B2B Manufacturers: Product Pages are your Digital Front Door

Recently I helped a product manufacturer rethink analytics of their on-line product catalog. Our goal was to understand who was using the product catalog, and how well it was working for them.

When we do analytics for a B2B manufacturer, we like to understand:

  • How do visitors arrive at your product pages? Where do they come from?
  • Do they land on product pages directly, or elsewhere on the site?
  • What do they do once they get to a product page?

What we discovered was similar to what I’ve seen with other manufacturers’ product pages. Over half the traffic to the website – users, sessions, pageviews, downloads – was for product pages. (Other manufacturers I’ve worked with see as much as 80% of website traffic on the catalog).

When we do web analytics on product pages, we see the same pattern across B2B manufacturers:

  • Visitors looking for product info either land directly on a product detail page or within one or two clicks of one.
  • They typically arrive from web search, almost always from Google.
  • The searches are often on part numbers – suggesting they got them from a distributor website.
  • Most catalog traffic is “hit and run” – a visitor gets to the product detail page, reads or downloads what they need, then leaves.

Our conclusion: Product detail pages are your digital “front door.” Visitors don’t enter through the home page. They Google you.

What’s the lesson learned? Design your “front door” to better serve all your digital visitors – every “persona” – whether they’re shopping, buying, installing, using, fixing, upgrading, or disposing of your product. Your B2B customers – in every phase of the product lifecycle – are coming through the same door.

Martin Edic is Marketing Lead with Dakota Systems. He previously worked as Director of Marketing for Jorsek (easyDITA) and with Language Intelligence Ltd.
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