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Metal Finishing Websites Fail in Crucial Benchmarks

DBS Interactive
metal finishing router with word fail on top

Key Takeaways

  • Out of 200 metal finishing websites tested, only 2 websites achieved a “Good” score against Google’s performance thresholds.

  • As an industry, websites for metal finishing companies broadly fail to meet current standards for user experience.

  • The study highlights the need for a proactive approach to web development, addressing performance issues to position businesses for sustained success.

 

A recent analysis revealed surprisingly poor performance for websites representing metal finishing companies.

most metal finishing websites turn in poor performance scores which hurts seo and user experience

Two websites out of 200 tested scored above 90 on four Google Lighthouse tests.

Only two websites out of 200 tested in the study scored above 90 in all four components of the Google Lighthouse audit tool.

A score between 90 and 100 is considered “Good” in each of the four test modules.

The results indicate that companies in the metal finishing industry are underutilizing their website’s potential as the most reliable tool for generating leads and positioning their brand for growth.

“We’ve seen it over and over. High-performance websites that are strategically planned and maintained will position any brand to compete – and win,” said Cyndi Masters, Owner and CEO of DBS Interactive.

This is particularly true in B2B (business-to-business) manufacturing industries like metal finishing, where in-person networking is becoming extinct and salespeople increasingly depend on the website to attract prospects online who are performing research, discovery, and vendor selection primarily through search engines.

Speed Matters

Websites Lag in Vital Performance Test

Visitors to metal finishing websites aren’t that different from customers of those companies.

They want things fast.

chart shows that 75% of metal finishing websites need some or significant performance improvements.

Longer page load time can reduce conversions and increase bounce rates.

Most websites turned in scores between 50-89, which correlates to “Needs Improvement.” Almost 19% of the websites had scores that put them in the “Poor” category.

The lowest-scoring site for the Performance test had a Speed Index of almost 42 seconds. The fastest site loaded in less than a second. Scores below 3 seconds are considered fast, and over 5 seconds are slow.

A Google study shows that the probability of a user bouncing or leaving a website immediately increases by 32% as page load times go from 1 second to 3 seconds.

A fast website has other advantages. Search engines factor website performance into organic search rankings and pay-per-click ad performance.

Only four websites scored 100 on the speed test. The worst-performing webpage, with a score of 13, turned in a score of about 16 seconds.

All things being equal, search engines will likely send users to a faster website if the quality of the information and other factors are similar to those of other websites.

Fractions of seconds matter.

A loading time faster than 3 seconds is considered good. Of the metal finishing sites tested, 161 loaded slower than that, with 108 taking more than 5 seconds to load, which is considered poor.

Still, it’s not critical to have a score of 100. Fowler said being in the green (the “Good” range) matters most.

 

Chart shows over half the metal finishing websites had poor page load times of five seconds or more

Over half the metal finishing websites had poor page load times of five seconds or more

“A modern, well-developed website can achieve high-performance without compromising visual aesthetics or web design principles,”

-Steve Fowler, Marketing Director at DBS Interactive

Akami, a cloud computing company, found that conversion rates can drop by 7% for every 100 millisecond delay in load time. That’s a lot of lost business opportunities.

AutoAnything, an e-commerce subsidiary of AutoZone, is often cited as a relevant example. Website developers cut page load times in half, increasing conversions by nine percent.

In the case of metal finishing services, a fast website creates a positive first impression and can support a brand story that includes better lead times.

“The really fast websites, regardless of the company or industry, have set the performance expectation. People will remember a bad web experience, whether it is for metal finishing services or seat covers,” Fowler said.

Closing a sale involves numerous factors. Turning away potential customers before they can get in the door is a lost opportunity, Fowler said.

Design and performance are not mutually exclusive.

The website for Arrow Finishing has a score of 96 for page speed performance. It features a bold design incorporating subtle animation and loads in about 1.5 seconds. Some of the websites tested lacked modern design and aesthetics, which produced their high scores. The Arrow site demonstrates that appearance doesn’t negatively affect performance scores.


