An industrial search engine marketing blog just wouldn’t be complete with out a post about the differences of optimizing an industrial related site vs. sites in other BtoB markets. While there’s no shortage of information floating around on the web about marketing your website, it can be a trick to set apart the valuable from the valueless. Many wonder how their marketing approach should be modified when working with an industrial web site.
So, we’re coming coming to the rescue. In our experience, there are several things that set apart industrial web sites from their business counterparts, and in order to truly get the most out of an optimization program, some should be observed.
Some things to bear in mind when working with industrial websites:
Want to add to the list? Post a comment!
>> Site Content
1. Write for the search engines. As surprising at it may seem, the search engines care more about your copy than the vast majority of your visitors. In most cases, industrial web site visitors come for a specific product or service. They arrive, and, if they cant find quickly what they are looking for, they leave. It’s very rare for a visitor to actually read the copy, which provides a great opportunity to write for the search engines without compromising the user experience. Keep adding that relevant, keyword rich copy heading tags! It will only help your rankings.
2. Think “products.” Your website is full of valuable real estate. Given the above point, would you rather devote your web pages to providing product foced copy you know your visitors will read, or self promoting copy you know they wont? Chances are, if your keyword rich copy details information about a product, your conversions will increase and your rankings will improve.
3. Remember your audience. Although your goal is ultimately to gain new business through your website, don’t forget that you need to provide the information your audience needs. Many industrial companies’ audience consists of engineers or buyers. They tend to look for specifications, prices, or a way to request a quote or contact you quickly. Make sure you have a “call to action” prominent on all pages and provide links between pages to help your audience find information as quickly as possible. The more relevant information you provide, the more useful your audience will find your site and the search engines will follow suit.
>>Site Design and Usability
1. Easy-to-use navigation. Having a consistent and universal navigation will allow your audience to find your content quickly. Usability studies show that most people will look at the left hand site of a website to find the navigation. This is where your most important information should be. Your secondary information (About Us, History) should be less prominent as you do not want to detract from your product information.
2. Call to Action! Having a call to action is crucial. Make sure they can find your contact information quickly and submit a contact form. Having an email link is okay, but your conversions will increase if they can fill out a form. Also, many people will want to either submit a specification to quote or get a quote on specific products. If applicable, look at getting an RFQ cart, which works similarly as an ecommerce solution, but doesn’t have pricing associated with the product. We know that many of your products are custom and are impossible to price out without talking with your customer.
3. Professional Design. What do you want your customer’s first impression to be? That you decided to save a few bucks and had the owners’ brother’s wife have her coworker’s 16 year old son design your site? Of course not! Your website is another salesperson for your company and you want to make a great first impression. Work with a company that specializes in industrial web site design that has a large portfolio of industrial clients.
1. Use weblogs. What are weblogs? If you don’t have a tracking solution for your site to tell you how many people are coming to your site and what keywords they used, etc – get one quickly! There are a lot of tracking solutions out there: Urchin, Hitbox, Webtrends… they all have their pros and cons. The one that we like the best is called Webclicktracker. It’s VERY cost efficient and has the ability to report on both organic and paid listings. Looking at your web traffic will allow you to view what keyphrases are already working well for you.
2. Use a keyword selector tool. Wordtracker, Overture keyword tool, and Keyword Discovery are all great; however, we really like Keyword Discovery. Find out what variations of your main keyphrases people are actually searching for. But try to strike a balance. The more specific to your actual product or service offering the better conversion you’ll see on that keyphrase. For instance, if you are provide Roll Forming as a service, you’ll see that many people search for “roll forming”. However, if your specialty is open seam tubing, you may want to focus on that keyphrase instead.
3. Take a look at your competition. View the source code for your competitors and see what words are in their meta data. Many times you can get a great understanding what they are focusing on. However, if you see that they have an extremely long list with every variation imaginable, this method may not give you the insight you were hoping for.
***Tip: Try using your ISO certification, product model or part number as a key word. many buyers search this way.