In this white board video, we introduce a handful of the most important Google ranking factors as of 2017. Then, we explore the two we believe are most important in depth: 1) Content relevance, quality and comprehensiveness and 2) Backlinks from credible websites.

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Video transcript

Hey, everybody. I’m Joe Sullivan, a Co-founder of industrial marketing agency, Gorilla 76, and today we’re talking about SEO, or search engine optimization, for manufacturers. So there are all kinds of things that Google is gonna take into account when deciding which pages to show you for any given search query. As of 2017, some of the top ranking factors include: content relevance, quality and comprehensiveness, links from other authoritative websites into your site, mobile device friendliness, page load speeds, site security and social media signals. But we really want you to focus on these first two because they’re probably where you’re gonna get the most bang for your buck, especially if you’re just getting started with SEO.

So, let’s talk about this first one. You kind of have to think of Google as a business. The way that your business or my business competes with other businesses, Google competes with Yahoo and Bing and the other search engines. And in order to kind of remain the best search engine and to keep you coming back, Google’s gotta satisfy your search results on a regular basis. So let’s just say you are a manufacturer of industrial ovens. That means your site is gonna have to have some of the best, highest quality content out there about things like custom curing ovens and manufacturing furnaces or whatever topics are relevant to your business, if you want Google to be consistently showing your pages to searchers who could be relevant customers for you. But what does the best content really mean? We really point to these three things: relevance, quality, and comprehensiveness.

So, is the content on your website relevant to the search queries that are probably being executed in Google searches by your audience? Is the content on your site of high quality? And we’re gonna talk later about sort of what signals to Google, whether something is high quality or not. But in short, you really need to be just producing really good, educational, helpful, problem-solving content. And then, the comprehensiveness of your content. Is it sort of shallow, surface level stuff on your site about your products and services? Or are you really going into depth and answering questions and solving problems for your customers? And that’s kind of the stuff Google is looking for these days.

You’ve gotta consider also that you’re not the only one out there producing content. If you were to do a Google search right now for “industrial oven manufacturer,” at least, as of yesterday when I did the search, it turned up over 12 million page results. Of course that doesn’t mean that there are 12 million industrial oven manufacturers out there, but it does mean that there are 12 million-some pages that Google has deemed relevant in some way, shape or form to that particular search query. So, regardless of who your real life competition is, that’s kind of what you’re dealing with as far as competition goes online. So, for your stuff to rise to the surface above all the garbage, you really need to focus on relevance, quality, and comprehensiveness for your content.

Okay. So now that we’ve sort of talked about this idea of creating great content and getting all that stuff out there to represent you in the online space and hopefully attract the right people to you, we need to teach Google what that content’s about. We need to help Google understand what all those pages on your site are about, if Google is gonna be able to show those to people in the first place. So, there are some best practices here that you’re gonna want to focus on on individual pages of your website. And you need to think of every individual page on your website as a different keyword ranking opportunity. On every page on your site, you want to choose a keyword that makes sense and sort of describes what this page is about. And you want to be able to use that in the page title, you want to use the same keyword in your URL or website address, in the main headline on your page, and maybe one of the sub-headlines, and maybe a few times in the body copy.

All that stuff sort of tells Google what this page is about and helps Google index it properly. What you don’t want to do is over-stuff this page with that keyword. That’s kind of an antiquated practice that marketers used years ago to try to outsmart Google and game the system. Not only is Google not gonna look at that as a beneficial thing for you. Now, you’re probably gonna get penalized for it. So, keyword stuffing is a bad thing. You just want to be smart about using it in these proper places on the page so Google kind of understands what your page is about.

Okay. So let’s jump over to the second big SEO factor here – back-links from authoritative websites to your website. Let’s say this is your website right here, and then here’s your sister’s blog. Your sister writes a blog about your family, and because she’s proud of you, she decides, “Oh, I’m gonna mention my brother or my sister and I’m gonna link to your company website right here.” Well, the first thing to note is that Google sees this link right here and it’s gonna sort of recognize that this is a vote of confidence, in a way, for your site. But because your sister’s blog probably isn’t the most authoritative website out there, and because it’s about your family and not about what your company does, this link’s probably not gonna help you a whole lot with SEO related to the things that are on your website.

Now, on the other hand, let’s say that you’ve been smart about getting your business listed in industry directories and maybe you even wrote a guest article on a small industry journal site. Okay, Google sees this link and says, “Industry relevant website, fairly credible website. This link’s gonna have some value in terms of SEO for your company.”

And then let’s say you’ve really taken to heart this idea of writing this relevant, high quality content and you’ve even gone as far as to get it out there and pitch it and promote it and try to get it picked up by industry journals, and all of a sudden picks up your content, publishes one of your articles, links back to your site. This is all of a sudden a huge vote of confidence for your site. It tells Google that, “Hmm, this website must have some credibility because we’ve got these sort of industry relevant, credible sources linking back to it.”

Okay. So that’s kind of the concept here, and not only are you getting exposure in front of the right audience and hopefully getting some click-throughs from these sites to yours, but those inbound links are really what gives you the SEO juice.

So, we’ve talked about creating the relevant content, we’ve talked about building back-links from authoritative sites to your site. “How do we go about actually making this happen?” is really the big question. And as far as the first point here goes – creating that relevant, really exceptional, high quality, comprehensive content – you gotta start with the problems your customers are having and the questions they’re asking on a regular basis or conversations that these prospects are having with your sales team. If you can start answering some of those questions, solving some of those problems with written content or video content like this, that’s the type of stuff you want to really focus on. Write educational articles, publish videos, publish case studies and white papers and things that are gonna be helpful to your buyer, your potential customer during their buying processes. And if you can start doing that stuff on a regular basis, maybe publishing 500 or 1,000 words of content a month and then you start working towards 2,000, 3,000 words a month, it’ll kind of start to snowball for you.

But on the other side of things, building those back-links and really telling Google that, “Yeah, this is a credible source of information and these are good pieces of content.” How do we sort of get that credibility in place? And that’s about building those back-links. And so, you want to be able to promote all that content relentlessly. Reach out to editors of trade journals. If you work in the automotive space – are a manufacturer of automotive parts, reach out to automotive news. Or if you’re in the food space, reach out to food manufacturing magazines. Try to pitch your content. Get that stuff picked up and they’ll build those links back to your site. That’s what’s gonna kind of move the needle from an SEO standpoint.

So, that’s really it. In the page notes. I’m gonna list some resources related to SEO, and I would also encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to get content like this in your inbox a couple times a month. Thanks for watching.