SEO can help manufacturers increase website visibility, traffic, and leads from organic search. It can cost $1k to $5k per month. Learn how to build an SEO strategy, common mistakes to avoid, and tips for hiring an SEO agency experienced in manufacturing. Downloadable checklist included.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What is SEO for manufacturing?
  2. Why use SEO for industrial companies?
  3. Average cost of SEO for manufacturing
  4. How to build an SEO strategy for a manufacturing company
  5. 5 expert industrial SEO tips to rank on page 1 of Google
  6. Local SEO tips for manufacturing companies
  7. Common mistakes to avoid with SEO for manufacturing
  8. How to find managed SEO services for industrial websites
  9. SEO terms you need to know
  10. Free checklist for a manufacturing SEO campaign

Not ranking on the first page like industrial companies General Motors and Boeing? It doesn’t have to stay this way.

With the right search engine optimization strategy, you can put your manufacturing company on the virtual map. It takes careful planning and execution to increase your visibility in local search and drive quality leads to your site.

Stay tuned to learn more about SEO for manufacturing, steps to take, the costs, and mistakes to avoid.

What is SEO for manufacturing?

SEO for manufacturing is a marketing strategy to optimize a manufacturing website to help it rank higher in search engines. Depending on the business goals, the brand may want to rank internationally, nationally, or locally for its products.

Industrial companies can get a customized SEO plan by working with a specialized agency in the manufacturing industry.

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.


(Image: Pexels)

Why use SEO for industrial companies?

SEO for manufacturing 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.

Average cost of SEO for manufacturing

Manufacturing businesses looking for basic SEO services may spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month depending on their needs. For businesses looking for more aggressive tactics will pay more. For instance, in-depth SEO packages can range between $3,000 and $10,000 per month.

If this seems too costly, consider hiring a consultant, which is less than agency prices. But note that a consultant is only there to advise — not execute your SEO campaign.

Regardless of your choice, research the agency or consultant thoroughly before signing an agreement.

How to build an SEO strategy for a manufacturing 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. Know your target audience
  2. Conduct an SEO audit
  3. Research target keywords
  4. Optimize your site for user experience
  5. Optimize for on-page SEO
  6. Pay attention to technical SEO
  7. Engage in link building techniques
  8. Incorporate SEO tracking and analytics methods
  9. Engage on social media
  10. Update and audit content regularly
  11. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
  12. Consistently publish high-quality content

1. Know your target audience

Avoid campaigns that sell to “all” people. Doing so could result in wasted funds that you could invest in people who are actually looking for your product or service. Instead, craft buyer personas that help you truly understand your perfect customer.

Focusing your targeting audience can lower SEO budgets while increasing your lead generation efforts.

2. 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.


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.

Ahrefs SEO

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.

3. 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.”

automotive electronics

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.

automotive electronics

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


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.

4. 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:

American Alloy Fabricators

5. Optimize for on-page SEO

Many inexperienced website managers and owners forget to optimize their meta descriptions and titles tags.

As a manufacturing company, especially in smaller, more local areas, this could be a huge opportunity for you. Implement keywords into your title tags and meta descriptions to help Google and users understand what your content is about. The more they can glean from the description, the more likely they are to click into your content.

Also, designate H1s, H2s, and H3s in your content. This helps Google bots understand the structure of your site. Great, SEO-rich structure can also earn you spots in Google rich snippets “Featured Snippets” or “People Also Ask.”


And lastly, use internal linking in your content. If you mention topics you’ve already posted about in upcoming content, link back to them. This will help visitors find additional information. Plus, it helps search engines understand your content, and shows you’re an authority on the topic, which boosts your authority.

6. Pay attention to technical SEO

Technical SEO also needs to be managed. You can discover areas of improvement for your website by using SEO audit tools like Semrush and Ahrefs.

Running an SEO audit uncovers things like:

  • 404 errors
  • Broken links
  • Duplicate content or title tags
  • Uncrawlable pages
  • HTTPS requests
  • Missing schema markup
  • Page redirects

These can all negatively impact the health and functionality of your website.

If a user shows up to a 404 page intending to learn more about your manufacturing services, that’s business lost. If you don’t know how to fix the technical aspects of your page, defer these fixes to an internal developer or an SEO audit service.

7. Engage in link building techniques

Many still ask if link building is still important to SEO. The short answer is yes. If you’re wondering how to rank on Google more effectively, link building may be the answer.

Link building requires significant relationship building with other website owners. For instance, reaching out to write guest blog posts in exchange for a link back to one of your blog posts. TYou can increase your site’s authority and page rankings by getting backlinks on the right websites (e.g., those with high domain authority and trust from visitors).

Take this Backlinkco case study as an example. Using “the Skyscraper Technique” it increased organic traffic by 110% in 14 days. If this number is at all enticing, start chatting with website owners in your niche to gather those backlinks. Don’t stress over quantity, and worry more about quality. Websites with higher authority scores garner the best link juice.

8. Incorporate SEO tracking and analytics methods

SEO tracking and monitoring is necessary to reach your KPIs, benchmarks, and any other objectives you’ve put in place.

“Tracking is an essential part of any SEO campaign, especially for Manufacturing Firms,” says Sam Yadegar,” CEO of HawkSEM. “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 should trim the fat. This allows us to optimize towards a higher ROI YoY.”

Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your progress and track user behaviors.The goal is to determine what’s working and opportunities for improvement. It also informs your buyer persona profiles so you can tailor your content better.

