The website is often the first experience a government buyer has with a government contractor. This experience can, and should, begin well before an RFP process.
You have about 5 seconds to make a great impression, and only then can you expect your govcon website visitor to read on.
With a well-written and quality designed website, that first impression is a combination of:
- Clear messaging at the top of the page to show they are in the right place.
- Easy to follow navigation to get them to the information they need quickly.
- Engaging content lets your federal buyer know that you understand their problem and pain point and quickly demonstrate that you have solutions for them.
After winning that critical first impression, you need to consider how to best engage your visitor with a strong alignment to your business objectives. The key components to accomplish both typically include:
- Telling your story.
- Providing the precise information government buyers expect to find.
- Demonstrating that you are the ideal government contractor to win their bid.
Tell Your Government Contractor Story
You are likely one of many companies that could compete for a contract, so how do you stand out? For one, be sure to include your core products and services.
Early on in the process, government buyers are searching for information online. For you to be considered, the contracting officers must know that you provide the product or service they need. Therefore include specific details on your website about your core products and services with sufficient information to demonstrate your competencies in those areas.
You want to have clear navigation to the information and then detailed product pages to help them see the depth of your knowledge and capabilities. This helps optimize the visitor’s experience.
Equally, avoid stuffing your website with a wish list of products and services you might be able to offer – it weakens your messaging and detracts from your core offering.
Besides letting prospective customers know what you do, this information also helps the search engines index your content to categorize where you fit in within an industry and confirm you are a reliable resource for these products or services. The search engines use multiple tools, which you can learn more about here, but a general rule is a good customer experience is rewarded by the search engines.
In summary: By telling your story clearly, you are creating an excellent experience for your customer, encouraging them to stay longer (to read more), and helping your website get ranked by the search engines, which helps you get found by your ideal government buyer.
Showcase the Information Buyers Expect to Find on your Website
Federal decision-makers are busy and want to find what they need fast! Don’t make them work. Don’t make them click.
To impress government decision-makers from the first moment they meet you online, show that you are:
- Knowledgeable – showcase the right credentials.
- Experienced – with strong leadership and a reliable, supportive team.
- Qualified to meet their needs – back up past performance backed up with case studies and or testimonials.
A Good User Experience Wins Buyers & Bids
Turn Unknown Visitors into Known Contacts
Once the decision-makers find your website and know that you can solve their problem, you must have some effective tools to turn that research inquiry into a connection – then you can begin to develop a relationship of value and trust.
Since website visitors (especially new visitors) are anonymous, you need to capture contact information, turning a visitor into a prospect.
Asking website visitors for their contact information is a delicate balance – in return, you must provide high value, timely and relevant information in the form of downloadable content.
Once you have gained sufficient trust to gather contact information, you can begin the process of connecting on a one-one basis and begin to solve their problem. Check out these inbound marketing tips to nurture the relationship from here.
Good vs. Bad Website Design – Self Assessment
Good website design is not just about aesthetics – that is just one component. A well-designed website provides a great experience for a clearly defined target audience and is also designed to support your specific business goals.
Review your website and ask yourself—in the first 5 seconds, does your website:
- Start to build trust?
- Demonstrate your qualifications?
- Showcase how you mitigate risk?
- Establish you’re THE go-to vendor?
- Create a personable, easy way to connect?
- Make what you offer clear and simple to understand.
- Allow your visitor to easily find what they need.
- Show your visitor how you can solve their problem.
- Provide accessible information for any prospect at any stage of the buying process – including early in the research phase or late-stage buying.
- Write in language that resonates with your prospects. Avoid using jargon without an explanation.
- Your subject mastery needs to be on display in specs, product demonstrations, content, infographics, and images.
- Share past performance metrics and case studies.
- Get ahead of the RFI/RFP with relevant content like white papers or reports. This can position you as a value-add resource for your buyers.
Mitigate Risk Concerns
- Include your past performance metrics and stories to show success.
- Make your capabilities statement available.
- Share years of experience and documented history.
Be The Go-To Vendor
- Feature testimonials, especially high-profile comments.
- Showcase any awards and recognition that show industry leadership.
- Share names of customers and any press or accolades.
- Provide stats about industry reputation and success rates.
- Share your status, NAICS, and other product-related codes so your buyer knows you fit their category. This also helps them find you.
Easy to Connect
- Provide useful tools like downloadable content to start a relationship.
- Make forms and contact info mobile-friendly for a one-touch connection.
- Automate follow-up steps to assure the connection is nurtured.
- Include the contact information for your designated Federal or SLED (State, Local, and Education) specialist.
Here are a few resources to learn more:
Website Checklist for Government Contractors (downloadable checklist)
How To Lead Your Federal Buyer To Your Door So They’ll Buy From You (recorded webinar)
How to Choose a Website Company (in-depth guide)
Build a Website that Wins Buyers & Bids
From the moment your federal buyer finds you, you want them to have a great experience and begin a quality relationship with you.
If your government contractor website isn’t yet fully supporting your business development teams by providing a great experience for your federal buyer, let us support you with a free website assessment. We can help you identify areas for improvement and fix your website challenges to help you win more business.
Our Learning Labs Library provides expert strategic planning and marketing services, including website design, digital marketing, and SEO. Our highly effective website design and development services will help ensure you get more site visitors, more conversions, and, ultimately, carve out a larger share of your target market.
We are based in the Washington DC metro area and serve B2G and B2B companies throughout the United States and Canada.