The manufacturing sector demands efficiency, ingenuity, and cost-effectiveness — three traits you’ll find in digital marketing, specifically, search engine optimization (SEO). Compared to traditional marketing, SEO lets you reach the audience you want, and it improves your return on investment (ROI).
At IndustrialFX, we bring more than 20 years of Internet marketing experience to manufacturers around the globe. We’ve generated more than two million leads so far, which is why we’ve compiled an essential SEO guide for manufacturing companies.
Dive into our breakdown of SEO and case studies below or contact us to learn more at 844-325-5802.
What is search engine optimization?
SEO is an umbrella term used to describe numerous strategies designed to optimize your website and improve its ranking in search results. While some industrial marketing companies only focus on boosting your website’s ranking, we focus on improving its ranking for keywords that convert.
What that means is we drive valuable, qualified traffic to your website — versus any traffic. That translates to phone calls, quote requests, and emails from an audience that’s looking to invest in your products or services.
It’s smart, result-driven SEO, which is why we’re the leading performance-driven digital marketing agency in the U.S.
Our team utilizes several SEO strategies, which include on-page and off-page SEO:
Your on-page SEO refers to optimizing your website. The idea is that you’re improving the functionality of your website and its elements for search engines, which crawl and index your website’s pages to display in search results.
A product page, for instance, may feature the name, colors, and images of an item, but nothing else. If you wanted to improve its ranking, you’d optimize it with a product description that incorporates relevant keywords, plus a keyword-optimized title tag, meta description, and URL.
Keeping your website updated is another component of on-page SEO. Instead of updating all your static pages, such as for your products or services, and returning to the day-to-day grind, you’d continue to add content on a regular basis. A blog is an excellent way to keep your website fresh — which search engines like to see.
Your off-page SEO refers to improving the authority or trustworthiness of your website. For this part of SEO for manufacturing companies, you’re working to build votes of confidence — or links — from other quality websites.
In most cases, it’s not your product or service pages that websites in your industry will link to, but creative, informative, and unique content that you produce on your blog. That’s why content marketing is a core feature of SEO, as you have to generate new content on a routine basis.
For many manufacturers, earning links from other websites is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO. That’s why it helps to have an industrial SEO partner, like IndustrialFX, which invests the time to learn your industry to earn you valuable links, mentions, and press coverage from high-quality websites.
It’s one of the reasons why our client retention rate is almost 100 percent.
What does SEO for manufacturing companies include?
To break-down SEO further, let’s look at what SEO for manufacturing companies includes:
- Keyword research
- Content development
- Keyword or keyphrase optimization
- Local search optimization
- Conversion rate optimization
- Lead tracking
Manufacturers will often use SEO in coordination with other digital marketing tools, such as:
How you decide to incorporate SEO into your company depends on your goals, as well as budget and market sector. Depending on the level of competition you have, you may only require SEO, versus PPC and SEO. Or, you may refresh your entire website to launch a full-on digital marketing plan.
For example, our partnership with Sharretts Plating, an industrial plating service provider, consisted of content marketing, web design, and SEO. The result was a substantial increase in organic search engine traffic — more than 160 percent — and a rise in quote requests.
That’s why we offer customized plans, plus provide you with a dedicated account manager. They’ll learn the ins-and-outs of your industry and company, recommending services that respect your budget and offer the most value and results.
How does industrial SEO improve lead generation and revenue
For business owners, as well as marketers without digital marketing experience, it’s natural to ask about search engine optimization’s role in lead generation, which is a critical factor when you’re looking to earn new sources of revenue.
The reason SEO is so valuable to lead generation is that more people — from your everyday consumer to your business-to-business (B2B) client — are using search engines to find their next purchase.
In fact, more than 70 percent of B2B clients start their product research with a search engine, whether it’s Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Many users also stick to the first page of search results, which is why 33 percent of all search traffic goes to the first website in search results.
Because of that, it’s essential to have your website appear on the first page of search results — and you need to optimize your website to accomplish that. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on valuable leads, and not because of your product, staff, or service, but because your website doesn’t appear soon enough.
To maximize your revenue and lead generation, however, you need to implement SEO the right way. That means researching your audience and targeting the phrases they’re using across search engines, as well as avoiding shady SEO practices, such as keyword stuffing.
When you do that, you’ll maximize the advantages of SEO.
Benefits of SEO for manufacturers
Our SEO guide for manufacturing companies aims to not only explain SEO and provide tips for incorporating it into your business but also answer a lot of the questions surrounding SEO, like how it benefits you and your operation.
