Most industrial web sites require technical materials - you can see what we did here to introduce PAW Solar Stations. Industrial or Engineering oriented companies typically have these documents in PDF Format, which can be tough to convert to the web.
Our solution? Keep the PDF Format intact. Most web users are happy to view technical PDF's online. The larger issue is the user experience. Usability is paramount. If you display links to technical PDF's in images and text, make sure that the PDF's have the requisite info. With all the information and illustrations in place, your site visitors will be happy. This saves time for everyone.
As on the Solarnetix Home Page, we have included 'quick links' in the left-side column of every page on the web site. Industrial companies usually require a well-thought out information architecture or else the site visitor may feel frustrated and leave.
Additionally, all product pages include links to the relevant technical PDF. Since most web site visitors operate in their self-interest, adding a consistent navigation format ensures that small businesses can offer an enjoyable visitor experience and provide a positive impression of the company brand.
A Technical Newsletter & Blog
Marketing online [our guide] can be particularly daunting to renewable energy and industrial small businesses. One cost-effective way to get started is through a combination of using a newsletter and blog.
Companies deal with solutions to small (and often technical) problems every day. They develop procuts, codify 'best-practices' internally and share their thoughts on the larger industry. These pieces if intellectual labour can all be blog posts.
By sharing this type of information you can often even replace a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) area on your web site. Looking at the Solarnetix Blog, you'll see posts on optimizing solar controllers, estimating solar installations and even one exploding washing machine.
While not all of these blog posts are about Solarnetix products, they do share a common factor: the self-interest of Solarnetix customers. By sharing helpful information, a company can update technical information, define their brand better, and earn a reputation for being knowledgeable and capable in their field.
Email Marketing (Your Blog)
Better yet, take your blog a step further and send out links to your new blog posts via an email newsletter. Keep the info original and relevant and you'll start receiving the comments and thoughts of your customers - the critical feedback that any business needs to thrive.
Solarnetix.com includes an email newsletter sign-up. Solarnetix regularly sends out technical updates, reflections on the industry, and special product offers via email.
We feel that the Solarnetix Inc. site is a good example of a smart, cost-effective approach to online marketing for a small business. For more information, check out our full guide to online marketing or sign up for our newsletter (scroll up).