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Assessing Your Manufacturing Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

Your website is a critical part of your company’s marketing engine. It’s the cornerstone of your company’s digital presence, a virtual storefront, a repository of information, and a hub for engagement that can significantly impact a company’s success in the competitive manufacturing landscape. And according to Gartner it’s becoming more important than ever, with a projected 80% of interactions between buyers and sellers will happen online by 2025.

Consistently optimizing and iterating on your site is critical to driving prospects through the marketing funnel, from the awareness to the buy stage. But how do you assess what’s working and what’s not? More importantly, how do you get buy-in from the sales team to invest in website improvements? To answer these top questions we hear from marketing managers in manufacturing, we put together a three-part guide on the importance of having a strong website, how to assess your existing website and identify opportunities for improvement, and how to tell the data story and gain buy-in from sales leadership.

1. Are You Maximizing Your Website’s ROI?

Your website is a critical piece of your brand presence that tells who you are, what you do, and who you serve. But it can also be leveraged as a tool for staying competitive in the industry, strategically moving prospects through the marketing funnel, and serving up fresh leads to your sales team. Tracking the right metrics can help you measure the ROI for your website, but it can also act as a sales enablement tool in ways that are less measurable. For example, your website may have key downloadables or blogs that your sales team can share directly with prospects to gain trust and stay relevant. 

Your website should be a tool that both your sales and marketing teams can leverage to grow your business—and if it’s not functioning for either of those purposes, then it may be time to make some changes. 

2. Does Your Website Support Your Sales Team?

A well-designed manufacturing website serves as a valuable support system for your sales team. It provides a showcase of your equipment, your capabilities, and offers resources that address specific pain points of the prospects they’re talking to. In other words, a treasure trove of resources that your sales team can use to engage in informed conversations and build trust with leads. 

How important is this content? According to SEMrush’s State of Content Marketing Report, most B2B buyers engage with 3–7 pieces of content on a company’s website before talking to a sales rep.

3. Are You Capturing MQLs & Converting to SQLs?

The process of converting Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) is essential for any B2B company’s growth, especially longer sales cycles that we see in manufacturing. A website plays a critical role in this process with the ability to capture leads (MQLs) that can be nurtured into SQLs—ultimately helping the sales team to fill their pipeline with prospects. 

When strategically placed and designed, gated content and other lead capturing mechanisms encourage visitors to share their contact information in exchange for valuable resources. Effective landing pages and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) guide visitors toward becoming leads, thus enabling the marketing team to nurture them further down the sales funnel.

4. Are You Leveraging Marketing Assets for Engagement?

Your website is a central hub for housing marketing assets that can be leveraged to engage leads. Resources such as whitepapers, e-books, webinars, and blog posts showcase the company’s expertise and provide actionable insights. By putting these marketing materials into action, the marketing team can initiate meaningful interactions, build credibility, and position the company as a thought leader in the industry.

5. Is Your Website Up to Date?

Your website should be your brand and business powerhouse, making it essential to regularly assess its technical performance, SEO data, and content quality on a regular basis. Here’s a quick checklist for conducting a comprehensive audit.

Technical Performance Evaluation

  • Page Load Speed: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to evaluate the loading speed of your website. A slow-loading site can lead to high bounce rates and decreased engagement.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Test how well your website adapts to different screen sizes and devices. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help identify areas for improvement.
  • User Experience (UX): Review your website’s navigation, ease of use, and overall user experience. Analyze user flows and identify potential friction points that could hinder engagement.

SEO Data Analysis

  • Keyword Performance: Use tools like Google Search Console or SEMrush to assess how well your website ranks for relevant keywords. Identify keywords driving traffic and those that need improvement.
  • Organic Traffic: Analyze the organic traffic trends over time. Monitor and compare which pages are attracting the most organic visitors and which need optimization.
  • Backlink Profile: Evaluate the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your website. High-quality backlinks can significantly improve your website’s authority and visibility.

Content Quality and Relevance

  • Content Audit: Conduct a content audit to identify outdated, irrelevant, or underperforming content. Determine which content resonates with your target audience and aligns with your business goals.
  • Engagement Metrics: Analyze metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and social shares to gauge the effectiveness of your content in keeping visitors engaged.
  • Conversion Paths: Evaluate the conversion paths on your website. Are CTAs strategically placed? Do landing pages effectively guide visitors toward conversion?
  • With the findings from your audit, you can begin to prioritize what changes will have the greatest impact on your site and business.

Gaining Buy-In for Website Upgrades from the Sales Team

Securing buy-in from the sales team for website upgrades is easier said than done. Here’s a step-by-step process to follow when making the case for website projects.

Highlight Industry Case Studies:

Present data and case studies showcasing how website upgrades have positively impacted other manufacturing companies’ sales performance. Feel free to use this case study as an example:

  • Global Industrial Furnace Manufacturer: Before working with gBRANDgo!, this customer had an outdated, inaccurate website that wasn’t driving conversions. We helped them launch a new global site with multi-language functionality and strong UI/UX and content strategy focused on driving conversions. The result? 76% user increase, 62% increase in overall sessions, and 71% increase in online quote requests. A well-built, well-designed website mades all the difference. 

Address the Sales Team’s Pain Points:

Illustrate how the proposed upgrades will directly address sales team pain points, such as providing better lead information and offering more valuable sales enablement resources. Usually, sales teams are eager to get their hands on valuable content they can offer to prospects to keep them warm. Crafting a website with a robust content strategy is a great way to give them access to these tools.

Seek Collaborative Input:

Involve the sales team in the decision-making process. Seek their input on pain points they encounter and features they believe would enhance their interactions with leads. The sales team might, for example, get frequent questions from prospects about a certain service or topic that you don’t even talk about on your current website. That’s great insight you can pull into your content strategy when optimizing your site.

Set Measurable Goals: 

What is it you’re trying to impact and how will you measure your success? Setting clear goals and expectations is key when getting buy-in from your sales team. You won’t be able to deliver hundreds of new leads this month, but you may be able to demonstrate an increase in site traffic or time on site—all signs that you’re taking steps in the right direction.

Build on Your Foundation

Your optimized site is the foundation for all other marketing efforts. From here you’re able to build a multi-channel marketing strategy that drives back to your site and generates even more leads for your team. 

Take the 5-Minute Marketing Assessment

Take our quick marketing assessment to gauge where your team’s marketing efforts stand and identify the biggest opportunities for improvement.

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