SEO for Manufacturing Companies: A Comprehensive Guide
Manufacturing companies often understand the need for advertising in general, the idea of marketing their services and getting their brand out there. But SEO for Manufacturing is often an afterthought. It shouldn’t be overlooked. Investing in search engine optimization services can lead to more leads, more sales, and more growth overall.
Understanding the Basics of SEO for Industrial Companies
SEO is the process of improving and adjusting your website to rank for more consumer searches.
How long does it take to see results?
While SEO is rarely a short-term project, it depends entirely on how competitive your particular industry is. For example, a business that focuses on metal stamping over CNC machining will have a slightly easier time ranking due to the relatively lower number of high-quality domains competing against one another.
Benefits of SEO for Manufacturing
SEO has a compounding effect. Monthly iterations allow your site to grow stronger and more favored in search engines.
This leads to several benefits:
The more you show up on Google, the more people will remember your brand name. Even customers who aren’t interested in booking a project right now might come back to your company later when the time is right.
Trust and authority.
When your manufacturing website shows up more frequently for various searches on Google, it builds trust. It makes your brand look authoritative.
This is why targeting the right keywords is so important. You want to find the right people to get back to your website.
The more high-quality that is finding your site on Google, the more likely it is that you’ll increase your revenue.
A good SEO campaign will have long-lasting results. Paying for Google ads will give you a boost in traffic, but you’ll have to pay. SEO allows you to build the strength of your website so that you rank on Google, get more users to click on your site, and funnel traffic to you over time.
Types of SEO for Manufacturing Companies
The nature of how Google’s search engine indexes and ranks website pages is the same across industries.
However, manufacturing websites can benefit from focusing their SEO efforts on a few particular areas.
Whether you’re a manufacturing company, personal injury law firm, or local HVAC repairman, you need a website that passes a technical SEO audit. There shouldn’t be broken links, impossible-to-render images, and shifting page layouts where elements jump from one part of the screen to another.
If your ideal customer is scrolling on their phone, looking for local manufacturers to help finish a project, you’ll need a website that is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. Ensure your site architecture is clean – no confusing URLs with letters and dates, no chunks of hard-to-read text blocks, etc.
More than likely, your company will be dealing with local businesses that need you on-site, working on the next project. This is where local SEO comes in handy.
Sometimes, you want your manufacturing business to produce top rankings for keywords in all 50 states, no matter where the customer is located. The best way to start is by improving your brand name and recognition. When someone in Hawaii types it in, they’ll get the same results as someone in Texas.
Many industrial companies have online products that site visitors actively look for. E-commerce SEO focuses on optimizing a website to help products rank for relevant search queries.
Keyword Research for Manufacturing and Industrial SEO
Having a keyword research process is critical for a successful SEO campaign in the industrial space. A thorough keyword research strategy will bolster an effective SEO strategy. Some examples of strong keywords could include:
Top location-specific keywords for the manufacturing industry:
- “Industrial Manufacturing Company in [Your City]”
- “Metal Fabrication Services [Your State]”
- “[Your City] CNC Machining”
- “Custom Manufacturing [Your Region]”
- “Industrial Equipment Manufacturing [Your City]”
Keyword clusters based on industry vertical:
- “Industrial Manufacturing Company”
- “Custom Manufacturing Services”
- “Precision Machining”
- “Metal Fabrication”
- “CNC Machining”
- “Sheet Metal Fabrication”
- “Industrial Equipment Manufacturing”
- “Metal Stamping”
On-Page SEO for Manufacturing Companies
On-page SEO is what happens on the website — to put it simply. There is no space on the internet that you have more control over than your own website. It should be the hub of every SEO effort.
Blog content is considered part of on-page SEO. Informational keywords are terms used by people who want to learn more about a specific subject. These website visitors typically aren’t ready to make a purchase, but they do want helpful information.
Service or product should target keywords that have commercial intent. Commercial intent keywords are terms that people type into Google when they wish to find a manufacturing company and make a purchase or get a quote.
Optimize website pages.
Many times, industrial clients will have a single page that ranks (poorly) for numerous keywords associated with their services. A better solution is to create dedicated service pages that thoroughly and completely explain the type of service offered. You can also add any frequently asked questions from customers who purchase those services.
Best practices for meta titles, descriptions, and headers:
- Make each meta description unique for your page
- Keep meta descriptions under 75 characters, or it will get cut off
- Use the target keyword that you wish to rank for in meta descriptions and headings
- Use image alt tags that relate to both the article and the image that is displayed
Off-Page SEO for Industrial Businesses
Off-page SEO is work that doesn’t occur directly on your website. Link building is the most important part of off-page SEO. Links from other websites act like votes of popularity that inform Google of how trustworthy your site is. You can acquire relevant, helpful backlinks in many ways:
Although it is against Google’s guidelines to outright “bribe” people to get you links, countless websites invest money into purchasing links. Money is a huge motivator for most people.
