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How an SEO Company Can Help Manufacturers Transform Their Marketing

Farotech is an SEO company helping manufacturers understand the importance of a high-quality SEO strategy.

Data suggests that the manufacturing industry is more competitive now than it has ever been. And with this level of competition comes the need to develop an innovative and engaging marketing strategy with the help of a manufacturing SEO company.

When done effectively, a marketing strategy should help manufacturing companies generate leads, nurture leads into clients, and convert clients into raving fans of your products, service, mission, and vision. It should also be designed to delight and engage your existing clients with the hop,e of retaining as many clients as possible and, ideally looking for effective ways to upsell your products and services.

Our strategy is built around something we call “the Farotech Unique Process.” In this process, we develop a variety of different ways to get more client leads and opportunities. However, after 21+ years of marketing, search engine optimization still stands out as the most effective way to drive opportunities and sales.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, changes to search engine algorithms was top of mind for manufacturing companies in 2022, coming in at 62%.

 

Overcoming the complexity of SEO

Search Engine Optimization is an art and a science. And while there are blogs out there that help your organization try to rank for critical keywords, the reality is that it is getting harder and harder to rank effectively on search engines.

That is why we highly encourage manufacturers to get the help of an SEO Subject Matter Expert, typically within a team-based manufacturing SEO company. Just like how most people are now no longer equipped to fix their own car, so it is with SEO.

This page aims to walk you through the basics of SEO and help you figure out the right questions you need to ask yourself or the agency you intend to hire BEFORE you begin your SEO journey.

Disclaimer: the approach we will be discussing is how to effectively rank for critical keywords on national or international search engines. While we understand that there are manufacturers who market locally or who market directly to consumers, this article is designed for manufacturers who sell regionally, nationally, or internationally.

 

The different types of SEO manufacturers should focus on

Unless you are operating at a local level, it is essential to develop a plan to organically rank for critical keywords. To rank effectively, you will need to consider four key ingredients:

Technical SEO

When it comes to technical SEO, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. The list is actually very exhaustive, and we highly recommend that you use a subject matter expert at your chosen manufacturing marketing company to go through each of these elements one by one.

Historically, Google has always favored companies that adhere as closely as possible to their best practices. This is especially true when it comes to technical SEO.

It is highly advised that you use the most cutting-edge SEO tools to review your website’s technical SEO. The tool that we suggest that companies use is a free tool called Screaming Frog. This tool will analyze your site and give you step-by-step instructions to your web developer to clean your website up and to better fit Google web standards.

Here is an example of a Screaming Frog Technical SEO report. However, as you can see, these reports are highly technical.

It is this level of detail that matters to Google, and it is also a key ingredient to getting your website ranking effectively. This is why many manufacturers opt to work with a manufacturing SEO company to ensure the best use of these tools.

On-Page SEO

Similar to technical SEO, On-page SEO is a critical ranking factor concerning how you code and optimize your website. There is a whole host of on-page SEO tactics that must be implemented to ensure that your website ranks effectively however I want to focus on three critical pieces:

  • Structured Content
    • Structured content is all about compounding results and how your content can be structured into a hierarchy on your website that makes the content pages above it stronger and stronger to keep users engaged and provide value. As you build related content hubs and spokes further down the hierarchy, the value of your top pages increases. Here, we can see what an ideally structured sitemap looks like:

  • The problem is that most manufacturing companies publish pages at random without a strategy or structure, and the pages won’t strengthen or compound. The beauty of structured content is that once you get to the Hub Page level, you can connect it to things like Spoke pages, Blog pages, Videos, or Infographics related to and which support the Hub. That Hub corresponds to the Service Page above it, compounding the power of everything below it.

  • Metadata & Optimization

Google is obviously one of the strongest supercomputers in the world. However, it is indexing millions and millions of pieces of content in milliseconds. That’s why as a rule of thumb, we strive to organize our content so Google has to think less. And the most basic but most ignored item is Metadata and optimization. Some key aspects of this include:

  • Developing keyword-rich title tags
  • URL slugs
  • Headers (H1, H2, and H3)
  • And Meta-data: the text that is written on a search result that explains what your article is about.
 
  • Keyword Optimization

Similar to Metadata and optimization, you want your website to rank for critical keywords and key phrases. Therefore, it is essential to do your keyword research in advance and apply these keywords effectively throughout your content.

While it is important to write really great content, without optimizing content for search engines, it might be invisible.

