88% of purchasers say they rely on technical product information to make a purchasing decision. Most customers trust the manufacturer’s website (61%) over other sources of product information (only 5% indicate that video websites are their most trusted source of information). (www.sdl.com/cxm-survey) With these stats in mind, it makes sense to ensure that technical product information is readily available on your website and of a sufficiently high quality to represent your brand.
Publishing user documentation online
The most common approach to making user documentation available online is to publish existing PDF user guides on a website. Often access to these is restricted and only made available to partners and customers. This approach has the following key drawbacks:
- Content behind a wall is not accessible to prospective customers, so you make it more difficult for those 88% of purchasers who are interested in your product.
- PDFs are not readily searchable and difficult to read on mobile devices, so they restrict the number of people that can find them and use them.
- You can’t track what people are reading in a PDF, so you lose vital information about what customers are interested in.
Publish existing user documentation online as HTML
The next approach is to publish existing user documentation as HTML. This approach has the following benefits:
- Content is easily available, searchable, and findable.
- Standard analytics tools allow you to understand what information readers are interested in.
- The additional keyword-rich content on your website improves your SEO footprint.
If your user documentation contains commercially sensitive content, this can be excluded from the publicly available content. Single-sourcing strategies make it feasible to publish a subset of the content online.
How do I get my user documentation online?
Companies that specialise in producing technical product information, like 3di, have the expertise and tools available to produce and distribute content to the people who need it, for example prospective customers, users, or support staff. This can be achieved using methods such as:
- Multi-channel publishing
- Embedded content
- Tailored guides
- Support portals
So not only do your customers benefit from an improved experience, but those 88% of prospective customers can also have access to the high-quality product information you already have to help them make their purchasing decisions.