The global manufacturing sector is big — mindbogglingly, tremor-inducingly, face-twitchingly large. To get a sense of the scale, consider that the top 10 manufacturing countries combine to contribute nearly 10 trillion dollars to global GDP. That figure is larger than every sovereign economy on the planet save two — the U.S. and China. It represents a staggering amount of economic activity and a massive pile of manufactured stuff.
And a lot of competition. China’s ascendency as a global manufacturing titan has driven down manufacturing prices across a wide range of industries and made it harder for manufacturers in other places to compete.
Manufacturing technology is also undergoing a revolution that’s changing the way that firms do business. 3D printing techniques have dramatically accelerated the prototyping process. They allow for geometries that were previously difficult or impossible to achieve and will soon replace expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming machining practices.
More than ever, manufacturing firms need a holistic marketing strategy that focuses not only on outreach tactics but also on cultivating organic brand recognition and search placement.
Your customers are looking for you on Google and other search engines. Whether they’ll find you depends a great deal on whether you’re placing the proper emphasis on SEO and content marketing. This article will focus on why your manufacturing website should be focusing on SEO and what you can expect to gain from your efforts.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a technical practice that fine-tunes websites to appeal to search engines like Google and Bing. These services determine search rankings based on hundreds of different ranking factors, like:
- Content keywords
- Proper H1/H2/H3 header usage
- Content volume
- Topic authority
- Page loading speeds
- Outbound and inbound links
- Domain trust
- Site architecture
And many, many more. The better websites perform on these ranking factors, the higher they’ll place in organic web searches. And this is important because 75% of internet users never go past the first page of search results. If your site doesn’t appear in this coveted spot, it will likely never be seen unless you pay for ad placements.
Manufacturers Are in a Unique Position to Take Advantage of SEO
SEO practices help Google serve the most relevant answers to their searchers’ queries based on the specific search terms they use. In most competitive industries, common search terms become quite contentious. These are high-volume, low-value keywords — a lot of people are trying to rank for them, and the incremental value that a successful search match brings is relatively low.
Manufacturing is an outlier. Despite the sector’s size and complexity, manufacturing keywords still tend to be low-volume, high-value. They have fewer firms vying for them, and the value of new customers is significantly higher than average. This mix of low keyword competition and high search value represents a huge opportunity for firms to gain market share and develop brand authority among prospects and customers.
What Else Do Manufacturers Stand to Gain?
What? Market share and brand authority aren’t enough? Well, you’re in luck. A disciplined SEO strategy offers manufacturers a host of other benefits as well.
Increased Web Traffic
SEO helps guide more people to your website in two ways. First, an optimized website will appear on the first page of search results more often, leading to greater organic exposure, more clicks, and increased web visits. This organic traffic costs you nothing. There are no ads to buy and no campaigns to run. If you optimize it, they will come.
The second way SEO leads to more traffic is through content marketing. Leveraging an on-site blog to publish relevant articles, videos, infographics, and other shareable, snackable content pieces gives Google and other search engines more content and more keywords to rank you with.
This content provides answers to your target audience’s most common questions. When they search for related keywords, your content might appear, leading them to your website. The more content you have, the more frequently this will happen.
Content marketing has the added benefit that your prospects feel you’ve already helped them before they even contact you. It demonstrates your expertise in your field and goes a long way toward establishing credibility.
A Better User Experience
Google’s ranking factors aren’t arbitrary. They exist to sort well-designed, speedy, information-rich websites from lower-caliber entries. The implication is clear. If you optimize your website to appeal to Google’s ranking factors, you’ll be designing a better, more user-friendly website at the same time.
This amplifies your traffic gains. Not only will your optimized site attract more viewers, but it will also convert a greater number of them.
SEO Is Relatively Inexpensive
Search optimization is a specialty. Website owners can do it themselves, but they’ll almost certainly miss available optimizations. You should work with a professional design firm to get the best results. Thankfully, SEO isn’t something you pay for continually like PPC ads and other marketing tactics. You do the work once (and have it updated periodically) and then enjoy the results every month.
If you run a paid advertising campaign on Google, your ads will only appear while you keep paying for clicks. Shut off the campaign, and the clicks stop. With SEO, your organic search presence will remain healthy for some time after the work is finished. But Google and company are constantly updating their ranking factors, so you’ll need small updates to stay relevant. These can be done on a periodic, piecemeal basis.
As for the content marketing side of things, there’s no reason you can’t do that yourself. You’re the experts, after all. The important thing is to choose keywords and topics relevant to your desired audience — subjects that they’re likely to search for on Google. Then publish content frequently and consistently. Provide useful information and cover as many relevant topics as you can. Over time you’ll see your traffic climb.
If you’d like some help with SEO, content marketing, and more, give us a call. We’re SEO shamans. We can bend Google’s ranking factors to our will and create optimized websites that excite your users and search engines. Drop us a line today!