“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. We all know this age-old quote, but do people really live by it?

No. According to researchers, in less than two-tenths of a second, an online visitor forms an opinion about your brand.

First impressions do count! You need to make sure your industrial website design captures and KEEPS the attention of potential customers. Otherwise, they will lose interest and move on.

To create an engaging website you first need to do your homework. Read on for some of the best industrial websites that are winning with their innovative designs, and find out what features are a must-have.

Top 6 Industrial Website Designs

Many manufacturing companies are run by super talented inventors. But in several cases, that brilliance doesn’t shine through their website.

To make an industrial website design that will “pop”, you need to create one that will function as an interactive experience, not a static online brochure.

The best industrial websites have most of these features:

Based on these factors, we have come up with 6 of the best industrial websites.

1. CAT

As soon as www.cat.com opens, you receive an introduction to how huge the company is!

The global map allows you to choose your country and preferred language. There are over 18 different translations available. Each regional section is localized with cultural expectations taken into consideration.

As you browse through the site, it’s clear to see that it all ties together. The simple yellow and black Caterpillar brand has been well known for years. You can see they have worked hard to define their image and make their brand exciting.

They have integrated high-quality imagery and easy menu navigation, as well as many moving headlines and clear calls to action.

The site is not too busy on the eye but has plenty of white space. This allows the viewer to focus on the products rather than the surroundings.

2. Lockheed Martin 

Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s top aerospace brands. And its website, likewise, is designed to soar high.

To show off their impressive portfolio of sophisticated aircraft, they use strong imagery. They also use an extensive drop-down menu that is easy to navigate.

The initial page starts with a bold call to action and gets you engaged from the first click. Each page invites visitors to explore more areas of the site.

The clean, simple navigation of the website is a reflection of who Lockheed Martin is. Prospective investors and customers can see this modern brand run throughout the site.

3. Lear

When you arrive on www.lear.com, you can see it is one of the best manufacturing websites around. This ultra-modern website gives you confidence that they truly are the leaders of their field.

Each page wows you with stunning videos, responsive panels, pop-ups, and clever fonts. You can see they have caught onto most of the current digital trends of 2018. But with all these visually stunning features, the main product still stands out.

The drop-down menu is clear and easy to use. The responsive panels dotted throughout the site allow visitors to explore the site thoroughly.

Whether you’re a supplier, investor, customer or job seeker, it’s clear where you need to go. It doesn’t feel cluttered or unorganized in any way, even when you’re using the website on a smartphone.

4. AGCO

AGCO’s homepage blasts you with stunning agricultural imagery. After this professional looking start, you can scroll down to press releases and news style items.

The main menu is clear and simple to use. When you visit internal pages, there is a static left sidebar for all the subpages. Sidebars can be hard to pull off, but AGCO does it effectively, featuring bold fonts and social media links.

One of the best things about this website is that it is clear you are on an agricultural machinery website. There is a strong image and bold CTA on every page. As a whole, the industrial website design looks aesthetically pleasing.

And the website is available in 7 languages other than English!

5. Penske

Penske is a company that does transportation. And when you click onto their homepage, you definitely know it. Their HUGE slogan stating “Transportation Excellence” leaves no doubt as to what service they provide.

It doesn’t stop there. By clicking the side arrows you can find out the extent of their success with more bold slogans and impressive photography.

The main menu at the top of the page is simple and clear. But the homepage offers an interactive menu of its own. This hover feature menu makes it super easy to find what you’re looking for.

6. Martin Marietta

When you click on www.martinmarietta.com, it blows your mind for the first few seconds. The reason is the website has a completely untraditional layout. The main menu is in the left-hand column rather than the top of the site.

This layout, complete with icons, allows users to instantly find what they are looking for. The site flows throughout and doesn’t overload the viewer with useless info. All the text is short and to the point.

The main call to action is a product calculator. This feature is on every page. It not only looks smart, but it is also simple to use.

Don’t Get Left Behind!

As you can see, designing an industrial website isn’t just as simple as creating an online static brochure. Technology has moved on leaps and bounds, and you need to keep up. 

You may wonder how you can be as successful as companies like CAT or Lear. Well, the secret is, they don’t tackle it alone. They have a dedicated team to make their industrial website design the best around.

If you need help, you’ve come to the right place. We can work together to design the perfect website for your company. Click here to find out more.

Did you know that there are over 30 million businesses throughout the United States? That's a staggering amount of potential competition.

B2B sales leads are not easy to come by and cold calls are often a waste of time. However, they can make the difference between a business that's thriving and business that's struggling to succeed.

Have you ever wondered how to generate B2B leads? Luckily, there are many strategies you can use to increase your leads and your revenue.

Keep reading to learn about effective strategies to generate more B2B leads you haven't tried.

1. Engage with Potential Customers

If you want to know how to generate sales leads, then you must remember that people don't want to be talked to, they want to be talked with.

Traditional marketing is all about telling potential customers what product or service your selling and why they should buy it. There's little to no back and forth.

So many businesses are using traditional marketing and they all drown each other out like megaphones. In that situation, the biggest and richest companies are often the only ones who can win over customers.

However, if you're company isn't big or rich, you shouldn't worry because inbound marketing can give you the advantage you need.

You can engage in meaningful conversations and interactions with your potential clientele in a variety of ways, including having a website with a blog, commenting on reviews of your business, and much more.

2. Optimize Your Website

If you don't already have a website, then you're behind. A website is crucial because it acts as a virtual headquarters for your business where potential customers can learn all about your products and services with a few easy clicks.

If you do have a website, then that's a great start but you still need to take measures that will generate leads and give you the most out of your online presence. Otherwise, the site might end up being more of a nuisance rather than a benefit to your business.

First things first, you should be taking advantage of analytics by looking into who is visiting your website. In addition to usual analytics, which tends to be anonymous, you can enhance your tracking by getting a business's name and contact information.

People who have visited your site are not only in need of the products and services you offer but they're interested in your business in particular. Once you have a list of leads made from people who have visited your site, all you need to do is reach out to them for a high probability of closing the sale and generating more revenue.

Ideally, your website should be able to do the bulk of the work for you. In other words, if you optimize your site for speed and search engine optimization (SEO), then you shouldn't have to track down every single website visitor.

3. Start a Valuable Blog

A blog is an essential part of increasing website traffic and generating B2B leads. The best and most successful blogs are those that can offer the potential customer valuable and entertaining content, not just filler or rehashed information.

SEO is an art form and it can be applied to your blog so that each post can appear in the top results of search engines like Google and Bing.

Keep in mind that search engines can come up with billions of results from a single search. If your business isn't appearing on the first page of search results, it becomes more and more unlikely that a customer will even find your products or services, let alone purchase them.

SEO can also help determine what kind of blog posts you should be putting on your website in the first place. Once you have a blog up and running, you should post relevant content on a regular basis so you can attract potential customers while also bringing past customers back again.

4. Grow an Email List

An email list can be an effective way of generating and following up on leads because you can reach potential customers in their inbox. That way, they can read the email on their own time and click on links in a convenient way. Think about the benefit of this as opposed to social media where posts can get buried under a pile of competing posts in a potential client's feed.

If you want to know how to generate sales leads through an email list, you must keep in mind that a website is one of the best ways to grow your list.

Potential customers who visit your site should see a call to action inviting them to subscribe to your email list. It should be in an obvious location on the site itself. In addition, it can pop up as a window after they've read half of a given page, for instance.

This isn't spam, though, because you can give them a valuable incentive for signing up. For example, you could offer a free ebook or a coupon that can be applied at checkout.

Once you have your email list, you can send a valuable newsletter that keeps them up to date on everything that's going on with your business. You can also include relevant links to your blog and other helpful information. That way, they'll stay subscribed rather than unsubscribing after the first email that shows up in their inbox.

Not only will this method generate sales leads but it will also increase the loyalty of your past customers.

5. Leverage Past Customers

If you're not a sales leads expert, then you probably don't realize how much you can rely on your past customers to help with business growth.

Past customers can be the ambassadors of your business in multiple ways. For example, review websites such as Yelp are important places to have positive reviews. You can use a newsletter and other methods to invite customers to leave reviews on various websites where you can get more exposure for your business and generate more leads.

Online reviews are important because they're often the deciding factor for a potential customer and if you have a low or nonexistence rating, they'll simply go with one of your competitors.

As an incentive, you can offer deals or coupons in exchange for an honest review of your products or services.

Another way to leverage past customers is by implementing a referral program. This, of course, can also come with an incentive for each business that has been referred to you. Through this method, you can usually generate several leads from each past customer.

Best of all, when a customer feels like they're a part of the success of your wonderful business, then they'll continue to use your products and services long into the future.

6. Maintain a Presence on Quora

In the spirit of creating a meaningful back and forth between potential customers, Quora has become a ripe venue for tracking down leads.

Quora is a site in which anyone can ask a question on any topic. Experts of all kinds are encouraged to answer these questions. It's a community built around helping and talking with one another.

With this in mind, you can search for questions that are related to your business and offer sincere answers that users will find helpful. The more questions you answer, the more exposure your business will have.

In addition, your answers will be seen by many potential customers who are looking for answers to those same questions.

Best of all, if you've already created an informative blog post that answers a specific question, then you can link it within your answer and directly increase traffic to your business website.

At the same time, you'll be nurturing your reputation as a business that's kind and helpful. When it comes to generating leads, your business' reputation can make the difference between making a sale and breaking one.

7. Create Interactive Content

A website can often have visuals that are pleasing to look at but a potential customer can't do much with them other than that. However, if you create interactive content, then your potential customers can feel engaged.

Answering quizzes and tests are popular because people are curious about their results and enjoy sharing them on social media.

Polls and surveys are also popular because potential customers want to have their voices and opinions heard.

Although they're usually pricey, an interactive infographic can be a wonderful addition to your website.

The interactive content can also be directly related to your product or service.

Keeping track of the results of a poll, for instance, can also help you improve your business.

Are You Ready to Generate More B2B Leads?

Now that you know all about effective strategies to generate more B2B leads, you can try them for yourself and see how much they help your business grow.

Industrial Marketing can give you the tools and services you need to take your business to the next level and beyond. From website development and SEO optimization to conversion tracking and B2B lead generation, we can grow your business while you focus on running it.

If you have any questions about our high-quality solutions, feel free to contact us. We're always happy to help.

Apr 14, 2020 12:00 PM EDT (30 mins)

Does your business have the ability and resources to help the fight against COVID-19? Register for our webinar to learn a fast and effective way your business can turn its capabilities into a standardized data format to help buyers of high demand services and products make fast decisions.

This webinar will discuss how to utilize our COVID-19 Rapid Capabilities Worksheet to quickly and easily build a new capabilities page for your website. This rapid-capabilities page will specifically highlight in-demand products and services your business offers. By creating a capabilities list to be displayed on your website and using best SEO practices, it will be a quick resource for buyers in high demand for your products and services during a supply chain impact.

Register Now

Join the fight against Covid-19.

Be part of America's manufacturing revival by helping small to large companies build solutions that bring businesses closer to their customers by being one click away when they face a supply chain impact.

How Can Manufacturers Join the Fight Against COVID-19?

By turning your standard capabilities list into a COVID-19 Rapid Capabilities page using best SEO practices, you can promote a quick list for buyers in desperate need of high demand products and services allowing you to quickly connect them to your products and services available.

Capabilities Page Building

Create a high-quality capabilities page specifically to highlight in-demand services and products you offer.

Example of a COVID-19 Rapid Manufacturing Capabilities Page Layout
Download Capabilities Page Example [PDF]

Use Our Worksheet to Outline Your Capabilities for Your Web Developer

Articulate your capabilities with a new page. Utilize technical resources like ThomasNet.com, and review your competitor's sites.

Our team created this easy to use worksheet to fill out and provide to your web development team to easily and quickly build this new page for your site.

Download Excel Worksheet

Create and Share Your Capabilities

Work with your web development team to design your new COVID-19 Rapid Manufacturing page. Be sure to make it easy to navigate to from any page on your site by adding a direct link in the Header and Footer.

Work with your marketing team to get this information out through your customer email lists, create a blog post and syndicate it, craft a press release, and reach out to your local news.

View the Webinar

Resources

Thomas Coronavirus Resource Hub For Manufacturers and Industrial Professionals

COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing


Special thanks to the US Commercial Service for hosting our webinar on creating a COVID-19 Rapid Capabilities page for manufacturer's websites.

What if your website had awesome content but it was still turning countless customers away?

It's one thing to create the kind of compelling content that brings customers to your site. But if your sites are not mobile optimized, then the bounce rates are going to be through the roof.

Fortunately, it's not too late to give your websites a much-needed overhaul. To help you out, we've compiled a guide to the importance of mobile optimization, including the best practices every company should follow.

What Does It Mean to Be Mobile Optimized?

We've prepared the definitive guide for mobile optimization and surviving the digital age. Before we go any further, though, it's important to define what "mobile optimization" actually means.

Generally speaking, it's a simple concept: it means making your websites easy and intuitive to use on mobile devices, particularly smartphones. This is important because many older websites are still only optimized for desktop computers.

The reason for overhauling your sites to be mobile-friendly is also quite simple. The majority of your customers are likely to find your business via mobile searching.

Be Where the Searches Are

The traditional business advice was that a company should go where the customers are. In the digital age, we have a modern twist to this advice: your company should be where the searches are!

Recent research suggests that 58% of Google searches are conducted via mobile devices. And this follows larger trends that reveal most of your customers have been surfing the internet via mobile devices instead of desktop for many years now.

Now, the good news is that you can have your cake and eat it, too. It's possible to use responsive design to create a site that looks great on both desktop and mobile. Alternatively, you can use different URLs to create sites that are optimized for each platform.

Landing Page Priority

The prospect of updating every single page on your website for mobile may seem very daunting. Where, exactly, should you begin such an ambitious project?

The most logical site to overhaul first is your landing page. That's because a landing page serves as a kind of portal through which customers can discover the rest of your website.

The landing page is likely to be the first page your customers encounter. If it is ugly or too difficult to navigate, they will bounce to another site. If it is intuitive and easy to use, they are likely to stick around and explore.

Touchscreen: New Possibilities

It's easy to imagine mobile optimization as a simple design challenge. For instance, you are making something that once looked good on one display look good on all displays (which is the basic goal of responsive design).

However, designing (or redesigning) webpages for mobile devices also brings you some unique opportunities. A great example of this is taking advantage of the touchscreen.

You can create a site where customers can click a button and instantly call your business. Or you can provide large icons that let customers make a reservation with the touch of a button.

Embracing these new design possibilities means embracing the potential of smartphones. Why stick with slick design when you can employ touchscreen features that help bring customers in the door? 

Streamlined Experience

Care for another reason to optimize for mobile? One big reason is that you want to create a streamlined experience for customers.

Here's the real design challenge: customers expect certain features when navigating via mobile devices. While you must provide such features, you must also make sure that your mobile sites and your desktop sites are still recognizably the same.

Doing this may make for a design challenge, and you may even need to get some professional help. But when customers have a streamlined experience across all pages and devices, it goes a long way towards building your brand and building customer loyalty. 

Understanding Mobile-First Indexing

Want to really master mobile optimization? That means you must also learn about mobile-first indexing.

Previously, Google searches would provide a mixture of both mobile and desktop search results. After 2015's infamous Mobilegeddon, though, Google only provides results based on mobile-friendliness.

That means even if someone is searching via desktop, they will see mobile-optimized sites first. Needless to say, this is another compelling reason for you to optimize your sites for mobile!

The Need for Speed

What, then, goes into mobile optimization? Believe it or not, one of the biggest categories is speed.

This is one aspect where Google basically defers to user behavior. What do you do when you click on a site and it takes too long to load? If you're like most of us, you back out and click on another search result.

There are multiple ways for you to improve how fast your sites load. One obvious way is to reduce the number of images per page. You can also streamline the site's code behind the scenes, allowing everything to load that much quicker.

Fear the Flash

Pop quiz: are your websites still relying on Flash? If so, you need to take care of this right away!

Flash has been dying for a while now. In fact, there are many devices and browsers where Flash has not loaded for many years now. If that's not enough, Flash is officially dying in the year 2020.

Long story short? You need to ditch Flash right away if you want to be optimized for mobile. If you still need Flash-like animation, you can get many similar benefits by coding everything via HTML5. 

Mobile-Friendly Competition

In the digital age, the idea of "keeping up with the Jones's" is more important than ever before. If your competition is making money moves and you're not, it's very easy for your business to fall behind!

This is one of the biggest arguments for mobile optimization. If you aren't optimizing, you can be assured that your competition is. And when customers click away from your non-optimized site, they are that much likelier to click on your competitors' links.

Even if your competition hasn't optimized their pages, it's worth it to renovate your own. After all, you now have a unique chance to revolutionize your business niche (and potentially poach some of the competition's customers while you do it).

Mobile Optimization Options

So, what are your options when it comes to mobile optimization? You essentially have three options: dynamic serving, dual URLs, and responsive design.

With dynamic serving, your website has the same URL regardless of the device used to access it. But dynamic serving can sense which device a user has and give them a different set of HTML and coding based on that info. In short, desktop users get a site that looks one way and mobile users get a site that looks a different way.

With dual URLs, you have (you guessed it) two different URLs. One of them is for the desktop version of a site and the other for the mobile version. This allows you to create a unique mobile page, complete with its own URL starting with "m."

Finally, there is responsive design. This uses the same URL and same HTML coding while simply adjusting the website for screens of different sizes. Many businesses prefer responsive design because it is easier for designers and users while to optimize such pages for SEO.

Ditch the Pop-Ups

Sometimes, aspects of optimal mobile design are downright obvious. For example, you really need to ditch any of those pop-ups that are on your site!

On desktop, pop-ups are annoying but still manageable. But when someone encounters pop-ups via a mobile device, it can make it downright impossible to navigate your website.

If you absolutely have to have pop-ups for some reason, you may want to rely on dynamic servers or dual URLs. Both of these will let you have different versions of the page for different devices, allowing you to use pop-ups for desktop and to ditch them for the mobile version.

Getting "Meta"

Another key to mobile optimization is pretty "meta." Specifically, the secret is to use the right meta titles and meta descriptions.

Some businesses like to really maximize the number of characters they use in each field. That means no more than 70 characters for titles and 160 characters for descriptions.

Mobile optimization changes the math on this, though. You'll want to use fewer characters in each field because the mobile search results may cut this field off, meaning users cannot see each character.

That means efficiency is key. Try to lead with the most important info to ensure that users find the info right away! 

Hello, Googlebot

Ever wonder how Google scans the entirety of the internet? With a robot, of course!

The Googlebot "crawls" websites, scanning their content to improve user search results. It's important that you check your site's robot.txt to make sure Google has permission to crawl your site.

While you're at it, you can use third-party analytical tools to figure out what the Googlebot sees and use this info to improve your site.   

Mobile Optimized: The Future Is Now

Now you know the importance of becoming mobile optimized. But do you know who can help you transform your websites?

We specialize in SEO, content marketing, web development, and much more. To see how we can jumpstart your mobile overhaul, contact us today!

55% of users spend fewer than 15 seconds on a webpage.

You know your business needs a killer website. But how do you know who to hire?

Business owners often search for both web development companies and web design companies. Many believe these terms can be used interchangeably.

The truth is, both of these services are distinct parts of the website building process. Web designers and web developers each have unique skill sets and job responsibilities.

It's not uncommon for marketing companies to alternate these terms to describe their services, but it's important to understand the fundamental differences. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between web design and web development. 

The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

Business owners can easily get confused about the differences between the terms "web design" and "web development" when hiring someone to build their website. While it's possible for one individual to do both, most companies have both website designers and website developers who work individually on your project.

To put it simply, web design is focused on the visual aspect of a website and it's usability. Web designers use special programs to design the layout and visual components of your website.

On the other hand, web developers create a functioning website from that design. They are experts in coding and programmers who turn design ideas into an actual website.

Typically, a web designer would work with you to design your website. Then, they will hand over the design files to the web developer who will use their programming skills to build the website.

Now that you understand the general difference between web design and web development, let's take a closer look at each of these services. 

Web Design

Web design is the first step in the process of building a website. A web designer will work with you to understand your goals for your website.

The web designer will use what is called an information architecture (IA) to set the stage for the design process and determine the website's hierarchy of information. Then, they will create wireframes and start designing the website.

The goal of the web designer is to create a layout for your website that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. There are some basic design principles that web designers use to achieve these goals.

Many web designers are familiar with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These skills allow them to create the best mockups for developers. They also use template services like WordPress that allow them to create websites without writing code.

Even if web designers can't code, they are digitally savvy. A good web designer is skilled in graphic design, information flow, and color theory. They understand how to use wire-framing software as well as programs like Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator.

Unity

Web designers must take into account the relationship between all of the parts and components of the website design. The composition must paint a unified picture for the user.

The various parts of the design must go together. This principle of design is based on the Gestalt theory. This theory describes how our brains organize information by grouping it into categories. 

Balance

Web designers must also take into account colors. They consider the proportion of light and heavy elements with the goal of achieving a visually pleasing balance.

Heavy elements are large and use dark colors. Light elements are small and use light colors. The way these elements interact determines how balanced and visually pleasing the website design will be. 

Contrast 

Color can also be purposely used to create contrast and draw attention to certain elements of the website. Color theory is used to choose contrasting colors (ones opposite each other on the color wheel) or the opposite - complementary colors.

Contrast can also be used when it comes to sizes, shapes, and textures to draw the eye to certain areas. 

Consistency

Consistency is one of the most important web design principles. A design that is consistent is one that creates a good user experience.

When websites have a consistent and clean interface, users can easily navigate around. If your website is too confusing, customers aren't likely to spend time trying to figure it out. 

Emphasis

The design principle of emphasis closely relates to the use of contrast. As we mentioned before, web designers use contrast to create emphasis on certain areas of your website. They must be careful though to avoid overemphasizing.

If too much is emphasized, nothing really is at all. Web designers can refer to the information architecture of the website to determine which information really needs to stand out. 

Mobile-First Design

Web design was originally based around desktop computers. These days, most visitors to your website will be using mobile devices.

This has created a web design standard where websites are optimized for mobile devices first. Websites are designed to be viewed on the smallest of display screens first and then increasingly bigger screens from there. 

Wireframing

Web designers create visual maps that lay out the plan for the website. These maps are called wireframes. They help designers and developers visualize how the website will be arranged.

Elements including text, images, videos, menus, graphics, and interactive user forms can be included on the map. Wireframes are useful because they can communicate the designer's plans to clients, test users, and the development team. 

Prototypes

Prototypes are more developed than wireframes. They are used to test a site before it's released.

Prototypes can look different depending on what stage in the development cycle the website is at. For example, a prototype can simply be a sketch on paper or it can be a completely digital model. Using these skills allows web designers to collect valuable feedback from users and shareholders. 

Web Development

You and your web designer have worked together to create a website design that matches your objectives. Now what?

From here the web developer takes over. Web developers are sometimes also called programmers. They have the job of taking the website design and building an actual website.

Web developers are experts in coding and are focused on creating a functional website as opposed to its appearance. There are two parts of website development - the front end and the back end.

Front End Developers

The front end is responsible for how the web designer's ideas are displayed for users. Front end developers have a lot in common with web designers. They are skilled in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

The front end is also referred to as the client side. While front end developers don't usually create mock-ups or select fonts and color schemes, they are responsible for bringing these ideas to life.

Front end developers must have some knowledge of UI (User Interface) /UX (User Experience) design so that they can understand what the designer is looking for. The developer will take the mock-ups and use technology to give the designer's ideas the right look and feel. 

Backend Developers

These developers work in special programming languages and frameworks. They also work with databases. The backend is also referred to as the server side.

This side of the application manages data within a database and services it to the front end, where it is displayed for users. 

Full Stack Developers

A full stack developer is one who can work on the front end and the backend. Designer/developer hybrids are becoming more common thanks to the availability of educational resources on the internet.

Because these hybrids understand both sides of the website building process, they are highly desired in the industry. They are sometimes referred to as "unicorns."

While these people can take a website project from start to finish, they are usually still only responsible for one aspect. It's the fact that their skills mean they can communicate across the board that makes them an asset to employers. 

Do You Need Help With Your Website?

We hope that this article has helped explain the difference between web design and web development. While some companies use these terms interchangeably, there are many key differences.

As a business owner who turns to website design and development professionals, it's important to understand these differences and what to expect throughout the process of building your website. When you understand how the process works, you'll be better able to communicate your objectives to the right people.

Whether you need your website re-done or you want to start from scratch, we are here for you. We offer website design and development services including SEO optimization to increase traffic to your site.

Contact us today to get started and learn more about our services. 

SEO. Search engine optimization. 

You've likely heard the phrase and know you need it, but you may not know why.

You may even have a current SEO strategy in place but aren't sure exactly how it's benefiting your business. Or if it is at all.

Before you decide to scrap your SEO efforts, keep reading. This article will explain exactly why search engine visibility is not only relevant but necessary for success.

1. Organic Searches Rule the Internet

Google experiences over 40,000 searches every second. That means if your customers need an answer, they're turning to Google to find it.

By typing just a few keywords into the search bar, they instantly receive a detailed list of relevant sites and companies. SEO is what guarantees your site is one of the first they see.

Organic searches generate websites based on specific keywords. This means users are getting instant gratification and companies (like yours) are getting more clicks and conversions.

Organic SEO also leads to our next point – the importance of earning your customer's trust. The more relevant content you have on your site, the more successful your organic SEO efforts will be.

In time, your company and brand will be synonymous with reliable, useful information. Then it's your job to offer the best products and services to keep customers coming back for more!

2. Boost Company Credibility and Customer Loyalty

Customers trust Google and if Google trusts you, you're already ahead of the game.

As skewed as this dynamic might be, website browsers click on first-page results 92% of the time. The stronger your SEO game, the more likely you are to be one of these sites.

But showing up on the first SERPs page isn't the only benefit of a strong SEO strategy. Building a website that is clean, professional, and user-friendly creates a positive customer experience – increasing the chance that first-time visitors will become repeat customers.

These loyal customers are also more likely to refer friends and family to a company they trust and rely on. Your company's credibility and reputation are the foundation of success – and it starts with search engine visibility. 

3. Increased Traffic, Engagement, and Conversions 

The whole reason companies create websites and invest both time and money into building them is to gain traffic and boost business. Don't let all your hard work go to waste. 

A website without SEO is an undiscovered one. Without adequate search engine visibility, you won't get the type of traffic, engagement or conversions you're hoping for – and deserve.

We already explained that a quality organic SEO strategy will help your site rank well on the SERPs and put you on the frontlines for your target audience to see. 

