An award-winning website can usually be attributed to two things: an inspired design/development team and a trusting client. When Precision Machine Fabrication, a Raleigh-based company specializing in close-tolerance metal fabrication, launched its last website, it was met with wide acclaim. Designed and built by Strategic Insights, and featuring a splash page with state-of-the-art flash animation depicting the fabrication process, the site won a local gold Addy award and went on to capture first place in the district.
However, that was six years ago: an eternity on the worldwide web.
“The pace of technology and design standards moves so rapidly, if you’re not reassessing your site every 2-3 years, you’re going to fall behind in one or more areas,” points out Associate Creative Director Chris Griffin. “While PMF’s original site had a lot of impact and was cutting edge on its launch, it fell victim to the inevitable.”
Mark Richardson, PMF’s purchasing manager and controller, worked with Strategic Insights on the new site, providing direction and some new content. “The original site set a high bar, but some of our information was outdated, and we needed more visibility with search engines, which meant sacrificing a great splash page. It was innovative but, unfortunately, invisible to Google.”
Mark describes the difference in traffic that came in through the old site compared to the new site “like night and day.” Able to reference monthly analytics built into the site, PMF is receiving dozens of unique visits per day, and—more significantly—inquiries from prospective clients and employees.
“The built-in email form is a great lead capture device,” adds Mark. “Not only does it allow prospects to ask questions in an insulated environment, it gives us a way to follow up with them directly. It’s also great to be able to update some of the content around the site ourselves.”
Feedback from within the company has been positive as well. “Everyone is impressed—HR can’t believe they’re getting job apps right through the site. Engineering is excited about the Dropbox integration that will allow us to send and receive large files much more easily. And everyone is generally more involved and more aware of the site now.”
“One of the overall goals was increased functionality for the client and increased ease of use for their visitors,” said Chris. “The new site is much easier to find through standard web searches, and, once found, is easier to navigate. As visitors will see in their online demo videos, PMF is a company that uses advanced technology every day, so it makes sense that they have a website that conforms to today’s standards.”
So why is PMF already looking ahead to its next website?
“Now that we’ve seen the results of redoing it, we’re going to take a look every couple of years and see what’s working and what’s not,” concludes Mark. “This site is a valuable tool for us, and like any tool, we need to keep it in proper working order.”