Why most printing websites fail to engage customers

My wife worries that the printing industry can’t be good for my health

The reason? It’s the agonised groans she hears from me. This happens often when I’m visiting printing company websites.

There’s something about many of these sites. They talk an awful lot about the printing company. But they say very little that is focussed on the customer. I have seen some sites where an awful lot of time and money has clearly been spent. Some of them look really good.

However, the customer won’t spend long on many of these sites, no matter how good they look.

Websites need to be customer focussed


How do you make sure your website engages customers?

Your website is the start of creating a relationship with your prospects and customers. It can help you win new business. It can help you achieve your business targets.

Alternatively, your website can mark you out as just another printer. It can make customers see little reason to use you unless you have a cheaper price.

So how do you work out if your website is customer focussed or not? Here are three tests that you can run.

Review the I/we word count

If a website is focussed on the customer it will speak much more about “you”. Many printing company websites focus on “we” instead. This means that the website is all about the company, not the customer.

Surely a website needs to tell the customer about the company? Naturally, there is some important information that customers and prospects need to know. For instance, many people still like to see a plant list. However, customers also need to see why they should spend time on a site. This will only happen if you have information that will interest them. This is rarely the finer details about your company. That’s why the second test is important.

Do you have any resources for customers?

If you want someone to spend a long time on your website, it’s important to have information that will help them and their business. This means a good printing company website will have a regularly updated blog or some articles or resource pages.

Here are some topics that will keep people on your site:

  • Case studies
  • Industry statistics
  • Information on how to get good results

An engaging website will have a good mix of inspiration and practical information. This isn’t about selling to prospects. It’s about making them understand that you know their challenges. It’s about getting them interested in your knowledge and wanting to find out more.

Make sure you have a sign-up opportunity at the end of each of these pages. It’s a good way to build a prospect list and engage with them regularly with more useful information.

This is an effective way to attract more prospects. But there are some parts of a website that can put someone off. So here’s one last test.

How many pictures of printing presses does your website have?

Remember, if your website is full of pictures of printing presses you are probably talking too much about yourselves. You are not talking enough about the customer. The majority of customers will not relate to these sorts of images. Maybe it’s time to review the pictures on your site?

Here are three action points to make your website more successful

  1. Run the three tests outlined in this article
  2. Ask some trusted customers to review your website honestly
  3. Start creating a new message for your website that is focussed on your prospects and customers. If you need some inspiration for this, consider getting a copy of “How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price”

Please carry these action points out

My wife is fed up of hearing me comment on bad printing websites!

P.S. Another summer activity is to learn more about social media by downloading the free e-guide below.You’ll also be signed up to “Views from the buyer” where I share tips, stories and resources to do with selling print and social media

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2 Responses to Why most printing websites fail to engage customers

  • Nice post Matt. Oh yes, you can tell a printer’s website a mile off – it’s the one with the CMYK navigation bar, right?

    There is an incredibly powerful acid test that anyone can use to ascertain if a printer’s website is Customer focused – Google it. But first, before you trot off to Google “Jo Bloggs & Family, Printers”, force yourself to search just like a Customer. For this test you have to make the assumption that the Customer doesn’t know you or your company name, its postcode, address or contact numbers. Now, what keywords will they use to search Google in order to find a business that does the kinds of things you do?

    (Hint) No-one’s going to search for a B1 8 colour perfector with interdeck coating.

    This test has two parts – 1) if your website doesn’t show on page one for the search query/queries then it’s not Customer focused enough and 2) if you don’t get this far and struggle to even come up with a shortlist of search queries then it’s not just your website that’s failing the Customer.

    This is what I call The Art of Search.

    By failing to understand what the Customer wants you’re failing the Customer. So is it any wonder that, in this acid test scenario, your Customers are searching Google for alternative print suppliers if you don’t understand them?

  • Pingback: A New Marketing Message for Printers | DP Marketing Services

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