Manufacturing SEO for beginners: 4 essential steps to success

If you want to drive more traffic to your website while increasing the quantity and quality of your leads, SEO is one option you should consider. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is a branch of marketing concerned with getting a website to appear high up the search engine results page for specific terms.

What is SEO?

To understand how SEO works, we first need to understand how search engines work. In the early days of the internet – before we had search engines – users relied on links between websites or simply knowing the URL to find their way around.

Search engines soon came along to try to help users discover exactly what they are looking for. They set about “crawling” and categorising the internet. According to Google, they now have 30 trillion pages in their index, not entirely unlike a library index catalogue.

When a user searches for a query, Google sets about trying to pull the most relevant pages for that query. But their motives aren’t entirely altruistic. Just as your manufacturing company is competing with other manufacturing companies, so too is Google competing with other search engines.

Google sells advertising space to people who want to bypass the organic search results and appear in the paid results. When you search for anything on Google and other search engines, you will see a few results marked “Ad” followed by the organic results. The companies in the ads are bidding on their position. The organic search results below appear according to Google’s categorisation.

So, Google needs to ensure that they present the most relevant search results or they risk losing visitors and revenue. Google remains very tight lipped about how they decide what is relevant.

In an ongoing game of cat and mouse, marketers have been trying to get one step ahead of Google and figure out how to manipulate the rankings. Google responds by adjusting their algorithm to prevent spam.

How can this help my manufacturing company?

If you have a product to sell, you can guarantee that people are searching for it. By taking advantage of the opportunities presented by SEO, manufacturing companies can drive a steady stream of traffic to their website month after month.

The alternative is to use paid channels to drive traffic to your website, but the disadvantage of this is that the traffic dries up as soon as you stop advertising. SEO can have a lasting and cumulative effect, bringing traffic to your website year after year.

As mentioned above, every time Google changes its algorithm, SEO techniques must change in response. Something that was considered best practice 5 years ago could be considered very spammy today. If you’re interested in trying SEO or other types of digital marketing for manufacturing company, there are a few future-proof tactics that you can try.

Create valuable content

Google and other search engines have maintained for years that websites need to publish high quality and valuable content in order to rank well. This means that the content should be discoverable, readable and actionable.

When it comes to manufacturing SEO, this means publishing content that delivers value. In addition to content-rich product or services pages, you should also include a regularly updated blog on your website. 

If you’re not sure what you should be writing about, head here to discover the best free marketing tools that will help you to discover content ideas.

Focus on the customer experience

In the past few years, Google has highlighted the importance of user experience. This means that you website needs to load on any device, including laptops, mobiles and tablets. The website needs to be easy to navigate, even on smaller screens. And finally, it needs to be fast.

Around 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google has access to all of this information. So, they now prioritise good user experience over poor user experience.

Google also wants all websites to have an SSL/ HTTPS certificate to show that they are secure. Even if you don’t have an online payment portal, you should still get your SSL certificate. 

You can read more about why an SSL certificate is essential here.

Gain links from reputable sources

Google still relies on links between websites to determine which websites have the most authority. If lots of people trust a website enough to link to it, then Google assumes this website is trustworthy. However, the links need to be relevant.

By working with key trade directories and publications, you can build a network of high-quality links that help to bolster your authority. Not to mention, when your company is mentioned on other websites, you can enjoy increased brand awareness and referral traffic.

Embrace your niche

Every SEO campaign begins with keyword research. To help advertisers decide which keywords they should bid on, Google and other search engines compile information about the average number of monthly searches for specific terms. You can access this information in Keyword Planner.

A problem many manufacturing companies have when trying to master SEO is that they are put off by the low search volumes. When you’re working in a very niche manufacturing sector, you will automatically serve a smaller audience than a company with more broad appeal. Trying to rank your website for things that are not relevant to your company but that have high search volumes is a futile task.

Instead, you should embrace your niche in every way. Take a deep dive into the keywords and ensure that you are thinking about search intent. For example, imagine you manufacture industrial ventilation units. 

It would be tempting to look at keywords like “ventilation system” as this gets 1,300 searches per month. But, this term isn’t specific enough. Instead, you would need to ignore the broad terms and look at more specific terms like “industrial ventilation” which gets an average of 70 searches per month.

By embracing your niche, you’ll help to ensure that the people landing on your website can find what they need and also increase the quality of your enquiries.

Get help with your manufacturing SEO

If you’re not sure where to get started with your SEO campaign, get in touch with Auburn today.