Struggling with getting traffic to your manufacturing website in 2017? We provide 100% effective search engine optimization for manufacturers and we want to share some secrets about manufacturing SEO and what is important to your business – choosing the right SEO firm for your manufacturing company and getting results.
Here is What Matters to You in This Article:
- What search engine optimization is, and what it is not.
- How much SEO can you do on your own and what you need outside help for.
- What makes a good manufacturing SEO company.
1. What Search Engine Optimization Is
Search engine optimization is the combination of best practices and enhancements that need to be done both on your website (on-page seo) and off of your website (off-page seo) in order to rank higher than your competitors in search engines like Google and Yahoo. In short, SEO helps your customers find you before they find your competitors in online searches.
What is on-page SEO?
On page SEO is the structuring of your website so that Google and other search engines can read your information in such a way that they favorably place your site in search results when a person types in a search phrase or “query.”
You should know what queries you want your customers to be able to find you under. These queries are the phrases that would provide your company with economic benefit when your potential customer sees your site listed in search results and clicks through to your website. For a manufacturing company, examples of queries your customers might be typing in could be “injection molding OEM” or “aluminum extrusions.”
An important part of on-page SEO is providing resources and regularly updated content on your site that visitors will find valuable.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off page SEO is just as important or even more important than on-page search engine optimization, Even though your potential customers will not see it, off-page SEO is imperative to getting them to see you.
In addition to Moz.com, Searchengineland.com, and other leaders in SEO research, we have performed extensive research on search engine ranking factors. Industry experts agree that even sites with the best SEO structure “on-page” will not be able to achieve advantageous ranking in search engines without “off-page.” It is nearly impossible to rank a site purely through writing content alone.
.While there are hundreds of different types of off-page seo, one of the most important components are “backlinks”.
Below is a chart that lays out the correlation between different factors and search engine performance, the only factor that ranks above backlinks on this chart is Google+ signals. Currently Google is phasing out Google+ as a major player in social media and SEO because of low adoption, so we at weCreate are sticking to high authority backlinks as our first priority in getting your site to the first page of Google.
What are Backlinks?
Simply put, a backlink is a link that leads to your site. For example, your company might be listed in Thomasnet.com under “Product Sourcing” and your listing has the name of your company with a link back to your site. Links like these tell Google that your site has a level of credibility because a relevant industry site was willing to point their site’s visitors your direction.
You might be saying, “well I can think of hundreds of places I can put links back to my site so I will be number one in Google in no time!” The problem with this statement is that not all backlinks are created equally. For example, if instead of Thomasnet.com linking to your site, you had “Joes Barber Shop” linking to your site. Let’s also say that Joes Barber Shop website was created two years ago. You get a backlink on Joe’s site and sit back and wait for your ranking to jump. Unfortunately you would be waiting indefinitely. Why? The reason this backlink would not help you is that #1 it was not placed on a site that’s relevant to your industry, and #2 the site is only two years old and probably has very little “authority” in Google’s eyes. Understanding website authority in relation to your own is vital when creating backlinks.
Check the authority of your site or your competitors’ with two of my favorite free tools:
So what if Joe”s barber shop website has been around for 10 years and was a well established leader in it’s own industry? In this case the backlink would have the potential to help your ranking, but not nearly as much as if the site was relevant to your industry.
So where do you manage to find these backlink opportunities if you do not right off have a list of potential websites to ask for a link to your site? One of the most common techniques is to write quality articles that you can promote to different blogs that are specific to your industry.
Finding the time to qualify other websites or blogs, and then creating a large amount of original content can be difficult for many organizations. This is just one of many ways an SEO firm like weCreate can help you.
2. What Search Engine Optimization is Not
I. Search engine optimization is not using software to boost you higher in the serps (search engine results pages). There was a time when one could purchase software that would generate thousands of backlinks which would then boost search engine ranking. Search engines have gotten much more intelligent since then, and they now determine the relevance and authority of the backlinks. Because there is no automated way to do off-page seo, it is now necessary to:
#1. Build a content strategy so that your site contains content that is so valuable that industry sites will naturally want to link to it, and
#2. Develop a strategy for promoting this content.
II. Search engine optimization does not come in “packages”. I’m about to make a lot of enemies out there from the search engine optimization companies that offer things like: X number of social signals, X number of backlinks, X number of press releases, and all kinds of other fluff for the small price of your entire marketing budget for the rest of the life of your company. Your gut tells you that these packages are garbage, and you are correct. You can see why these packages are ineffective by referencing the earlier infographic. These packages focus on factors that result in minor (if any) ranking improvement, and they do not give you a quality solution to the factors that matter the most.
