This is Part Four of our four-part series:
Tips for increasing leads at your manufacturing company and we will review Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a tool.
Click on any topic below to be taken to that section.
Part 1: The Essentials
- Your Website
- Google Search
- Reputation Management
Part 2: Increase Exposure
- LinkedIn Communications – Educate about challenges
- LinkedIn Communications – Provide guidance on how your solution solves problems
- LinkedIn Remarketing – Remind
Part 3: Advertising
- Targeted Google Ads
- Display / Awareness
- Google Remarketing
- Visitor Tracking
Part 4: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Keywords – what are people searching for?
- Other Factors of Success
Part 4: Search Engine Optimization
Get found for searches for your products – Organically
We have discussed how it can be difficult to reach your target market of buyers, engineers and product managers, especially if they haven’t heard of your manufacturing facility. In Part 2, we covered the basics of LinkedIn and how to reach qualified leads. In Part 3, we addressed Google Ads and how to use them to connect with more prospects.
Here in Part 4 of our series, we’ll review the thought process and basic mechanics of search engine optimization, aka SEO. It’s not black magic, but it is an art!
As we stated in the last article, Google “owns” about 90% of the search market. There are many sections to Google results that a smart manufacturing company can take advantage of. Most don’t know how, so soon you’ll be ahead of the curve!
Google Search Results
Let’s start at the top. Below is a screen shot of a search for “industrial filter manufacturers”. There are lots of manufacturers of filters in the US and worldwide. Also, there are a lot of different types of filters (air, water, oil) and unlimited applications in consumer, commercial and industrial areas. We’ll get into refining searches in a moment!
- The top section of the Google Results Page (often called “SERP” or search engine results page) includes ads. See Part 3 of this series to understand more about how those work.
- To the right, there are Google Shopping Ads. In this case, manufacturers, distributors and stores can submit some or all of their inventory items to Google Shopping to post as shown. Many manufacturers do not perform direct sales, so we won’t cover that aspect here, but if you are a distributor or sales team reading this, give us a call to discuss!
- Below the Ads, you’ll see the SERPs. The first one is a manufacturer, IFM. They are number 1 for organic search results! We’ll delve into some of the factors that got them there shortly, including their name.
Below the company listing is Thomasnet.com. Most manufacturers are familiar with Thomasnet, or other directories in their respective fields. Frequently, these directories will end up on the top or close to it since their site is large and Google is pretty sure someone searching will find what they are looking for there.
- The company, Industrial Filter Manufacturers, Inc., has their Google My Business listing displayed as the search includes their company name. The Google My Business listing is a very important factor in the SEO algorithm for businesses. It is Google’s way of creating and managing a directory of businesses and providing space for searchers to learn more.
How does SEO Work?
In the above example, we see a sample search that happens to match a company name. That’s OK, the thought process is the same for all searches. Google evaluates each site online and indexes it according to many factors:
- Content of the website
- Use of information about products / services on the site
- Structure of the site
- Site load time (Google is measuring mobile sites now)
- Links to the site
- Lots of other items!
In most cases (there are always exceptions), Google seems to like sites that have the following: unique content, enough pages to discuss products, services and applications, fast loading pages and images, no use of Flash, limited video introductions and intuitive navigation. Bottom line: Can a user find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently?
Many businesses make the mistake of talking about what they do instead of what people buy. The key is to create content that speaks to the prospect in phrases they use. By using terms familiar to the prospect, Google is more likely to display your company’s web pages for those phrases.
For example, if you sell a highly technical service or product, then Google will most likely only list your pages for those specific phrases. However, if you think about the problem that your services or products solve, or speak in terms that your customers refer to your products then your content is more relevant to their searches.
By writing about applications, uses, competitive reviews, problems solved, and other comparisons, your site becomes a more complete resource with many new ways for Google to list your website for relevant searches.
Google prefers larger sites with quality content. Do not be afraid to expand your site for greater exposure!
There are a number of other factors beyond content that should be addressed as part of your SEO plans including:
- Quality incoming links
- Consistent directory and citation listings
- Website setup including tags and site maps
- Image naming and tagging
- Page naming
- Site Organization
- Google My Business listing
Google is seeking to provide searchers with the best quality answers to their questions. The little things can add up to big improvements.
What is NOT SEO?
Too often, people new in the search engine industry or individuals who like to do things themselves can overly simplify the factors that Google looks at to index websites. The results tend to be disappointing for the site owner, and they lose interest and trust in the process.
SEO is NOT stuffing pages with tons of text and “keywords”. SEO is not stripping a website bare of images, making it uninviting or uninformative. SEO is not putting in “meta tags” so Google will like it. (It is no big deal if you don’t know what a meta-tag is!)
And SEO does NOT usually provide immediate results. Patience is a virtue.
Don’t miss your new business opportunities! Call us any time to discuss ideas to help your manufacturing company succeed online.