Click to Jump to Website Performance Test Results Below


Performance Maximizes Search Visibility for Websites

When web users need metal finishing services or are looking for employment opportunities at those companies, they usually begin their search on platforms such as Google, Bing, and others. Poor performance ratings for a company website can significantly affect its visibility and ranking in search engine results for keywords related to their offerings.

It’s not just about ranking–being on the first page of search results is critical. Being in the first three positions, not counting sponsored links, is the ideal outcome because it drives the most traffic and awareness.

chart shows metal finishing websites evenly split for SEO performance.

The SEO test evaluates elements such as meta tags, structured data markup, and mobile-friendliness.

SEO training company Backlinko, using Google data, found that less than 1% of users move to the second page of search results.

Lighthouse performance scores directly impact user experience signals such as page speed and accessibility, often causing high bounce rates and rendering keyword-optimized content ineffective.

Companies must prioritize website optimization to thrive in the competitive digital environment for better organic search performance.

The Lighthouse SEO assessment evaluates factors such as meta tags, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, and content quality.

“Your website is often the first impression people have, and with more users turning to search engines for metal finishing services, nailing website performance is a game-changer, said Steve Fowler, Director of Marketing at DBS Interactive.

Even though Google Lighthouse doesn’t directly assess all SEO factors, aspects such as meta tags, structured data markup, and mobile-friendliness are key to organic search performance. Websites that follow best SEO practices are more likely to rank well and gain organic traffic.

Companies with low-performing websites face a competitive disadvantage as they struggle to attract visitors and stand out from competitors.

Optimized Websites Maximize Ad Impact

Companies may be wasting ad budgets with a low-performance website.

Many metal finishing companies rely on paid digital advertising to boost their position in search results. With relatively low clickthrough rates of about two percent for ads in Google Search, a company can’t afford to let a low-performing website drive away potential customers.

The numbers indicate that most metal finishing companies that use digital advertising have websites that need improvement. Most sites with paid campaigns had scores in the 50-60 range.

Websites with better performance scores offer an optimal user experience and can achieve better results, including higher conversion and reduced bounce rates.

“Beyond paid ads, a website with top-notch Google Lighthouse scores slashes PPC spending and attracts more organic traffic. It’s not just about ads; it’s about optimizing the digital presence for maximum results,” – said Steve Fowler, Marketing Director at DBS.

Also, Google evaluates user experience for the websites to determine a Google ad’s Quality Score, which affects its ability to win ad auctions. A lower score indicates that Google perceives the ad, landing page, or overall user experience as suboptimal.

Low Lighthouse Scores Affect PPC Quality Scores

  • May be displayed lower on the search engine results page (SERP).
  • Result in a higher cost per click (CPC). Google rewards advertisers with higher scores by offering lower CPCs.
  • Can limit the effectiveness of your ad extensions, reducing their impact on ad visibility and user engagement.
  • Produce fewer impressions and a lower click-through rate (CTR).

“Nobody can afford to waste valuable marketing dollars,” Fowler said.

Accessibility is Non-Negotiable

Page speed and accessibility are two sides of the user experience coin.

In the DBS study, 64% of the websites scored below 89 for accessibility, putting them in the Needs Improvement or Poor categories.

An accessible website allows users with lifelong or temporary disabilities, including users with age-related vision, hearing, or motor skills, to browse it.

chart shows 64% of metal finishing websites need improvement for accessibility and 13% score good marks.

Lower Accessibility scores can affect organic search performance.

“It’s amazing. Businesses often install automatic doors on their buildings yet don’t consider helping people enter their website,”

-Cyndi Masters, Owner and CEO of DBS Interactive 

 

Just like Performance, website usability supports organic and PPC performance.

For example, using “Alt Text” for images adds information for screen readers for users with visual impairments. That same information offers search engines cues for understanding the page content.

A more menacing issue for websites with low Accessibility scores is the significant legal risk this creates.

Low scores raise a red flag for legal departments responsible for minimizing a business’s exposure to lawsuits. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been interpreted to require accessible websites just as it requires accessibility for physical places.

