The right SEO strategy can help industrial and manufacturing companies increase visibility and supercharge lead generation. This complete guide includes expert SEO tips and strategies to boost your online presence.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What is SEO for industrial?
  2. Why use SEO for industrial companies?
  3. How to build an SEO strategy for an industrial company
  4. 5 expert industrial SEO tips to rank on page 1 of Google
  5. SEO terms you need to know

Tradeshows and catalogs used to be the king of industrial marketing. But today, industrial and manufacturing businesses must increase online visibility to thrive.

SEO for industrial is one of the best ways to reach potential customers online. Without an industrial or manufacturing SEO strategy, you’re missing out on reaching and engaging a large portion of your audience.

Let’s discuss industrial SEO, why you need it, and expert tips to bring your website more relevant traffic.

What is SEO for industrial?

SEO for industrial uses search engine optimization techniques to help manufacturing and industrial companies websites rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).

This involves strategic updates to an industrial company’s website, such as keyword research, landing page optimization, and copywriting. It also involves off-site techniques, like link-building, to increase the company’s chances of ranking higher on search engines.

The goal: to appear in the top results for keywords used by prospective customers looking for a business like yours.

SEO for industrial

(Image: Pexels)

Why use SEO for industrial companies?

SEO for industrial companies helps businesses to get to the top of search engines, which means you get:

  • Expanded online reach: SEO helps industrial and manufacturing businesses expand their online presence, reaching a wider audience of potential customers.
  • Increased visibility on search engines: By optimizing for relevant search terms, industrial websites can appear on the first page of search engine results, driving more organic traffic to their site.
  • Higher Quality Leads: With more relevant website traffic, industrial and manufacturing businesses can attract more qualified leads, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

How to build an SEO strategy for an industrial company

Now that you know why SEO is an important part of your industrial marketing strategy, let’s look at how to create and implement an SEO strategy for your business.

  1. Conduct an SEO audit
  2. Research target keywords
  3. Optimize your site for user experience
  4. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
  5. Consistently publish high-quality content

1. Conduct an SEO audit

You can’t fix what you don’t know about, so start with an SEO audit. The SEO audit evaluates how optimized your website is for search engines and identifies fixes to improve your website and SEO.

Use free SEO audit tools from companies like Semush or Ahrefs for an overall health score and breakdown of the site’s general issues.

Ahrefs SEO site audit

Here’s an example of the Overview given by the Ahrefs SEO Audit tool. (Image: Ahrefs)

Audits also provide a comprehensive breakdown of site issues impacting SEO like redirects, slow loading pages, and indexability issues. With this list of issues, you can fix areas of your site impacting ranking.

SEO site audit issues

Ahrefs SEO audit tool provides a list of all the issues that are impacting your SEO. (Image: Ahrefs)

Feeling overwhelmed just by looking at this? When you work with an SEO agency like HawkSEM, you get SEO audit services as part of the package.

Ready to get started? Book a free consultation now.

2. Research target keywords

Finding target keywords tells search engines what your site is about so it can drive relevant traffic (potential customers) to your website. Begin with keyword research, identifying phrases customers may use to search for products and services like yours.

Add additional keywords to your keyword list by typing the phrases into Google — use the Autocomplete feature to find ideas.

For instance, when you type in “automotive electronics,” Google shows relevant keywords like “automotive electronics repair” and “automotive electronics suppliers.”

Industrial SEO Google Autocomplete

Another great place to look for keywords is on the Google search results page. Look at the titles of the articles and site pages that appear for a keyword or phrase.

Also, look at the People Also Ask section to find common questions people search for about your keywords. These questions are optimization opportunities, offering a gold-mind of long-tail keyword suggestions.

Industrial SEO search terms

Related Searches at the bottom of the search results page is another excellent resource for long-tail keyword opportunities.

Industrial SEO related searches

Use tools like Moz, Semrush, and Ahrefs for keyword research

Type in relevant keywords to see broad match keywords, exact match keywords, questions, and long tail keywords. Then add all relevant keywords to your list to build content around.

After listing potential target keywords, narrow down your keyword list by finding the keywords your company has the best opportunity to rank for on Google. Generally, these keywords have higher search volume and a lower keyword difficulty.

You can find this information using the same SEO tools used to find keyword opportunities. Note that every tool uses its own criteria for establishing a competition score so it may vary across tools.

Pro tip: Don’t forget long-tail keywords — specific search terms people are more likely to use when they’re ready to buy.

For example, someone may search for “iPad” if they’re researching the iPad. But when that same person searches for “12.9 inch iPad Pro” (a long-tail keyword), they’re likely ready to buy.

3. Optimize your site for user experience

Elements that make your website user-friendly also impact SEO and the user experience for visitors browsing through your site for information.

Here’s how to optimize your site for user experience and SEO:

Keep an eye on site speed

If your site’s pages load too slowly, visitors will navigate to a different site, likely a competitor. In fact, more than 88% of visitors will leave a site due to slow loading times.

