When we did a website marketing study of Arkansas manufacturers, there were a few things that were surprising. Here they are:
- Many Arkansas manufacturers pay to get their website listed in an online industrial directory. Most of those who pay ($1000 – $6000 per year) do not track visits to see if their advertising is effective.
- Around 31% of manufacturers are using some type of pay-per-click advertising like Google Adwords. However, most of them do not actively manage their pay-per-click campaigns.
- About 16% of the companies still use Microsoft FrontPage as their website development tool. FrontPage is no longer supported by Microsoft and it can cause significant problems with search engines like Google and Yahoo.
- Most manufacturers do not use forms to be contacted or receive request-for-quotes. Instead, they use a mailto hyperlink that is supposed to start the visitor’s e-mail program. Using the mailto approach is a problem for these reasons: it brings in lots of spam, it does not work properly for most visitors, and it does not pre-qualify sales leads.
- A majority of companies have effective navigation. At one time, website navigation was one of the most common problems on websites. This problem is less commonly seen in this study and is an encouraging discovery.
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