“We’ve seen low accessibility scores across all industries,” said John Golden, Director of Development at DBS Interactive. “The problems range from images missing Alt Text and poor color contrast to inaccessible form controls and keyboard navigation issues,” he said.

Despite lawsuits against notable companies like Domino’s Pizza, Target, and Harvard University, many other companies have not come around to building and maintaining a website that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today, compliance generally equates to following the WCAG 2.1 AA criteria.

Of the websites that achieved “Good” scores, 10 returned scores of 100. At the low end, two websites scored “Poor.”

Benefits of an Accessible Website

  • Improved search engine performance
  • Positive brand reputation
  • Faster user experience
  • Improved user pathways
  • Attracts and serves a wider audience
  • Reduced legal exposure

Any Lighthouse Accessibility score below 90 means the website’s lack of accessibility could make it the target of a lawsuit.

About the Website Study

DBS Interactive, a full-service digital agency in Louisville, Kentucky, reviewed 201 websites for metal finishing companies across the United States in May 2024.

The results match previous studies for the websites of industrial companies, indicating that the lack of adherence to best practices is not unique.

Facility/Business Name Performance Accessibility Best Practices SEO
Optimal Performance Innovations. External Link. Opens in new window. 95 100 100 92
Arrow Finishing. External Link. Opens in new window. 94 91 100 100

Evaluations were done on the mobile component of the Lighthouse tool. In organic search rankings, Google prioritizes scores and the mobile user experience over desktop browsers.

Two sites scored 90 or above on all four tests.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • The average page speed score was 66.
  • The lowest page speed score was 13.
  • 9 sites were unscannable and were omitted from the study.
  • At least 37 sites were not secure with HTTPS.

“Addressing performance issues and enhancing accessibility not only ensures compliance with digital standards but also positions businesses for sustained success in the competitive digital landscape,” said Cyndi Masters, CEO and Founder of DBS Interactive.

She also noted that two websites scoring above 90 on all four tests were the lowest number she had seen across testing in various industries.

The study highlights the need for a proactive approach to web development. Addressing performance issues and enhancing accessibility ensures compliance with digital standards and positions businesses for sustained success.

The Mobile Experience Matters

Another finding in the study revealed only one website incorporated the Progressive Web App (PWA) technology.

Arrow Finishing rounds out its high performance in the Google Lighthouse audit by building its website as a PWA.

As more users access websites from mobile devices, performance optimization becomes essential. Google Lighthouse evaluates a website’s performance on mobile devices, emphasizing the need for responsive design and efficient loading times to cater to the growing mobile user base.

Websites built as PWAs are faster, more responsive, and capable of performing like an app, yet can still be indexed for organic search and usable as a traditional website. The architecture of a PWA supports a better user experience.

PWA Benefits

  • Fast loading time
  • Operates on poor networks
  • Small development footprint
  • Integrates app-like features
  • No app stores, no downloads
  • Instant updates

Here are easy-to-follow instructions for running the Google Lighthouse tool.

 

Keeping Your Website Healthy

The poor scores represent opportunities for metal finishing businesses to implement website performance improvements. Companies can document the results of the effort by tracking improved search rankings, higher click-through rates, and Lighthouse scores.

The five websites that returned errors point to the need for routine maintenance and careful attention to analytics.

There are numerous reasons for the testing failure.

  • Slow server response time
  • Unoptimized images or resources
  • JavaScript and CSS render-blocking
  • Large page size
  • Lack of caching mechanisms
  • Broken or incorrect links
  • Accessibility issues
  • Deprecated HTML/CSS/JavaScript features
  • Inefficient code execution
  • Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) issues

The need for improvement is obvious, with only a handful of websites achieving optimal scores and others failing.

“It’s an investment that benefits visitors and the bottom line,” she said.

Test your site using the free Lighthouse tool then CONTACT US about ways to improve the performance of your metal finishing website.

