I spent 5 years within the oil & gas industry as an internal communications coordinator for Danos. During that time, I learned what customers expect from a website.
With a decrease in drilling/fracking and production, the competition for oil & gas, marine, and industrial service providers remains strong. This means bids are won within the details.
When a sales call is complete, 9 times out of 10 the decision-maker goes to your website.
What I’ve noticed over the years is a lack of quality websites industry-wide.
If you are considering a new website or upgrading your existing website, here is a breakdown of things to consider to make sure your sales efforts aren't wasted once you walk out the customer's door.
These terms can be confusing, so think of it as you would a residential property:
Hosting - The property you own
Domain - Home address
Website - Your home
SSL - Your security system to prevent intruders
Menu - How easy is it for your guests to find what they are looking for?
There are over 300 domain endings to choose from. The two I recommend are .com and .net. The easiest way to purchase a domain that I’ve found is Google Domains.
Once you’ve searched for your domain, if .com is unavailable, grab it. If not, .net is your next best option. If that is taken, you can get creative with your domain by adding a dash, shortening a word, or abbreviating (gravois-graphics.com if gravoisgraphics.com is taken).
Endings like .io are gaining in popularity, but aren’t commonplace yet. Endings like .org are typically associated with non-profit organizations.
The oil & gas industry is all about safety and security, so why should that stop with your website?
A SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) secures and encrypts sensitive information like credit cards, usernames, passwords, and other private data. You can tell if your page is secured if it has https versus http at the beginning of your web address.
I’d rather not have a website than one that is dysfunctional. Let’s talk about best practices when building a website.
Mobile vs. Desktop
Responsive web design (websites that grow and shrink depending on the device it is viewed on) is becoming the norm. How Google ranks sites is heavily weighted by how mobile-friendly a site is. Most web-building platforms have options to optimize your site for mobile-friendly.
Don’t add elements to your homepage that take a long time to load. Text flying in from the left is cool, but your site isn’t considered fully loaded until that animation finishes. This animation decreases your loading speed and should be avoided in the hero image section.
If you want to test your existing site’s speed, place your domain into the Google PageSpeed Insight tool and it will tell you what to fix. If you’d rather I have a look at it and see what needs fixing, contact me.
Do you have broken links? Pages that don’t work? Years of experience that are out of date?
(advice: Use Since 1947 instead of 74 years in business)
These are big turn-offs for the user. Fix these issues immediately.
Place call-to-action buttons and links that lead to one contact form throughout your site. The contact form should forward all contact forms to one email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Multiple employees should have access to these email accounts to avoid missing a lead. Also consider adding a captcha to eliminate spam.
Keep it clean
Users are there for straight-forward information about your company. If they can’t find it, they will leave. To ensure they stick around for a while, keep your website clutter-free and easy to navigate. Also, limit your color palette to 3 to 4 colors. For call-to-action buttons, use a brighter option that stands out. Be sure to keep colors consistent throughout the site. If you use one color for a button, make sure all buttons use that same color and look the same.
Simplify your menu
The oil & gas industry can be technical at times. I understand that every piece of information about each service line is important. But menus tend to get cluttered when there are a bunch of drop downs. Stick to main categories for your main menu:
Instrumentation & Electrical
Shorebase & Logistics
Valve and Wellhead
(Embed brochures where you can)
Why do employees like working for your company?
How to apply
Content is king. Period.
For years, I published a weekly newsletter for Danos called The Pipeline. It is still being published and includes the following sections:
Customers searching for niche industry services you provide are craving information. One article explaining a process could be a huge lead magnet for your company. You found me when searching for info. about creating an oil & gas website right? And there is so much you can do with the content:
Send articles to a potential or active customer
Create social media posts based on that content
Create a YouTube video using info. from the content
Transcribe it to audio and upload it to a podcast platform
Create an infographic
Only link your social media if it has a strong presence. If it is lacking, use your content from your newsletter to post more consistently. If you’d like to talk more about a social media strategy, let’s talk.
Your website is only as powerful as you make it. Consider it your 24/7 sales rep. It never sleeps and can be a strategic part of your sales process.
If you'd like to hire me to build your website or review your existing one, let's set up a time to talk.