I won't keep you hanging. Manufacturers can increase website traffic and improve SEO simply by: Optimizing their Google My Business listing.
Many small manufacturers haven't claimed their Google My Business. (In fact, many don't even have websites, but that might be great news for you.) The most important thing to do is claim yours ASAP. Then you can worry about optimization.
Google My Business is crucial for local SEO, as well as general website health. It's also one of the only Google results related to your business that you have complete control over. Google uses its own algorithms to decide what's relevant to each organic search.
When you fill out your business listing, you're choosing exactly what people see about your company.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
1. Use the Google My Business Dashboard
The GMB Dashboard makes it easy to update your listing and check your online performance. It shows you:
- How people found your GMB listing
- Reviews from across the web & response options
- AdWords Express controls and tracking
- Google+ options and insights
- YouTube & Google Analytics data
It's the hub for your Google-related business activities, and you should be logging on at least once a week to make sure everything is up to date and accurate.
2. Make sure all information is consistent
Use your full business name. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) are the same in content and format. This will make it easier for Google to translate your information.
Similarly, you'll want to find and delete/fix any incorrect or misleading duplicate information. If any third party site (like a manufacturer aggregation site or Chamber of Commerce) has outdated info, it'll confuse Google and affect your rankings.
3. Add correct, specific categories
Let's be real: you're probably not going to rank for "manufacturer" any time soon. It's a highly competitive keyword and category, and businesses like Ford, John Deere, and GE are all fighting for the top spots.
Instead, you'll want to follow small business SEO best practices and aim for long-tail keywords and categories. So, instead of "manufacturer" you'll want to list yourself as "ceramic manufacturer" or "metal fabricator." You should only choose one category, and it should reflect your main business as accurately as possible.
4. Add detail in your introduction
Providing more information makes Google's job very easy. It also makes visitors happy - they can see what you're all about with a quick scan. Using some choice keywords won't hurt, either.
Some details to consider adding:
- Phone number for customer service
- Accepted payment types
- Founding year
- Unique benefits - value propositions, packages, inventory management, etc.
- Overview of services
5. Add photos - DO NOT SKIP PHOTOS
We are visual animals. Photos will be a visitor's first impression of your business. Your photos should be high resolution, show the interior and exterior of your main entrance (especially if you're hard to find), and give a peek into your facilities and team. A good photograph can go a long way to building trust.
(It also might be a good idea to look into Indoor Street View.)
6. Encourage reviews/checkins
Yes, you're a manufacturer, but that doesn't mean reviews don't matter. Any social proof you can provide is an extra step in the right direction. Even a negative review is a chance to display customer service and show you're active (online and offline).
So you've optimized your Google My Business listing. Now what can you do to improve SEO?
- Stay active on your GMB dashboard. Make updates as needed, respond to reviews, and use analytics to optimize your listing and other activity.
- Post consistently on Google+. It's not the most lively of social media platforms, but everything you do on Google+ can affect your Google rankings.
- Add video to YouTube. Turns out, manufacturing prospects freaking love videos. YouTube is also owned by Google, so it can affect your rankings as well.
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