Content-Based SEO

The last of the technical SEO ingredients is called content-based SEO, also called Content Marketing. With content-based SEO, your team (or the manufacturing marketing company/agency of your choice) writes content that will establish you as a thought leader in the eyes of your potential readers. As you begin to develop more content––assuming it’s SEO optimized––you will begin to rank for more and more coveted keywords. There are a lot of tactics that can make you successful in this approach, however we will cover just two here:

  • Editorial Calendar: Developing a publishing calendar that turns your marketing from reactive to proactive is critical for content success. This content considers all of the things that might impact your business throughout the calendar year such as tradeshows, webinars, seasonality etc… With the help of your manufacturing SEO company, you can develop a calendar that lets your team know what content is going out every week, every month, every quarter––and ideally the whole year. Once this calendar is produced, it is optimized according to the format your content will be displayed in (Blog, article, eBook, etc.), which keyword you intend to optimize, when it will be published, and when it will be promoted. This calendar serves as the backbone to your Content-Based SEO approach.
  • Blogging: It seems like every company has a blog. But why? The easy answer is to establish your company as a thought leader to potential clients. But the larger reason is that when you generate thought-provoking and engaging content on your blog, that article ideally gets backlinked to from outside websites. These backlinks improve your domain authority (DA) and this is what allows your website to rank bigger stronger and faster than your competition. Want to see how you stand in terms of domain authority? You can use SEMRush’s Domain Authority tool to see your website’s authority.

Off-Page SEO

  • Backlinking: As we just mentioned above, links from outside websites that point to your website increases your trust in the eyes of Google. Therefore, it is important to do anything you can to generate more links from outside websites.
    But not all links are equal––backlinks from high domain authority websites create much more value for your company’s ranking potential than links from low domain authority websites.
    Outside of developing very compelling link-worthy content, there are tactics you can use such as digital PR, influencer outreach, and guest posting that can create powerful backlinks.
    A word of caution: agencies that use deceptive tactics, often called black hat or gray hat SEO, to garner backlinks for your company can actually get your website penalized from Google. It is very important that when you hire a marketing SEO company that you avoid companies that utilize such tactics.
 

Reoptimization

Note, a vital part of our SEO process is analyzing which keywords are in the process of ranking effectively and doing everything possible to make sure that they keep their forward progress, ideally ranking as high as possible on page one of search engines.

Unfortunately, SEO is complex, and there are a variety of factors that would make a certain piece of content not rank or index properly. Therefore, every quarter our manufacturing SEO company builds reoptimization time into our strategy. During reoptimization months, rather than developing new content, we go back to existing content that hasn’t ranked effectively, and we amplify that content in the hopes that it pushes the content closer to page one.

We use the analogy, “sometimes the spaghetti doesn’t stick to the wall”. Therefore, reoptimization is critical. Because if the content we’ve written in the past isn’t ranking and isn’t progressing to page one, this content will have very little value. So to maximize your time, energy, and money, we urge you to continue to work on struggling content to bring it back to life in the hopes it will rank bigger, stronger, and faster.

If your team is not implementing reoptimization in your current approach or you’re working with a manufacturing marketing company that does not dedicate significant time to reoptimization, you should strongly consider adding this to your approach.

 

Where to focus your energy

One thing to keep in mind––80% of SEO is under your own control. What I mean by that is that there are things that you can proactively do to your website and to your approach that can have a dramatic impact on your results. On the flip side, there are things related to SEO that are not under your control––namely, Off-Page SEO and backlinking.

Therefore it is super important that you spend the large majority of time, energy, and money focusing on the things that you can control versus the things you can’t control.

Analytics and data-driven decisions

There is practically no other marketing approach that relies more on analytics than SEO. Everything from your baseline traffic reports to your keyword ranking reports to all of the various data that you can figure out along the way is done through proper setup analytics. For this section, assume that you have set up Google Analytics and other analytics tools (Hubspot, Google Ads, etc.)

The most critical thing to do is to set up goals. When you set up goals, you can get very specific about your KPIs. One approach that we talk about most is setting up financial goals for your critical KPIs.

For example, let’s talk about demos.

If you know how many demos convert into actual clients and you know much revenue you make off of each client, you have a baseline for understanding the “value of the demo”. So we use the value of the demo and ask “How much time, energy and money are we investing into SEO? Is that traffic leading to a demo and ultimately a sale? Then we can work backwards to figure out “the financial value of a sale vs. how much we spent”

The sooner your can connect revenue numbers with traffic performance, the more clairty you will have with your SEO investment.

Note: You should view SEO as an annuity. Unlike traditional marketing, outbound email blasts and paid ads, the value of SEO should compound over time. This means that if you rank for a piece of content now you could yield the results of that content month over month, while your visibility from other forms of marketing stops when you exhaust your budget.

 

How long does it take to rank?

The #1 question we hear as a manufacturing SEO company is, “If I am going to invest in SEO, how long does it take to see results from my investment?” Essentially, you’re asking how long it’ll take before you rank. And while this might vary from industry to industry, the manufacturing space usually lines up with traditional time frames.

