Developing a Web Presence That Stands Out
In a shark-infested sea of industrial integration companies, how do you stand out? You’re working hard to make a name for yourself, building off successful projects to become the “go-to” automation solution provider.
But if you’re looking to grow your operation, word of mouth can only get you so far. There are thousands of potential customers who don’t know where to start with automation. And where do people go when they don’t know where to start? The web.
The large integration houses, OEMs and distributors invest quite a bit of time and money on their web presence. They play the search engine optimization (SEO) game to earn top ranks in Google for high-value keywords like “industrial automation” and “robotic welding.” Some are even willing to pay more than $10 for a click in the ultra-competitive palletizing space.
Unless your website is well established and has earned Google’s attention as a trusted and authoritative resource, you are likely to be crushed in the search game for the most popular industrial search terms. Fortunately, there are still some ways to get noticed where it counts the most.
Embrace Your Niche
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to build a specialty. FOMO (fear of missing out) can lead integrators to send out a message that they handle all things automated for any industry and application imaginable. Even if you can truly handle any challenge that comes your way, you face a strategic choice about how you present yourself: Do you want your message to be generically relevant among a larger crowd, or highly relevant for a smaller crowd?
Niche messaging that can help improve the quality of your search rankings and help you win future projects with less competition. Have you had success palletizing cans? Totes? Tomatoes? Tell those stories somewhere in your website.
But before you commit to billing yourself as the foremost authority on tomato palletizing, you need to confirm that your solutions have actual customers looking for them. One resource to test keyword topics and see what people are searching for is Answer The Public. Here’s a snippet of the A to Z phrases relating to “palletizing” as an example:
The same type of FOMO can have you chasing projects around the globe and make you miss opportunities in your own backyard. Google picks up local signals to produce search engine results that are also relevant to the user’s geography. On your website, mentioning specific states or regions where you are and where you’ve worked can send geographic signals that boost your visibility to potential customers in your area – at the time they are looking to make contact. Make sure to optimize your Google Business listing to get in on the major search terms that trigger local map results – such as “industrial automation.” That’s a FOMO you can’t afford to miss out on.
The Partner Search feature on motoman.com is a good example of how a local presence can boost visibility. Most visitors (73%) find our partner listings through search engines. And most of them will land on a page that displays the integrators who cover their state. From the heatmap below, the geography of our visitors is spread broadly enough to provide local exposure to partners outside the major industrial hubs.
Partner Pages Stats (motoman.com: 11/17 – 11/18)
- 4,805 visits to partner pages from 4,046 users.
- 73.3% of the visits came from search engines
- Partner page visitors spend 257% more time on site than the average
- They view an average of 11 pages per visit, compared to the site average of 2.7 pages.
- Partner page visitors are three times more likely to convert to sales leads.
- More than 140 sales leads were generated from partner page visits. These are just the ones we know about, because…
- Visitors clicked to external partner websites 5,411 times
Get That “Link Juice”
About that last stat: One of the biggest ranking factors for the Google algorithm is the weight of quality inbound links that point to your website. When big, trusted websites link to you, it passes some of their authority to your site (and high-quality web traffic!). You can use this tool to find out how your Domain Authority and Page Rank scores compare to other websites.
Earning valuable links from authoritative sources takes hard work. One simple way you can start building your link profile is to make sure you have ownership of your listings in major industry directories – including the RIA, ThomasNet, any trade organizations your customers play in, and your OEM partner websites. Spend time optimizing your listings to stand out with images, video, and a strong call-to-action that gives people a compelling reason to click over to your website.
Bottom line: The days of gaming Google for high rankings are over. Businesses earn their search status with specific, authentic and meaningful web content. You’re already working to build trust with customers face-to-face. Duplicating those business-winning messages on your website is a natural extension of that effort.
Steve Rueckhaus – Sr. Digital Marketing Specialist, MSPNet administrator