9. Engage on social media

How does social media influence your site’s ranking in search? Interacting on social media doesn’t have a direct impact on your SEO. However, Google and other search engines consider your engagement on social platforms when ranking your content. This type of engagement is known as a social signal.

Being active on social media looks like:

  • Having a consistent posting frequency
  • Interacting with other brand pages and posts in your industry
  • Responding to comments from users
  • Sharing relevant content, images, and videos

When building your content strategy, create a content distribution plan that includes sharing your content on appropriate social channels.

If you have valuable, relevant, and shareable content, you increase the likelihood of people not only reading your content, but sharing it with others, thus increasing your organic social traffic.

10. Update and audit content regularly

Update and audit content

At minimum, you should audit your content twice a year. If your website and SEO strategy is experiencing rapid and frequent changes, increasd your audits per year.

Auditing and updating content is important because over time, information gets outdated, and competitors may produce content that ranks better than yours. Since Google positions the newest and most relevant content first, continue adding something new to existing content.

Keep this in mind when revisiting your strategy and performing site audits.

11. 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
American Alloy

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.

12. 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:

meta description

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.


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:


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.

Local SEO tips for manufacturing companies

If you’re a local manufacturing business that doesn’t compete with large manufacturing company’s local SEO should be a marketing effort you invest in. It targets the local or regional audience of the area you operate your business in.

This is different than a typical SEO strategy — the location is hyper targeted and requires a different approach.

If you’re a SEO specialist or marketer for a smaller manufacturing company, use these tips to increase your local business’s visibility in search:

  • Enhance your Google Business Profile: Claiming your Google Business Profile gives you control over your online business listing and presence. From there, you can upload images, change your name, address, and phone number (NAP). You can also optimize your description, service areas, and more.
  • Conduct local keyword research: Implement keywords that are location specific into your website content, meta descriptions, and title tags. Examples include: “local manufacturers in Kansas City” or “average manufacturing rates in Massachusetts.”
  • Create localized content: Blog posts about local events, news, or community activities can boost your local SEO. If you’re a state known for an item that’s manufactured there, use that location specific information to your advantage.
  • Encourage online reviews: Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool in the digital marketing world. Local customers tend to read business reviews before engaging with or hiring a company. Do your best to deliver quality service and ask happy customers to leave a review.
  • Engage in local link building: If you’re part of a Chamber of Commerce or local group that collects local business listings, this could generate high-quality backlinks that help your business. Collaborate with other businesses or your city government marketing team to get added to local websites.
  • Update local business listings: Tools like Semrush and Yext help you manage your local business listings across the internet. Having consistent business information and NAP ensures customers can see or contact you no matter which directory they discover you on.
  • Create a local URL structure: Manufacturing businesses may benefit from creating pages that specifically target a location. For example, you can create a business page on manufacturing services that only speaks to people in a certain area. It’s as simple as creating the write location-specific page title.

Local SEO tactics are most suitable for businesses working with locals. Don’t feel pressure to engage in local SEO practices if you’re appealing to a national or international audience.

Common mistakes to avoid with SEO for manufacturing

There’s an abundance of SEO work to do, but don’t fall into these common pitfalls:

  • Duplicate content or plagiarism
  • Using irrelevant keywords and phrases
  • Low-quality user experience
  • Ignoring local SEO
  • Not updating your content
  • Not engaging with customer reviews
  • Overlooking mobile SEO
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Low-quality backlinks
  • Never running content audits
  • Inconsistent listing directories
  • Poor and rushed content
  • Neglecting use of analytics and audit tools
  • Ignoring technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO
  • Not usiing schema markup
  • Skipping out on social media activity

Avoid these common mistakes and your path to success will feel smoother and quicker. Of course, you can skip the SEO work altogether by hiring an SEO agency to manage the workload.

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.

Free checklist for a manufacturing SEO campaign

Building an SEO campaign for manufacturing

Define your target audience

Conduct comprehensive keyword research

Optimize your website’s structure

Develop and execute a content creation strategy

Implement on-page SEO techniques

Focus on technical SEO aspects

Engage in link-building activities

Incorporate SEO tracking and analytics

Use social media to boost SEO

Regularly update and audit your website content

Local SEO tips for manufacturing

Optimize your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

Conduct local keyword research

Create localized content

Encourage and manage online reviews

Engage in local link-building

Update local business listings

Develop a local URL structure

Common SEO mistakes to avoid

Duplicate content or plagiarism

Using irrelevant keywords and phrases

Low-quality user experience

Ignoring local SEO

Not updating your content

Not engaging with customer reviews

Overlooking mobile SEO

Keyword stuffing

Low-quality backlinks

Never running content audits

Inconsistent listing directories

Poor and rushed content

Neglecting use of analytics and audit tools

Ignoring Technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO

Not using schema markup

Skipping out on social media activity

Tips for finding a manufacturing SEO agency

Identify your SEO goals and objectives

Make sure they have experience in manufacturing SEO

Examine the agency’s performance

Ask about their client retention rates

Ensure the use legitimate SEO practices

Ensure they have the capacity to take you on

Ask about their seo services list

Ask about their experience and expertise

Read their case studies and testimonials

Inquire heavily about their SEO strategies

Request metrics that would support their clients’ success

Ask about transparency and reporting

Be weary of “overnight success” promises

Ensure the agency aligns with your vision and culture

See if they’ll do a site audit

Ask about local SEO services and costs

Thoroughly read your contract

Ask how or if they will host 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.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation