Maintaining a helpful, informative website is critical for reaching your targeted audience and positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. But if your website is out of date or isn’t properly optimized for end users, you’re likely missing out on a lot of valuable lead opportunities and repeat business.
Thomas connects buyers, engineers, and MRO professionals to more than 500,000 North American manufacturers daily — and we’ve created thousands of lead generating websites for manufacturers so we know a thing or two about the industrial space.
According to Pew Research & Merit, millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, with 73% involved in purchasing products or services for their companies. Why does this matter to manufacturers? Millennials’ involvement in purchasing decisions will continue to grow as they age, and because they are digitally native, they’re doing business online. The strategies you invest in today to maintain your website will either make or break your next new business deal.
To ensure your website stands out from your competitors, and helps you pull in the leads you need, we’ve gathered our top 5 SEO website examples.
Quick refresh! SEO stands for search engine optimization, and the practice that ensures your website stays at the top of search results when buyers search for your industrial products and services.
1. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Today, users aren’t just accessing brand and product information from their desks; they’re also using tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices to search for products, gather specs, and compare pricing. Design engineers are researching product details, plant MRO managers are looking into technical information and procurement managers are increasingly choosing to self-educate online rather than call different companies. So it’s critical to offer useful content and product information that can be accessed on the go. Plus, websites that don’t automatically resize for mobile devices are penalized by the Google algorithm.
CGR Products is a custom fabricator of flexible materials to transform them into gaskets, seals, rings, and other high quality engineered components for industrial applications.
They upgraded their website to be more user friendly and optimized for mobile devices. Within a year, after the upgrade and newly published resources, CGR experienced a $280% growth in leads per month and earned more than $4 million worth of quotes in one year.
“It’s not unusual to receive email comments on specific items that have been posted or to receive positive comments during face-to-face meetings. Some suppliers have commented we are getting ahead of the curve in a mature market.”
2. Create A Pillar Page Strategy
A pillar page is a long-form piece of content with details on a central topic and links to other relevant and useful content that follow subtopics.
Pillar pages are essential for SEO traffic because websites that show a deep knowledge of a topic illustrate authority in their field and positively affect search rankings. The benefits are two-fold — Google ranks your content higher so buyers are more likely to click on your page and buyers who read your content will see you as a trusted resource.
According to Corporate Visions, 74% of buyers choose the rep that was the first to deliver value and insight.
Engineering Specialities, Inc. (ESI) is a metal stamping and automated assembly company that provides automotive customers with safety-critical parts. They had a strong website foundation of case studies and blogs, but they sought a high volume of traffic to grow their metal stamping customer base. ESI’s new SEO strategy focused on creating a new “What Is Metal Stamping” pillar page that broadly outlined the main topic. The page then linked to other existing content on the website and included various multimedia elements like videos, drawings, and images.
Learn More: What Is A Pillar Page And Why It Matters
The pillar page delivered high-ranking results within the first months of publication. Within five months, this page ranked in the top results for “What is metal stamping?” and other key metal stamping terms — helping to place ESI top of mind for buyers during their buying process.
“With things like SEO and getting some critical mass behind your marketing efforts — it takes some time. But we see steady growth with SEO and weekly results,” said Ron Delfini, ESI President.
3. Local Search For SEO
Manufacturers can take advantage of Google’s local search results to target buyers who may be close to your business’ location. For example, if you’re a machine shop located in New York and a buyer in your area searches for “cnc machining services,” your company will search up in Google’s local search results.
To activate the search feature, claim your Google My Business listing. Include all the categories that accurately describe the services you provide, like “machine shop” and “manufacturer.” Don’t forget to double-check your contact information too.
Alternatively, a company profile listing on Thomasnet.com is another way to increase traffic and attract valuable leads. In fact, there is more industrial and B2B buying activity taking place on Thomasnet.com than on any other platform because buyers evaluate suppliers every second on Thomasnet.com, and it’s free to sign up.
4. Create Product Comparison Blog Posts
Research has shown that comparison blog posts perform well organically for high-quality website visitors because the further people are into their buying process, the more specific their search terms will be. Product comparison blog posts present “ready to buy” content more clearly for your website visitors using less competitive keywords.
Air Innovations published a Negative vs. Positive Pressure Rooms 101 blog that gained traction after receiving a backlink from a subsequent Thomasnet.com article related to the same topic. The content breaks down all the information so the buyer doesn’t have to research elsewhere.
Continued growth of the page has contributed to a dramatic increase in contact form submissions and project inquiry submissions. Read more about Air Innovations’ success story here.
5. Upload Multimedia And Videos
Multimedia plays a big role in strong SEO because Google ranks webpages with useful content that is easy-to-read. Although many finished products are under NDA by the OEM and cannot be photographed or shared, you can still be creative and create graphics or an infographic to bring your page to life.
Learn More About Designs That Convert Leads: The Role Of Color Theory In Marketing
Videos improve SEO too, and we recommend publishing the video on YouTube first and then adding the embed code directly into the page. By publishing your video on YouTube, you’re exposing your brand to the second-largest search engine on the Internet.
Keep in mind that videos affect page speed, but they also:
- Increase the average time spent on your page and decrease bounce rate. Both are metrics Google looks at when ranking websites
- Promote your content in Google’s video search results, increasing your visibility and click-through rates to your website.
Page speed, or page load time, is important for retaining site visitors and encouraging them to explore your offerings further. Studies show that web pages with longer load times tend to have higher bounce rates, and users spend less time on the site overall. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions, reducing the chances of picking up valuable leads and attracting the buyers you need.
Manufacturers and industrials who add videos to their Thomasnet.com Company Profile see higher engagements with RFI submissions than those that don’t. That’s because according to Content Marketing Institute, more than half the engineers and technical professionals surveyed indicated that they spend at least one hour per week watching videos for work (those 45 and younger reported spending the most time watching videos).
Thomas offers a handful of video production types, like a product spotlight for OEMs and distributors or a project spotlight or factory tour video for custom manufacturers like the one below.
SPECIAL: Learn how you can get a video produced for free with an advertising program on Thomasnet.com
Review Your Website Regularly To Keep SEO Strong
Creating a website is one of the first steps to building your online presence, but you have to maintain it with regular content and SEO strategies to ensure you’re attracting the right audience — and increase the chances of converting them.
Seeking feedback right from users themselves is one of the best ways to understand how they’re interacting with your site and what they’d like to see improved. Thomas offers a free digital health check to see how your online presence stacks against competitors — or check out our How To Increase Your SEO Traffic In Just 30 Days planner to get started on your own. Degreed engineers support our industrial SEO experts so we understand the complexity of your manufacturing business.
Additional SEO resources for manufacturers: