Three Myths About SEO That Kill Manufacturers

Whether a manufacturer ignores or uses search engine optimization, certain misconceptions or myths can easily undermine lead generation.

Whether a manufacturer ignores or uses search engine optimization, certain misconceptions or myths can easily undermine the potential lead generation effectiveness this marketing technique can produce. Here are three myths common among manufacturers.

Myth 1: We Don’t Need A Mobile Website

Some manufacturers think mobile websites are fine for a restaurant, but we don’t need one. Our customers are businesses. Purchasing agents and engineers work on computers.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Since 2014, mobile Internet access has exceeded desktop access. How much of that access affects manufacturers? It may be hard to say in general, but specifically, in terms of your manufacturing website, you can tell with a high degree of precision, because Google allows you to segment and track mobile/desktop traffic.

Since the best way to explode myths is with facts, the first step in any discussion of a mobile-friendly website should begin with an evaluation of your current tracking sources. Keep in mind, though, that mobile and desktop traffic is not an either-or proposition; many times it is both.

For instance, an engineer may research a new widget on his iPhone over lunch, find a widget manufacturer website he likes, email the link to himself and study the website in detail from his desktop later that afternoon. Even if you are tracking mobile traffic, short visits could be misleading. In this example, a single 10-second page visit could be the first step in a $100,000 widget order.

There is no question mobile-friendly websites are important for mobile users and no question they are important for SEO. Google is continually adding emphasis to mobile-friendly Web content in its organic search algorithm, and a non-mobile-friendly website will definitely hurt rankings on mobile searches. It could hurt rankings even on desktop searches.

Not sure whether your website is mobile friendly? Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test and find out in five seconds.

Myth 2: Our Sales Force Generates Leads

Many manufacturers are sales-driven, relying on direct sales employees and independent agents to generate new leads and revenue. For this reason, they tend to view SEO and Internet marketing in general as being redundant or unnecessary. There are lots of reasons to question this position:

  • The more time sales talent spends closing deals, the better. SEO could be a faster and more cost-effective way to generate leads, something that takes a lot of sales time if reps are doing it from the ground up.
  • Google users currently conduct more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Even the hardest working, most talented sales team in the world can only reach an infinitesimal fraction of the total demand for a company’s products and services. SEO may or may not be necessary to a given manufacturer, but it is possible that SEO could extend its reach far deeper into the market than is assumed. Again, facts help: Keyword research for important search terms will reveal their search volume — high volume means high online demand and strong opportunity for successful SEO.
  • Even when search demand is moderate, strong organic visibility on Google has great value, as a defensive maneuver to keep competitors from capturing whatever leads are available. An SEO campaign can help manufacturers keep small competitors from getting bigger and can help small manufacturers get bigger — especially when those big competitors ignore SEO.

Myth 3: We Can’t Afford SEO

Perhaps because they are sales driven, manufacturers often believe they do not have the resources to invest in sales and Internet marketing. Of course, every company has budgeting economics, but here are two very important considerations that should go into the budget calculation:

  • Manufacturers with high-cost products don’t need many conversions to generate extremely high ROI on an SEO investment. For instance, a sale generating $24,000 in profit would pay for a robust SEO campaign — a single conversion per year would pay for it. Over time, if SEO were successful, conversions would almost certainly grow.
  • Manufacturers with high- and low-cost products should consider the lifetime value of a new customer. If ROI for SEO (or any other marketing campaign) is based on the transaction value alone, the true ROI may be grossly underestimated.

Look At The Facts

It’s worth mentioning again: facts explode SEO myths. With a clear understanding of your website traffic, online search demand for your products and services, and the transactional and lifetime value of customers, you are in position to make an informed decision about whether and how much SEO is a prudent investment.

About the Author: Brad Shorr is the B2B Marketing Director at Straight North. They are a B2B Chicago-based Internet marketing firm that offers SEO, PPC and website design services to businesses throughout the U.S. to increase their online visibility. With Schorr’s many years of industry experience, he has been featured on sites such as Forbes, Smashing Magazine and Moz.

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