But if you're looking to bring in new customers and close deals, local SEO is where it's at. More often than not, people searching for services and products will end their search with two, very powerful words – "near me".

You want to rank for both organic and local searches, which means focusing on both types of SEO. Local SEO also allows you to target specific demographics, helping you reach your desired market.

4. SEO Best Practices Are Always Changing

While the increase of Google searches is pretty reliable and steady, Google algorithm updates are all over the map.

The search engine giant is constantly updating, changing, and revamping the rules and regulations that apply to SEO. If you want to stay at the top of the results page, you need to stay on top of the ever-changing Googe requirements.

What worked last year may not be relevant this year. Staying up-to-date on changing SEO trends helps guarantee you stay relevant and in Google's good graces.

5. Improve the Buyer Cycle

More than ever customers are doing ample research about your business, your products, and reading reviews before ever making a purchase.

The consumer buying cycle consists of four steps: 

A well-crafted, optimized website that follows SEO best practices improves your chances of following the customer through the entire buying cycle – ending with a sale.

6. Long-Term Gains

Anything in life worth having takes time.

Seeing results from your SEO strategy won't happen overnight and that can get discouraging. But don't give up!

Search engine visibility is about making small changes that result in big, long-term gains. When you think of all the elements of SEO, its clear that these things take time to cultivate and foster.

You need to build your brand reputation, gain authority in your field, and remain at the top of the SERPs. While it may take more than a year for you to see the fruits of your labor, the positive effects will last for several more years.

This isn't to say that you can ignore trends and changes in the market. You still need to closely monitor what's happening in your niche to guarantee you stay relevant. 

Don't get complacent.

7. Specific ROI

No one wants to throw their money into pointless marketing efforts that yield little to no return. One of the best things about SEO is that it's quantifiable.

With the right analytics, you can closely monitor which SEO strategies are working and which need improving.

Google Analytics is a useful tool to track where your traffic is coming from, which pages visitors are spending the most time on, and from what regions your traffic is generating. 

This gives you solid facts and figures to work with and plan accordingly. 

8. Keywords and Content Equal Visibility

You already know that your company needs to rank on the first page of Google results or you're virtually dead in the water. But what elements of SEO help get you there?

Honestly, it's a collective effort but content and relevant keywords are two fast tickets to the top.

Even in a digital world ruled by video streaming, keyword-rich content is still relevant and crucial to search engine visibility.

Rember the organic and local SEO discussed earlier? Without content on your website (generally in the form of a blog), your page won't rank when potential clients search a specific phrase or keyword.

Don't discount the power of blog posts that not only boost your ranks but also your credibility. When you offer customers useful and relevant information, it helps build their trust and gain their business.

Keep your blog posts relevant and consistent. An outdated blog is almost as bad as no blog at all. 

9. An SEO Strategy is Affordable

There are plenty of ways to pay for online visibility including PPC ad campaigns. And while these are viable options, if you want continued results you need to continue paying. 

When you rank well on Google thanks to your SEO efforts, it's a long-term investment. You don't need to continually pay to remain at the top of the SERPs.

Instead, you've earned your spot at the top through well-crafted content, relevant information, credible backlinks, and other SEO best practices.

As long as you continue to offer visitors a user-friendly experience that Google recognizes as credible, you'll continue to reign supreme.

That's not to say that SEO doesn't cost you anything but the results are much more sustainable over time. 

10. It Helps You Stay Ahead of the Competition

If you're not currently ranking at the top of the SERPs that means someone else is. And that someone else is likely your competition.

An effective SEO strategy isn't just about pushing your website to the top but, in the process, knocking your competitors down a few notches.

The closer you are to the top of the page, the more likely people are to visit your website first. If you offer what they need from the start, they may not scroll down far enough to even see the competitor site.

In fact, 31.7% of website browsers click the number one result that comes up on their Google search. That means if your site is listed first, it's 10 times more likely to gain traffic than all the sites that follow.

And SEO is the tool you need to get to that coveted spot. 

Don't Discount the Power of Search Engine Visibility

In the competitive world of business, it can be tempting to ditch marketing efforts that seem fruitless. While some companies are backing down on their SEO efforts, don't be one of them!

Search engine visibility is more important now than ever. As more and more people are searching the Internet for products and services, SEO is the key to appealing to your target audience.

It's all about giving the people what they want.

Are you ready to craft a winning SEO strategy that keeps you at the top of your market? Contact us today and let's get started!

Grow Your Global Reach! 8 SEO Techniques You Need to Try in 2019

Do you want to reach as many potential customers as possible? If so, click here to learn about 8 SEO techniques you need to try in 2019.

Keyword(s): seo techniques

Your company website gives you the potential to reach billions of internet users, but that doesn't do you any good if no one knows your website exists. 

Yes, your company is now open for business to the world but so is every other company with an internet presence. That's more than 1.6 billion sites competing for their attention.

So how do you stand out about the rest?

We've compiled 8 SEO techniques you need for your site to make its mark.

Search engine optimization is essential to ranking higher in search engine results. And being found by potential customers.

Keep reading to learn more about search engine optimization and the SEO techniques you should start using today!

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is a method of creating your site for consumers and search engines. 

Search engines are designed to provide the best results for their users. They use algorithms to do that. There are hundreds of factors taken into account by Google to deliver the results for each search. 

Search engine optimization takes these factors into account when creating content and building an online strategy.

