When most people look up and notice a plane or helicopter flying overhead, they don’t think much of it. There are tens of thousands of flights every day, and most of us have traveled on one a handful of times.
But if you’re part of the aviation manufacturing industry, you likely look at aircraft in a very different way. Though you can’t see the details from the ground, you may wonder if the different parts—or the entire plane—came from your company. And if you want the answer to that question to be “yes” more often than not, you need a web design that will create brand awareness and speak to your personal brand.
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What to remember when designing an aviation manufacturing website
If you’re part of the aviation world, it’s important to understand the online mechanics that will help set your company apart from the rest. Specifically, you need to understand how to use elements of web design for aviation manufacturers to build a functional site that will serve as the core of your online presence. Below are some of our favorite design tips for those in the B2B aviation field.
Tip #1: Make navigation simple
The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience, so make sure you have clean, crisp navigation bars that are intuitive and easy-to-follow. A messy menu (or one that can be difficult to find or understand) will only frustrate people who find their way to your site.
Many site owners make the mistake of putting form over function, and focusing more on the look of their site than how easy it is to use. This approach often results in visually appealing sites that are virtually useless because users can’t figure out how to navigate to the content they want.
We recommend that you organize your site in a way that makes it possible for visitors to find what they need in two clicks or less. It can be a challenging feat to accomplish, but it’s always a good idea to simplify as much as possible.
Tip #2: Optimize your site
Most Internet users today use search engines to find what they’re looking for online, and search engine optimization, or SEO, is the only way to ensure that your site will show up in the search results. By optimizing your site for keywords related to your industry and products, you can improve the chances that people who are looking for products like yours will arrive on your site—and not the sites of your competitors.
This is absolutely essential, because even the best-designed sites are useless if people can’t actually find them. It would be a shame to spend weeks (and thousands of dollars) building a site, only to realize that the amount of visitors it receives isn’t enough to justify the cost.
Also, it’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process, and algorithm changes happen all the time. So if your site hasn’t been optimized within the past year, this is definitely something to discuss with the web design company you choose to work with.
Tip #3: Emphasize your products with incredible photos
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but perhaps they’re worth even more when it comes to dazzling visitors on your website. Humans are visual creatures, and stunning photography can often be the element that draws us in and makes us want to learn more about a product.
For that reason, we recommend that you hire a professional photographer to take images for your site. Even if you only get a handful of photos, they can form a solid basis for your site’s layout. And contrary to popular belief, this strategy works for virtually every industry.
Whether you choose to use photos of your products being manufactured, or photos of finished aircraft made with your parts, they can help show potential buyers what they’d get if they used you as a supplier.
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Tip #4: Add a news section and keep it updated
A news section is the perfect place to showcase awards, honors, events, publicity and more. The key, though, is to keep the news flowing. One of the biggest mistakes made by aviation manufacturers is having a news section and then allowing it to “go dark”.
When a potential investor or buyer comes to your site, he or she wants to read updated news, not news that’s two years old. As an added bonus, a well-put-together news section can be a great visual addition to your homepage, because it shows visitors right off that bat that your site is well-maintained.
Tip #5: Write interesting content
Although content isn’t necessarily a design element, it’s important to keep in mind as you work with a designer on the layout of your site. You’ll need plenty of room for body copy, not just because it works wonders for SEO, but also because it’s compelling to visitors.
If you’re not sure where to start, try writing up a company history. We all like a good story, and if your company has one, it can lend a personal feeling to an otherwise corporate site. This can set your aviation manufacturing company apart from the rest, and bring in leads who would otherwise lose interest and leave.
Tip #6: Offer free downloads of brochures, pamphlets, and other information
Many aviation manufacturers have PDF copies of product brochures on hand. Why not offer these on your website in exchange for email addresses (and names, phone numbers, etc.) of visitors?
This strategy, often called “email gating,” allows you to judge how often your brochure is being downloaded, which gives you a good indication of interest. It also allows you to begin collecting names of people who may be interested in finding out more about what you make. You can use those names later as part of an email drip campaign, or for direct selling.
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A final note about web design for aviation manufacturers
You probably know your products so well that you could recite information about them in your sleep. However, there’s a good chance that your site visitors don’t have that same knowledge.
There’s a lot they’ll need to learn before being confident about making a purchase or signing a contract with you, and it’s important to make it as easy as possible for them to find what they need. A strong, optimized site can be just the tool you need, and if done right, can serve as one of your best sales tools.
If you’d like more information about web design for aviation manufacturers, or would like to discuss creating a site for your company, don’t hesitate to contact us! We have years of experience designing and launching sites for businesses in a wide variety of industries, and we’re more than happy to create one for you that will help you expand your presence online.