Picture this: your target buyer goes to Google to do a quick search on “custom plastic manufacturer” and sees your competition at the top of the page, while your website falls below the fold. Wouldn’t you hate to have missed out on that potential customer simply because your website didn’t place higher in the search rankings?
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-real scenario for many specialty manufacturers, especially those who are bound by restrictions such as size or geographic limitations. Some people believe that merely having a functioning (or near-functioning) web presence is, in fact, a form of web marketing. It's time to face the harsh reality, though: doing nothing more than setting up your online presence just won’t suffice.
It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that you don’t need to do any web marketing to supplement your website, but there are a few best practices that you can start incorporating to help optimize your website – and avoid finding yourself in the scenario above. Your web presence is one of the most powerful tools you have. Don't let a stale site work against you; optimize it and make it work for you with web marketing!
Let’s start with one of the most important functionalities that your website should have: the ability to gather information about your visitors. If you’re not getting the type of data that explains who your visitors are and what lifecycle of the buying process they’re in, your web metrics really won’t do you much good. Use forms on your website to collect visitor information, and send nurturing emails to qualified leads to follow up with them and encourage them along in their buying process.
The layout of your website should also be organized so that your page will provide a pleasant user experience. Predict how your visitors would logically click through your site and make sure that the design reflects their optimal journey. Provide links to related information where possible, making it smooth and easy for users to navigate your website and find the information that they're looking for.
Utilize the opportunity to publish original content on a blog that you set up on your website. Use your blog as a platform to share your industry insights and expertise – not only will it be a great resource for your prospects and customers to get to know your brand (and see your credibility), but blogging will help your SEO. Each new blog post that you publish will increase the number of pages that are indexed on your website. Having more indexed pages will help move your website up in the search engine rankings, giving you a better opportunity for prospective customers to find you.
Finally, take advantage of social media. No, you don’t need to get involved on every single platform; instead, take a close look at which social media platforms make the most sense for connecting with your target audience. Typically, LinkedIn is a great choice for specialty manufacturing industries. Similar to blogging, regularly posting news and information to your social media profiles will also help your search engine rank by providing search engine crawlers with another outlet to find you and give evidence that you’re active (and relevant) online. Your social media platforms should also work to drive visitors back to your website to learn more about your products or services.
Do you still think that simply owning your website can take the place of web marketing? Work these four best practices into your web marketing strategy and see what a difference they can make! Of course, these practices are just a start. If you want to learn more about the power of web marketing for manufacturing companies, download our free guide below!
Posted by Laura Sheptoski Laura is a detail-oriented consultant and project manager, with a background in public relations, social media engagement, and client content creation. Prior to her time at Weidert Group, Laura managed PR for an industrial services company, and maintains a strong focus on earned media within our inbound marketing programs.