You Know SEO is Important — You Just Don’t Know How to Get Started
You’re not alone. Most plastics manufacturers lack a strategic search engine optimization (SEO) program — favoring instead the more traditional methods of sales and marketing that carried their businesses over recent decades and leading up to the pandemic. They may be aware of SEO for plastics manufacturers, but they’ve not built an active ongoing strategy. Some organizations have even built new sites to better engage and serve their audience but neglect to properly optimize it — leaving it effectively dead in the water.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a seasoned content marketer or web developer to implement the fundamentals of SEO for plastics manufacturers for your site. Here, we’ll go over a few essential steps and what you can do to get started.
An important note: SEO is a long-term process that requires consistent effort. Learn more about the importance of being consistent with SEO.
How to Get Started with SEO for Plastics Manufacturers
1. Know your audience, their pains, and their goals.
This is paramount because it will influence virtually every part of your SEO program. It’s important that your web assets — the core site, blog content, paid search efforts, etc. — are targeting the right people and speaking to their needs, otherwise site visitors will get nothing from it and move on in their search. A few recommendations:
- Develop personas — A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer. Usually, businesses will have more than one, but don’t get caught up in creating too many. Aim for a few that best represent the types of buyers you work with and their most common beliefs, challenges, and goals. Learn more about personas here.
- Talk to sales — Where better to learn prospects’ most frequent questions and issues? Your sales team speaks to your target audience every day, so ensure you’re getting their insights. It will help shape your plastics manufacturing SEO strategy.
- Develop a messaging framework — With personas developed and an understanding of your audience’s most pressing needs, messaging can be developed that speaks to each audience and how your plastics manufacturing business supports them.
2. Focus on SEO fundamentals.
SEO is a broad discipline that focuses on multiple elements and strategies — all to bring more (and better) traffic to your site, drive more conversions, and increase revenue. We won’t get into the technical aspects of SEO here, but here are a few things to focus on when optimizing pages and content on the site.
- Target keyword — This is the specific term that you’re optimizing the page for. While there is an art and science to selecting a keyword, what matters most is that it’s a keyword your audience would use. Remember, how your business describes something may not be how your audience does. Keep this in mind as you consider the term to optimize for.
- Headers and content — Headings and body copy on web pages should contain your keyword, but make sure not to overdo it. Aim for a couple of headers (with the main heading being the most critical) in which to use the keyword and a few places in the body copy.
- Page title and meta description — The page title (separate from the H1 heading) is how the page will appear in search results. Ensure it contains the keyword. The meta description is a snippet of text that also appears in search results. It does not have to contain the keyword but it does help to include it to tie everything together for searchers.
3. Optimize your core site first.
Your core website is the foundation of your entire SEO effort. Typically, core pages such as the home page and service line pages will see the most traffic — even above any new content you create. That’s why it’s important to ensure these pages are fully optimized.
- Home page — Ensure this page immediately communicates what you do and its value. It should be a summary of every other section of your side — services/capabilities, industries you serve, company information, certifications, recent news or blogs, and more. The job of the home page is to capture high-level traffic and push them deeper into your site. Think of it as the first step in your prospects’ journey.
- Service pages — After the home page, these will likely be the pages that see the most traffic on your site. Communicate what the service is, its value, and provide examples or helpful resources to demonstrate your strength in each. Ensure there are strong calls to action to connect with your team or learn more about how this service makes a difference.
- Everything else — Ensure the rest of the site (About section, certifications, industries you serve, blogs, etc.) contains the SEO essentials outlined above.
4. Create helpful content that answers questions and delights visitors.
With your core site optimized, you’ll now use the information gleaned in step one to inform a content strategy. Gather the topics/pains/questions from those sources, and begin to develop informative content that addresses them.
- Blogs — Blogs are articles that cover a specific topic using a related keyword. Aim for 500 to 1,000 words (or more if needed based on the topic), but be sure to address the topic in a helpful, engaging way. People tend to skim blogs, so make it count! The goal is to educate and delight readers so they perceive you as a subject matter expert and want to work with you for that particular pain or need.
- Downloadable assets — Think ebooks, guides, checklists, etc. These are more valuable content assets that demand contact information in exchange for the asset — usually because they’re longer or provide even greater advice or solutions.
- New site pages — A common strategy is to expand the core site by adding new pages that speak to the industries, areas, products, or materials you’re involved with. As long as there is a relevant keyword to be used, it’s worth doing and evaluating over time.
5. Keep an eye on the data.
Using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or other SEO tooling, keep an eye on your core site and the new content you create. Understand that not all of it will perform, and eventually you may need to “prune” some of it off your site (Google doesn’t like bulky sites with a lot of underperforming pages). Look for pages that drop in traffic over time. Reoptimize them to see if it will right the ship, but if not don’t be afraid to remove and redirect them. Conversely, look for high-performing pages and content. With these, you’ll want to keep that content fresh and engaging while adding calls to action to drive visitors to a contact page or other good next step.
Let’s Build Your Plastics Manufacturing SEO Strategy
Athena offers two solutions for plastics manufacturing SEO support — Athena 2.0, our integrated inbound and outbound solution with complete sales support, as well as Athena 1.0 — a lighter offering for smaller manufacturing businesses that also includes sales coordination. Whether you’re looking to put this important digital strategy to work for the first time or need to take your growth to the next level, our firm is ready to partner with you on the most ideal solution for your goals.