It’s not a surprise after meeting with an oil and gas executive or engineer, that they like to remind me that their oil and gas website design is only meant to showcase their work.
They believe that their website only serves as a means to show-off their projects or to legitimize their business.
They don’t believe that their website can be used as a lead generation tool. The problem is the misconception of what lead generation means for this industry.
Lead Generation does not mean email marketing or Pay-Per-Click advertising.
The assumption is that leads only come through a handshake and a face-to-face meeting and not a Google search.
But that is a myth. Well, myth might be a strong word. More like a misconception.
There are people out there that need your service. They are out there looking for you. It maybe a something that you can help them with and they just hadn’t heard about you yet. It may be a proposal request that they want to give you but didn’t know where to send it. It might be your new, best employee curious how to send a resume.
So what are some quick things you can check to make sure your oil and gas website is making a difference.
1. Problem: No calls to action.
We like to ask clients to tell us what is the most important part of their business. What is the service that you are most known for? Make that part of your call to action. If you have a list of projects or case studies that can highlight your past work, that might be a call to action.
Is your phone number readily available? Do you have multiple locations? Guide them to a specific number to call.
Do have a special report or whitepaper that your team prepared that you can share?
Can your website be used for recruitment? If so, where can you direct them?
Is it a tool for shareholders or investors? Then make sure you give them specific call to action to reach you or download the latest prospectus.
Is there a product specification page that you know your customers are interested in learning more about? Send them to a form to contact you, your autoresponder can include this report.
Solution: Guide your customers to the next step. Make it obvious.
2. Problem: It’s all about you.
I remind many clients not to put their mission statement on their homepage. It is not about you. It is about your customers. Start there.
Ask yourself why they need you or what differentiates your company from your competition. It’s certainly not your quality service. Could it be your 10 year safety track record? Could it be your patented system for processing? Do you have a history of work that your customers rave about? Put that on your homepage!
Solution: Make it about them!
3. Problem: Missing team and individual photos.
Nothing instills trust like photos of people. I mean your people and your team. With today’s modern marketing, humanizing a cold business with ‘pics of your peeps’ can help differentiate you. I know, you think maybe, who want wants to see a bunch of boring engineers or construction guys while at work? Your customers! That’s who! They want to know who they will be working with.
We know it’s a little more work but these don’t have to be professionally done. Okay, some don’t have to be professionally done. I want a few.
But some photos of your team during community service or of them at the latest finished project can show your company’s positive attitude. Is there something interesting that can be doing like using a big digger? I like to see everyone in their safety helmets and the company logo. I like to see the team wearing in front of the company sign or a machine emblazoned with your company motto. Even the most mundane can be interesting. Take a fresh look around the office.
Solution: Show your team at work.
4. Problem: Project photos are too small.
Using your iPhone is okay to take photos of your team, your construction, or a product but try to make sure that the photos are large enough to fit an entire desktop screen. Send your web designer the best resolution you have. It may not be used each time on each page but we want to make sure the photos are clear and crisp.
Yes, many will use a mobile device but those photos should be clear as well, just compressed to download fast.
If your budget allows, we recommend a professional who understands lighting and positioning and can help you stage your work.
What is not helpful are project photos that do not put you in the best light. And by light, I don’t mean the sun behind you. I mean the junk your workers left behind. If you have photos of a sloppy workplace or environment, consider whether or not that is something to show your customers.
Solution: Take some time and make sure the photos are of your best work.
5. Problem: Your SEO is not working for you.
Yes, you can show on the search results for a specific construction or delivery process or a certain product. It’s possible and can be relatively easy depending on the competition. But if your website does not include any of those specific key phrases that your customer are interested in, how will Google know that that is what you do?
At minimum, you should show if I search your company name. Your company should light up the entire results page. If not, that is a warning that you need some basic SEO work done on your website.
No one can guarantee that you’ll show up for those competitive key phrases like ‘pipeline construction’ or ‘gas compressor.’ But, you can at least make sure these key phrases are in your content so your website visitors know. With some good, consistent SEO work, you could reach the top of the results. But that is long process and a big discussion to have with your marketing team.
Your website should work for you in the search results. Not against you.
Solution: Make sure your website is optimized for search engines.
6. Problem: It’s too slow.
Okay, so I said to use large photos in #4. This can be counterintuitive to a fast website. (There are ways to compress a photo but still keep it’s clarity.)
But a fast website is important. Your webmaster can use tools and skills to make sure your website loads within 2-3 seconds. This is even more important on mobile devices. As an executive or engineer, you can appreciate this. How frustrating is it when you visit a website while on the job using your mobile device and it takes forever to load?
Yes, quite frustrating!
So don’t be that guy or girl with the slow website.
Solution: Be the company with a blazing fast website.
7. Problem: It does not work on mobile devices.
Since 2015, having a mobile website has become one of Google’s elements within their algorithm. In their own words, “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.”
But that’s not the only reason!
For your website, having it be responsive can make sure that you are reaching a global market. By 2018, half of the world’s mobile users will have a smartphone. If you are working with a global market, the likelihood that your customers are looking at your website on their cellphone is pretty high. Many don’t even have a desktop.
Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? You can try Google’s own mobile testing tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly.
Solution: Make it easy for your customers to learn about you no matter what device they have.
If you find some of these things on your website, don’t blame your webmaster or yourself. Remember that modern marketing is changing so fast. What worked 2 or 3 years ago may not work now. Heck, what worked 6 months ago may not work tomorrow.
It’s a different game now… in all things oil and gas really. What are you doing to keep up?