Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must in both website design and B2B content strategy. SEO-focused content throughout your web pages and on your blog can help your business show up in searches for your products and services. That translates to outranking your competitors and attracting new prospects online, 24/7, even while you’re sleeping.
Most manufacturers have neither the resources nor desire to assemble an SEO department in-house. It’s usually more cost-effective—and more fruitful—to hire an agency to manage your SEO, drive constant improvement and report on performance. That said, there are some useful tools that business owners, executives and marketing managers can use to get a better feel for SEO without going too far into the weeds.
Seobility SEO Checker
You can get a detailed audit of your entire website instantly using this free SEO checker from online software provider Seobility. It’s not a substitute for a true SEO strategy because it doesn’t consider your business goals and industry nuances, but it provides insights and recommendations to improve your optimization based on general best practices and page specifications. If you’re not familiar with SEO, a lot of it may look like a foreign language, but you can skim the audit results and discuss them further with your agency and/or in-house team.
Google Business Profile
Google is in the business of helping people find what they’re looking for online, and your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing helps them do just that, making it a cornerstone of your SEO. With all sorts of features and content opportunities, GBP is almost a search engine of its own within the larger search engine that is Google. Learn how to add or claim your Google Business Profile.
Google Search Console
For Google to include your site in search results sooner after a website launch, you should submit your sitemap for indexing. You can do this by logging into Google Search Console and following these instructions from Semrush, another tool we’ll introduce you to shortly. If you click around in Google Search Console, you’ll find many options for monitoring your site’s performance. But again, it can get rather complex, so you’ll probably want an expert to manage it for you.
One more tool directly from Google, and then we’ll wrap up with a few other sources. Every single search engine marketer on Earth uses Google Analytics. It’s the go-to dashboard for seeing who’s visiting your site, what pages they’re viewing, how long they’re staying, where they’re located and much more. If you already have Google Analytics access, great. Don’t be scared. Log in and poke around. You’ll be amazed at the information available. If not, here’s how to set it up.
SEO content revolves around keyword research. One of the best tools for keyword research is Semrush. You can do plenty of damage with a free account and unlock additional insights with a paid account. The Keyword Magic tool is a great place to start. Type in one of your products and see which keywords are worth using in content. Pro tip: Don’t go for the highest volume keywords. Those are difficult to rank for because they’re usually dominated by large companies. Instead, choose lower volume keywords that you can realistically win by producing related content on an ongoing basis.
Similarly to Semrush, Moz is another well-known SEO software that many marketers use for keyword research. Both companies also offer site audits, backlink analysis and more, but Moz also brings Bing and Yahoo search results into the data whereas Semrush only focuses on Google. The vast majority (over 90 percent) of online searches are through Google, so this isn’t necessarily a big differentiator unless you discover that Bing and Yahoo are for some reason bringing notable traffic to your site. It’s more a matter of which interface you feel more comfortable using or, better yet, which one your agency already has access to.
Your Own Intuition
That’s not a product name. It’s a nod to your brain. SEO can be overwhelming. Between the data to scour, the strategies to consider and the content to develop, it tends to make a lot of people’s eyes glaze over. But you need it and therefore can’t ignore it.
We’ll let you in on a little secret (not really)—we’re all Google users at the end of the day. The same thought process that you use to search for products and services online in your everyday life can be applied to your company’s SEO. From typing in a few keywords, to changing the order of those keywords, to longer phrases or entire questions, SEO is more approachable than you might think. A little bit of curiosity goes a long way.
If you’re interested in having Netwave conduct a complimentary SEO audit on your manufacturing website, contact us.