We Moved A Contract Manufacturing Company in a Large US City to the Top of Google for Their Target Keywords
A contract manufacturing company in a large US city approached us for SEO help, because they were ranking on page 2 of Google or lower for the majority of their target keywords. In the words of the company president, “When you search for our keywords, many small machine shops rank near the top, and their websites are terrible! We should appear near the top of Google rankings, yet we’re stuck on page two.”
Our objective was to make sure that their site was targeting the right customers, and that our client was near the top of Google for their target keyword phrases.
For this contract manufacturer, they have two visitor profiles they are trying to reach: engineers and product designers, and procurement—the people who write checks in the organizations.
The website was better than local competitors, but was still missing some important information and resources. We improved these aspects of the website, as well as design. We also needed to improve their link profile, including third-party sites.
Read to the end to see how we ranked then #1 in Google for their target search term.
Project Goals and Their Solutions
Goal #1: Bring more engineers to the site for calculation tools. The product designers and engineers often find a white-label manufacturer for fulfillment, and convince the procurement department to write checks to the contract company.
Goal #2: Rank at the top of Google in the local market for contract manufacturing services that they provided. When we began, they were not ranking on page one for many of their target keywords.
Goal #3: Make organic SEO a lead generation source for the sales team. At the time, Google was not a big lead generation source. Most of their leads were coming from third-party sites like ThomasNet, referrals, and word-of-mouth.
Goal #4: Outrank smaller “amateur” shops, and become the go-to manufacturing company in the local market. Company leadership invested into having cutting edge equipment and facilities, and wanted more people to know about it.
What We Did to Improve the Manufacturer’s Rankings
Our SEO work was a four-month engagement, in which we improved the content of the website, the design and presentation of the site, the inbound link profile, and third-party listings. We also made a few one-time technical SEO improvements, in the robots.txt file, 301 redirects, 404 cleanup, and getting correct XML sitemaps in Google Search Console.
The screenshot above shows rankings improvements about two months after our work ended. Important to note, their rankings continued to move for a few months after changes were complete, as Google kept evaluating their pages vs other competitors.
Our SEO Efforts and What We Learned
Some of the things we learned or confirmed during this SEO campaign:
- Having dedicated pages to a service offering is better than mentioning it once on your home page.
- Being thorough in information is a sign of quality, and site visitors seem to like those pages better.
- Design is a differentiator in SEO. Better looking sites outperform outdated sites.
- Google looks for “patterns” of page topics or page elements that correlate to pages that seemed to satisfy search queries in the past.
- Google does not look only at your website and your GMB (Google My Business/Maps) listing for information. Third-party information is a major part of how Google evaluates what your website is about.
Follow Up: Late 2020
This contract manufacturing company is still riding high in Google for their target keyword terms. For most of the services they offer, they are #1 in their local market.
Quote From Anonymized C-Level Manufacturing Executive
C-Level Executive, Contract Manufacturing Company
We came to John with little to no knowledge of what we were looking for — only knowing that we needed to improve traffic to our site. He developed a game plan for us, executed it in the projected time frame and got us terrific results. I would highly recommend him unless you happen to be a competitor of mine in which case, please use someone less effective.