What does SEO for manufacturing involve?
The ultimate goal of SEO for manufacturing businesses is to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to pages on your website by achieving higher organic rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for search terms that are relevant to your target audience.
The three pillars of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) include on-page optimisation (e.g. content marketing), off-page optimisation (e.g. backlinks and social media) and technical optimisation (e.g. site performance and user experience). Continue reading tips from our digital marketing experts below, to discover the 7 factors you must consider for a successful SEO strategy that delivers you regular, high-quality leads.
In this article:
- How do manufacturers benefit from a good SEO strategy?
- Selecting the most relevant and competitive keywords
- Creating regular content
- Technical SEO foundations
- Optimising your most valuable pages
- Keeping your user engaged
- Local/national/international SEO
- Tools to monitor and measure SEO performance
- Motion’s experience in manufacturing marketing
How do manufacturers benefit from a good SEO strategy?
Inbound Leads: SEO is not only the most sustainable website traffic source compared to paid channels like pay-per-click or display advertising, but also delivers the most long-term ROI. New research findings claim that organic search is the most dominant channel for driving business website traffic with a 51% traffic share. This aligns with our own industry experience, where organic search is often the most valuable source of traffic for our manufacturing clients, reaching new audiences and generating quality leads.
Higher quality traffic: By targeting competitive and long-tail keywords that are related to your business, you are more likely to reach users searching with a higher intent. A user with more intent is likely to perform high-value conversion actions over those searching for broader terms. Therefore, with the quality of website traffic increasing, qualified leads will also increase.
Brand awareness: When your target audience come searching for your product/service offerings, you want to be top of their list in the search results. By optimising your website pages and improving keyword rankings in the search results, you are increasing the overall visibility and boosting your brand’s exposure.
Better ROI: Provided you have the right skillset in your marketing team already, SEO is relatively inexpensive to implement. Aside from investing in paid tools for extensive keyword research, time is the most consumed resource for content creation and optimisation tactics. Because of this and the channel’s extensive reach, SEO can deliver the best ROI compared to other traditional marketing channels. SEO for manufacturing companies is a long-term investment that delivers value over time, so with continuous nurturing, SEO can continue to become a profitable channel.
Your 7 Tips for SEO for Manufacturing Companies
1. Selecting the most relevant and competitive keywords
To find the keywords that will deliver the most relevant traffic, you must first have a deep understanding of your ideal customer. Developing a customer persona will help you gain deeper insights to truly understand their problems, goals and challenges to help provide awareness into what search queries they could be using. The customer persona is not only used for developing your SEO for manufacturing strategy but is also an extremely useful tool across all marketing channels. You may find you need separate personas to target design engineers or procurement managers.
Once you have an idea of the keywords your users might utilise, it’s time to dive into more detailed research to determine what keywords have the most opportunity, looking at search volumes, relevancy and competition. We can sometimes find in the manufacturing industry that there are limited search volumes on more niche product or solution categories, which is where having strong knowledge of the industry and researching keywords comes into play. For example, in our experience, we have decided to target problem-based queries instead, based on our customer persona, so we are still reaching the target audience, but with a query that they are searching on.
You may also find in more competitive manufacturing verticals, that search volumes are too high, which could dilute the intent and quality of traffic. When this is the case, we like to look for long-tail keywords that offer more intent. For example, instead of targeting the term ‘wireless sensor’ which may deliver much broader, low-value traffic, you could target ‘industrial wireless sensors’ or ‘industrial wireless sensor solutions’.
2. Creating regular content that your target audience wants and needs.
Revising the customer persona we mentioned above can be extremely useful when understanding what content your target audience wants and needs. Mapping your persona to a user journey including questions, mindsets and touchpoints for each core stage (attract, consider, decision and advocacy) will help ensure your content marketing plan includes resources that will answer those questions, distil their concerns and push them through the funnel.
Creating high-value content is now a critical ranking for Google. In the latest update from Google, the ‘Helpful Content Update’ details the company’s main aim of connecting users to the most helpful content. A focus on engagement metrics such as time spent on the site and bounce rates is now increasing in its importance for rankings. This is because these metrics are one of a few factors that show whether your website users positively engaged with your page and found the information offered useful. Instead of writing content to meet your weekly blog schedule, you now must carefully consider whether an article offers something new and valuable to your target audience. Low-value content will harm your site’s overall engagement metrics, so carefully considering blog and content topics is key.
Another benefit to creating quality content is the increased likelihood of generating more backlinks to the article. Backlinks are the digital version of ‘word-of-mouth’ – an online source referring to your site as a good source of information, which in turn can lead to your site having a higher domain trust. A higher domain trust helps in SEO for manufacturing by improving overall rankings and search visibility, as it is a good indication to Google that your site is of good quality and will offer their users the information they are looking for.
