Website Case Study: Building a Stronger Online Presence for an Industry‑Leading Manufacturer
Kinematics Manufacturing (KMI) makes industry-leading slew drives and implementations of smart torque technology. A U.S.-based company with locations in three countries, KMI has a rich history of innovation and providing custom solutions for complex applications.
Despite KMI’s success, its online presence failed to reflect their stature in the industry. It felt more like KMI was selling commodity products rather than innovative custom solutions, deep expertise, and impeccable customer service. We needed to elevate their competitive advantage and construct a compelling narrative to improve brand awareness, inspire brand loyalty, and deliver the story digitally.
The secondary goal was ensuring the new website put a focus on KMI’s utility-scale solar expertise. KMI is the leading provider of slew drives to the Utility-Scale solar industry. Because the solar energy market is projected for significant growth over the next 5 years, KMI wanted to showcase its expertise in this high growth industry.
Defining the Brand Message and Value Proposition
As is the case with many B2B manufacturing companies, KMI’s website focused heavily on products rather than its key differentiators. S.O. Creative recognized the need to continue to showcase KMI’s product line while highlighting the company’s rich expertise.
Before creating the overarching brand concept and key messaging, S.O. Creative spent time reviewing KMI customer surveys and research and interviewed key stakeholders.
We decided to focus on the science, innovation, and service that supports KMI’s product lines. This theme would be incorporated into every area of the website as an extension of the brand messaging: Kinematics and the Science of Executing Tomorrow’s Vision Today. This concept emphasizes the science that makes these products work and the minds that make these innovations possible.
Kinematics not only manufactures the world’s most technically advanced and reliable slew drives, but it has unrivaled expertise and commitment to continuous innovation and exceptional customer service. This campaign elevates the KMI brand message from the competition by positioning them as people dedicated to creating better products for their customers.
Redesigning a B2B Website to Increase Audience Engagement
To position KMI’s strategic advantage, S.O. Creative redesigned the website to focus on the company’s value proposition. To complement the emphasis on the company’s products for the solar industry, it showcased images of Utiilty-Scale solar farms on the home page while highlighting KMI’s extensive experience in the field. The new home page includes high-level messaging to introduce all of KMI’s key differentiators and capabilities. Each content block features a snippet of text with a call-to-action drawing the user further into the site.
KMI is not just a company of products, but rather a team of technologists that solve some of its customers’ most complex problems. Missing on past websites was a way to showcase this story. S.O. Creative brought expert team members front and center. Another major focus was the KMI Validation Labs section. By detailing the testing process for validation, this also demonstrates the unmatched commitment to quality to inspire confidence in potential customers.
To drive home the messaging about the company’s industry leadership, a section featuring news, videos, and whitepapers were added. This provides the depth of information that technical teams need and also provides an entry point for tech-specific searches thereby improving SEO.
Improving the Online User Experience
A major component of the project was improving the overall site navigation and information architecture. The previous website took several clicks to find the products you were searching for. If you didn’t know exactly what you wanted, it was difficult to find the right product or compare offerings.
S.O. Creative’s user-friendly navigation made it significantly easier to find products and compare details. Each product page was redesigned to show high-level overviews, compare solutions, and the ability to download more detailed specs. An innovative sub-navigation allows visitors to quickly jump to other product series without having to navigate through a maze of menus.
Besides searching for products, top-level navigation was redesigned to search by industry. This demonstrates thought leadership in the various sectors KMI focuses on, including Utility-Scale solar, vehicle, industrial, satellite, and medical solutions.
Stronger Client Relationships and Organic Search Rankings
The new brand message and website were met with an enthusiastic response from employees and investors; they have also strengthened relationships with key clients and made a favorable impact with new business opportunities in the pipeline.
A key focus was improving online visibility and organic web traffic. To achieve this, we employed SEO best practices for web development. This effort has greatly improved organic search rankings within the U.S. for targeted keyphrases:
- Single-axis solar tracker: moved up 81 positions
- Solar tracker: moved up 80 positions
- Slew drive: moved up 3 positions and listed on first/second page of search results
- Slewing drive: moved up 1 position and listed twice on first page of search results
KMI’s business remains strong and continues to generate a great deal of interest in the utility-scale solar space. The improvement in organic search rankings has positioned KMI to better capture web traffic once the economy improves and businesses start making large-scale capital investments again.
KMI’s thoughts on S.O. Creative:
“The new website helped strengthen our relationship with key customers. I think that it created even more stickiness and good will. We look far more professional. The new website and brand messaging have also played favorably with the new business in our pipeline.”
– Doug Rainbolt, CMO, Kinematics Manufacturing (KMI)