For years, we've been hearing that voice search for B2B is the next big thing. But the evidence is scarce that Alexa, Siri and Cortana are moving the needle in the SEO world.
SEO for Manufacturers: 2023 Industrial Company Guide
How do you make your manufacturing company show up higher in Google? How can promote your industrial equipment without needing to spend money every month on PPC ads? SEO is the answer.
Industrial companies used to rely on personal connections and sourcing services like Thomasnet to find OEMs and suppliers. Today, they use Google. And if you’re a manufacturing company, you need to take advantage.
In this 2023 breakdown of manufacturing SEO, we’ll cover:
- How the right SEO strategy can deliver qualified leads
- How to drive website traffic with quality content
- How to position your B2B manufacturing business to hit its goals
- How to establish a process to drive long-term search engine results page rankings
The goal? Helping you master manufacturing SEO, from keyword research and user intent through technical SEO. Whether you need outsourced SEO services or want to reach potential customers in-house, we want to help you get there.
6 Tips to SEO for Manufacturers
- Post Regularly
- Write For Your Top Customers
- Research Keywords
- Create and Register a Sitemap
- Optimize for the SERP
- Let Google Tools Guide You to Success
#1. Post Regularly
At the end of the day, search engines makes their money from giving good answers to users. Think of it like a friend recommending a restaurant to you. If they give you a good tip, you’ll ask them again. But if they steer you toward a bad plate or a “Closed” sign, you’ll go elsewhere.
The same goes for Google. The search engine giant is not altruistic; it provides links to sites and answers to frequently asked questions in order to make money. That means it needs users, which means it wants to recommend good content.
And good content needs to be up to date.
Fresh content is absolutely critical to any manufacturing SEO campaign. If you’re giving out of date advice to potential customers, you’re giving bad advice. And Google does not like bad advice. Long term website traffic wins from organic search depend on regular updates. That doesn’t just mean another blog post! Your content strategy should include:
- Core website pages, like your homepage and services
- Audio and video content that a potential customer can enjoy
- Long-form content assets, like guides and technical white papers
- Case studies that highlight best practices
- Roundups of other information sources, like manufacturing websites
There’s no magic number for how often you should post. The key is to understand what’s valuable to a potential customer, and deliver it. When something goes out of date (be it in a week, a month or a year), make sure you update it.
(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 students to your site. They’ll come to your site and bounce – because your product isn’t even in the universe of what they care about. That’s not a recipe for sustainable lead generation.
That’s why it’s so important to not only know your target customer, but also to cater all of your keyword research 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.
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 campaign 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 answersthe most pressingquestions on their minds – which keeps people on your site for longer.
If you don’t have a manufacturing SEO specialist on staff who knows how to use these tools, consider working with a digital creative agency that specializes in search engine optimization 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 keyword 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:
Think of this as a free advertisement – it’s what potential customers see before deciding to click on your post.
- Meta title: The meta 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.