There has never been a better time to be in SEO. Gone are the days of spammy tactics like keyword stuffing and link farming. SEO now focuses on good user experience and creating content that users enjoy consuming. Now, there are more amazing resources for learning SEO than there ever have been.
However, much of the advice out there tends to be overly general. In most cases, that isn’t a problem. However, there are some times when certain advice works better for some industries than others. At webFEAT Complete, we’ve noticed that the industrial sector in particular has some nuances that conventional SEO wisdom typically overlooks.
We’ve come up with ways to bridge this gap and to ensure that our SEO services work wonders for all companies; even those that find themselves discouraged by typical SEO tactics.
An SEO Refresher
There are two things that Google cares about more than any others when ranking sites: website content and the number of backlinks. Google determines a site’s relevance to the search query by intelligently assessing the website’s content and appraising the number (and type) of sites that link to it.
To achieve good content and relevant backlinks, most websites turn to blogging. They write strategic blogs that answer questions their potential customers might have. For example, a jewelry store might write a blog titled “The Best Jewelry for Halloween.” After all, providing jewelry recommendations is fairly straightforward. In a best case scenario, the blog will attract traffic from people who are wondering what types of jewelry they should get in October, and those readers eventually become customers. If it’s an especially great jewelry blog, other jewelry blogs might reference it in their writings, which provides more traffic and backlinks to the original site.
That’s a best-case scenario in SEO. It almost never happens like that.
However, imagine you’re an injection molding company. You also provide valuable products and services to your customers, but that service is much more customized and not as easily recommended. For you to make a sale, you have to meet with your customers to determine the best course of action for their specific situation. You can’t write a blog that generalizes the best way to do something, because the best way to do something depends entirely on the situation of your customers. If you did try to write a “best” blog, it would inevitably be too vague to be useful. What’s a company to do?
First, Know Your Audience
To do SEO well, no matter your business, you have to know your audience. Remember, SEO is a discipline that is centered around providing value to people. Knowing your audience means understanding exactly what problems they have that your business solves for them. If you own a jewelry store, you solve the problem of someone not having jewelry or not having a gift for their significant other. Sometimes it’s that simple. If you’re an injection molder, however, you solve any number of problems for your client, many of which have nothing to do with one another (except in the general sense that all their problems can be solved with a specific plastic part).
So if you’re a jewelry store who writes about your thoughts on jewelry’s role in ancient Egypt, you’ll miss out on all those people who want to learn more about Halloween jewelry. Those people will still get their answer; it will just be from a company that’s not yours. In this case, knowing your audience is key to giving them what they want.
So, when you consider your SEO strategy, no matter how obscure your business is, just remember that you’re providing something of value to people who need your service.
Content for SEO-Resistant companies
So, your business has a harder time blogging than most businesses. Are your SEO dreams sunk? Not by a long shot!
If the people in your industry don’t gravitate towards blogs, then you should learn what content they do gravitate towards and write about that.
And, lucky for you, there are three types of content that are eye-magnets: Case studies, market reports, and white papers. We’ll break them down for you now:
Case studies are SEO goldmines. A case study goes like this: You talk about a time that someone came to you needing to solve a specific problem. Then, you describe how you handled and solved the problem, and what the result of that solution was.
It’s a dream come true for both you and your readers, since, if you provide a service like injection molding, your readers will come to your site with a problem that they believe can be solved by injection molding. If you prove to them (via case studies) that you’ve got a history of solving problems like theirs, you’ll inspire them to do business with you.
Market reports are like case studies focused around a specific market. Continuing with the injection molding example, a good market reports page would discuss the ways your company is skilled at molding plastics for the medical industry, automobile industry, or others. That way, if someone from the medical industry thinks you might be a good fit for business, they won’t be put off or mislead into thinking you don’t service their industry.
These sorts of pages also allow you to appear in search results for queries including your company’s industry and a certain market (e.g. “injection molding for cars”).
White papers are authoritative reports on a particular subject. For example, if your injection molding company can mold automobile components using 25% less energy than normal while sacrificing no quality, you should consider writing and publishing a white paper on the subject.
You might be thinking, “But wouldn’t that white paper appeal to injection molders instead of my potential customers?” Well, yes and no. Automobile manufacturers will obviously be interested in your ability to create superior parts for less money. Other injection molders will be interested in your expertise and information too, which doesn’t benefit you much except that it will increase your reputation. The real value of white papers is that they establish your authority on a subject. Even if your readers don’t entirely understand the nuances of the processes described in your white paper, they will develop newfound respect and confidence in your abilities because of it.
White papers are more authoritative than blogs, so use them to leverage your experience!
Links are either the first or second most important ranking factor (we don’t know which for sure). The rationale behind this is that you would never link to something unless you had good reason to, so Google counts links as personal recommendations.
A link must be two things for Google to care about it: credible and relevant. Credibility is determined from the reputation of the site being linked from. A link from the BBC is very credible, since they are an institution with a reputation for reporting quality news. A link from a news source nobody has ever heard of, on the other hand, is inherently less credible. It must also be relevant. For example, a link from a diamond jewelry store to a boat rental business isn’t relevant. A link from a boat manufacturer to a boat rental site is relevant.
If you’ve ever read guides for how to get links to your website, most of them boil down to one of two things:
- Sending your amazing content out to other (relevant) websites in hopes that they’ll link to it
- Writing something so amazing that other sources will link to it without you even having to ask
The problem is that the more complicated your industry is, the more difficult it will be to achieve this. What if you’re in the business of designing new construction machines? Or in a niche business that is important but doesn’t have a lot of attention online? Or what if you do something like trash removal that’s important but doesn’t have a lot of people talking about it? How do you get links then?
Well, the first thing to do is to breathe a sigh of relief, because if you’re in a link-dry industry, it means your competitors also are struggling for links. However, that also means that each link carries a higher net weight than it would in other industries.
Here are a few ways to get links even if your industry doesn’t get talked about much online:
Look for magazines focused on your industry
Even if there aren’t always other blogs you can solicit links from, there is a magazine for just about everything out there. There’s even a magazine that is exclusively about industrial machine lubrication! If you were in the industrial machine lubrication industry, you might be hard pressed to find credible sources you’d want linking to your site. You could always offer up your expertise on the magazine’s site and ask for them to link to your site when they reference you.
Get links from your partners
Another good way to grab links in a link-dry industry is to consider reaching out to your partners. Many companies utilize certain software or technologies that have a partner’s page. Often, companies do this to add credibility to their site by showing a list of other companies who are happily utilizing their services. Ask your software and service providers if you can appear on their partners’ pages to boost your backlink profile. It will go a long way.
Stuck? Let webFEAT Complete Help
We hope we’ve convinced you by now that there’s no such thing as an SEO-proof business. Although certain businesses are certainly more difficult to optimize than others, there are strategies you can utilize to leverage your business’ skills in search. In the future, we plan to expand upon this article by writing articles focused on more industry-specific tips. But if you ever find yourself stuck, the above tips should get you well on your way.
If you’re trying to implement some of this advice but are finding it difficult, consider hiring webFEAT Complete to help you out. You can contact us any time to get the process starting.
Also published on Medium.