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SEO Guide: What B2B Manufacturing Companies Need to Know

What if the companies most likely to buy your product found you on their own – and without you spending a fortune on ads or even asking your sales team to make more cold calls? That’s the beauty of search engine optimization (SEO) for manufacturers.

Much like the Yellow Pages from years ago, SEO delivers qualified leads. Those are the customers who know what they want and are ready to buy. Just imagine it. These folks type what they’re looking for into a search engine (usually Google), and, voila, your site appears on the first page of results. 

Not only does the right SEO strategy produce more qualified leads, it also increases your brand awareness, site traffic, and return on investment (ROI). But how can you perfect SEO, specifically in the manufacturing industry

This short guide will help you understand how it works so you can use it to drive your company toward success in 2023. 

6 Tips to SEO for Manufacturers

  1. Post Regularly
  2. Write For Your Top Customers
  3. Research Keywords
  4. Create and Register a Sitemap
  5. Optimize for the SERP
  6. Let Google Tools Guide You to Success

#1. Post Regularly

Years ago, people once referred to the Internet as “the information superhighway.” No one says that anymore. (Yes, we’re dating ourselves, aren’t we?) That said, the metaphor is helpful when understanding rule #1 for SEO.  

Each blog post serves as a new road to your site. Create only a few roads and your site remains remote, so far away from the Internet’s hustle and bustle that few people ever find it. Build lots and lots of roads, however, and you increase your odds of search engines seeing your site as a worthy destination. That means, they prioritize it, so customers see your content (and not your competitor’s content) earlier in their search results.

Content like news posts, case studies, and white papers all contribute to your SEO performance. But when it comes to generating traffic, blog posts reign supreme.

Try to post at least once a month, and do it consistently. Publishing 12 posts at a time and forgetting about it won’t get you where you need to go.

(Read more: SEO Basics For Beginners)

#2. Write for Your Top Customers, Not the Entire Web

If you sell medical devices to large, metropolitan hospitals, then it might not be particularly helpful for you if Google brings lots of rural hospital administrators to your site. It’s even less helpful if Google delivers scores of pet owners in search of veterinary care. They’ll come to your site and bounce – because your product isn’t even in the universe of what they care about.

That’s why it’s so important to not only know your target customer, but also to cater all of your web content to that specific type of person. 

Take some time to think about the type of person you want search engines to bring to you. In addition to their industry, consider as many other factors as applicable: demographics, location, budget, and more. 

Then imagine that person. You might even envision an actual customer – perhaps your top buyer.

SEO for Manufacturers: Know your audience. Consider: What words would that person respond to?
What does this person care most about?
What does this person want to know?

The answers to those questions can help you to craft web content that interests your target customer. Not only will search engines notice this content and respond accordingly, but the prospects they deliver will be more likely to find the content they want, stay on your site longer and, best of all, click the “contact” button to learn more. 

(Related: 8 Best Marketing Practices for Manufacturers

#3. Research Keywords and Phrases

This is what most people likely don’t type into a search engine: The name of your company, or even the name of your product.

Instead, most people type their thoughts and questions, which aren’t always intuitive. 

That’s why it helps to use a keyword analysis tool like Semrush, among others. These tools help you to search for keywords related to your business. On top of that, they help you to see the top questions people tend to ask. That allows you to ensure your content answers the most pressing questions on their minds – which keeps people on your site for longer. 

If you don’t have an SEO specialist on staff who knows how to use these tools, consider working with a digital creative agency that specializes in SEO and can do this work for you. A few pointers:

  • Search engines and site visitors like words that are both informative and descriptive, so craft copy that clearly explains what you do. 
  • Integrate keywords and phrases across your website and content. For example, if you want to come up when someone searches for “best medical technology company,” you’ll want to use that phrase… a lot (but not in a keyword stuffing way). 
  • Think about what someone might type into a search engine to find your company. For example, let’s say you manufacture medical devices. Maybe your target audience would search “medical device manufacturing near me” or “medical and drug delivery devices.” This is just one scenario, but you get the gist. Ultimately, your manufacturing company will rank high if you use the right words.

#4. Create and Register a Sitemap

Google crawls and ranks web pages based on its definitions of relevant, expert, and authoritative content. The higher your pages rank, the higher your website will appear in a search.

Sitemaps lead crawlers to your website’s most significant pages, rather than allowing them to crawl your whole site indiscriminately. You can even edit your sitemap and exclude particular pages from it so they don’t impact your Google ranking.

(Related: 5 Ways B2B Companies Can Improve Search Rankings Fast)

#5. Optimize for the SERP

When you search for something, a regular listing shows, among other things, a title and description. Like so:

Screenshot of google search result

Think of this as a free advertisement – it’s what potential customers see before deciding to click on your post.

  • Title: The title copy should be unique, include the target keyword or target phrase, and must be 70 characters or less.
  • Meta description: Appearing under the title, this short paragraph entices users to click. This should be no longer than 160 characters, and should include your target phrase.

Think of this stuff as your top sales team member. It’s what persuades your target audience to click. It also functions as a signal to search engines, telling them that your site will deliver the content people truly want.

#6. Let Google Tools Guide You to Success

To work effectively, you want your SEO efforts to fit Google’s algorithm, and Google offers two powerful tools to help you with that.

  • Google Analytics helps you to see how many users are visiting your website, where they’re coming from, how long they’re on your site, whether their visit results in a conversion, and heck of a lot more. This allows you to continually learn from and improve your SEO efforts. 
  • Google Search Console helps you measure your site’s traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in the SERP.

Both tools can help you to automate difficult and time-consuming SEO tasks, ensuring that your website and other channels are on the right track. These aren’t just vital for those in the industrial manufacturing industry, but for anyone who is looking to improve SEO ranking.

(Related: Social Media for Manufacturers)

Conclusion: Yes, You Can Win at SEO

The manufacturing industry demands SEO that can compete across broad industries within Google’s ranking system. Appearing in Google’s top search results isn’t easy, but these 6 tips will help you work your way to the top.