In case you doubt the influence of digital in today’s manufacturing world, note that a recent study from Google confirms that 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process. That means manufacturers are becoming increasingly dependent on their internet presence, especially in online search, in this era of highly competitive digital marketing.
As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and endures new economic uncertainties due to escalating overseas conflicts, both global and domestic B2B industrial companies are reconsidering their dependence on globalized supply chains that are prone to disruption.
Put another way, this means industrial manufacturers are seeking to win larger shares of smaller, more localized markets. One effective way to do that is to gain brand awareness through online search. That’s why having a highly focused SEO strategy has become an essential component of business growth strategies for manufacturers as the industry evolves and moves forward.
The Basics of Manufacturing SEO
71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. Accordingly, industrial search engine marketing is based on various content strategies developed to attract maximum traffic to your website in the absence of traditional offline marketing and fewer in-person events. The basics of SEO for manufacturers can be boiled down to a few common strategies.
Highly Industry-Focused Content
Business development in the manufacturing industry is rapidly changing with the emergence of digital tools and communication channels. Small to mid-sized manufacturers are able to compete easier for brand recognition and awareness by producing high quality, relevant content.
Manufacturers are achieving even greater SEO success by hyper focusing this digital and website content on specific industry verticals and niche market sectors that have less competition due to lack of quality content showing up in search results.
By creating highly industry focused content, manufacturing marketers position the brand as a subject matter expert and prove its industry authority and expertise. Industry-focused content can include pieces such as informative blogs, e-books, videos, infographics, and webinars, all answering specific questions the audience has and providing them with explanations and solutions.
Content for Multiple Decision Makers
Rather than creating general content that has broad appeal, B2B industrial SEO targets the decision makers and their circle of influence within the organization. Contents have to be crafted for all stages of the buyer’s journey and the decision makers involved at each stage. Every stage of the buyer’s journey has to be fully understood and pain points recognized. The content should address the solutions for multiple decision makers and be appealing to consider.
Mailchimp’s website is an excellent example of content for multiple decision makers. While the homepage clearly focuses on revenue advantages of using Mailchimp services, the rest of the pages explains how it can be done technically and discusses the various customer benefits.
The Importance of Data
Rather than appealing to emotions, B2B marketing content, especially for industrial and manufacturing companies, must include ample information and relevant data that supports your value proposition.In B2B industrial manufacturing, the decision makers are both technical and commercial. More often than not, they are experts in their domains and they rely on validated data for technical information. Data supported by facts and figures within the content are of prime importance for collective decision making.
For example: Method Machines, a leading machine tools and engineering company shares technical data on their case studies to show precisely how their existing clients benefited by using their services.
Supporting Longer Sales Cycles
Instead of transactions happening on the website, sales in B2B can range from days to weeks, even years. As multiple stages exist in the buyer’s journey involving multiple decision makers, the sales cycle can vary according to each requirement. Usually, the bigger the sale amount, the longer the sales cycle. Sometimes the decision-maker is too busy and will refer you to their technical or commercial influencers within their organization. To speed up long sales cycles when selling to large businesses, find ways to motivate the in-house influencers to champion your solution through appropriate information.
Awareness Created by Thought Leadership
Apt information are contents that demonstrate industry expertise and topical authority. In our present information age, thought leadership is of primary importance for credibility and brand visibility. Contents that carry the most appropriate subject matter expertise are most valued not only among customers but also in search engine results when prospects are seeking that information organically. Being positioned at the top of search results positions a manufacturer as an industry thought leader among the top industrial B2B brands thanks to the trust that audiences have in search engine results.
The Changing Digital Landscape of Manufacturing
Digital is fast replacing distributors for industrial manufacturers. This changing digital landscape is impacting the industrial manufacturers, distributors and the B2B customers in multiple ways.
The Shifting Role of Distributors
As digital continues to bridge the traditional gaps between manufacturers and their end consumer, distributors are rethinking their value proposition in the manufacturing ecosystem.
Distributors are more focused and to be specialized marketing partners. They are developing immersive customer experiences and other innovative digital solutions to stay relevant in the game.
Communication and Knowledge Sharing
Whether it’s experts interfacing with customers, or internal staff exchanging technical data or specifications related to products or services offered by the business, digital is empowering manufacturers and their customers with better, faster communication and more convenient access to support or maintenance. Information Technology is being embraced by the industrial manufacturers for knowledge sharing and faster communication. Innovative digital solutions are fast replacing the traditional means of knowledge transfer.
The Influence of Direct-to-Consumer Brands
Today’s generation, especially during and after the pandemic era, has become used to the convenience of shopping for products on Amazon and having them shipped directly to your front door, and they will increasingly choose solution providers based on their ability to deliver the same brand promise. Digital has truly made the business world a smaller place for easy accessibility and convenience. D2C (Direct to Customer) is gaining popularity over B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customer) industries. Increasing consumer demands are soon going to influence the industrial manufacturers to consider being a direct to consumer brand.
Why Manufacturers Need SEO to Stay Competitive
According to the content marketing institute manufacturing research report-2022, 63% of manufacturing content marketers agreed that website changes contributed to success in 2021. Industrial manufacturers are quickly realizing the importance of SEO in helping search visibility of their websites but also in improving positive user experiences for client acquisition. Manufacturers are investing into SEO to stay in business with a series of digital strategies based on the following changes.
Prospects are Becoming Smarter at Search
Post pandemic, the prospects have increasingly adapted to the digital and are becoming smarter at online search. The digital revolution is pushing for a better change not only from the B2B customer but also from the industrial manufacturers and distributors alike.
Search engine algorithms of Google have certainly become more sophisticated over time. The people searching online–including business prospects in industrial companies, are themselves becoming more savvy about how to search and quickly find the specific solutions or expertise they’re looking for.
That means broad content is less likely to show up or compel them to click through from search results. Overall, the SEO helps manufacturers stay on top of search results and generate traffic to your website.
Improving Organic Positioning Takes Time
Even if your content is perfect from the moment it is published, Google does not reward your website content with the highest rankings immediately. Rather, it must gain authority and trust over time as web users click through to the content from search and external sites link to it.
The more traffic that is generated through SEO, the better your chances in improving your organic positing online over a period of time. That age old saying, “an early bird catches the worm” is apt in terms of competitors who are able to recognize the necessity at an early stage while the market is evolving.
Google is Always Changing Best Practices
It may not be possible for manufacturers to know the nuances of all the best digital practices which get constantly updated. Google continuously elevates its standards and expectations between page experience, Core Web Vitals, web accessibility, PWAs, and lots of other search criteria.
More importantly, those who follow Google guidelines are rewarded with higher search rankings. SEO experts constantly keep themselves updated on the latest trends and technical guidelines as recent study shows that nearly half (47%) of all manufacturing marketers said SEO contributed to their success in 2021 and the trend is further increasing in 2022.
Get Help from Manufacturing SEO Experts
It’s clear that optimizing the website for Google Search performance is critical for manufacturers and B2B companies serving the manufacturing industry to not only endure global challenges, but also to thrive and grow even in the most challenging economic conditions.
For more details on the value of search visibility in Google, the contributing factors of SEO, and how DBS can help your industrial business increase your business leads and generate more revenue, contact us for a free consultation.