Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

Is Your Manufacturing Website Designed to Help or Hurt Marketing Efforts?

Posted April 29, 2022
4 minute read

Effective websites attract visitors to your pages over competitors’ but a poorly designed or non maintained website can actually drive away prospects. Your website is the face of your business and if done well, is the primary tool for capturing the attention of prospective customers.

Are plant managers and engineers searching online when looking for your products?

We often hear manufacturers and B2B companies state that their target market doesn’t search for products online. Instead, they say, deals are made through existing relationships or at tradeshows. But, data shows that in-person deals in isolation are a myth. In a recent webinar, we shared the below chart from Trew Marketing/GlobalSpec showing that 69% of engineers surveyed seek information on a supplier or vendor website when researching a product or service for a business purchase, and many other digital information sources are used as well.

Manufacturing Website SearchesSo while you may be building relationships in person, your website needs to assist your efforts as well as interact with those you may not reach in-person.

What Other Digital Platforms Help Engineers Make Buying Decisions?

Before making business purchases, engineers also look to online trade publications (46%) and industry directory websites (41%). They turn to industry publication emails and vendor emails, as well as YouTube and social media. While trade shows and conferences are valuable ways to connect with B2B manufacturers, your website is the 24/7/365 face of your business compared to a few tradeshows each year. 

60% of Engineers do most or all of the Research Online

In this survey, most people are still working with a salesperson at some point in the buying process but since 60% say they do most or all of their research online, the information available on the website is critical.

Manufacturing Website as sales tool

What information are engineers and plant managers looking for when searching the internet?

It is no surprise that people looking for manufacturing equipment want details about the product or service to decide if it will work for their processes. The more details you provide about your product, the better the pages will perform on search engine results pages (SERP). 

Manufacturing Product Page Rank

Information that engineers find useful are types that provide detailed specs on the products such as datasheets, CAD drawings, videos (demo, tutorial, and overview), whitepapers, and reviews. In a recent WebStrategies webinar Howard and Chris demonstrate why product pages should be modeled after the top-performing e-commerce site: Amazon. Product pages on contain large volumes of information for buyers to make a decision. This volume of data for each product also is rewarded by search engine rankings because the more useful information on the page is to a shopper, the better pages do in search results. 

Why are reviews, specs, FAQs, and links to similar products useful on an e-commerce site?

Pages with the most abundant and naturally occurring keywords and phrases are prioritized in search results so will be more likely to place your pages closer to the top of the search engine results page as well as be more valuable to your potential customers. Google knows its users want these details so serves them over pages with less content.

How to present manufacturing product details for the best search engine ranking

While datasheets and whitepapers are valuable to the people who are searching for your products, from inbound marketing (SEO) and user perspective, it is important to extract data from a PDF and place it as text on web pages. This gives the search engines pages to scan allowing them to recognize the type of information on your site. That same information on PDFs is not readable by the search engines so they will not reward you for having valuable content by moving up the rank of the page.  It is also a suboptimal user experience (UX) to require viewers to take the extra step to click instead of having the information in one place, however, where space is limited, list the highlights on the webpage and then have a link to the PDFs for those interested in the very minute details.

Manufacturing Product Pages SEO

The Details are What Sells

Providing as many product-specific details as possible to prospective clients will have positive effects on both your conversation rates as well as your search engine results. Start small; begin with your flagship products or those that don't get noticed enough. Add the elements engineers need to make buying decisions including FAQs, customer reviews, links to similar products, and product demo videos to increase the likelihood of getting found and converting leads to sales.


Topics Inbound Marketing, SEO, Digital Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing

Shelly is the Agency Marketing Manager at WebStrategies and showcases our services to prospective clients while listening to existing clients and team members to continually address their digital marketing needs. In 2009 she began her digital marketing career as an account manager with Impression Marketing; a company that is now part of WebStrategies. As a two-time graduate of Virginia Tech, she’s worked in digital roles at Capital One Financial and a leading local news organization in Richmond. After further honing her experience in content marketing, lead generation, email marketing, and social media promotions, Shelly joined WebStrategies in 2022.

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