With SEO, there are several advantages — which you can measure and monitor. As an example, let’s say you’re the manager of a manufacturing plant for fasteners and decide to invest in SEO. With a smart campaign strategy, you can see several results, including:
- Improved lead generation for bulk orders exceeding 100,000 units
- Increased conversion rates for website visitors that land on your fastener product page
- Heightened brand awareness and online presence among your competitors
- Improved search engine rankings and click-through-rates (CTR) for relevant keywords, like “bulk stainless steel fasteners”
The tool that many manufacturers use to track SEO performance is Google Analytics. We go beyond that though, also utilizing our proprietary software, MarketingCloudFX, which is the leading return-on-investment (ROI) tracking software technology in the industry.
It provides you with complete access to your SEO campaign and lets us offer complete transparency.
How do you measure the success of industrial SEO?
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing lets you track the success of your efforts — including your industrial SEO. While industrial marketing companies may differ in their approach, we focus on a comprehensive set of SEO metrics and recommend you do the same.
Assess the following metrics for SEO:
This data point is likely one you already focus on because of its financial value. All your landing pages, which are pages that a user enters your website through, should have a conversion goal.
Some examples of conversion goals include:
- Downloading a resource on fastener types
- Contacting a team member about bulk orders
- Signing up for a newsletter on the fastener industry and company news
- Requesting a quote for a bulk order of fasteners
In most cases, you can expect your conversion rates to vary over time, such as during your busy season. If you look at your conversion rates over an extended period, for example, you may notice valleys and hills. A sudden change in your rates that becomes a trend, however, needs assessment.
Organic Search Rankings and Traffic
Whether it’s SEO for manufacturing companies or distribution centers, the goal is to improve your ranking in organic search results. That’s why you need to analyze how much traffic you’re driving through organic search.
It’s important to note, SEO is a long-term investment. It delivers results over time — not overnight — so if you’re not ranking on page one right after publishing your newest page, don’t worry. If that trend continues, though, you may want to re-evaluate your keyword research.
Like the other SEO metrics mentioned, you can check your organic search rates in Google Analytics.
Another metric to pay attention to is your popular pages. Look at the pages that receive the most traffic, conversions, or dwell time, and investigate why. What makes that content engaging, shareable, and high-ranking?
When you discover why those pages work, you can apply it to existing or future pages.
7 steps to create a successful SEO plan for your manufacturing business
Ready to implement an SEO plan for your manufacturing company? Start with these seven steps:
1. CREATE AN SEO-FRIENDLY WEBSITE STRUCTURE
A lot of times, companies will focus on the content of a page and miss the structure and design of it. In SEO, your page content and structure matter — both for users and for search engines. That’s why you need to create easy-to-read pages that users and Google can navigate with ease.
Build an SEO-friendly website structure by collaborating with your development team. Your in-house developers will likely make modifications to your website’s code, while you’ll revise the structure of your content. You can also partner with IndustrialFX, as we work as an extension of your team.
Plus, we provide unparalleled industrial SEO expertise. That’s why our clients, on average, see a 20 percent increase in their revenue.
In some instances, your profits may rise even more. Our work for Keystone Industries, a dental product manufacturer and supplier, for instance, led to a more than 600 percent increase in organic search transactions.
2. RESEARCH RELEVANT KEYWORDS
A core part of SEO is keyword research. Dedicate the time to creating buyer personas and identifying their wants, needs, and motives. Otherwise, you may end up targeting keywords that fail to deliver when it comes to traffic and conversions.
Depending on your business, you may chat with your clients every day and hear about what they’re looking to learn, such as how to clean a new piece of machinery, choose a finish for an application, or compare different accessories.
If not, visit online forums and websites that focus on your industry and its niche. See what people are writing, commenting, and asking. A website like Quora, for instance, can serve as an excellent resource for you.
Bookmark Ubersuggest and Keyword Tool as well. They’re both free keyword research tools that help you discover additional keywords fast. Plus, they provide essential information about a keyword’s search volume and competition.
In most instances, you’ll want to avoid broad, high-competition keywords — also known as short-tail keywords. While they have a lot of search volume, the competitiveness to rank for them makes your work harder. Plus, the user intent behind them varies.
A search for “heavy equipment,” for example, may have the following motivations behind it:
- Researching heavy equipment
- Purchasing heavy equipment
- Understanding heavy equipment types
- Maintaining heavy equipment
- Repairing heavy equipment
- Operating heavy equipment
- Selling heavy equipment
A short-tail keyword also opens you to an audience outside of your target customer.
That’s why you want to target specific, low-competition keywords — also known as long-tail keywords. Instead of targeting, “heavy equipment,” you’d narrow your focus and try for a keyword like, “backhoe attachment for small tractor.”
Aim to target your most valuable keywords first, then move onto the less valuable ones.
3. DEVELOP ORIGINAL CONTENT ON A REGULAR BASIS
An ongoing challenge for manufacturing companies is brainstorming new website and blog content on a regular basis. It’s essential to create content that’s not only informative and engaging but also original to encourage users to visit your website and share your content.
