Bowman International

Bowman International is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of bearings and sintered components. With a significant presence in the UK market and growing sales in Germany, the business was seeking to grow into new markets. They needed a modern, professional looking site that allowed for translations and detailed product catalogues. Visit the Bowman International site

Bowman is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of bearings and sintered components. With a significant presence in the UK market and growing sales in Germany, the business was seeking to grow into new markets. They needed a modern, professional looking site that allowed for multiple languages and detailed product catalogues.

The brief

Bowman wanted a new website that better supported their business strategy. Through our detailed consultancy with them, we came to understand that a key element of this was better engagement with the brand.

This focused our attention on effective performance in search results through best practice SEO, good on-site user experience (UX) and easy access to the detailed product information. Delivering on these aspects should help users to find the information they need and drive the enquiries and sales that will deliver result for the business.

It was important that the site looked modern and worked well across all devices. Appealing to an engineering audience meant that the site had to function as expected, or risk damaging the firm’s reputation. The existing brand was at odds with a modern look and feel so we suggested an initial branding exercise to see if we could evolve their existing look and feel for a better fit.

Bowman had a number of specific technical requirements that influenced our decisions for the website. Translation into other languages was a key consideration as they were seeking to expand their trade in other countries. There was also a need to provide access to stock levels for the sales team and key customers, requiring integration with existing systems.

We worked closely with key contacts within the business to ensure that we had fully understood their requirements. This ensured that we delivered a site that will give them lasting return on investment and support their business effectively.

The solution

We were conscious that the new Bowman website needed to provide lasting benefits, which required it to be adaptable to suit future growth. We worked through our tried and tested website build process to deliver a site that would give them the audience engagement and business benefits they were seeking.


The personas exercise helped us to understand the very different needs that the key audiences have. This led us to design a website that made the comprehensive technical information available to those that need the detail, but in a way that doesn't overwhelm other user types.

Keyword research and SEO sitemap

For an engineering firm like Bowman, getting the keyword focus right is essential. Their key audiences are looking for specific products for defined applications. Selecting keywords that were specific enough to rank well, but general enough to attract searches from multiple industries was a challenge – but one that we relished.

The resulting SEO sitemap broadly followed Bowman's product categories, but with some additions in order to capitalise on traffic that would otherwise be missed. With feedback from Bowman we agreed a sitemap that aligned with their business while maximising their search engine visibility.

Technical specification

We worked closely with Bowman to identify their needs for the website on launch and beyond to ensure the technical specification captured their long-term requirements. These included the flexibility to integrate with external systems and multi-language support out of the box, plus a range of other functionality. Our technical lead selected Orchard, an open source .NET based CMS for the project. Orchard provided the technical backbone needed to provide the functionality, while also allowing us to deliver an excellent customer experience.


Wireframing was a key stage for this project as it helped to test the UX would work for the target audience. It also allowed us to easily create a mobile responsive website that would provide a consistent experience across all devices.

A particular area of focus was the bearing calculator, which allows customers to find a range of products that meet their needs by choosing from a range of criteria. Feedback at this stage was vital in establishing Bowman's requirements and led to them reworking their product information extensively in order to provide customers with a first class user experience.

Branding and design

As the project progressed, Bowman decided that their current branding wouldn't convey the modern and professional look they required. As such the first step in our design work was to develop a new brand with full usage guidelines. The brand concept they chose was sensitive to the brand's history, while giving them a fresh and modern feel that suits an engineering firm of their calibre. The new logo design includes an easily recognisable device that can easily be used separately on products, merchandise and stationery as required.

The website design developed the branding further. The clean look allows complex information to be presented clearly and allows users to easily find what they're looking for. The brand is presented consistently throughout, promoting the strong engagement that Bowman require.

The results

It’s early days, but the results for Bowman were almost immediate. Within days of the site launching they were receiving a much higher number of enquiries. This suggests that the site is already delivering on the goal to encourage better engagement with the site.

Over the next few months we would expect to see this engagement being sustained by improving search engine rankings and better on site user experience.

Project team

Jon Ellard Jim Osborn Dan Shelton Chris Sawyer

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