Requesting a link
By exchanging links with another website, both sites stand to gain ranking positions.
Guest Blogs Posts
Lastly, creating guest blog posts for other manufacturing suppliers or related companies in the industrial sector is a fruitful, yet often time-consuming, way to get more backlinks. Once you complete a project for a client, ask them to link back to your website as a favor.
If you have a projects page where their work is featured, it might be a great idea to exchange a “link for a link.” You link to their business, and they can link to yours.
Content Creation for Manufacturing and Industrial SEO
High-quality content and backlinks from other websites are the only way to rank higher on Google’s search results. There’s no way around it.
“Okay, but what’s the point?” You might be thinking. The goal of blogs, white papers, and case studies is to establish authority and trust on your website and in your industry. Trust allows you to rank on search engines more readily.
Here are some relevant content ideas for your manufacturing businesses:
- Product Spotlight: Showcase a product or material and explain how it’s unique
- How It’s Made: Give readers a glimpse behind the scenes on how your product is made, the production cycle, and manufacturing protocols.
- Industry Trends: Be a thought leader within your industry and discuss industry trends in your sector.
- Case Studies: Share success stories, before and after images, and data based on the results your company and its product have had.
- Maintenance Guides: Explain how your products can be fixed, adjusted, or maintained.
- Innovation and Research: Share information about any ongoing research within your company.
Measuring and Monitoring SEO Success
How do you know when SEO is working? Introducing key performance indicators to your company is the first step towards measuring your SEO success. There are plenty of free tools to help manufacturing companies track their online performance. Google’s extensive suite of free tools is your best friend here. While many of the data tracking software is free, they require time and experience to get the most out of them.
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Page Speed Insight Tool
It is easy to get bogged down in the data. GA4 isn’t the easiest to navigate for those unseasoned with a web analytics interface. Keep it simple. Look at organic search traffic from Google and conversions (phone calls, form submissions, and emails).
SEO Challenges and Solutions in Manufacturing
The biggest challenges include:
- Lack of digital marketing expertise (that’s why you’ll want to hire an SEO expert)
- Limited customer data (in the dark, so you’re not sure what works and what doesn’t)
- Difficulty creating engaging content (how engaging can a manufacturing blog be for the average customer?)
Starting an SEO process for industrial companies can feel like leaving everything to chance and going in blind — especially when you don’t have the right data to guide your strategy. Solutions include hiring a dedicated in-house employee who is in charge of all SEO-related tasks. You can also outsource your monthly SEO to a seasoned professional or SEO agency.
Examples of Successful Industrial SEO Results
What’s an example of SEO success?
When someone types “Steel manufacturing near me” in the Springfield, Missouri area, one of the first organic search results is a local steel company that has optimized their website to have plenty of keywords related to that target search. Also, Google knows that the customer is located in that area, making it more likely to showcase this company over a non-local competitor.
Certainly, when it comes to productized SEO, Rockwell Automation’s website structure provides an excellent model to follow. They rank for specific industrial products by having a primary keyword, like “motor circuit protectors,” in their URL, their headline, and first paragraph. This on-page content generates results because it gives customers what they’re looking for: the product.
You don’t want your customer to land on web pages that discuss the history of “motor circuit protectors” or a series of reviews. You want them to land on a sales page where they can purchase and browse for the product. That’s the secret for manufacturing SEO strategy, focusing on user intent — whether it’s to purchase, compare products, or learn more about something specific.
Where to Start with SEO for Manufacturing
Many small-sized manufacturing companies don’t focus on SEO. Most industrial companies lean on traditional marketing and in-person sales teams, missing out on key opportunities to improve their web presence, acquire website traffic, and turn website visitors into customers. If that’s your competition, then this is good news.
You can get a head start on your competitors by ensuring that your website has:
- Good website loading speed
- Mobile-friendly responsive design
- Common-sense organization and site architecture
Once that’s done, focus on creating a content strategy that speaks to your target audience.
To do this, you’ll need to perform keyword research for the industrial industry, select primary keywords, and target related keyword phrases that your potential customers use.
Future Trends in Manufacturing and Industrial SEO
The biggest change on the horizon for manufacturing SEO services is artificial intelligence. AI is accelerating how content is produced, but that content still has to be unique and worth reading. While it is tempting to let AI lead the way, it rarely performs as well as a strategy-centric piece of writing.
Your manufacturing company must employ good SEO strategies to reach the target customer. The more your content can focus on unique first-hand experiences with on-site projects, the better chance it will have to rank on Google. Copying and pasting AI-generated content won’t do your search engine rankings any favors.
Get an SEO Strategy Tailored to Industrial Companies
Interested in getting a comprehensive SEO strategy for your industrial company? Red Crow Marketing is capable of delivering results. Contact us today to get started!