SEO For Manufacturing and Industrial Companies
July 19, 2023
Over the past few years, we have executed full-service eCommerce growth for various companies in the manufacturing and industrial sectors – from CNC machine manufacturers and robotics companies to players in automobile, aerospace, commercial water filtration, and beyond.
A significant number of these companies have been around for a long time. Still, the abundance of opportunities many of these companies were missing out on due to a lack of effective SEO strategies was staggering.
When we talked to our clients and prospects who reached out to us to inquire about our SEO services for manufacturing and industrial companies, we noticed a few recurring issues that were holding them back.
- For many of these companies, SEO (search engine optimization) was an alien concept. Even though they may have heard of SEO, understanding how it could be strategically used for business growth was generally lacking.
- Many companies outsourced their website development and were largely unaware of whether SEO best practices were being followed. There was a disconnect in priorities, and as a result, technical SEO issues weren’t addressed.
- These companies struggled to create quality content. These companies either had in-house content teams who didn’t know how to write content that would rank organically for valuable keywords or they used external content writers who didn’t have a good understanding of technical nature of their products and services (thus they delivered subpar content that even if it ranked wouldn’t convert).
- They focused on the wrong things. SEO efforts focused solely on driving more organic traffic by chasing high search volume keywords. However, this strategy wasn't usually in sync with the broader objectives of: increased lead generation, increased sales, increased revenue.
In this article, we'll guide you through a step-by-step process of how we handle SEO for manufacturing and industrial businesses at Cove. We'll specifically look into the key aspects of the SEO strategy we implement for our clients, including:
- Technical SEO: Finding and fixing technical SEO issues, optimizing site architecture for usability, and improving crawling and indexing.
- Keyword Research: Discovering and targeting the keywords with the highest buying intent to ensure that your content aligns with what your prospective customers are actively searching for.
- Content Strategy: Crafting a strategic content plan that drives traffic and fulfills user intent, ensuring that visitors find the answers and products they are looking for.
- On-Page SEO: Implementing on-page optimizations, including metadata, headings, and internal linking, to enhance the relevancy and structure of content.
- Link Building: Executing link-building strategies to build authority and boost your website’s rankings through acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks.
- Local SEO: Ensuring local visibility and driving foot traffic by optimizing for local search queries for companies with multiple locations.
Let's get started.
Note: Contact us today to have a discussion over a call about your key metrics and how the right SEO strategy can help you increase them.
Technical SEO for Manufacturing and Industrial Companies
In this section, we take a look at how we handle technical SEO for manufacturing and industrial companies, including:
- Conducting site audits
- Fixing technical SEO mistakes (such as broken links and duplicate content)
- Optimizing your site’s architecture
- Monitoring and reporting on site performance
We Audit Your Entire Website
We do an SEO audit first because it alerts us to any technical SEO issues that can be attributing to low site performance in the search engine rankings.
In our experience, manufacturing and industrial companies often have significant opportunities unearthed during the SEO audit. This is because they’re usually outdated sites, and a lot of the development, web design, and content production has been handled by either:
- Internal teams who aren’t thinking in terms of SEO.
- External teams who again aren’t thinking in terms of SEO, or are operating under misguided and outdated SEO strategies.
The issues often discovered in an audit include, but are not limited to:
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Incorrect canonical tags
- Missing alt tags
- Slow page speed
Often just by fixing these issues, you’ll see a boost in your site’s performance.
Curious on your site would score on an audit? You can request an SEO audit from Cove.
Before working with us on a larger-scale SEO plan, some of our clients order a one-time audit. We will look over your site and provide a detailed audit, showing you what issues need to be fixed to improve your site’s performance.
After seeing the details of the audit, plenty of clients choose to continue working with us, so we can fix these issues and improve site performance. How we do that is what we cover next.
Fixing Technical Issues with the Right SEO Approach
You can potentially see a boost in your current site’s performance just by fixing technical SEO issues discovered during the audit. And fixing these issues now is critical before you spend significant time and money in developing and implementing future SEO strategies and content strategies.
Here are just some examples of common technical SEO issues and how they can be addressed.
- Broken links: We will identify and fix any broken links (404 errors) on your website. We will either redirect these links to the most relevant page or replace them with functioning links.
- Duplicate content: We will find duplicate content (which can confuse search engines and may lead to a drop in rankings) and fix the issue in one of several ways, including setting up 301 redirects, setting canonical tags, re-utilizing existing content, etc.
- Bad user experience for mobile users: We can ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as Google uses mobile-first indexing.
- Missing meta tags: Check that all pages have unique and descriptive meta titles and descriptions. They should contain relevant keywords but not be keyword-stuffed.