SEO Techniques Should Seem Natural

The best SEO content includes search engine optimization techniques that seem completely natural to the reader. While you want to design content that meets the standards search engines look for, you always need to focus on satisfying your customer.

The keywords, links, content, and tags should all be relevant to your industry niche. It wouldn't make much sense for a clothing company to have an entire blog focused on the construction industry...unless all they sold was construction clothing.

You want to use SEO techniques to help the right visitors that can be converted into customers find you.

Visual Content: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

You'll initially attract more visitors with your digital content than any words you've written on the page. Content that includes visual content have 650% higher engagement than pages that include only text.

Visual content doesn't just attract the eye of internet surfers but of search engines as well. Search engines like Google deliver not just general websites but on images and videos as well. This gives you three different opportunities for each page on your website to rank in the results.

Properly tagged photos and videos can be effective tools in bringing more traffic to your site from search engines, social media, and other sources.

Spread Your Social Butterfly Wings

If you aren't already using the various popular social media sites as part of your branding and marketing strategy, you should be.

Social media expands your potential audience and gives you opportunities for marketing and has SEO benefits. 

The more shares, tweets, posts, and comments your company profiles can generate, the more relevant a source you become for search engines.

You also become more relevant to internet users who may not have considered or even heard of your company before. Social media gives you the chance to engage and interact with people who haven't heard of you before.

Mobile First

More than half of the people who access the internet do so from a mobile device. This means your site needs to be compatible and geared to those visitors.

A site displays differently on a computer than it does on a cellphone. Creating a mobile-first site will ensure any searches conducted by a mobile device will display properly.

Keywords and Tags

Keywords and tags help visitors find you and search engines rank you when searching for something specific. 

Researching the best keywords for your niche is important so that you're not putting all your effort into posts, photos, and content that isn't producing results for you. 

Fast, User-Friendly Website

Your website will lose traffic and ranking in search engine results if it is not fast loading and user-friendly. You want to design a website that is functional and attractive.

A delay of just a few seconds will cause visitors to leave and not return to your site. Three seconds can be the difference between a life long customer and someone who never comes back.

You want visitors to stay on your website as long as possible, but it needs to be because they're intrigued by what they see and satisfied with their experience not out of frustration trying to find what they're searching for.

Educational, Entertaining Industry Blog

One of the best ways to create content to help you rank more often and better in the leading search engines is through writing an educational and entertaining blog about one or several areas of interest in your industry.

Each blog post can contain content and keywords that will be individually ranked for any search of those words. This means each page of your blog, if written for customers and search engines, can be a marketing tool.

The more pages with relevant material on a subject or keyword, the easier it is for search engine algorithms to rank you as an authority site in that area of expertise.

Consistently Create Content

One of the best ways to keep visitors coming back, attract new visitors, and be ranked better by search engines is to create content on a consistent and regular basis.

Your business contact information should be written the same way on every business listing. This consistent format will allow search engine algorithms to recognize each listing is connected. If you write Street out in one address listing then do not abbreviate it to St. in the next.

Your blog will attract a following and you want to provide them with content that they can count on. It should be relevant, factual, interesting, and updated regularly.

SEO Techniques Take Time So Start Now

It takes time, energy and research to design a website that is search engine optimized. It can also take some time for the positive results of those efforts to take full effect.

There are experts in website design, SEO techniques, and other online marketing niches to help you reach your full potential. Connect with us today to get started.

How to find the Invisible Buyer

Start making more money for your business today by uncovering the “invisible industrial buyer” who is on your website right now in the market for your products.

What is the Invisible Buyer

So what is the “invisible buyer”? The Invisible Buyer is the person on your website researching for their company to ensure they get the best product/service fit for their company. These buyers hardly ever take action before getting the information they need, so although your website may be getting multitudes of clicks, they rarely turn into sales. Before you invest ANY money in a brand new website, start by uncovering who is already on your website and what they are looking for.

Identifying the Invisible Buyer

If you had the chance to use a product that tells you the name of a company, the phone number, and which pages on your website they are looking at would you be able to call them and make a sale? Site Sonar a software developed by Industrial Marketing can help give you that information. This tool gives your sales and marketing teams a huge advantage over your competitors, and giving your company all of the information you need to close the deal.

Identifying the Invisible Buyer

Having the ability to obtain this information and identifying the invisible buyer on your website will allow your company to consistently make money and increasing your turnover rate. Visitor profiles within the software allow you to see in depth information about the invisible buyer such as their location, device being used, how long they were on the site and the actions they took, as well as the company they are coming from. There’s no need to spend any more money on marketing to bring in new customers if you already have the customers you want on your website. If you want to gain this in depth information, and generate sales for your business, let Industrial Marketing help you uncover the invisible buyer.

In the business-to-consumer sphere, search engine optimization is standard practice. While this is true, business-to-business manufacturers must also consider SEO when redesigning their websites or revamping an existing site.

An important factor to keep in mind, though, is that B2C and B2B SEO strategies and goals are markedly different. In most cases, B2C efforts cast a much wider net within a specific consumer group. In this case, big numbers matter.

However, for B2B manufacturers, thousands of visitors aren’t necessary. What they need is the right visitors. Their target audience is much smaller and more defined. The goal here isn’t immediate and direct sales.

When it comes to SEO for manufacturers, it comes down to one thing – lead generation. Keep reading to learn more about SEO for manufacturing companies and why it’s a crucial part of any effective marketing strategy.

Why You Need to Invest in SEO

Before getting into the “how” of SEO for manufacturers, you may be curious about the “why.” After all, SEO tactics require an investment of time and money. Chances are you want one or several compelling reasons to make this investment.

