Online marketing and SEO, how important are they?

It’s no news that marketplace shifts over the past decade have brought big changes for our industry customers. Companies that may not have focused much on online marketing in the past are now considering it. We often hear that a professional online presence is necessary to connect with new business opportunities. 

If you are reading this blog, you are connected to S&B Finishing on either LinkedIn, Facebook or our website. Clearly, maintaining an online professional presence is something we believe valuable for our company. Digital marketing includes social media, our website and blog. SEO  (short for Search Engine Optimization)  has also played into our marketing strategy for several years.

In this blog, we will discuss how important an online presence and digital marketing is, especially in the area of manufacturing. Specifically, we’ll look at how it relates to attracting new business and building trust with our customers.  

What is SEO and how does it relate to marketing?

In a nutshell, SEO uses a set of methods aiming to optimize the visibility of a company website and grow its ranking on search engine results. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! aim to help users (who may become customers) find answers to their questions on the internet.   

SEO is like a magnet that attracts organic search traffic to a website. Traffic comes from people who are conducting online searches related to whatever that site is communicating, such as a product or service.  In terms of marketing content, SEO not only attracts more viewers to the website, but it filters viewings in a way that targets the right kind of prospects for that business. 

For companies marketing online, increased website traffic can translate into increased potential for leads and sales. This is why marketers emphasize optimizing your website and online content for search engines. 

The idea is that SEO helps grow business by bringing more website traffic from viewers looking for your service. Increased exposure spells more opportunities. The caveat is these people need to be a fit for your product or service. They also need to be serious buyers.

How easy is it to rank on search?

To begin with, let’s look at the idea of trying to rank high on a search engine. Fortunately, there are many professionals who offer SEO services and plenty of blogs that go into detail about this topic.

Since Google handles 85% of web traffic, their algorithms are the focus of most SEO marketing tactics. According to Hubspot, which publishes resources on digital marketing, the very popularity of Google can make it more challenging to rank highly on this particular search engine. That’s because so many other companies are vying for the same traffic. 

Key to attracting qualified visitors is content that specifically targets buyers actively looking for what you offer. This is done by filtering certain keywords or text that targets a specific type of audience that fits your product or service.

Having an effective website that is easy for visitors to navigate and provides relevant information is the baseline for search engine ranking. This means the design is clean, allowing for important information to be seen easily.

Finally, it’s imperative that a site is optimized for smart phones and different kinds of devices. Since 2015, mobile devices beat desktops in search for the first time, more people are using mobile devices to find what they are looking for each day. 

What SEO does beyond attracting business

One advantage of digital marketing is the ability to take advantage of the internet’s extensive reach to pull in customers from around the country or world. In our case, most S&B Finishing customers are located within a radius of 50 miles. This is one reason high SEO hits are not a significant source of new customers for our business. Still, this doesn’t mean including SEO as part of your digital marketing has no value. 

The use of SEO tactics does more than help increase rank on search engines, it also optimizes the overall functionality of a website. This creates a better and more comfortable experience for the viewer. Ranking high can be looked at like a litmus test. It can attest to the high quality of your online presence. Being clear and communicative in the virtual world is part of the bigger picture of being a quality business. 

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Can an online presence build trust in your company?

Can a company get a step ahead of its competition by creating a trustworthy website and gaining a higher ranking of organic viewers? That depends. 

Showing up as approachable and professional in every possible capacity is part of building trust. That includes a professional online image that reflects the solidity of a business. This helps build trust in a company the same way an attractive, orderly store front or reception room would. 

As a business takes the steps to make its online presence attractive to search, a by-product should be high-quality, optimized website content. These external factors are part of a larger package that serves to build a feeling of security and trust for customers and potential customers. 

Beyond a professional image, how we communicate and treat each other as a team makes difference. I’ve always said that it’s people who count. Personal relationships are key to how we have done business for the past 46 years. It extends to treating our vendors, suppliers, customers, and employees well through clear and direct communication. Our digital presence supports this communication.

What is your experience with digital marketing? Let us know in the comments.