But remember, you want these issues fixed with an SEO-led approach that values conversions and fits within your overall strategy.
For example, let’s look at how to fix broken links. On the surface, this might seem like a straightforward job. Find the broken link and then re-direct to a new article. But how do you choose which article to re-direct it to? What content on your site gets priority? Should it link to an existing article, or would it be better to write brand-new content instead?
Some of these fixes require more effort than others, but are worth the extra time. How do you decide which is worth the effort or not?
That’s the value of having a team of experienced SEO specialists working to fix your technical SEO issues.
Another example is slow page speed. Yes, fixing your slow page speed is a good idea, but in our experience, this doesn’t impact rankings as much as it impacts conversions (because people may likely jump off a page vs. waiting for it to load).
So if you have a page that isn’t ranking for its target keyword, then fixing your page speed won’t do anything to help with that. But if you have a page that’s ranking high, but isn’t converting as well as it ought to be, then improving the page speed can help.
Figuring out what technical SEO issues to fix and in what order is something Cove can do for manufacturing and industrial companies.
We Optimize Your Site Architecture
Search engines need to be able to efficiently read your site and categorize it – that way, they can recommend it to the right queries.
When we optimize your site’s architecture, we look at:
- URL Structure: We’re looking for URLs that are not SEO-friendly. This includes URLs that are too long, too complicated, and don’t target a specific keyword. We take a look at an example of good URL structure below.
- Navigation: Your website should be aasy for search engines to navigate, with a clear and logical hierarchy. This helps users and search engine bots understand the structure of your site.
- Internal Linking: We will conduct an internal link audit, to make sure that your domain is distributing page authority throughout your website. And that you’re encouraging users to explore more content.
An Example of Good URL Structure
Here’s an example of how URL structure can be implemented for a manufacturing company. using a hypothetical company named "RoboArmTech" that specializes in manufacturing robotic arms:
Landing pages should include a keyword that describes the page. This could be a product category, a service, or a target industry.
Product pages should be nested under the appropriate category. The product name itself should also be included in the URL.
Blog posts should be nested under a "/blog" directory. The title of the blog post (or a shortened version) can be included in the URL. The title should be hyphen-separated and use relevant keywords.
Improving Crawling and Indexing
We also need to make sure that your site is being indexed properly, i.e., read and registered by search engines.
To do this, we will:
- Create an XML Sitemap: Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines. This helps search engine bots understand the structure of your website and index it accordingly.
- Check your Robots.txt: Check your robots.txt file to ensure it's not blocking search engines from indexing important pages.
- Implement Schema markup: Schema markup is structured data. This helps search engines understand your content better, potentially leading to better SERP (search engine results pages) presentation and higher click-through rates.
We Monitor Your Site Post-Change and Report on Performance
SEO is an ongoing process, and your manufacturing and industrial company likely has many moving parts in terms of content, web, and design development.
You want to make sure your new content and design get implemented without creating any further technical SEO issues.
Plus, search engines continually evolve their algorithms, so it's crucial to stay updated with the latest best practices and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
If you’re interested in having your site audited to look for technical SEO errors, contact us. Or, keep reading to learn how we help manufacturing and industrial companies see an increase in rankings and sales by developing a winning content strategy, finding link-building opportunities, and optimizing their local pages for local search.
Developing a Content Strategy to Bring in New Clients
There are two common mistakes that manufacturing and industrial companies make when developing and implementing a content strategy.
- Mistake #1: Focusing on targeting keywords that bring in high traffic but not sales. This means they’re mainly focusing top of the funnel keywords that increase brand awareness. These keywords have their place, but you also want your content strategy to focus on keywords with high buying intent (bottom of the funnel keywords). As we discuss below, we recommend starting with these bottom of the funnel topics first.
- Mistake #2: Using content writers a) who don’t understand your specific niche or b) don’t understand SEO. If you’re using an in-house team of writers, you’re often stuck with good content that doesn’t rank. But if you find an outside team, you’re now stuck editing content that doesn’t understand your core products, services, and audience. Both of these methods are frustrating and can feel like a waste of time.
Below, we look at how Cove fixes both mistakes.
Fixing Mistake #1: Finding Keywords that Drive Traffic and Sales
Keyword research for manufacturing and industrial companies can be a slightly different ballgame compared to other sectors, given the industry-specific language and niche audience.
But the core principles remain the same: finding and utilizing the keywords your target audience uses to search for your products or services.
The traditional approach to finding keywords is looking for high-volume / low-diifficulty keywords that help you increase brand awareness and site traffic. And ranking for those types of keywords does make sense at a certain point in your eCommerce content strategy.
But first, you want to rank for high buying intent keywords. When you rank for these keywords, your content is going to give you a better ROI.