III. SEO is not social media. While some correlation has been shown between SE ranking and social media likes, shares, tweets, and other social signals, correlation does not equal causation. Through extensive research our company has never been able to attribute significant correlation between social signals and ranking in search engines. We are more inclined to believe that companies that have a strong social media presence also invest time and effort into link building and content creation, both of which are causal factors in search engine ranking. Here is an example of ranking increase with backlink addition for a medium competition manufacturing keyword:
For hundreds of tests we achieved only flat-line results between social signals and changes in search engine ranking, whereas the backlink correlation chart above can be replicated over and over. We have found that companies with a strong social media presence also invest time and effort into SEO factors like link building and content creation, increasing their search engine ranking
3. How Much Search Engine Optimization Can You do on Your Own?
The answer to this question partially depends on how much access and ability you have in editing your own site, and how much education you have on what’s important with on-page seo. There are a lot of resources out there if you really want to learn how to structure your site, I’ll list a couple of these at the bottom of this article.
One thing you can absolutely do is to start thinking about what sort of information and resources you can provide to your target customers. The more they see you as an expert in your industry, the more they will be likely to come to you when they are ready to make purchasing decisions. Start writing blog posts and beefing up the content on your website. Ensure that your website is not just all about relentless self-promotion, but instead, that it gives its readers some great free information.
weCreate’s Free Offer: Our team of SEO professionals will take a look at your site and presence on the web from an SEO standpoint, and provide you with a brief overview of your current standing, and also provide some tips about improving your SEO performance:
Another way you can improve your search engine ranking is to start making a list of other websites that can promote your content and then to reach out to the decision makers in those companies to see if they will link to your site. While you can certainly implement some of these measures on your own with the right resources, I highly recommend that you search out some consultancy. If there is no real strategy behind the content and the backlinks, they can often have little impact on your bottom line.
4. What You Should Look For in an Industrial Manufacturing SEO Firm
If you are like most companies, then chances are you don’t have the knowledge or the available resources in-house to achieve the SEO results you need. Through our experience, we have found that there are five key areas that you should be evaluating when you do decide to team up with an SEO firm. While you’re evaluating your SEO choices, take advantage of weCreate’s free analysis offer to see how we can help you drive more customers to your website.
I. They should be results oriented. One of the big reasons it can be so difficult to find the right firm is that too often their pitch involves a giant checklist of SEO related items they will do for you. While these giant lists can look very juicy, they are detracting from the reality that results are the only measure of success. Results should look like consistent improvement in your ranking. If two months go by with no significant improvement in ranking for various keywords, then you should have a serious talk with your SEO company to determine why that is. Results do not always look like increased traffic levels, however SEO should be getting you more of the right traffic, leading to higher conversion rates and more lead generation.
II. They should have a background in website design. While this may not be a 100% rule, SEO and website design go hand in hand. The website is the target and source of the SEO, so by extension, the search engine professionals should know how to develop your web assets.
III. Search engine optimization and maintenance are two completely different items. You should not be expected to continue paying for the same level of SEO when you have achieved the ranking that was agreed upon. Our company cycles in new keywords/phrases once results are obtained for old ones. If we have provided you with ranking for all of the keywords you needed visibility for, then we charge only a low maintenance fee for maintaining your position. We are transparent about what we do with these maintenance fees.
IV. Your SEO firm should not just accept a list of keywords/phrases that you provide them and start optimizing. Even if they can rank you for those search queries, those keywords might not be the best choices. The firm should analyze your website, your content strategy, and the keywords you provided them to determine what measures are going to provide you with the biggest impact for your investment.
2017 Manufacturing SEO Strategy Update
The contents of this article have been revised and updated from the previous year. The vast majority of SEO information has been consistent with little change, however we have seen certain niche specific backlink niches becoming more important. If you decide to sign up for Majestic to evaluate competitor backlinks you will see that with a paid account there is a niche or “topical trust flow” associated with backlinks from various domains. For most manufacturers, this niche will be “Business/Industrial Goods and Services”. When obtaining backlinks for your website and building website authority/ranking, we are putting increased focus on obtaining very niche specific backlinks for optimum results.
We hope you found this article to be informative, and that you will reach out if it’s time to start leveraging search for your company.
Resources for On-Page SEO:
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