If that sounds like you, learn about some of the reasons to make this investment here.

There’s No Way to Manufacture Profits

SEO is going to help your website appear in organic search results (rather than PPC or paid search results). This means when someone searches a term related to the service or product you offer, there’s a good chance your website is going to show up in the results.

The more visibility you have in the search results, the bigger the opportunity you have for people to visit your site and actually convert. To put it simply, the more “foot” traffic you attract to your website, the more likely you will get conversions, which leads to more profits.

Your Competitors are Doing It

Have you ever Googled your competitors? Try it.

Are they showing up ahead of you in organic (non-paid) search results? If so, they are likely doing quite a bit to ensure they have drilled down their SEO efforts.

While this may be good for them, it’s bad news for you. Also, the longer you wait to invest in SEO, the longer and more expensive it will be for you to catch up with the competition.

Google Is Constantly Updating Its Search Ranking Factors

The research and development of how to rank websites in search engines are ongoing. Google is constantly evaluating the way people search, where they click the most, the amount of time they spend on a site, and more.

Getting a top ranking in search engines isn’t something that just magically “happens.” There’s a definite reason for this, and most are based on the library of algorithms Google has created.

The algorithms change as expectations and cultural behaviors evolve. This means you have to ensure your manufacturing website is compliant with the emerging, new, and existing algorithms Google creates.

Optimizing Your Site for a Superior User Experience

SEO is going to help your site perform at its technical best. If you want to appear higher in the search results (which is something that goes with great user experience), you have to ensure your site is optimized for various technical aspects. These include:

In addition to this technical optimization, it’s also necessary to ensure your site isn’t full of broken links or pages, errors, or anything else that may negatively impact your user’s experience.

SEO Is an On-Going Investment

It’s crucial to ensure your website is optimized for both people and search engines. However, it doesn’t just stop there.

You have to remember – and investment in SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it marketing effort. You have to continually adapt to the way people are searching and other factors.

Keeping up with cultural shifts, algorithm updates, competitor analysis, lead quality, and behavior metrics are key to having a site that ranks well and that provides a good user experience both people and search engines will like.

On-Page SEO Tactics for Manufacturers

Historically, on-page optimization has been all about making a web page attractive to search engines. After all, when your website ranks high on SERPs, you get more traffic. There are two things you need to do to make sure this happens.

1. Create Amazing On-Page Content

When creating content, write for users first, and search engines second. You need to understand your users.

What are they looking for from your company, and what do they want to know about it? Make sure you are developing the content they want. To do this, consider the questions users may ask. For example:

If you have a company that specializes in the manufacturing and rebuilding of threaded components, consider creating a blog that provides information about how to decide between thread grinding and thread rolling.

Make sure the content you create is interesting, informative, and uses the targeted keywords. Great content is going to draw in your audience and let the search engine know that you have a relevant and legit site. The result – better rankings for your site.

2. Optimize Your Meta Information

This includes all the meta information – titles, descriptions, alt tags, etc. for the relevant keywords. While metadata isn’t considered when Google ranks your website, it’s essential to make sure people click through to your actual website.

It’s essential to include unique and relevant keywords for each page title you create, along with clear calls to action in your meta description.

Social Connections

In addition to the on-page tactics mentioned above, developing social connections is also a crucial part of SEO for manufacturers. While some manufacturers still think social media is a complete waste of time – this isn’t the case – as long as you get it right.

With the right social media tactics, you can increase your website’s ranking on Google, along with other search engines. Social media channels can provide additional links to your website and build the domain authority that Google loves.

Some of the manufacturers of the social platforms should target include:

LinkedIn

As a manufacturer, you need to cultivate your presence on specific channels. LinkedIn is one of the most obvious places to share your manufacturing blog content and to establish your thought leadership and expertise in your sector.

By utilizing LinkedIn groups and attracting new followers and by following other leaders yourself, you can ensure your content is seen by those who make buying decisions in your particular niche or sector.

When you generate traffic from LinkedIn, it’s going to show Google that the content you are creating is relevant and valuable to your users.

YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine and a great way to deliver videos. If you aren’t making videos currently, now is the time to begin.

Some ideas to get you started include:

Publishing this type of content signals to Google that you have a dynamic web presence and that you are a thought leader in your space. Establishing these social channels and posting videos, even just once a month, can help to increase your website’s rankings by increasing the traffic that goes to your content.

Link Building

With great content, you can begin to think about various ways to get other websites to start linking to your website. The fact is, link building is often challenging for manufacturers; as a result, you need to be creative.

Consider this example. If you manufacturer equipment for restaurants, reaching out to chef’s blogs may be a great opportunity for links.

If you are a tool manufacturer, consider trade websites that are focused on home improvement contractors. In these cases, you can create content around a single idea – seasoning a frying pan or building a deck – and then include a link to your product line.

Being able to find these opportunities are often time-consuming, but the results can increase your traffic, improve search engine rankings, and result in more leads.

SEO for Manufacturers: Getting It Right Matters

SEO for manufacturers can be challenging. Getting started can seem daunting and overwhelming, which results in some abandoning the effort altogether.

Don’t do that. The benefits offered by SEO far outweigh the time and expense you incur. If you aren’t sure where or how to get started, reach out to us. Our team specializes in industrial marketing and providing you B2B digital marketing solutions that scale with you.

With our help, you can achieve your goals and implement SEO tactics that will exceed your expectations in every way.

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