Target audience: Building executives and owners, contractors, engineers, facility managers, job seekers and media
Key Web executive: Paul Groundwater, global digital marketing leader, Trane Commercial Systems
No. of people working on the site: 10 technical people; 40 to 100 content editors
Last major redesign: 2005, with a site refresh in July 2009
No. of pages on the site: 600
Web developer: In-house and Web marketing agency White Horse
Today you can't be in air conditioning without talking about energy efficiency and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. Trane Commercial Systems recently updated its Web site to bring in more data on these topics as well as the recent government stimulus package and how it creates opportunities for the company's customers. It also wanted to put its new focus on becoming a services provider out there for everyone to see.
“We have restructured and reordered as services have become more important,” said Paul Groundwater, global digital marketing leader for Trane. “We are trying to establish ourselves as a building services company.”
Still, the main reason people come to the site is for product information, so Trane includes demos of its control products as well as rich media content. “People are coming to our site looking for literature,” Groundwater said, “and so we're trying to make it easier for them to find it.”
This is why visitors can search for products by model number as well as by drilling down into specific product categories or vertical markets. Case studies, another home page staple, are searchable by building type or industry. There's also a deep product literature section where visitors can search by product type, literature type, language, keyword or model number; and at any time they can find their salesperson and sales office to ask for additional help.
“We moved product literature up onto the home page because that's what contractors are always looking for,” Groundwater said. “Software updates and selection tools were also a high-use item, so they are highly visible, too.”
Trane supports the Web site with continuous usability testing and face-to-face testing using guided tasks as well as online surveys.
“Meeting all the various users' needs can be very complex, so we're constantly testing to make sure people can find what they want without having to click too deeply into the site,” he said.
Expert commentary—Stephen Woessner, business education outreach coordinator, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse Small Business Development Center: Everything is indexable, and they do a good job of breaking down the content into its proper subsections. Visitors can drill down into vertical markets, specific applications, parts and supplies. There are case studies for every one of their markets so, if someone is a specific type of business owner, they can find what they need. The best part is that there are multiple entry points into the same content, so no matter how they want to search they can find what they are looking for.
|Smith & Fong Co.|