 

Metal Finishing Websites Tested

DBS Interactive selected these companies for testing using Thomas®. In the Google Lighthouse audit tool Websites scoring between 90-100 are considered to have GOOD performance. Scores ranging from 50-89 NEED IMPROVEMENT, and scores from 0-49 are considered POOR. Here are simple instructions for running Google Lighthouse.

chart shows the distribution of page speed rankings with the majority of sites scoring below good.

How websites performed on the Performance test.

DBS Interactive selected these metal finishing companies for testing using the Google Lighthouse audit tool. Websites scoring between 90-100 are considered to have GOOD performance. Scores ranging from 50-89 NEED IMPROVEMENT, and scores from 0-49 are considered POOR.

Company Performance Accessibility Best Practices SEO Speed Index
BMP Manufacturing Inc. 99 66 85 62 0.84
W. Kendall & Sons Inc 100 60 93 58 1.06
Kangas Enameling Inc 100 54 85 67 1.36
Laird Technologies 93 68 78 89 1.43
Triple E Mfg. Co. 100 89 89 67 1.56
Precision Mold Plating, Inc. 96 70 70 58 1.76
Waco Metal Finishing 90 71 70 67 1.78
Advanced Finishing 99 89 89 75 1.80
International Production Specialists, Inc. 100 50 70 83 1.84
Theiss Plating Corp. 96 81 96 92 1.88
Adams Industries, Inc 96 95 93 89 1.88
Aluma-Tec Industries, Inc. 92 67 70 58 1.89
Rapid Plating 92 68 85 83 1.91
Arrow Finishing 94 91 100 100 2.00
Superior Grinding & Sales Inc 95 69 67 67 2.14
Lafayette Wire Products, Inc. 84 89 96 83 2.15
Hartford Heat Treat 99 88 100 86 2.17
Micron Industries 98 96 96 77 2.23
Nobert Plating Co. 98 67 67 67 2.31
Alpha Packaging, Inc. 84 81 93 69 2.34
Precision Grind 94 95 74 91 2.65
Racine Flame Spray 77 78 70 92 2.76
Wisco Industries, Inc. 65 75 30 79 2.76
Malik’s Cutter Grinding 84 98 100 100 2.78
Powers Paint Shop, Inc 84 84 96 84 2.85
Optimal Performance Innovations LLC 95 100 100 92 2.88
Electro-Spec, Inc. 85 97 78 83 2.91
Tru-Tone Powder Coating, Inc. 73 95 78 92 2.91
Burr/Off 74 99 100 91 3.06
Panacea Powder Coating & Ceramic Coating 86 54 70 67 3.11
KMG Industrial Screening & Metal Finishing, LLC 97 88 96 85 3.11
Northstar Manufacturing, Inc. 89 92 96 90 3.16
Electrocoat 72 93 59 93 3.16
Barrel Plating Service, Inc. 94 94 96 86 3.16
US Plating & Surface Finishing 84 90 96 90 3.24
Premier Finishing 92 77 78 86 3.25
Advanced Steel Technology 93 90 70 100 3.27
Hudapack Metal Treating, Inc. 73 78 100 98 3.38
Sue-Jac, Inc. 72 90 100 90 3.41
CMT – Finishing Technologies 54 93 100 89 3.43
Central Texas Powder Coating 69 78 70 78 3.48
Iowa PowderCraft 76 66 100 85 3.57
A&A Powder Coating 70 98 78 96 3.57
Atkinson Engineering 78 83 78 86 3.57
Signal Metal Industries, Inc. 63 91 93 91 3.59
Delta Specialty Coatings LLC 92 96 78 99 3.59
Broken Arrow Powder Coating 68 84 74 86 3.68
Jhelsa Metal Polishing & Fabricating , Inc. 57 58 93 83 3.75
