The State of SEO In Industrial Marketing

Today, most industrial marketers understand that their company’s website entails more than a nice-looking, professional site that is informative and responsive. SEO is an important component to generate traffic to your site and shouldn’t be neglected.

SEO is a constantly growing and evolving marketing tactic. Industrial marketers must optimize pages for key words and build links, and today, more than ever, make high-quality content available for improving search engine rankings. Search engines are continually changing and upgrading their algorithms, creating almost a mystique about when it comes to the best tactics to employ.

GlobalSpec recently set out to find out how industrial marketers feel about SEO. It conducted a survey examining the challenges, spending and content production processes.

According to the survey results of industrial marketers:

  • 72% actively produce content for SEO purposes in their organizations
  • 57% do not have any employees dedicated to SEO
  • 45% expect their spending on SEO to increase over the next 12 months
  • 19% are unsure of which SEO strategies work

A summary of the results is illustrated by GlobalSpec’s “The State of SEO in Industrial Marketing” infographic. The in-depth survey is available for download here.

Want more info about SEO in industrial marketing? Read blog post SEO Checklist or listen to podcast SEO in Manufacturing: 3 Things You Need To Be Doing.

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Digital Media: Are You Using to Reach Your Industrial Customer?

As marketers in the industrial B-to-B space, I think we all recognize that our potential customers have several options beyond the traditional ones we’ve used for years. The challenge for us is to identify where they are getting their info and to make sure we’re there when they start looking. That means we need to embrace the digital world, and a recent study by IHS GlobalSpec shows that only about 35% of industrial marketers are satisfied with their online efforts.

IEEE GlobalSpec offers a white paper, Taking a Strategic Approach to Digital Media that gives you some guidelines and recommendations on developing a plan and monitoring results.

Some highlights that I found interesting were:

  • Almost half of the industrial professionals visit 10 or more work-related websites each week.
  • Top four resources for these professionals are search engines, online catalogs, supplier websites and GlobalSpec.
  • 56% of buyers don’t contact a vendor until the research phase is done, and 19% wait until they are ready to buy.

What does that mean to us who don’t want to miss these opportunities?

  1. It means that we need to identify the channels that our customers use to gather info. The best way to do that is ask them.
  2. Once you identify the channels, you need to develop content for the different stages in the buying process for your product.
  3. Implement and monitor a program. The beauty of digital is we can immediately get feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

Don’t let digital scare you. It’s just another way to communicate with customers. Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel on content. Chances are you already have great stuff, you just need to identify it and maybe change the approach of features/benefits on how your products can help customers with their issues.

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No Surprises in GlobalSpec’s Industrial Marketing Trends Survey

GlobalSpec recently released its annual marketing trends report for the industrial sector. The online survey identified trends, challenges and anticipated expenditures in the Industrial market.

Their surveys usually give a relatively good pulse of what’s happening in the space. As I said in my headline, it should come as no surprise that the Industrial market is holding its own especially when you compare it to the last few years.

Here are some highlights:

83% of companies anticipate increased sales over 2011

35% of companies are spending more on marketing in 2012

67% said customer acquisition/lead generation is their primary focus

68% said they would increase spending on webinars

It seems like lead generation is still at the top of priorities. It’s good to see that companies are starting to integrate digital and traditional marketing programs together with online taking more of a role. It was also nice to see more and more manufacturers are starting to use social media with LinkedIn being the most used followed by Facebook.

The report is only 18 pages and is an easy read. Hope you get something out of it.

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2010 Social Media Trends in the Industrial Sector

This is the second year that GlobalSpec has surveyed engineering, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals on how they are using social media. You can download a free copy of the complete report here:

The survey shows that for work-related purposes, this audience is slow adopters. This audience is largely passive in that it prefers to read and watch content as opposed to creating it. They are increasing in certain areas, but aren’t progressing as fast as the rest of the world.

This is good news or bad news depending on how you look at it. I’m an optimist, so I’ll take the good news angle. This is a great opportunity for those of you who have this segment targeted. Why, because you know in most cases, engineers and manufacturing folks are meticulous when it comes to getting/evaluating info. They are slow to move and want to be sure that both the product and the company are meeting their overall objectives which takes time. Social is an additional tool that can give you more face time with potentials, help position yourself as an expert and eventually engage them to ask questions.

So the question you have to ask yourself is, how can I use social to attract potentials? Here are some suggestions:

  • Blog about interesting application or trends in specific industries.
  • Create a LinkedIn group, then network with users of those products to start discussions.
  • Company Facebook page that shows your fans about your company’s involvement in the community.
  • YouTube video that shows your product in action.
  • “Customer only” forum where they can talk to each other.
  • A Twitter account to send followers links of interesting products and industry news.

Think of this as a good opportunity to touch your potential customers in another way.

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Manufacturers Shifting Marketing Dollars

Everyone is trying to get the most out of what they’re spending this year and the manufacturing sector is no exception. With B-to-B leads from traditional sources slowing down, marketers are looking for other avenues. Many are shifting dollars to online options as they are less expensive and easily measurable.

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According to a recent report from Global Spec, Trends in Industrial Marketing 2009: How Manufacturers are Marketing Today, the number-one focus of marketers is to keep the customers they have and generate new high quality leads. Marketers are under pressure to choose programs that are measurable. So where is the money coming from? Many industrial marketers are reducing trade shows and print ads. 29% of respondents said they already are spending more than half of their budget online. 48% said online will account for a bigger proportion of their budgets for the balance of ’09.

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The top 3 online marketing channels for companies are:

  • online directories/web sites
  • e-marketing using in-house lists
  • SEO

It looks like online and digital are going to become an ever-increasing portion of marketing budgets moving forward. Forrester Research predicts that by 2014,  interactive spending will hit 55 billion ( pproximately 21% of total marketing spends). The Forrester study also indicated that much of the interactive dollars will come out of traditional spends.

What’s your feeling on this subject? Are you doing more online? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


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