A study that was done by Neil Patel at NP digital said that it takes the following time to rank:

  • Low Competition Keywords: 121 Days
  • Medium Compeition Keywords: 304 Days
  • High Competition Keywords: 365 days
 

A Paid Ads + SEO approach

When it comes to paid advertising, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages. The number one advantage is clearly speed. As opposed to waiting for months or possibly even years for critical keywords to rank on the first page of Google, paid advertising can have you on the first page of Google in a relatively short amount of time––assuming that your ad‘s team is effective with their approach.

The problem, however, is that paid advertising is commonly the most expensive form of marketing. In fact, it’s estimated that it costs almost 99% more than organic SEO.

That’s why we recommend using paid advertising in conjunction with SEO.

This approach can work in a variety of different ways. Quite simply, you can get critical keywords on the first page of Google with paid advertising, and as your SEO campaign kicks into gear and you start to rank for the same keywords that you’re advertising for you can either 1.) reduce your ad budget or 2.) you can pivot your ad budget to other keywords that you’re not currently advertising for.

In the most ideal scenario, you’re trying to maximize your visibility using the most cost-effective approach possible. This two-pronged approach is how we try to get the best of both worlds.

 

How do you know if your SEO company is doing a good job?

That’s a great question. In fact, what is the number one question that you should continuously be asking yourself whenever you’re using an agency or even your internal team to perform your SEO campaigns?

We believe that what you don’t question you don’t improve.

That is why we created an eBook called the Top 50 Questions to Ask Your SEO Company. However, here are some of the highlights of what we believe you should consider:

Qualified traffic

Assuming your website is already connected to Google Analytics, you can monitor your traffic improvement. But just because traffic is improving does not exactly mean it’s qualified. Therefore, you should hope your manufacturing SEO company monitors not just the traffic that comes to your website, but how potential leads are engaging with your content.

We’ve been in many situations where we’ve been able to drive a lot of traffic to a client’s website, but the content just isn’t compelling enough to engage a potential audience, who quickly abandon their query. That’s what makes valuable content that solves a problem so vital to generating qualified leads.

Other things that you can do to monitor engagement is using heat-mapping analysis. This is part of something we call a usability conversion analysis which you can learn all about here.

Goal conversion

When you’re analyzing your traffic and how users are engaging with your website, another metric that you should be considering is goal conversion.

Whether your goal is to have users fill out a form, watch a video, or have significant scroll depth on your pages, goal conversion is critical to understanding if your SEO is driving value.

Keyword improvement

A KPI that is critical to your SEO is understanding your keyword improvement. As we mentioned above, keywords don’t magically land on the first page of Google overnight. Therefore, it’s important to keep a lot of irons in the fire, which means that we can’t pin all our hopes on one or two specific keywords, but rather optimizing for multiple keywords––sometimes hundreds or even thousands––in one campaign.

There are variety of keyword tools that you can use to monitor your keyword improvement/progress. Google Analytics, Hubspot, Ubersuggest, Google Search Console are just some of the most popular.

A healthy campaign should see critical keywords going from deeper search engine results to pages closer to page one. When your team is monitoring these keywords effectively, you’ll be able to optimize and re-optimize content to keep steady progress.

ROI

Like anything, SEO is an investment. But many companies struggle to prove ROI on their marketing. If you set up your goal tracking effectively, you can measure the dollar value of your KPIs and goals versus your initial expenditure or investment. Your SEO team should be able to provide these metrics to you on a regular basis. If they can’t, you may want to find an agency that uses analytics to drive ROI.

 

Taking the First Step

Most manufacturing companies struggle to prove ROI on their marketing because they don’t have the time or the expertise. Our system ensures our clients make data-driven decisions while our team-based approach provides the strategy and execution to grow their business.

That is why we recommend that all of our clients start out with a gap assessment. A gap assessment is a 10-week deep dive into all aspects of your current marketing approach to find potential opportunities for your website and overall marketing ambitions that could:

  • 10x your business leads and opportunities
  • Identify critical gaps In your marketing approach
  • Develop foundational marketing assets to scale campaigns
  • Create and maintain a marketing scorecard
  • Identify your quarterly priorities and goals
  • Review your competition
  • Identify the lifetime value of your current and prospective clients
  • Establish ROI model that scales as your business grows

During this process, we’ll evaluate the efficacy of SEO for your organization and how to develop a marketing campaign around your growth needs.

Final Thoughts

I know that we covered a lot of information on this page. However, it is our obsession to be as helpful as possible to our potential clients and anyone else who would like to understand the impact of SEO on their marketing.

If you’d like to learn more about the latest trends, topics, and cutting-edge marketing insights, please check out our podcast/YouTube channel where we interview thought leaders and answer critical questions about transforming your marketing strategy.

If you’d like to know more information or speak to us about possible SEO solutions, you can fill out the following form:



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