How to Use Industrial SEO to Boost Your Manufacturing Company
Search engine optimization (SEO), if you don’t know already, is the art of making updates to your website so that it has the right layout and language to show up first on pages like Google and Bing.
Essentially, it’s the way many modern industrial companies stand out amongst competition. The purpose is to get the largest percentage of qualified leads and potential sales coming in from search engines.
Long story short: for any industrial company that wants to stay relevant in this dynamic day and age, SEO isn’t just recommended… it’s necessary. One thing that’s important to note, however, is that optimization strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all. The tips and tricks that work best in one industry won’t work as well in others.
Case in point: manufacturing and industrial marketing through SEO.
Why is SEO important for the manufacturing industry?
Manufacturing is a huge part of the United States economy. Manufactured goods comprise half of all yearly U.S. exports, not to mention the value each individual product brings to the overall economy. Despite this, many manufacturing companies haven’t needed to embrace the web as a selling tool as readily as other industries. This is for a number of reasons. One reason is that manufacturing has always had their processes pretty figured out. The people and businesses that need niche products know where they’ve always gotten them and haven’t needed to look elsewhere.
While that’s true, what’s also true is the fact that people just aren’t responding to traditional industrial marketing and sales techniques anymore. Word-of-mouth is still just as important to manufacturing companies, but the way word-of-mouth works has become more digital. It used to be that you had to talk to salespeople in order to get access to datasheets or critical information. The web has changed how we research and get information, and much more of the sales process happens online, before engineers ever think about talking to a rep. If manufacturing companies can’t keep up with these changes, they’ll lose business to competitors that modernize their marketing to attract and engage leads online.
Google alone sees more than three hundred billion searches every single day. Wouldn’t you want your company to show up in as many of those searches as it possibly can?
How can I use industrial SEO to help my manufacturing company?
Now that you know how important it is, it’s time to learn the basics of industrial SEO. Once you’re equipped with basic SEO knowledge, you’ll be able to start taking steps to improve your company’s entire online presence. These are the three most important rules of SEO for manufacturing companies:
It starts and ends with keyword research.
- The difference between a wildly successful industrial website and one that isn’t comes down to the keywords they choose. Keywords are the choice words and phrases that fundamentally represent your company: what you do, what you offer, who you are. A good keyword will target what people are searching for and lead them to the answers to their questions. There are a lot of different keyword research tools currently available on the market to help analyze the best choices for your site. The first thing you should do before using any tools, however, is make a list yourself. Have your employees (particularly your sales reps) contribute to a master collection of words or phrases they believe are most representative of your business. Look at competitor websites and see what keywords they’re optimizing for, add them to your list if they’re also relevant for you. Once you have that initial list, you can use one of the tools linked above to move forward with refining and developing that list further. Steer clear of keywords that are too general and could attract unqualified or B2C traffic, but look for a mix of industry-wide terms and longer-tail, really specific keywords that could provide very detailed content and solutions for a website visitor.
It’s as much about how people search as it is what they’re searching for.
- Don’t fall into the trap of believing that, just by adding some keywords to your website, that it’ll magically become ten times as successful. Keywords are just the foundation. The other important aspect of search engine optimization is analysis. You want to be able to answer questions like, “Where do people find our site most often? What leads them to click or not? What are their pain points? How can I better tempt them to click now or, stay on the site longer, or at least, return later?”Build a habit of reviewing key analytics regularly and prioritizing agile improvements over time.
You won’t get away with empty content.
- This is true for all marketing, but it’s especially true in industrial marketing. That’s because the majority of people who are going to be Googling your company are on-the-ground engineers looking for solutions. They won’t be interested in sales guy filler or fluffy marketing content. Instead, they’re going to want to see exact answers to exact questions, specs, case studies, and detailed information. So what does this mean when it comes to developing an industrial SEO plan? It means that just adding keywords to on-page web copy won’t be enough. You also need to make sure your plan includes addressing your target audience directly and meeting them at their intellectual level. There’s no point in improving your search rankings if, once they’re on your site, they leave to find their answers elsewhere.
Knowing why search engine optimization is important for the manufacturing industry is just the first step. The next step is understanding the basics so that you can reach out to industrial marketing professionals to help you best implement those rules on your website. Since you’ve read this blog post, you already have step one and two taken care of.
Next up: give the team at Windmill Strategy a call. We’re not just digital marketing experts. We’re digital marketing experts that focus especially on the manufacturing industry and its very specific needs. We’ll help you not only start an industrial SEO plan for your manufacturing company, but work with you along the way to consistently improve results.