Company: Siemens Corp.
Target audience: C-level decision-makers, government and city officials
Key Web executive: Josh Kidd, digital marketing manager
No. of people working on the site: Five to eight
Last major redesign: January 2010, with ongoing content refreshes since then
No. of pages on the site: 130 on the U.S. corporate site
Web developer: Publicis Modem, Munich
Before last January, there was quite a bit of duplication on Siemens Corp.'s site. “We had information in more places than it needed to be,” said Josh Kidd, the company's digital marketing manager. The company consolidated its website, making it easier for people to navigate because “trips were shorter,” he said.
The company has also shifted its focus to social networking. Last September, Siemens added extensive social sharing and commenting functionality to the five main video elements that populate the main page. This has two real functions, Kidd said: “It allows our message to be spread in different locations and allows other people to do it for us,” he said. It also helps the company determine what original content is working and what is less interesting to users. Videos with the most shares—each video shows how many times someone has shared it in total as well as via individual social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook—are the ones that are most interesting to visitors.
More recently, Siemens changed its navigation, which had been structured according to the company's internal business units. “The site used to look like our org chart; it was done by sector,” Kidd said. “We found that our internal terminology didn't translate as well to our end users, so we overhauled it completely.” The new navigation is so simple to use that fewer people are having to search the site, Kidd said. “As of [July], search has dropped by 33%. People are finding things using the navigation,” he said. Siemens is also making sure that people are happy with its site with the addition of a page feedback option at the bottom of all the U.S.-based pages. “It's very simplistic. "Was this information helpful—yes or no—and, if not, what were you looking for?' It helps us make changes and tweaks on an ongoing basis.”
Expert commentary: “Siemens.com represents thoughtful, efficient, graceful design from top to bottom. Its home page fits in one screen—nothing below the fold. It also has what we call "social distribution' for the pages with the block of logos under "Share this page.' Most b-to-b sites have been slow on the uptake with social distribution. This is critical for SEO, which is quickly becoming "SMO' [Social Media Optimization],” said Ben Sargent, senior analyst at Common Sense Advisory.