Here are several ways to optimize site speed:

  • Compress images so the file sizes are smaller without sacrificing image quality
  • Minify Javascript, CSS, and HTML code so it takes less time to load
  • Use content delivery networks (CDNs) to distribute pages across multiple servers

Make the site easy to navigate

Navigational elements like menus and headers enhance the user experience. If your site is difficult to navigate, people will leave. This can increase your bounce rate and lower your time spent on site — two metrics that determine if your site is relevant to search engine users.

If the bounce rate is high and the time spent on site is low, it’ll hurt your ranking in search engines.

Use clear calls to action

Don’t assume site visitors know the next step to take on your site. Use clear and concise language on your call-to-action buttons so visitors know what to do. Clear CTAs will improve your click-through rate, which impacts SEO.

Here’s an example of an industrial website from American Alloy Fabricators with a clear and simple navigational menu with clear calls-to-action:

4. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

Pay attention to mobile responsiveness. No matter how beautiful your website design may be, if you don’t optimize for mobile devices, it’ll cause soaring bounce rates and plummeting search engine rankings.

As of 2023, 59% of U.S. mobile users use the Google Search app on their phones to find information. So, it’s no surprise that 74% of website visitors are more likely to return if your site is mobile-friendly.

Here are a few things to focus on as you design a mobile responsive website:

  • Optimize images to load quickly on mobile devices
  • Use a large, readable font so it’s clear on smaller screens
  • Make clickable elements like links and CTA buttons large enough for thumbs
  • Avoid using pop-ups, which can often be difficult for mobile users to minimize
  • Declutter your website design so it still looks and functions like you want it to on smaller screens
Industrial mobile friendly website

American Alloy Fabricators’ mobile website is still easy to read and navigate on a smartphone screen.

After changes or additions, test your mobile site regularly for mobile-friendliness. The average person should navigate the site and interact with elements easily on mobile devices.

5. Consistently publish high-quality content

Consistently publishing high-quality, optimized content helps industrial companies improve their online presence and visibility.

Use your target keyword list to create a content strategy for your website. This strategy should include valuable content for your target audience and optimized for the keywords you’ve already identified. This consists of both website pages like product pages and additional resources like blog content.

Here’s an example from American Alloy Fabricators of a blog post optimized for the keyword “jacketed vessels:”

Providing visitors with valuable content focused on relevant topics helps this industrial company bring more organic traffic to its site. This content also helps the business improve brand awareness and become a trusted source of information online — all of which leads to conversions.

5 expert industrial SEO tips to rank on page 1 of Google

Now that you know the basics of developing an SEO strategy, let’s dive into expert tips for even better SEO performance.

  1. Refresh your services, products, and category pages
  2. Update meta data on each page
  3. Format content according to industrial SEO best practices
  4. Identify broken links and review redirects
  5. Track your results, and adjust your strategy accordingly

1. Refresh your services, products, and category pages

Many industrial companies have shallow content on their most important pages. Using the keyword list you’ve created, refresh your services, products, and category pages with high-quality content that incorporates those keywords your audience is looking for.

Here’s an example of an optimized product page for pressure vessels:

This page goes beyond optimized written content. It includes a video to explain the product further. Smart move because video content keeps visitors on the page longer, which helps your SEO.

The rest of the page has a comprehensive product breakdown, including optimized images, so they appear in Google search results.

2. Update meta data on each page

Another area that industrial businesses tend to neglect is meta data. If you want to improve your search engine rankings, create optimized meta data for each page.

Meta data includes elements like title tags, meta descriptions, image titles, and alt text for photos.

The meta title should be between 50-60 characters. It needs to include the target keyword while also making clear what the page or post is about.

The meta description should be between 120-158 characters. It should include the keyword, but also entice the reader to click on the content.

Here’s an example of what meta data looks like on the Google search results page:

Industrial SEO meta data

Both the meta title and description use target keywords while making it clear what the page is about. Notice that the meta description includes a call-to-action — “Learn more about our metal fabrication services” — inviting users to click on the page.

3. Format content according to industrial SEO best practices

Site owners must format website content correctly so search engines understand the content’s structure and context. There are several elements that go into SEO content formatting.

URLs

Your page URL should include the target keyword and match the page title, or come somewhere close. If the page title is longer, omit some words to keep it concise.

For example, if you have written a blog post titled “5 Different Welding Techniques and When to Use Them,” shorten the URL slug to “welding-techniques” to keep it brief while still incorporating the keyword.

It would look like this: www.yourwebsite.com/blog/welding-techniques.

Headings

Use headings throughout the content to keep the information organized and help Google better understand what the content is about.

H1 is the primary heading. It should include the target keyword and match or compliment the title.

H2, H3, and H4 are subheadings that fall underneath the H1 heading in numerical order. For example, H3s appear under an H2, and H4s go underneath an H3.

