One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your company’s website is failing to keep it updated with fresh, relevant content. By offering a depth of up-to-date technical resources on your site you will not only boost keyword-rich content for better search engine optimisation, but it will also help attract the attention of an already industry-savvy audience.
In this article, you’ll find why high-quality technical information should be playing a part in your engineering firm’s online content creation strategy - and four easy ways that you can do it.
Why is technical content so critical for your engineering website?
Thanks to the internet, an interesting shift has happened in regards to the kind of information your customers or prospects seek.
Previously, you would purchase a product or service and then receive further information about how it works, such as a manual, resources or product data sheet, once you had already made your investment. Now, consumers have the ability to search, source and review as much information as possible before making a purchase decision or engaging your services.
In her book, Content Strategy, author Rahel Bailie, a recognised thought leader and one of the top content strategists in the industry, encourages businesses to view this sort of content as an important asset. “Potential customers see, and judge, your content assets before they ever see your physical assets. They search to compare product specifications or service offerings. They look through your documentation to see how a product works”, notes Rachel.
This means the value in presenting technical information has now shifted from the later end of the sales funnel, to much earlier on. Consumers are using the available technical information you provide them to make a judgement on your service offerings, your level of expertise, and the level of technical advice they are likely to receive from your company.
Including technical documentation and product-specific information on your website is therefore now becoming a much more important part of the marketing process for engineers and manufacturers. It’s important not to look at it with the view that you are giving away product secrets or company IP. Instead, consider it as an opportunity to promote your company as a leader in your field, and therefore the right firm for a prospect’s project.
So, how do you do it? Here are four easy ways that you can include more technical content on your engineering firm's website:
1. White papers
A white paper is a document compiled by your own company that promotes or highlights a particular solution, product or service by using persuasive and factual evidence. It is not a flashy marketing brochure, rather it outlines more technical details of a solution your services can provide, recent innovations or industry-relevant issues.
Some recent examples of white papers featured on Engineering and Technology Magazine include:
- How to get the best results from rapid injection moulding
- The evolution of digital prototyping
- Exploring how unified communication and collaboration transforms roles in manufacturing
- Efficient testing in aerospace electronics
If you’re looking for some topic ideas, have a look at Engineering White Papers. There are plenty more examples from different engineering fields that may spark some inspiration for your own company white papers.
2. Data sheets & application specific content:
A data sheet is a summary of the performance or technical characteristics of a machine or particular component. More technically-minded prospects will use this information to help them decide whether your product or service will be suitable for their requirements. The majority of readers will scan to pick out the main points, so focus on including the most essential information.
Interbloc is a good example of a New Zealand business who lists a library of technical guides on their website to help users better understand and use their product.
3. Slideshows and presentations
Engineering is an industry that seems to be particularly fond of conferences and presentations. If you’ve spoken at an event and have high-quality presentations that demonstrate your expertise in your chosen field, include these as links or resources on your website.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to prepare a presentation yourself, you can still include links to other relevant talks or documents that your audience may find informative. Provide a summary or opinion piece in your own words in relation to the presentation to add some value.
If you’re not sure where to start, Engineering.com has put together some steps to creating an effective technical presentation that you may find helpful. Here's one example of a well presented slideshow below - you can find more good examples on SlideShare.
4. Blog or online articles
It’s likely that you have plenty of case studies or project examples that can be repurposed as blog posts to demonstrate your services through a story. Use these to create informative articles that address the challenges or concerns of your prospective audience.
Here are few blog post ideas to get you started:
- Recent projects or particularly challenging elements of a project
- Profile particular machinery, tools or processes you use in your line of engineering
- Tool development - have you created a customised solution for your practice?
- Industry updates, recent innovations or technical developments
- Break up existing white papers into more accessible, shorter articles
- Recent legislation or relevant news
If you need a bit more guidance, WorkflowMax writer, Steff Green, has put together a whole bunch more - 28 and a ½ ideas to be exact - for blog posts. Plus - here's 12 more blog ideas for engineers. So you are bound to find something to get you started.
The time to establish your engineering firm online is NOW
Given that there is still reasonably limited competition in the engineering space online, having a website that features valuable technical content has the potential to grab the attention and influence the opinion of decision-makers who are seeking out your services.
Technical content is also going to help your cause when it comes to search engine optimisation because it opens up more opportunities to include relevant keyword-rich content, making it much easier for you to be found online in the first place.
Are you using technical content as a strategic marketing tool on your website? What kind of response have you had to offering additional technical information to your customers?