SEO for manufacturers requires unique strategies for a number of reasons. In this article I’ll discuss how S.E.O. (search engine optimization) for manufacturers differ from other business and I’ll offer a step-by-step guide.
First, let’s clear something up. If you ever come across an ad, article or an email from someone claiming they can guarantee 1st place or even 1st page rankings on Google, then you’re dealing with a liar. There is only one 1st place listing and Google rankings are very competitive with success requiring long-term strategies and playing by their rules. And since you’re reading this page which is optimized for “SEO for manufacturers”, you know that what’s in this article works… if you do it all well.
As a manufacturer, you’ll have to decide what your SEO objectives are. Are you looking for qualified leads for a specific product or service, trying to increase overall brand recognition, or perhaps something else? Since you’re doing this for your ROI (return on investment), knowing this is critical. Let’s assume your goal is to generate qualified leads for a product or service and you’ve decided that you want high organic rankings instead of just costly ad listings.
Are you absolutely sure which key phrases (key words) will work best for your project? In the 23 years that I’ve been doing SEO for manufacturers, I’ve found this to be a 50/50 bet. Of course manufacturers know their industry and the terms that best describe their products or services but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their prospective customers actually search for those terms. In the least, there are often more popular terms which might surprise you. In many cases, manufacturers choose the terms that THEY use regularly or they haven’t tried searching for those terms on Google themselves to see what types of results come up. Sometimes they find those key phrases too broad or are even more popular in other unrelated industries which produces useless results for their prospective customers who then search for another key phrase instead.
Having the correct data to help you decide makes all the difference. Determining the best key phrases requires using professional tools that at least detail how often each phrase is searched for (frequency) and the amount of competition there is for a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign (which shows how valuable Google deems the phrase to be). That’s why you start a list using your industry knowledge, have a tool generate related key phrases, analyze the data, and then finalize your list again using your knowledge to determine if a term is actually relevant for your industry. In other words, an industry expert reviewing the list a professional tool produces works best.
Next you’ll have to decide if you already have a webpage that can be optimized or if you’ll need to create one. For websites with a large number of pages, the likelihood of already having one that can be optimized for a specific key phrase is higher. Old articles and blogs often suffice so long as you don’t mind changing them. (Keep in mind that pages with duplicate content get penalized in their rankings.) Either way, you’ll need a few paragraphs focusing on the key phrase with copy that is written for both humans AND search engines. This is the most difficult component since problems in either area means failure. It should be useful to your prospective customers, have a call-to-action and not read like an advertisement while ranking as high as possible in the major search engines.
Our manufacturer clients will sometimes create the copy themselves, but they usually prefer to have us do it for them. (More on our copywriting services.)
After we produce and analyze the data, we make some suggestions based on our 20+ years of experience doing SEO for manufacturers. The key phrase is chosen and we then research similar articles to what our customer has in mind, conduct an interview with them to produce an outline and then present a semi-optimized draft for their comments. (This is an important step for technical accuracy.) Once the customer is happy with the copy, it’s used to create the webpage and modified a bit more to meet the criteria for a well-optimized landing page.
A lot of details go into optimizing pages properly for search engines. Here at Liberty Web Marketing, LLC, we have a long-term approach both with our customers and with the search engines. We follow all of the rules so that we don’t have to worry about algorithm updates. In many cases, major search engine updates help our customers’ rankings and the landing pages we’ve created continue to rank well years later.
Some of the factors that qualify a well-written landing page include the description that appears under your listing, the amount of copy, the frequency and location of the key phrase, the page title and URL, the number and quality of inbound and outbound links using related key phrases, the right amount of images using the key phrase, as well as many behind-the-scenes factors in the HTML.
Google has a policy called “Mobile First Indexing”. This means that web pages need to be both responsive and optimized for mobile devices whether or not the majority of your site’s visitors are desktop users. It doesn’t matter if your website was created using CMS (content management system like WordPress) with HTML/CSS or some other language such as .asp or .php.. The point is that it will have to be fast AND optimized for the search engines. The best results come from a programmer who specializes in that language, fixes any errors and validates the code.
CMS websites like WordPress offer a variety of SEO plugins that can certainly help, but in our experience, no automated software is as capable as an experienced programmer who optimizes the code and maximizes results manually along with professional SEO tools. After all, there is only one 1st place position for every key phrase.
Once your webpage is up and optimized both for the search engines and for mobile devices, it will take a few weeks for the search engines to start listing it. There are many levels of SEO software available to track your progress, most subscription-based. These are particularly important when you’re tracking many key phrases. Web statistics (such as Google Analytics and/or server-side stats) as well as Google Search Console provide additional data that is critical in helping you track and analyze your traffic so that you can make the necessary adjustments. The more sophisticated SEO tools (such as the ones we use) allow in-depth analysis of both specific pages and competitors’ pages. In some cases, we find it necessary to reduce some optimization.
Liberty Web Marketing specializes in SEO for manufacturing, including monthly packages based on the number of key phrases. We produce custom reports to manage our clients’ online marketing plans and include a host of services necessary to manufacturers including one-on-one consultations to ensure coordination of all of your marketing campaigns. (See here for more.)
If your car had a problem you wouldn’t go to a lawnmower repair shop, right? Then why would a manufacturer go to an agency with pizza parlors and veterinarians in the portfolio? Being listed high in the local results at the expense of national or international rankings is of little value… unless you want to be contacted by local businesses and people applying for jobs.
Since time is money, isn’t it wiser to hire a specialist that can produce results with a significant return on investment? Liberty Web Marketing has been specializing in SEO for manufacturing since 1999 so we have the knowledge and experience that other agencies simply don’t. For additional information about our proven track record in providing SEO for manufacturers, please contact us.