You've heard it plenty of times: You should be online; people are searching for your company online; if you are not online, you are missing out on opportunities.
These statements aren't wrong, but they're incomplete. Being online is one thing, but the real goal should be to have a strong online presence: this gets you results.
A strong online presence begins with a quality website and quality content. These two factors help you get one step closer to your business goal: increase exposure on the search engines.
Increase Exposure on Search Engines
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and BING are where you want to appear. Why? According to ThomasNet's Knowledge Brief: Buyers are Searching Smarter, 4 out of 5 buyers research products before contacting a sales rep. Industrial buyers know how to find exactly what they want quickly: they use long-tail (3-4 keyword) search terms.
Industrial buyers may use services, industry, certifications, tolerances, capabilities, types of finish, etc. in their searches. An example of a long-tail search term an industrial buyer might use is: "Automotive stamping Cincinnati Ohio." The search phrase is to the point; if the search was for "metal stamping," irrelevant results may appear.
Appear on the Search Engines: How
The key to generating search engine exposure is content optimization. Content optimization is the process of creating content that is relevant and attractive to BOTH the search engines and website visitors. According to Google's SEO Starter Guide, Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any other factor. The takeaway here is to create content that is relevant and valuable. The purpose of your content should be to inform; answer the questions buyers typically ask about your services. A helpful tip: the questions buyers ask are how they search for you. Answering these questions increases potential of appearing on the search engines for relevant search terms.
Web Pages: Home of the Content
Maintaining your web pages by continually refreshing or adding content is important. The more relevant, fresh content you have on your website, the better the chances of generating search engine exposure.
Potential Results from a Strong Online Presence
Having a strong online presence helps you become more accessible to industrial buyers and increases your credibility and reputation. Industrial Grinding, a Grinding & Metallizing service provider, is a great example of an industrial company with a strong web presence. According to Richard Wick, President of Industrial Grinding, creating portfolio pages of their past work on their website helped generate traffic to their website from search engines like Google and Yahoo! Sales Manager and Vice
President of Industrial Grinding, Marcus Wendling, stated "For many years, well over 90% of our business has been obtained within a 90-100 mile radius. Now we're seeing an increase in the amount of RFQs from places like Canada, Alabama, Florida, Texas, and all over the country."
They've entered new markets and are increasing their exposure as you read this. You can start potentially obtaining similar results by investing in a strong online presence. The first step is a quality website.
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