At Cove, we find these valuable keywords by learning about your target audience. We want to know:
- Who you’re best customers are
- What issues were they experiencing that caused them to look for your services
- How your company’s products and services solved those issues
After we have that information, we then go find high-intent keywords that correspond to those issues.
Keep in mind, these high-intent buying keywords generally will have less volume, but the traffic you’re getting is going to be much more valuable. Plus, these keywords tend to be less competitive, which means your site will rank for them faster.
Fixing Mistake #2: Writing Authoritative and Helpful Content that Will Rank and Convert
Most of the time, manufacturing and industrial companies we work with don’t have a full in-house content team. Rather, they have a few marketing specialists (usually including an editor/copywriter) who split the content marketing duties.
When there is a push for more content, these companies hire freelance ecommerce writers.
But the problem is that your internal team will spend a lot of time editing and revising this content, because it’s not written by writers who understand your core products and services.
Manufacturing and industrial topics are not trivial – they’re advanced, involving topics such as robotics, aerospace manufacturing, commercial water filtrating, and more.
We fix this issue with a two-pronged method.
- We use writers who are familiar with your space. We find experienced content writers who have written about products and services like yours. This helps cut down on the learning curve, as they’re familiar with your specific language, jargon, and audience.
- We interview your team to better inform our pieces. Depending on the exact topic, we can interview your sales managers, your product managers, your marketers, etc. They can give us a critical insider point-of-view which will help us write accurate and authoritative content.
Plus, Our Content is Optimized to Rank
Content can’t just be informative. It also has to rank high in the Google search results for its target keyword so that it can convert.
When we write content for eCommerce, we make sure it follows the best practices of on-page SEO, including prominent keyword placement, headers, alt tags, and meta descriptions.
We also use a content optimization tool to make sure the content we’ve written is more likely to rank on the first page of Google and other search engines.
Link Building for Manufacturing and Industrial Companies
The main challenge for link building for manufacturing and industrial companies is how niche the industry is.
But at Cove, here’s how we’ve helped our clients with link building in the past.
- We’ve created high-quality, shareable content: We can ideate topics around your specific niche that are designed to get backlinks from reputable media publishers and news organizations. This could involve complex topics broken down in simple terms, comprehensive guides, industry trends, or data-driven insights (i.e. surveys and polls).
- We’ve reached out to industry directories: We look for directories specific to your industry where you can list your business. This not only helps with backlinks but can also increase your visibility to potential customers.
- We look for guest blogging opportunities: We will source industry-related blogs or online publications where we could contribute an article. This helps build your brand’s awareness, while also increasing your backlink profile.
Remember, when it comes to link building, the focus should always be on quality, not quantity. A few links from high-authority, relevant websites are far more valuable than lots of links from low-quality, unrelated sites.
At Cove, we also make sure that our link building efforts are always ethical - we avoid buying links or engaging in link schemes, as these can lead to penalties in search engines rankings.
Local SEO to Increase Local Sales
Some of our past clients in the manufacturing and industrial space also had a local presence. This included local customer base, local showrooms, local distributors and retailers, and local service areas.
For these clients, we optimized the local pages on their manufacturing website and also their local business listing on profiles like Google My Business.
By doing this, we increase their rankings within local search. Local search queries tend to be very valuable, as when someone looks for a business locally, they’re already at the bottom of the funnel.
Our approach will vary based on your specific business needs, but here are some of the local SEO strategies we put into place for past clients.
- Updating and maintaining their Google My Business account: This is the first step in local SEO. We ensure your business is listed, the your information is accurate (like address, phone number, business hours), and it's categorized correctly. We also make sure that someone is responding to your page’s reviews and making regular posts and updates about the business.
- Strategically placing local keywords: On your site’s local pages, we make sure we include geographic keywords in your website's meta tags, headers, and content. For example, if you're a robotic arm manufacturer based in Chicago, you could use keywords like "robotic arm manufacturer in Chicago."
- Putting your business in local listings and directories: We find all local listing and directories where we can list your business.
- Local link building: We help you engage with local communities and businesses. This can mean finding local events you can sponsor or partnering with local businesses. Both of these efforts hep you get valuable backlinks.
Next Steps in Your Manufacturing and Industrial SEO Strategy
Above we looked at how we have helped manafucaturing and industrial companies implement successful SEO and digital marketing strategies. This includes:
- Finding and fixing technical SEO concerns
- Developing and implementing an ROI-focused content strategy
- Ideating and rolling out link-building campaigns
- Optimizing their website for local SEO.
To get started on your specific SEO strategy, contact us today.
Naman is the founder of Cove. He has 10+ years of experience executing SEO and growth for eCommerce and SaaS companies.
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