Many industrial marketers still find SEO, or search engine optimization, a mystery. In a perfect world, Search Engine Optimization would be a one-time task. A website would be developed, its content would be optimized for target keywords and before you know it, the website would acquire a number of inbound links and start ranking well with the search engines for those target keywords.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In reality, SEO isn’t just about adding keywords and linking and it’s certainly not a one-time occurrence. Search engine optimization is the practice of on and off-site techniques that rank your company higher in the natural, or organic search process; drive more visitors to your website; keep the visitors on the website longer; and ultimately convince prospective customers to take desired actions: whether that’s making a phone call, filling out a form, sending an email, or actually submitting an RFQ. SEO requires a great deal of expertise and insight into the technical, creative, content driven, and increasingly social sides of digital marketing.
If you want to outpace your competitors, it requires that you are FOUND on the Internet. An ongoing SEO program will draw visitors to your website who are already searching for your products or services, as opposed to traditional marketing tactics such as advertising, direct mail, and trade shows, which attempt to attract people who may have no interest whatsoever in what you do. Ongoing SEO is one of the most cost-effective, results driven marketing tactics available to the industrial marketer. If you want your marketing efforts to show ROI and increase sales, an SEO program is not an option – it’s a necessity.
Here are the reasons why industrial companies need to outsource their ongoing SEO program:
1. Ongoing SEO efforts are necessary because the search engine industry changes often. The major search engines are constantly fine-tuning which means the search engine landscape is dynamic, not static. An SEO consultant that is on top of continual search engine changes can provide invaluable adjustments to your website, saving time and money, and providing your company with a competitive advantage.
2. The average industrial company cannot afford an on-site SEO specialist. This aspect of digital marketing has become so complex, it truly requires complete focus on what is increasingly becoming more of a science than a marketing tactic. Few industrial marketers have the knowledge necessary to drive results with SEO, and even if they do, they are tasked with so many other responsibilities that they could never give SEO the attention it requires to be successful.
3. Even if you have in-house IT support, SEO will never be a priority. In-house IT departments are first and foremost tasked with keeping the organization’s computers, other communication devices and programmed systems running as they should. (After all, SEO is Marketing’s responsibility, right?)
4. Most industrial companies don’t actively or effectively use website analytics. This is especially important, as marketers are increasingly held accountable for showing ROI for their marketing initiatives. Qualified SEO consultants have the necessary experience in monitoring keyword traffic, referral trends, time spent on sites, visitor interaction, social media conversations and other vital metrics to enable you to make smarter decisions about what’s working and what’s not.
An experienced SEO consultant can build a website with the latest SEO techniques, or can audit an existing site in order to make instant recommendations for improvement. Over time, they will do the work necessary to improve the company’s keyword rankings; analyze website traffic metrics that will enable them to make adjustments; keep rankings high once this has been achieved; and provide insight and recommendations about how to keep visitors on the website long enough to convince and convert.