How to Optimize Your Manufacturing Website for SEO?



As a manufacturing company, much of your work happens offline – but your marketing and lead generation still takes place in the digital world, especially today.

If you didn’t previously use a website to garner customers, that likely changed due to the onset of COVID-19. The 2020 Thomas Industrial Survey found that manufacturer and industrial website usage increased by at least 12% in the wake of the pandemic.

Long story short, everyone’s shopping online – even when they’re looking for B2B manufacturing products and services. If you want to snag customers’ attention, you need to be front and center in their search results, and that involves search engine optimization (SEO).

Local SEO for manufacturing businesses involves the practice of intentionally engineering a website to rank highly in search results for specific keywords and audiences. You don’t just need a manufacturing website – you need one that attracts customers and plays by Google’s rules.

But how exactly do you tackle SEO for manufacturing websites? Well, you start by playing by the top search engine’s rules.

At Wildish Agency, we’ve helped many manufacturers and industrial clients employ winning SEO strategies on their websites – and we want to do the same for you.

For starters, here are five critical steps you can take for valuable manufacturing website optimization. 

(1) Keyword Research

This is always square one when it comes to SEO for manufacturing websites. Your strategy starts with understanding the words and phrases your target audience uses. with understanding the words and phrases your target audience uses.

At Wildish Agency, we take a two-step approach to keyword research for manufacturing website optimization:

  1. First, make a list of terms that you already know are relevant to your business. Try to think like your customer. What would they enter into that Google search box? What are the core topics, themes, and questions you need to address on your website?Remember to think about both broad and specific terms. This list of keywords should be highly relevant but also varied enough to open the door to a wide range of potential searchers.

    You don’t need a keyword bullseye every time. Sometimes, it’s worth just aiming for the dart board in general.

  2. Next, use a keyword tool to identify the search volume and competitiveness of these keywords, as well as other relevant keywords.Although you might think you only want to hit on the most competitive keywords, don’t underestimate the value of less popular variations that might be easier to rank for.

There are many keyword tools out there, including SEMrush,Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner. Play around a bit to find the one that works best for you, then get busy brainstorming keywords.

Hot tip:don’t be afraid to take a peek at your competitors’ websites. What keywords do they seem to be using? Do you want to compete and use the same keywords, or do you want to take a different approach and target some less ambitious phrases?

All of this should be a part of your keyword research, and remember: this is an ongoing process. As your industry changes and searcher needs evolve, you’ll need to continually update your keyword lists and usage.

(2) On-Page Optimization

Once you’ve got your keyword research rolling, it’s time to think about what’s on your website. How is it (a) conveying relevant information in an engaging way and (b) meeting the expectations of search engines? 

Don’t worry: we know you and your team members might not be focused on becoming the next Hemingway, and that’s alright. We’re not talking about optimizing your website with groundbreaking writing. 

We’re talking about using words, imagery, and web design to carefully impress customers and search engines alike. 

On-page optimization involves making sure that individual pages are carefully designed to abide by SEO best practices for industrial websites. We won’t dive too deep into the weeds, but here are a few beginner ways to optimize your web pages. 

1. Create high-quality, SEO-friendly content.

Long gone are the days in which you could throw some lazy text on a website and call it a day. Focus on writing clear, relevant website content that’s keyword optimized and designed to drive sales. 

If you think that written content like blogs and FAQ pages are for other industries, think again: content marketing for manufacturing websites is booming, and it’s time to keep up with your competitors. 

2. Use your header tags and meta descriptions.

If you’re not sure what these are, refer to this helpful blog post from SE Ranking. As you write your headers and tags, focus on strategically and naturally implementing your chosen keywords.

3. Optimize your videos and images.

Search engines and searchers both hate slow-loading or grainy graphic elements. Pay close attention to Google’s best practices and take the time to ensure everything loads and displays as it should.

4. Link to internal pages and optimize the anchor text.

When you link to and from pages within your website’s structure, you give search engines and searchers a map to understanding your business. Don’t be shy when it comes to internal linking, and always use relevant keywords in the anchor text when possible. 

5. Optimize your website’s URL structure.

Have you ever seen a website with a super long, messy, and frankly unsightly URL? Trust us: Google and other search engines despite this just as much as you do. Clean up your page URLs and ensure they use a few relevant keywords – but don’t overstuff. 

