By Matt Stefanski
How do you know if you’re visible to others if you can’t even see yourself? That’s the challenge for manufacturing’s smaller businesses.
It was once considered a significant marketing strategy feat to be found on the front pages of Google. But today, companies are diligently embracing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for heightened Internet brand recognition.
SEO simply translates to increasing—and more important— improving Web site traffic from search engines through organic search results. It looks at how and why search engines find a site, and how relevant the search term is to that global content.
With the right tools and a lot of patience, SEO can play an important role in allowing a small business to be seen on the front pages of popular search engines, at a reasonable cost considering the potential return.
Take, for example, KLH Industries, a precision manufacturing company in Germantown, Wis. Last summer, KLH was organically listed on Google a handful of times, depending on the search term. While KLH does not generally have a product to sell, its focus is on selling a service. And the services it provides are not by any means typical. KLH makes critical parts and components for energy, aerospace, medical, automotive, and electronic equipment manufacturers.
With a limited budget and f acing a downturn economy, SEO became a cost-effective way for KLH to put its capabilities in front of potential customers on a much larger scale. For KLH, this has proven to be very effective.
SEO doesn’t happen overnight. Having a Web site is an important start—but SEO primarily focuses on content. Content is the best way to gain search engine ranking through organic search.
When writing content for a Web site, keep customers in mind. Make sure the information is not too technical, simplistic, or wordy.
Keywords play one of the largest roles in SEO, and it is important to label the products or services so that search engines can find relevance to the site, rather than competitors.
Patience, determination, and an open mind can go a long way toward implementing the right SEO package for a small business. Being well-armed with research and a dose of fearlessness is a powerful combination. Just like in any business, the key is remembering to focus on what captures the attention for a customer base.
SEO is a continuous challenge and perfecting the strategy is only half the battle: The true challenge is maintaining effectiveness.