The right SEO strategy can transform your manufacturing business. While PPC may allow you to turn on website traffic like a tap, as soon as you stop paying for ads, the traffic goes away.
With SEO, you’re investing in the future. The results might not be instant, but you can enjoy a steady stream of traffic for years to come. SEO is great for niche sectors like manufacturing as it allows you to target potential customers with laser focus.
The search terms you focus on might only get 10 searches per month. But when a conversion is worth tens of thousands or even millions, you don’t need to chase high-volume terms.
In-house vs agency SEO
Managing SEO in-house isn’t necessary for manufacturing companies. If you hire a single SEO manager, there will be limits to what they can achieve alone. You may need to expand the team with permanent staff members or freelancers.
Before long, you’ll have an entire SEO department that costs far more than an SEO agency monthly retainer. With an SEO agency, you’ll also benefit from their industry-wide expertise.
How to hire a manufacturing SEO agency in 2021
Take your time to choose an SEO agency that works for you. There is certainly no shortage of choice. Choosing a local agency might give you some reassurance that you are dealing with a legitimate company, but it isn’t necessary. With video calling, it’s perfectly acceptable to be on the other side of the country to your SEO agency.
Many SEO agencies are switching to a distributed model, with team members working from home. This helps to cut down on office space costs, and these savings can hopefully be passed on to the customer.
Broad or specialist SEO agency?
There are pros and cons to both approaches. With a broad SEO agency, there is less risk that they will be working with one of your direct competitors. It’s also possible to apply insight from other industries to your campaigns. This can bring a new perspective and insight to your campaigns.
With a specialist manufacturing SEO company, they will understand your business as if it is their own. This helps to shape everything from the lead generation process to content strategy. In short, it will feel like you’re speaking the same language, while a broad SEO agency may feel like there is a language barrier.
It’s worth meeting with a range of SEO agencies to see what each one is offering. Just because a company isn’t a specialist SEO agency, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to grasp your unique pain points and spot the opportunities.
What questions should you ask a manufacturing SEO agency?
Going into a meeting with prepared questions will help you to avoid being dazzled by the pitch. These are some of the questions that will reveal a lot about an SEO agency and its ability to devise a manufacturing SEO campaign.
- What do you know about our industry/ sector?
- Do you have any similar clients?
- What metrics do you use to measure success?
- What would success look like for our campaign?
- How would your SEO campaign fit in with our wider marketing strategy?
- Do you provide the strategy and the implementation?
- How long should we expect to wait until we see results?
- Do you guarantee any results?
The final two questions are trick questions to try to root out the less reputable providers. There are no guarantees with SEO, so any company offering guaranteed results by a specific date should be treated with caution.
Past performance and successes they have achieved for other clients can be helpful, but it should never be used as a guarantee. There are so many factors that influence an SEO campaign, and no two websites are the same.
On the topic of how long you should expect before you see results, this is often contested. We suggest you give your SEO agency 4-6 months as a trial period. This should be enough time for them to implement a strategy and for you to start seeing movement in the rankings.
Manufacturing SEO agency red flags
Since anyone can set up a flashy website and claim to be a prestigious SEO agency, it’s important to look out for these all-too-common red flags. These red flags can be a sign that the SEO agency is up to no good, and their actions could cause long-term damage to your site.
🚩 They lock you out of your website or analytics
🚩 They offer guaranteed results
🚩 Reporting is late, vague, or non-existent
🚩 They’re a lot cheaper than other quotes
🚩 Their own website doesn’t follow best practice
🚩 Urging you to sign a year-long contract
🚩 SEO packages are standardised with no flexibility
🚩 They dodge your questions
You might not be an SEO expert, but you shouldn’t be made to feel like SEO is beyond you and that you could never understand what they are doing. Data dumps and overuse of jargon are common ways unscrupulous SEO agencies will try to conceal methods and progress.
The best SEO agencies don’t try to make themselves look smart, they try to make the client feel smart.
How long should you commit to?
SEO doesn’t deliver overnight results, which can be frustrating for business owners. With other methods offering instant results, it’s hard to accept the suggestion that you should sit back and wait three months before seeing a return on your investment.
At the very minimum, you should sign up for three months, but six months would be better. This will give the SEO agency time to devise and implement an SEO strategy. Make sure you agree on the success metrics in advance and set up accurate conversion tracking so you can calculate your ROI and CPA.
Ask for consistent reporting, so the agency cannot cherry-pick the statistics that make them look better that month. And one final point, it might seem boring, but always read your reports. They are often filled with actionable insight that you can feed back into your wider marketing plans.
If you’re looking for a specialist manufacturing SEO agency with years of industry experience, look no further. Call the Auburn team to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.