Metal Finishing Co. 81 87 78 93 3.76
AAA Industries, Inc. 86 88 93 92 3.77
Quality Industries, Inc. 82 86 74 91 3.83
McCammon Engineering Corp. 68 82 70 93 3.84
Spray Tech Industrial Solutions 86 85 78 91 3.95
Mursix Corp. 74 82 100 77 3.95
Valley Industrial Powder Coating 66 97 70 93 3.97
A1 Polishing & Finishing, Inc 74 100 74 99 4.00
Fabri-Tech, Inc. 70 88 96 81 4.04
Whitewater Manufacturing Co. 93 76 74 78 4.07
FPM Heat Treating, Inc. 73 70 78 76 4.08
Accurate Precision Plating 72 90 70 71 4.10
Superior Metal Technologies 74 95 100 100 4.15
Sieber Tool Engineering 48 92 52 83 4.24
Spectrum Custom Solutions 61 87 74 82 4.34
U.S. Chrome Corporation 69 86 70 90 4.35
Faux Real Design & Fabrication, LLC 74 81 100 100 4.36
Ashley Ward, Inc. 65 88 78 93 4.37
Chromium, Inc. 84 83 78 93 4.39
Niland Co. 67 100 70 98 4.41
A & J Coat Finishers, Inc. 68 56 70 54 4.43
GF Health Products, Inc. 42 82 70 95 4.44
Performance Engineered Coatings 73 68 100 100 4.45
Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc 86 92 78 100 4.51
Innovative Metal Finishing, LLC 68 51 78 85 4.54
Watry Industries, LLC 56 78 56 98 4.59
The Dirilyte Line 72 91 74 62 4.64
Laser612 74 95 96 86 4.68
Old Iron Powder Coating & Restoration, LLC 59 95 100 93 4.79
Apache Stainless Equipment Corp. 57 71 96 100 4.85
Fisher Barton 72 95 93 84 4.90
Mayville Engineering Company, Inc. 62 89 100 92 4.95
Matenaer Corporation 70 67 48 62 4.99
McLaughlin Body Co. 67 96 96 86 5.13
Technic Inc. 78 71 70 63 5.16
B.L. Downey Company LLC 69 93 70 92 5.19
Servitech Industries, Inc. 86 66 48 81 5.28
Automatd Finishing Technology 72 58 74 100 5.30
Elite Metal Polishing Company 71 100 78 93 5.31
Storm Power Components 70 100 74 98 5.33
Andrew Tool & Machining 61 88 74 93 5.35
Masterson Industries 49 65 96 100 5.39
Allied Powder Coating, Inc. 61 98 74 79 5.43
Kadet Products, Inc. 47 100 78 97 5.47
ATA Finishing Corp. 64 94 100 93 5.54
HMT LLC 70 85 96 90 5.55
Spectrum Metal Finishing 64 81 93 100 5.58
Gray Laser Engraving 72 87 74 76 5.59
Johnson LHG 60 76 74 93 5.59
Above & Beyond Black Oxide, Inc. 63 86 93 77 5.65
Elite Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. 57 66 78 62 5.69
Laser Finishing 66 82 74 98 5.72
H. L. Clausing Inc. 67 89 100 93 5.79
ArcRon 87 90 96 100 5.81
Ultra Plating Corp 79 100 100 93 5.83
Jacobson Paint Finishes LLC 56 94 78 93 5.89
Industrial Engraving, Inc. 62 90 96 99 5.98
Keronite Inc. 73 90 70 90 5.99
Ace Laser Tek, Inc. 55 79 74 86 6.01
Morrell Plating Co., Inc. 89 90 74 92 6.02
Clearline Industries 68 94 74 100 6.03
POM Inc. 40 70 70 71 6.06
Atlas Protective Coatings 49 76 100 82 6.16
V&L Polishing Inc. 60 90 70 69 6.25
S & C Plastic Coating 60 91 78 100 6.26
Rave Gears 65 94 100 97 6.26
Master Finish Co. 61 92 100 93 6.26
Anderson & Dahlen, Inc. 58 91 100 90 6.33
CW Elaborations 71 96 78 67 6.36
