By Ben Stibbs-EatonJan 14 2019
Image Credit: Sammby/Shutterstock.com
Manufacturers of custom equipment recognize the limitations of standardized components that offer general good performance. One tube furnace may be more thermally sensitive than another, but its heating chamber may be geometrically-restrictive. Each of these systems may be capable of performing in a particular field but neither one is optimized for a specific facility or application. A similar argument could be made about the digital presence of custom equipment manufacturers across the world.
OEM and custom equipment manufacturers spend tens of thousands of dollars on establishing themselves online; building websites fortified with ironclad sitemaps. At the front-end, these are broken down into hierarchical pages and structured listings. This is designed to improve the navigability for both human visitors and web crawlers, such as the enigmatic robots of the Google index. However, walling yourself into the well-defined fortress of your website is not enough to occupy and dominate a niche in the equipment manufacturing space.
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Much like a standard heat treatment furnace, the architecture is in place it simply isn’t optimized.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the logical next step for manufacturers that have spent time and money on their digital presence but are yet to see an improvement in terms of organic results. This process can be loosely broken down into the following three steps:
- Building a stockpile of keywords relevant to your audience;
- Reinforcing existing pages with enhanced metadata and a keyword focus;
- Channeling organic traffic to these money-making pages using blog content.
AZoInsight: 53% of marketers say blog content is their top inbound marketing priority.
Blog content is key for several reasons. Firstly, with every new post, your website grows by another page thus increasing visibility and domain authority. Search engines have become incredibly intuitive in recent years, with rankings increasingly hinging on quality, relevance, and authority. A blog page gives custom equipment manufacturers a platform to share their experience and build a dedicated online readership, improving both the quantity and quality of traffic to the site.
Secondly, blog posts can be tailored to compete for specific keywords in Google rankings to build new inlets of traffic for you money-making pages. Complex keyword variants that are common search terms but are difficult to shoehorn into product pages can be semantically worked into the more general narrative of a blog post. This expands the scope of visibility of your core pages, inviting a broader yet still relevant audience to the inner circle of your site.
AZoTopTip: Blog posts can be as general or as technical as you like, occupying any level of the typical sales funnel. Consider a series of posts starting with a top of the funnel piece that naturally links into a new, more application-specific post the following week. This drives engagement while encouraging readers throughout the natural buyer journey.
A custom equipment manufacturer may want to compete for extremely sought-after search terms as broad as ‘industrial furnace’, which may be associated with the product landing page on-site. Blog posts can be used to funnel traffic through to the landing page by targeting the same keyword with a search term that’s more likely to attract a broad readership, i.e. ‘5 Unique Types of Industrial Furnace’. This offers plenty of opportunities to link internally to product pages, alongside a final link back to the hierarchical keyword page.
Thermcraft is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of thermal processing equipment and custom furnaces for industrial, commercial, and academic applications. Understanding the limitations of their own digital presence, they turned to AZoNetwork for support from the SEO services team.
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We employed the above steps to enhance their organic search results, and in a short period, they had transformed from a site with no organic listings whatsoever to a true competitor for desirable search terms. Thermcraft now ranks on the first page of Google results for all of their top keywords, with an increase in organic traffic of 72.46% and an enhanced inquiry rate of over 24.23%. This is due to the combined factors of the SEO program, with blog posts accounting for a site growth of 60+ high-quality, relevant posts.
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