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Is Your Industrial Website Leaking Leads?

One persistent problem for many manufacturers and industrial companies is the small number of leads generated from their Websites. By default, they assume that the issue is the lack of traffic because of poor SEO. It is quite likely, that your industrial Website is attracting enough traffic but suffers from poor conversion. In short, you may have a leaky industrial Website. (See my earlier post, You’ve Got Traffic. Now What?)

Look at your Google Analytics, one quick indicator of a leaky Website is your bounce rate. Google defines bounce rate as “The percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.” Anything over 60% is worrisome and you may have a leaky Website.

One caveat to the above rule of thumb – a page for downloading case studies probably will have a very high bounce rate but that doesn’t mean it is bad. If you are sophisticated enough with analytics, you can set up conversion tracking within Google Analytics to get a better handle on where the leads are leaking from your Website.

Often, I find industrial websites designed with no thought given to traffic conversion. The most common conversion mechanisms I see are a toll free number in a big bold font and a Contact Us or a lengthy RFQ form. While making your contact information very visible on your site is a good idea, it is not very effective in converting site traffic into named contacts or leads.

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Do You Believe in Industrial Websites?

Just like the classic ’60s hit song “Do You Believe in Magic?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful, I am wondering if manufacturers and industrial companies believe in their industrial websites.

I am not so sure manufacturing companies are fully convinced that their website is a real sales tool. My doubts stem from some of the things that I hear in my regular conversations with these companies. Here are a few actual sound bites:

  • We are still using our first website that was created by our president’s 23-year old son-in-law
  • We didn’t want to spend too much money so we hired an offshore programmer from a freelance site to design our company’s website
  • We spent a lot of money on SEO and PPC programs but our site hasn’t generated good quality leads
  • We are not very happy with the look of our site and we want a good designer to make our site look really “cool”
  • We put up a website because all our competitors have one
  • We don’t really use the website because 80-90% of our new business comes from referrals and repeat business

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Align Industrial Websites with Sales Process

If you want your industrial website to generate qualified leads and drive sales (Who doesn’t?), make sure the site is aligned with your sales process. Without this critical link, your newly redesigned industrial website may be nothing more than eye candy that does very little for your sales.

In my daily conversations with manufacturing and industrial companies, I find the mindset is still very much centered on marketing the old way. They want their site visitors to call and their crack sales team will take care of everything to close the deal.

Even though these people have read all the industry studies, they have a very difficult time accepting the fact that their buyers are no longer willing to engage with their salespeople until they need a quote. Now it boils down to price and delivery time.

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Website Evaluation Comes Before Site Redesign

Many manufacturers and industrial companies consider a website redesign during Q1. The two main reasons are 1) Not showing up in Google search results (SEO – Organic Search Engine Optimization) and/or 2) Not getting enough qualified leads from the website (Traffic and Conversion).

You know your industrial site needs a major makeover but diving right into a site redesign without first doing a website evaluation or a site audit can be a costly mistake.

Poor SEO and conversions are the symptoms that are obvious to you. Only an in-depth website evaluation can diagnose the underlying causes. Without that, a website redesign will only be a cosmetic facelift and cannot address all the issues that are stopping your industrial website from producing results.

Keep in mind that SEO is not the same as a website redesign. They do go together because retrofitting SEO is more difficult and not as effective. Don’t expect to show up on the first page of Google just because your website has just undergone a redesign.

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Inbound Marketing Tactics to Get Bulk of B2B Marketing Budgets in 2011

As we head into November and the start of the Holiday Season, B2B marketers are getting into their budgeting mode. With the cloud of economic uncertainty still hanging over many industries, it is not surprising that B2B marketers are shifting their 2011 budgets more towards lower-cost inbound eMarketing tactics.

MarketingSherpa asked more than 900 B2B marketers how they expected their marketing budgets to change for 2011. The chart below shows the breakdown between different marketing tactics and the projected increase/decrease for the next year. Read more

Successful Industrial Websites Require Part DiY and Part Professional Help

One trend that I have noticed lately with my industrial and engineering clients is that they want to take more of the work in-house. I am referring to updating, maintaining and sometimes marketing their industrial websites. Is that a good thing?

My opinion is somewhat biased because I am an industrial and B2B marketing consultant. I make my living providing marketing services including designing and marketing industrial websites. However, I think it is a new and permanent reality of the current economy and have learned to adjust my business model accordingly.

Adding value to industrial website development and marketing

I am going to illustrate my point about part DiY and part professional help by using three real-life examples from my own industrial marketing business.

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The 6 essential rules of a website redesign – Ignore them at your peril

Is you current website an asset or a liability? Is it so outdated that you avoid sending prospects and customers to your site? It may be time to invest in your online presence.

The one thing that this recession has taught B2B marketers is to do more with less. This trend towards lower-cost content marketing is likely to continue well into 2010. It goes well beyond just cutting costs, today, it is more about accountability, analytics and engaging customers and prospects by using free or inexpensive social media tactics.

So, what should you do to revamp or redesign your current website? I’m not talking about a cosmetic facelift but turning it into a marketing powerhouse as you position your company for the recovery. Here are six essential rules that you should follow:

1. Optimize, optimize, optimize: That’s the golden rule of online marketing as is location, location, location in real estate. Unless your prospects can find your site when searching in major search engines, you are dead in the water. It is possible to do search engine optimization (SEO) by yourself but allow yourself time and there is a learning curve. Consider hiring a coach or an SEO expert to work up a strategic plan that you can execute.

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Driving Traffic to Your Homepage All the Time May Be a Big Mistake

You’ve read up on all the traffic generation tactics and optimized your site to rank high on major search engines.

You begin to see great results with hundreds of new visitors coming to your site everyday. You are excited until you see two key site statistics that burst your bubble. They are:

1. High bounce rate — is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entry page. A high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors.

2. Low conversion rate — is the percent of site visitors who take a desired and measurable action. For example, fill out a form to download a white paper, register for a webinar, submit an order etc.

The above two web analytics are not mere statistics for your webmaster. They have a direct impact on your bottom line.

Why? Hordes of traffic that convert poorly are useless for generating qualified leads that convert well into paying customers.

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