3. Ensure your technical SEO foundations are in place.
Technical optimisation includes actions and tactics during the crawling and indexing stages of a site. These include how a website is built, the site’s performance and its architecture. Below are some key considerations for technical SEO, however, there is a lot more to consider. We regularly utilise advanced health check tools that allow us to uncover any hidden technical errors that could be negatively affecting a website’s ability to rank. Contact the digital team if you would like an SEO audit.
Google’s core web vitals are part of Google’s overall evaluation of site performance and user experience and are key measurements for achieving good technical SEO foundations. These core web vitals include loading (LCP), interactivity (FID) and visual stability (CLS). All these core web vitals can be monitored using Google Search Console or Google PageSpeed Insights to determine how well your site is performing.
Other sub-factors of Google’s evaluation of user experience include mobile friendliness. Although in a B2B world making a mobile-friendly site may seem less important when the majority of manufacturing website users visit from a desktop or laptop, however, as Google operate on a mobile-first indexing system, neglecting the mobile/responsive version of your site could lead to a drop in keyword rankings.
Aside from the more technical aspects of site performance, getting the user journey and site architecture correct also plays a significant role when it comes to lead generation. Visit your website as if you were a new user. Is it easy to navigate? Does the structure make sense? Again, mapping your customer persona to a user journey will help you understand if the relevant content, call-to-actions and internal linking are included to continue influencing them to a positive conversion decision.
4. Optimise your most important and valuable pages.
It can be overwhelming when it comes to optimising your website for your chosen keywords, especially if it is a large site with lots of pages and e-commerce products. Start with the most valuable pages, those that will be most suited to your chosen keywords with the most opportunities and that will be the most useful to your audience. In the manufacturing sector, we often find the product and solutions pages the most valuable for attracting the right, quality users from organic search, as well as blogs focused on the target audiences’ key problems.
When it comes to on-page optimisation there are a few key tactics to implement. Firstly, ensure your pages have an appropriate meta title and description that includes content that will resonate best with your audience. This is shown on the search engine results pages (SERPs) so you want to attract their attention to click through. Secondly, check the on-page content for keyword density and distribution throughout the body text and headings. Make sure the page is cross-referencing other related topics that will help the user further in their research and give Google a better understanding of what the content is about.
5. Keep your user engaged.
Attracting users from search engines is only the first stage. Offering them quality content that resonates and an easy-to-navigate site will keep them from making a quick exit back to Google. As previously mentioned, engagement metrics are now playing a much larger role in indicating whether your site has valuable information, so once you have acquired a website visitor, you want to keep them as long as possible. For example, utilising a mix of technical infographics or short animations could help keep them engaged. Read our recent blog on how to engage skim readers and create short-form content as part of your content marketing strategy.
6. Determine whether local or national (or international) SEO is right for you.
If you are looking for international success it very much depends on how niche your industry is and how driven by language your industry is. Some clients are able to effectively target an international client base in English due to specialisation, but many clients do require many language versions of their website. In this latter case SEO is required across all languages, and this is an investment that needs to be considered carefully.
7. Get the tools to monitor, measure and improve SEO for manufacturing.
Finally, SEO for manufacturing is a long-term investment plan but it is one that needs constant nurturing to make sure you are still targeting relevant keywords and creating content that your target audience still requires. We recommend investing in both tools and employee time to carefully monitor and track progress of your SEO efforts. Continuous monitoring in marketing is important for future success – use the insights your competitors might not have to stay ahead of the market and pre-empt what your audience will need.
What is Motion’s experience in Manufacturing marketing?
It is no coincidence that Motion ended up focusing their marketing skills on a technical world. The co-founders started their careers in product design and manufacturing systems before moving to marketing. Other team members have chemical engineering and computing backgrounds. A lot of the team worked for an organisation that launched new disruptive technologies from the USA and Asia into EMEA.
As a manufacturing marketing agency, we are experts at picking up technologies and applying them to a successful sales and marketing strategy. We can genuinely give you a knowledgeable outside opinion, effectively and quickly. We are as comfortable talking to technical stakeholders as well as commercial ones. This is one of the reasons we have worked on many strategy discovery projects.
From IIoT wireless sensors and industry 4.0 connectivity to carbon capture and assembly technologies, we have a wealth of technical client experience within manufacturing. Learn more about our technical experience and what our typical client looks like here.
Get in touch
If you are looking for expert advice on SEO for manufacturing, please get in touch with the Motion team. You can also find out more about our search engine optimisation services here.