Ward Corporation 62 83 100 91 6.46
Umicore Technical Materials 62 91 78 89 6.56
Precision Plating Company Inc. 48 66 96 86 6.59
Art Metal Finishers 42 56 74 85 6.73
American Metal Finishing Inc 57 89 74 98 6.88
Rick’s Powder Coating & Customs 65 94 100 86 6.95
Wayne Black Oxide 71 96 100 88 7.02
Schumacher Co., Inc. 82 92 96 86 7.07
Scot Industries 62 92 96 92 7.08
Barron Metal Finishing, LLC 58 91 78 91 7.10
NN, Inc. 50 86 93 83 7.24
Magnetic Inspection Laboratory, Inc. 59 92 96 91 7.26
American Trim 63 93 74 86 7.27
Budding Polishing & Metal Finishing 58 92 100 93 7.30
Burr Technology 37 46 70 69 7.59
Mechanical Industries, LLC 56 94 63 92 7.63
Pultool 73 84 59 92 7.70
Surfacetec Corporation 39 89 100 79 7.72
Select Powder Coating 50 100 100 95 7.90
Precoat Metals 43 75 78 74 7.91
Floturn, Inc. 50 96 78 93 8.02
Martin Petersen Company 65 65 100 93 8.13
Elliott Tool Company 51 69 70 91 8.15
SC2 68 81 78 98 8.37
Perfection Plating, Inc. 64 84 67 69 8.50
Iceberg Molding 44 93 56 97 8.52
Accurate Coating, Inc. 62 95 100 86 8.52
RC Industries 51 94 100 98 8.54
Conhagen Industries 57 95 74 97 8.59
Parker Trutec 65 86 89 95 8.59
Estes Design & Manufacturing, Inc. 35 86 70 99 8.68
Hilite Industries, Inc. 56 74 52 58 8.84
AACOA, Inc. 52 93 74 82 8.93
Micro Metals Inc. 65 92 74 93 8.94
JCM Machine & Coatings 60 92 100 93 9.03
Premium Plate 40 86 70 91 9.04
IMFCO 38 93 100 93 9.09
HTT, Inc. 43 79 52 93 9.10
Metalizing Specialists, LLC 68 100 74 91 9.13
Wheelabrator Group 55 93 70 83 9.16
H.D.H. Instruments 47 90 100 93 9.18
Living Design Studios, Inc. 58 80 96 84 9.19
Indianapolis Badge & Nameplate Co. 34 89 100 84 9.56
Spartek, Inc. 41 88 96 98 9.58
Elm Plating Co. 38 80 78 70 9.59
Alloy Metal Finishing, LLC 50 73 48 76 9.66
Arlington Plating Co. 43 74 67 86 10.38
Remote Controls, Inc. 34 87 67 97 10.99
Reliance Steel & Aluminum 61 95 100 98 11.00
Gatto Industrial Platers, Inc. 46 78 52 71 11.13
Teledyne Advanced Electronic Solutions 57 82 44 100 11.34
Scott Models 55 90 96 83 11.71
Champ Industries 59 90 96 84 11.80
Astro Pak 45 90 78 88 12.19
RAO Manufacturing Company 52 69 52 92 12.55
Shape Corp. Japan Co. Ltd 41 0 70 85 12.64
Atlas Manufacturing 52 82 59 98 12.84
Profile Finishing Systems 45 83 100 79 12.86
Nesco Manufacturing 23 96 78 96 13.12
MINNCOR Industries 46 85 78 81 13.12
Eco Finishing 55 86 89 100 14.04
Lorin 21 87 52 79 14.57
Essex Group, Inc. 13 79 78 83 15.87
Rapid Waterjet Design 34 84 78 93 16.37
G & H Metal Finishing 38 87 52 70 16.82
Reliable Plating Works, Inc. 35 62 85 86 16.93
Industrial Finishing Co. 66 89 78 77 17.07
Columbia Gear Corp. 55 91 89 71 21.42
Commercial Manufacturing Co., Inc. 62 56 78 93 24.71
Behr Enterprises LLC 54 74 96 79 26.46
COMP Cams 26 61 59 74 33.00
Argo Products Company 37 74 96 86 41.87
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