In an increasingly digital world, manufacturing companies are seeing the importance of a well-performing website to generate leads and drive sales.
Websites that generate leads not only look good, but they perform well and provide visitors with valuable information.
This is where SEO comes in.
Like any machine, a well-performing website doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Websites that rank highly on Google searches are generally well optimised. Hence the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
So, what exactly is SEO?
SEO is a combination of actions performed on a website, both on and off-page. These actions are designed to rank your website higher on search engines (Google primarily).
We won’t get bogged down in technicalities here, as you’re probably more concerned with the impact SEO will have on your lead generation. That being said, here are the critical components of SEO:
- Well-written and authoritative content (primarily web pages and blogs).
- Backlinks (other sites that link back to your website, like social media).
- High usability (A website should load fast and be easy to navigate).
- Overall page authority (how likely are Google to see your site as a trusted source of information in your industry?).
If this sounds like a lot, well, it is.
But, it’s important to remember that SEO is essentially an attempt to make your website stand out within a sea of other search results. Ranking 1st to 5th on any Google search is no small order; this is where the vast, vast majority of clicks happen.
Let’s take a look at the importance SEO will have on your manufacturing business.
The importance of SEO for the Manufacturing Industry
Twenty years ago, generating revenue in the manufacturing world relied primarily on word-of-mouth marketing and directories of contacts. Today, however, things have changed.
B2B sales are being driven into the online space at high speed; the pandemic has only accelerated this.
Let’s take a look at the stats from Google:
- Those who influence B2B purchases are getting younger; nearly half of B2B researchers are millennials.
- 90% of B2B researchers use online search to find their business purchases.
- Mobile B2B research has seen over 90% growth in recent years (mobile optimisation is a critical element of SEO).
Common sense would also say that this trend towards younger, tech-savvy leads will only increase in the coming years. Optimising your site to be visible on Google is not only important, but it could be essential for your business to survive in the long run.
Considering this shift in buying behaviour, let's take a look at the top four impacts SEO will have on your manufacturing business:
Top four impacts of SEO on manufacturing companies:
Increased website traffic and brand awareness
If your website is well optimised and provides helpful information, you should see increased traffic. The current Google algorithm rewards websites with a high ranking if the pages offer genuinely beneficial information for users.
Higher rankings are essential for traffic. 90% of searchers click on the first set of results they see and seldom go past the first page. Think about it: when was the last time you spent more than a few seconds glazing over a set of Google results? If you don’t find what you’re after quickly, you’re more likely to change your search terms than visit page 2.
Your website traffic should increase significantly if your website is at the top of the pile for relevant searches.
To do this, you’ll need to know what your potential customers are searching for and optimise your website content accordingly.
Here’s an example from our own site:
Our blog post on website visits has generated hundreds of clicks in the last six months. Beyond the snippet result, we’re ranked 1st for this particular search.
This content has been optimised for search engines and drives traffic to our website. Not only this, but the visitors tend to be relevant to our business.
This is known as organic search traffic: the results on a search engine that aren’t paid ads. Driving your organic traffic is a great way to generate leads.
Your leads are more qualified
Not only will SEO increase the overall traffic to your website, but it should also mean leads are more suited to your business.
SEO will ensure that the content on your website is hyper-relevant for your potential customers. For example, if you sell CNC machined parts, you only really need those interested in buying these parts visiting your website. Think about it as moving your store to a more relevant part of town, where passers-by are more likely to walk in and make a purchase.
In 2021, FINALLY performed site optimisation for one of our clients, Turbex, a supplier of industrial cleaning equipment.
The results for 2021 speak for themselves:
- 98% increase in organic users (people who click on Turbex’s webpage after making a google search relevant to their industry).
- 420% increase in organic contacts (people who contacted Turbex following their searches).
If you want to drive more potential leads to your website, we offer a free website audit to show you your website’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of SEO.
Improved ROI compared to paid ads
While it isn’t cheap (we’ll get into costs further down), SEO has a significantly better ROI when compared to paid ads.
One of the biggest reasons for this is simple: pay-per-click (PPC) ads are very costly. Also, the clicks don’t necessarily mean leads. Your website will still need to be convincing and well-optimised to get viewers interested in your business.
Also, some savvy users scroll straight past the ads when they make a Google search and look at the organic results instead.
Because of this user behaviour, it’s often more financially sound to invest money in appearing further up the SERP (search engine results page). In the manufacturing world especially, those with buying power research very carefully and are unlikely to be convinced by ads.
Some SEO agencies report staggering ROI on their services. This agency in the US found an 813% ROI in the manufacturing industry over a 3-year average. We’ll go into how long SEO takes in the cost section.
We certainly aren’t suggesting abandoning paid ads completely in favour of SEO and organic search. But, we are certain investment in SEO can significantly impact your company if you see it as part of your marketing costs.
This is the part everyone cares about. And really, increased revenue is the culmination of increased traffic and higher-quality leads.
Like we mentioned when discussing ROI, it’s essential to see SEO as an investment for your manufacturing company. In the same way you’d invest in a salesperson to increase your revenue, SEO is an investment in your website to bring you leads (and sales, hopefully). The difference is your website works 24/7.
Considering the transformative effect it can have on your business, SEO remains a relatively cheap way to boost your revenue.
For manufacturing businesses that operate locally, SEO is essential for driving traffic to your website and securing revenue.
FINALLY created a new website from the ground up for Andrew Jaynes, a local manufacturer of timber doors and windows in Kent, England.
His site now ranks comfortably within the top three for relevant searches. In Andrew’s own words, the results were “substantial in both the volume and the quality of the new business we have won”.
SEO costs for manufacturing companies:
Performing SEO is genuinely tricky. Many manufacturing companies pay specialists and marketing firms to make the necessary changes to their websites.
Impactful SEO is usually a mixture of technical website changes and content creation. This can be complicated and very time-consuming for most manufacturing businesses to achieve in-house, even with a small marketing team.
Costs for SEO can vary quite significantly from company to company; this is dependent on several factors:
- How large your website is (the number and length of pages).
- The extent to which your website needs changing on a technical level.
- If content needs to be created.
- How established your company is.
Generally speaking, though, mid-range SEO retainers range from £2,000 to £6,000 per month.
Our website retainer is £3,600 p/m and is designed specifically for manufacturing companies. Take a look at what it offers here.
Some marketing agencies and SEO specialists charge per hour or by project, but retainers are generally the most common and effective.
How long does SEO take to work?
To see a genuine impact from SEO, it must be kept up for at least three to six months.
It takes time for Google to see your website as a trusted and authoritative source of information.
SEO is not a quick fix that brings in leads the next day; instead, it's a steady, deliberate process of improvement and content creation that gradually brings your website further up the rankings for organic search results.
- SEO is critical for ensuring your manufacturing website ranks highly on Google.
- Higher rankings increase organic traffic, leads and sales.
- SEO is a tricky and time-consuming task that is typically undertaken by professionals.
- Mid-range SEO retainers range from around £2000 to £6000 depending on the size and needs of your business.
- If you don’t undertake SEO, one of your competitors will.
FINALLY are a dedicated marketing agency for manufacturing and engineering firms. If you want to talk about your SEO needs, book a free 15-minute consultation with us today.