A new study released by Fathom SEO finds that the majority of manufacturer web sites miss the boat when it comes to even the most basic search optimization techniques. The study, "U.S. Manufacturers Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Sales Leads" explored 350 industrial sector web sites and analyzed basic SEO techniques like use of title tags and appropriate amounts of page copy.

Michael Murray, vice president of Fathom SEO commented on the findings of the report in a statement issued by the company earlier today. “It doesn’t make sense for manufacturers to ignore SEO. Whether it’s one local facility or a large company with many regional offices, these businesses often sell throughout the United States, and globally in some cases. An effective SEO strategy can take them to the top of search engines - a prime way to attract new customers.”

While the study found that 85% of sites had enough copy on each page that the sites could actually be optimized, almost 75% of the sites didn't even have an effective title tag written for the home page. That number went up to 80% went Fathom SEO examined internal pages.

Even beyond the idea of adding some proper on-page optimization, the phrases that companies were trying to target almost always missed the boat. Generalized phrases like "chemicals," "frequency," "noise," and "phase" showed up in meta tags, making it fairly clear that no research on the site's target audience had actually been done.

The news wasn't all bad, however. Fathom SEO cites a study done by SVM E-Business Solutions in January 2005 that claims search engine marketing is second only to web site redesign when it comes to marketing plans for the next 12-18 months.

So how can industrial and manufacturing sites get back on track? It's fairly simple, gear up and get those search marketing plans moving now, instead of twelve months from now. It's never too late to begin a search marketing campaign and the fact that so few industrial sites are currently optimized means that the first companies to get on the ball will experience a nice period of playing in the rankings without much competition.

Even simple starting points like reworking title tags and actively seeking incoming links is a great way to get started with search marketing efforts. In the industrial world where landing a single client can mean thousands, or even millions of dollars in profits, the time and effort that needs to be put toward search marketing is more than worth the effort.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
June 7, 2005

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > New Study Shows Lack of SEO for Manufacturers