The effect of Google’s ever-changing algorithms has not been lost on manufacturers. Take the 2015 mobile update, affectionately labelled “Mobilegeddon”.
In a study conducted that year, a comparison of a mobile-friendly versus a non-optimised manufacturing site revealed some eye-opening stats:
- Number of sessions decreased by 33%
- Non-mobile pages fell by 27 slots in Google’s results pages
- The bounce rate (users leaving after viewing one page) increased by 37%
It is Not What You Know
“Historically, the manufacturing sector has always been about building good relationships with suppliers and clients. Manufacturers have the ability to produce world-class products, but their business mainly relies upon reputation and word of mouth,” says Jonathan.
While this has proven a successful strategy to date, Jonathan warns it’s not futureproof. “In five years’ time, we’ll be selling to new generations.
“Senior decision-makers, for example buyers, might have a key supplier contact, but they simply don’t have the time to go seeking out individual products. Instead, they delegate the task to a junior staff member, likely much younger.”
“The first thing this employee is going to do is Google the product name. If your site’s not optimised, how are you going to attract that customer?”
In an industry with such niche products, Jonathan says there’s a huge amount of untapped potential.
“Let’s say this employee is searching for flanged blue widgets. The first site that’s going to appear is the one that’s taken the time to create a landing page around this particular product.”
Jonathan’s arguments support one of Google’s latest updates – EAT, otherwise known as Expertise, Authority and Trust.
“Manufacturers not only need to optimise their content, but demonstrate their expertise with author profiles and links to reputable, relevant associations”
Jonathan Guy, Aqueous Digital
With Aqueous Digital, the proof is in the pudding.
By applying these principles to one manufacturing client’s site, they managed to take revenue to incredible heights. “They were getting million-pound orders – a phenomenal ROI,” says Jonathan.
While manufacturers should continue to nurture their reputations, they should also focus on the future.
“This is a wide-open field,” suggests Jonathan.
“Likewise, if you’re looking to retire soon, you need to make sure you can hand the business over to somebody who can continue its success, both off and online.”
As soon as 2025, we could see an even stricter set of Google algorithms. These may have a devastating effect on manufacturers who have not made the move towards digital.
“I advise a mixture of on-site content optimisation, off-site link-building and technical SEO to meet Google’s requirements,” Jonathan concludes. “Pretty soon, it won’t just be Google that’s taking notice but a new generation of propects.
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