These subheadings should include the primary and secondary keywords. Don’t force keywords anywhere. Instead, create clear, descriptive subheadings that help Google and the reader understand what the page is about.

Keyword usage

Using keywords throughout the content is essential for SEO, but don’t overdo it. Stuffing keywords into the content excessively can cause Google to penalize you.

Review your content to ensure keywords appear naturally (ie. like you would use them while talking to someone about the topic). If you use the keyword too often, use secondary keywords and synonyms instead.

4. Identify broken links and review redirects

In your SEO audit, you may find broken links and redirects. Take time to fix these issues as they negatively impact your SEO.

Broken links can affect the search engine’s ability to index your website properly. When pages aren’t linked correctly or are unreachable, the search engine may not index them at all, so they won’t appear in search results.

Site designers implementing redirects incorrectly can also impact SEO. Review your redirects to ensure no links redirect to a missing page and that you’ve typed in all redirect locations correctly.

5. Track your results, and adjust your strategy accordingly

Tracking the right metrics and adjusting your strategy accordingly can identify problems early so you can make improvements to boost your ranking.

Two free, yet invaluable, tools for tracking your SEO performance are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Analytics gives you insights into website traffic and user behavior. It provides stats like total site traffic, average time on page, bounce rate, and even demographic data about visitors.

Google Search Console helps you understand your website performance and how it impacts your SEO. Here, you’ll find information like click-through rates, crawl errors, and HTML errors. You can also find search queuries and links from outside websites.

At HawkSEM, we use our proprietary technology, ConversionIQ (CIQ) to better understand SEO performance.

“We use ConversionIQ (CIQ) to granularly track every single step of the buyer journey so we can understand what aspects of a campaign are working and where we need to adjust our strategy,” says Sam Yadegar, HawkSEM CEO. “This allows us to optimize towards a higher ROI YoY.”

Tracking your SEO results can also provide more insights into your target audience. It’ll help you learn how they buy and talk about your products and services. Then, you can use what you learn across marketing channels like social media and PPC ads.

How to find managed SEO services for industrial websites

If you’re new to SEO or struggling to drive organic traffic to your website, it may be time to call in the professionals. Manufacturing companies that hire an SEO consultant or SEO agency can rest assured that their SEO is taken care of while they focus on their core business.

When searching for managed SEO services for industrial websites, look for:

  • Specialty in SEO: Some agencies offer many different content marketing services. Make sure the agency you choose specializes in SEO and has worked with clients that had similar challenges to your business.
  • Performance-driven approach to SEO: The goal of SEO isn’t to boost your vanity metrics or earn bragging rights for landing on page 1 of Google. The goal is to drive traffic and conversions. Make sure you choose an SEO consultant that focuses on performance (aka driving leads to your business).
  • Handles other aspects of digital marketing: It takes time to see organic results with SEO (six to 12 months). If you can find an SEO agency offering services like PPC ad management, you can accelerate your results.

Also, look for an SEO agency with a history of delivering SEO results for clients. Look for case studies and client testimonials that highlight the results of the industrial company’s SEO campaigns.

HawkSEM experts helped Siemens increase brand awareness and improve online exposure, resulting in increased market share for the company. Contact us to learn more about it.

SEO terms you need to know

Here are SEO terms to understand as you build your industrial SEO strategy:

  • On-page SEO: Optimizations made to the pages of a website to help it rank higher in the search results. On-page elements include content, keywords, images, URLs, internal links, and metadata.
  • Off-page SEO: SEO efforts made on external websites to help your pages rank higher on search engines. Off-page elements include backlinks, guest posting, social media promotion, and PR.
  • Technical SEO: Optimizations made to technical aspects of a website to improve search rankings. Technical SEO elements include page speed, sitemaps, site structure, indexation, and structured data.
  • Google algorithm: Sets of rules Google uses to rank websites on its SERPs. Google crawls websites to get the data it needs to rank pages for relevance and quality.
  • Backlinks: Links from external websites back to your website. Google uses high-quality backlinks as a signal for quality content, so having relevant backlinks from quality websites helps your SEO.
  • Internal linking: The process of linking from one page on your website to another. Relevant internal links help Google understand what your content is about.
  • Meta title: The title of a webpage as defined in the site’s HTML code. Search engines index meta titles and show them in the search results.
  • Meta description: A short, relevant description of a page’s content. This is what searchers see when your page appears in the search results.
  • Alt text: Describes the appearance of images on the page and their function. This helps Google and visually-impaired visitors understand the image content on your site.

The takeaway

SEO for industrial websites involves a lot of different elements that increase your chances of ranking on Google and driving high-quality organic traffic to your site.

SEO campaigns require consistency, know-how, and strategy — hiring an SEO agency can do this all of this for you so you can focus on growing your business offline.

If you want to accelerate your SEO results, it may be time to call in the experts. The team at HawkSEM would love to support your industrial SEO efforts.

To get started, book a free consult with our team today.

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