At a basic level, on-page SEO for manufacturing websites is all about developing and implementing a thoughtful strategy. Real people are searching for your services and products, and you need to make sure your on-page content helps them find you.

(3) Technical SEO

Okay, get ready to bear with us for a second and dig a little more into SEO best practices for industrial websites. Although it might sound intimidating, technical SEO is a critical part of ensuring your pages stand a chance at ranking well. 

The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to be a website wiz to handle the tips we’re about to share. As long as you have access to your website’s backend, you can tackle these action items. 

Increase your website’s speed.

Admit it: you’ve clicked away from websites in the past if they took more than a couple of seconds to load or seems laggy.

Google aims for under half a second in load time – so you need to ensure your website renders almost immediately. Otherwise, you won’t rank well in search results or keep traffic on your page.

Not sure how quickly your website tends to load? Use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom to assess its speed. If the results are subpar, it’s time to start researching back-end problems that could be contributing to the lag.

2. Optimize for mobile devices.

People are using their phones and tablets more than ever. To put it bluntly, if your website doesn’t look great on these mobile devices… you’re missing out on customers, and Google is likely penalizing you in search results. 

Mobile optimization for manufacturing websites is crucial. Work on optimizing every aspect of your website for mobile. Use a responsive design, pick an easy-to-read text font, and minimize the use of distracting pop-up ads. 

3. Use structured data.

This is a fancy way of saying that your website needs to be easily understandable by search engines – and HTML can help with that. By using certain vocab words and syntax, you can convey crucial information to search engines, which then increases your likelihood of appearing in search results.

We aren’t going to delve heavily into structured data right now, but if you’d like to start familiarizing yourself, check out this Hubspot post.

If these technical SEO to-dos turned you off a bit, don’t fret: this is the more complicated side of search engine optimization, and it takes time to understand. That’s one of the biggest reasons why many companies outsource local SEO for manufacturing businesses.

(4) Off-Page Optimization

Did you know that a big chunk of the SEO game happens on other websites?

When focusing on content marketing for manufacturing businesses, we spend a great deal of time link-building. By getting links to your website published on other credible blogs, news outlets, and directories, you significantly boost your reputation in the eyes of search engines.

According to the 2022 IndustrialSage survey, about 68% of manufacturers are actively building links as a part of their SEO strategy. They know that links from guest posts and other sources increase their ranking potential and online presence.

Don’t forget that a strong social media presence can also help with conversion rate optimization for industrial websites. Many manufacturing companies assume that social media isn’t suitable for their services, but that’s not true. At a minimum, platforms like Facebook and Instagram put your name out there and offer more opportunities for link-building.

Get your business listed in the right directories. Inquire about guest post opportunities. Finally set up and/or update your Facebook profile. Every bit of off-page optimization contributes to stronger local SEO for manufacturing businesses like yours.

(5) Measuring and Analyzing Results

Lastly, we need to talk about actually monitoring the effects of your SEO initiatives.

If you’re not doing much in the way of analytics, you might be falling behind. Up to 61% of manufacturers track their website visitors from source to sale – more than 25% up from 2019. This includes tracking…

  • Web traffic
  • Lead conversions
  • Traffic sources
  • Lead-to-customer conversions
  • And more

When it comes to website measurements, that same survey indicates that 72% of manufacturers are using Google Analytics. This is one of the easiest ways for beginners to start monitoring, analyzing, and understanding how their websites are performing.

If you haven’t already, get your Google Analytics account set up. Spend a little time exploring its interface and accessing the various reports it generates. While you’re at it, we also recommend going through Google’s Search Console tools to identify issues with your site’s traffic and overall performance.

The more time you spend studying your website’s measurements, the easier it is to identify room for improvement. At the end of the day, conversion rate optimization for industrial websites is all about finding what works (and what doesn’t).

Learn More SEO Best Practices for Industrial Websites

Ultimately, you want to convert search engine traffic into either leads or direct sales for your manufacturing business. To do that, you’ll need to check all of the right SEO boxes, starting today. Looking to learn more about SEO for industrial businesses? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re researching mobile optimization for manufacturing websites or opportunities for off-site guest posts, Wildish Agency is here to help. We’re big fans of thinking outside the box and finding the right strategy for you, not your competitor. To get started, shoot us a message. We’ll get in contact with you in the next 24 hours to assess how we can work together.