What’s the first thing a potential customer does once they hear about your business? They Google you. Your website is the initial thing they click on, so it’s important to make a positive first impression.

The "before" picture

One tool manufacturer has a 50-year old business that emphasizes higher cutting quality, exceptional service, and the use of the most highly-tolerant materials. Their saws are environmentally friendly, creating less waste while simultaneously providing greater accuracy. Despite their solid reputation, fascinating products, and strong mission and goals, their website was just not cutting it

Their former website was over a decade old, ahead of its time when it was created but not meeting the needs of current users. The website had outdated navigation practices and content, and it wasn’t optimized for mobile. Most of their clients did not use the internet to find them because of their strong physical brand, but new ones would likely use handheld devices to access their site. 

The tool manufacturer turned to LONDONmiddlebury to build a website to impress their current client base and new visitors. They wanted their web presence to validate and align with their business, so we got to work giving their website a sleek, clean look to reflect their fine-tuned machinery. The business needed the website in time for an upcoming trade show where they wanted to make a strong impression and optimize the many new prospective clients they would be meeting.

Becoming well-versed in the tool manufacturing industrySaw Blades

The tool manufacturer had a strong customer base from their referral network, and their website was unnecessary to maintain the it. However, they decided it was time to refresh with a brand-new website that fit their brand.

Before starting any content production and website development, we focused on research. We worked to be well-versed in their field, developing a strong sense of industry language and content.

(If you asked us two years ago what “kerf” meant, we never would have been able to tell you. But now we know it’s the cut a saw makes in a piece of material.)

To understand the team’s technical terminology, we interviewed staff, executed research deep dives, and reviewed the content on their site. We also spent time at their headquarters where they manufacture their tools, educating ourselves on how their business fits into the larger industry. This inspired our future production, confirming we knew and could relay pertinent information to their consumer base.

How we chose a platform for their website

LONDONmiddlebury is familiar with multiple content management systems (CMS). We debated between HubSpot and Wix as the most applicable platform for the tool manufacturer. We liked HubSpot as the center of the marketing effort, but we opted for the design-ability and dynamic database options of Wix that the tool manufacturer’s team could easily maintain. They didn’t need the power of HubSpot’s tools and hubs, whereas Wix was more design-friendly. With our guidance and expertise, we felt confident that they could easily operate the website’s backend using Wix.

How we approached website content creation

After choosing a platform, we focused on updating and creating content for the website. The tool manufacturer had existing content we could pull information from and transform into updated copy and graphic design. Some of their information was out-of-date and inaccurate, and we identified missing content that should exist on the site.

Next, we began crafting the layout and design of the website, starting with a site-map. We put ourselves in prospective customers’ shoes and imagined how they would browse the site. We worked collaboratively with two point people on the tool manufacturer’s team throughout, from discovery sessions to the final product. Alongside their team, we determined what colors to use on the website (both primary and secondary), what pages should claim which content, and we created dynamic pages for changing products and services. 

LM Icons (2)-1With a dynamic database feeding their webpages, members of their team can update existing products and add new ones in a matter of minutes. 

In this case, we used the dynamic database to create a saw-type template; this was a spreadsheet matrix that included the blade types, applications, brands of machines, machine manufacturers, corresponding spec sheets for each blade, and product imagery. 

With each iteration of the website design, we connected with the tool manufacturer’s team to get their opinion. Did the layout make sense? How did they feel about the colors? Once we received their feedback, we moved on to our next step.

Making the website accessible

Using the industry knowledge we picked up during our initial discovery meetings, we began researching keywords that would work best for the tool manufacturer. Applying these keywords to headers, URLs, page titles, alt text, and meta descriptions throughout the site optimizes it for search engines (SEO). We also optimized the site for mobile devices, an essential asset for their upcoming trade show.

Launching a beta test for the trade show

The trade show was a driving factor behind the website update. The tool manufacturer wanted to be able to guide users to their website while talking about their products and services in person. Because of the quick turnaround time, we launched a beta version of the website for the trade show before committing to a full launch. Mobile optimization was key for the trade show because so many people used handheld devices to access their website through QR codes.

The team received overall positive feedback about the usability and aesthetics of the website.

Post-trade show, we made minor edits and enhancements before turning the website back to their team. Instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own, we created a step-by-step manual and engaged in training with the team, from the mechanics of the site to adding content to making minor edits. 

In this case, the tool manufacturer’s team took over completely, but other businesses often retain LONDONmiddlebury as a part of their external team to manage content on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Impact: self-sufficiency and validation

The tool manufacturer now has a high-powered, well-organized website that’s easy to navigate and use on the backend and frontend. They continue to increase business with their current consumer base, attract new prospects, and house an impressive digital ecosystem. The team manages their site easily, and they use it as a means of validation for customers wanting to learn more about their products. 

Now that they have a foundational digital storefront, they’re looking to scale their marketing to improve sales. 

Curious how LONDONmiddlebury can do this for your business?