Get ideas for new content by keeping active on those industry forums, as well as Quora. People are always asking questions, which you can answer through a blog post. The benefit of creating 100 percent original content is that it can make the process of earning backlinks easier.
A few examples of content you can create for your manufacturing company’s SEO plan include:
- Blog posts
- And more
Before publishing your content, make sure you can skim through it — which is what users do today. Use keyword-optimized headlines and sub-headings, as well as images, graphics, and videos, to break-up your text. Keep paragraphs to two to three lines as well.
End your content with a call-to-action (CTA) too, such as for contacting your team for a free quote.
4. JUMP-START PAGE SPEEDS
Prioritize page speed optimization in your manufacturing company’s SEO strategy. A variety of free tools are available that can help you assess the loading times of your pages, including PageSpeed Insights, Feed the Bot, and Google Analytics.
A few techniques that our team uses to jumpstart page speeds include:
- Content compression
- HTTP request minimization
- Image optimization
- And more
With a fast website, you can increase user dwell times and decrease your bounce rate. In fact, Google discovered that websites that load within five seconds earn 70 percent longer user sessions and a 35 percent lower bounce rate.
5. EARN LINKS FROM TRUSTWORTHY WEBSITES
Creating original, high-quality content is only one part of SEO. Now, you have to start link building by connecting with reputable bloggers, journalists, and influencers in your industry. Expect to hear “no” a lot more than “yes” when earning links.
At IndustrialFX, we have a team solely dedicated to link building, and they utilize several strategies, including:
- Pitch guest posts to industry websites
- Build relationships with bloggers, journalists, and influencers
- Develop original and engaging content
As you earn links, remember to focus on quality rather than quantity. From Google’s perspective, the quality or authority of a link matters more than the number of links, which works towards their goal of delivering relevant, high-quality search results to users.
6. LAUNCH A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE
Even if most of your conversions come from desktops or laptops, it’s essential to create a mobile-friendly website. While many visitors won’t convert on a mobile device, they will visit and explore your website on their smartphone or tablet.
In search results for mobile devices, Google boosts the ranking of mobile-friendly websites. Google is also adopting a mobile-first index, which means it’s now crawling and indexing your website from a mobile perspective first, emphasizing the necessity for a mobile-friendly website.
If you already have a mobile-friendly website, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to double-check the layout of your pages. If you’re developing a mobile-friendly website, make sure you use a responsive or dynamic website design.
7. ESTABLISH AN ONLINE PRESENCE
With social media, you can build your online presence and authority, plus brand awareness. Via LinkedIn and Facebook, for example, you can share your latest blog posts and interact with customers and prospects about industry changes, product developments, and more.
Remember also to engage your followers — even if it means responding to a negative review.
Research your audience before starting your social media marketing campaign. If you target Facebook, but your ideal prospect prefers Twitter, that doesn’t help your manufacturing company’s digital marketing strategy.
It’s critical to mention that social media does not directly impact SEO for manufacturers — or any other industry. It serves as an outlet for SEO, providing you an additional platform to reach audiences and share content.
If you share your latest keyword-optimized blog post on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, target audiences will likely read the article and visit your website to learn more about your products and services.
While they may not make a purchase that day, your routine postings keep your company in their mind. Your posts also build up your brand and authority, boosting prospect confidence in your products before they even make a purchase.
That way — when it comes time to buy — they choose your business without hesitation.
How IndustrialFX does SEO for manufacturing companies
With decades of experience and a dedication to lifelong learning, we’ve developed results for numerous manufacturing companies with our digital marketing services, including SEO. That’s why we’ve included a few case studies from our portfolio for this SEO guide for manufacturing companies.
Here are three industrial marketing case studies to review:
A manufacturer of agricultural lime and limestone products, Bakerlime came to IndustrialFX to increase their traffic, conversions, and revenue. Our team collaborated with theirs, developing a digital marketing plan that included SEO.
The result? A more than 400 percent increase in organic search engine traffic within the first year.
2. VIBRA SCREENER
An industrial vibrating sifter manufacturer, as well as research and testing lab for vibratory sifters, Vibra Screener also partnered with IndustrialFX to boost its online presence and revenue. With IndustrialFX on their team, the company saw its organic traffic increase by more than 35 percent in 30 days.
3. MARCO FIBERGLASS
A custom fabricator and fiberglass manufacturer, Marco Fiberglass found new ways to drive revenue with IndustrialFX too. With a customized SEO campaign and dedicated digital marketing team, Marco Fiberglass saw their organic search traffic increase by more than 100 percent in a one-year period.
Ready for real growth? Trust IndustrialFX for your manufacturing company’s SEO
With a history for driving hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year for our clients, as well as a reputation for collaboration and innovation, IndustrialFX is the trusted partner of manufacturing companies across the U.S. when it comes to industrial SEO.