should tell customers everything you have to offer. What kind of machine shop are you? Do you take job shop work, or do you specifically manufacture a set of products for your or another business? Do you specialize in a certain type of machining? This is the place for that information!
- Meet the Team – Definitely not a necessity, but this page adds a personal touch to the website with a short bio of your employees. It also provides a good place to advertise job openings.
- Request a Quote – A great idea for job shops, this page gives customers a rough idea on how much your work costs and lets them request a more detailed quote if they want to further pursue a relationship as a client.
Photos are an important part of any website. Make sure any pictures are relevant, it’s a good idea to use high quality pictures that show your shop or represent your work. It’s an even better idea to use eye-catching images that are from your shop, and avoid stock images altogether.
In today’s day and age, social media is unavoidable. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, not for businesses anyways. Social media presents a GREAT way to connect with customers, letting them know what’s going on in the shop or even progress on a part for a specific customer. While it’s a powerful tool for these reasons, social media is no stand-in for a website (and vice versa.) A website provides a dedicated outlet for all the nitty-gritty information and helpful facts about your business that would be inconvenient to both post and dig through social media to find. This being said, it’s never a bad idea to link one to the other. We link to all of our social media profiles on the banner at the bottom of the page, and our profiles provide a link to the website for anyone wanting more info.
Ongoing Maintenance: Keep Your Website Up to Date!
Website Content: Keep it fresh and up to date!
- Spend 10 minutes browsing through your site
- Update for new capabilities, contact information
- Change photos if possible
- Do this every 6 months!
Check Search Results:
- Google Search for your machine shop name
- Google Search for Machine Shops in your town (e.g. “machine shop Columbus, Ohio”)
- Compare your search results with a competitors results
- Do this every 6 months!