SEO Basics for Manufacturers and Industrial Companies

You know you want more new customers, and you know your website is key to getting them to your company, so how can you connect the dots? When you do a Google search, you’re likely to click on a link from one of the first five results. Have you ever given any thought to exactly how one of those sites gets to a top slot? It’s a lead generation tactic fueled by organic search and search engine optimization (SEO) to drive your target audience to your website. If you’re new to the marketing world for manufacturers, let’s take a step back to the basics of SEO and how it all started.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and how the search engines — Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., — use a formula to determine the results for a user’s search. This is called a search engine algorithm (“algorithms” are the formulas used by search engines to determine the search results). Google updates it’s SEO algorithm every day. While this can be difficult to keep up with, the SEO algorithm updates keep marketers focused on creating quality website content. SEO isn’t about “quick fixes” or “tricks” to get a handful of your pages to rank. Good SEO is about fundamental, sustainable and proven best practices, implemented and refined over time.

What Does SEO Have To Do With Marketing?

Quality content relevant to your industrial buyers keeps them engaged on your website and increases the chance of converting them to a sale. When search engines are crawling websites to bring relevant web pages up for users, they’re looking for a number of key factors: content, keywords, site usability, backlinks, and page authority. So think about it this way: Your e-books, site copy and company information are all part of effective content marketing and are likely to have relevant keywords. The usability is all about website user experience and design — how easy it is to navigate through your website. Backlinks look to social media and all the other website pages that are referring back to your site. And page authority is everything tied together — basically, how relevant is your website to your specific industrial products or services. How did all this marketing get so complicated?

What Does SEO Mean For Manufacturers Today?

In the 20th century, manufacturing was a roller coaster, with the majority of industrial companies coming out on top of their game. New clients rolled in with help from word-of-mouth referrals, direct mailings, and directories like our own Thomas Register. As years went on and the “big green books” went out of print, prospective customers moved online, opening a floodgate of possible business opportunities — if you knew how to get found. With an increasingly large amount of data available on the internet in the past twenty years, buyers and purchasing managers began to turn there, as opposed to business acquaintances, for supplier and product information. In the early 2000s, companies were rushing to build websites, stuff them with keywords, buy backlinks from cheap, overseas SEO agencies, and cross their fingers that they’d get found. Getting to the first page of Google became, and still is, a key priority for manufacturers and industrial companies. However, some industries tend to lag behind other companies in the B2B space — especially when it comes to marketing. For example, other sectors have already mastered using virtual reality and newer social media platforms, which are great for SEO, but not everyone in our industry prioritizes having an updated responsive website. As the tail end of the millennial generation ages, graduates from college, and enters the workforce, these trends in internet usage continue to intensify. Millennials (roughly aged 20 to 36) in engineering and purchasing roles throughout the industrial industry rely on the internet, particularly search engines, to find the information they need to make informed specification and purchase decisions. The internet spurned a period of intense, rapid change in the way businesses operate. Specifics have changed in the past 25 years, but the environment of constant change remains, especially in the SEO field. The best way to manage and stay ahead of all this constant change is to stay informed on marketing trends and understanding your target audience so you can be where your buyers are and adjust your strategies based on their behaviors. Did you find this useful?

Contact Us to Learn How David Gural Inc. Can Improve Your SEO

Nancy and ThomasNet Provide a Good Value for Our Investment

I have had the pleasure of working with Nancy O’Brien for the past year. She took over our ThomasNet account and convinced me to renew our contract.  She explained the benefits, reviewed the past history, and helped improve our listings. Nancy took the time to listen to who we are and what we need, then tailored the offering to match.  She is very professional.

Since the contract was signed, she has suggested and implemented changes to help us further improve our performance.  She schedules routine visits and web meetings to review our account based on my schedule.  She is always prompt and prepared.  Because of her efforts, I feel that we are getting a good value for our investment in her service.



Jim Tallia, President

Anchor Pump & Engineered Equipment

ThomasNet is our Most Effective Marketing and Sales Platform.

ThomasNet has been our most effective marketing and sales platform for years and much more this past year (2016). We saw an increase in quality RFQs and leads, as well as site traffic in general. Nancy O’Brien was instrumental in getting our listing refined and more effective, while also putting us on track to have our site remodeled and made mobile responsive in 2017. We are looking forward to many more years of growth and success with ThomasNet.

Andrew Springer

Marketing Manager

Springer Pumps, LLC

Thomas is our #1 salesman!!!!!

We have been a Thomas Customer for 20+ years.   Of the dozens of manufactures rep we deal with, Lisa GRIEGEL is by far the best.  She has given us guidance in developing many successful marketing programs. Through Lisa and Thomas we have established 100’s of accounts with one customer awarding us multiple million dollar contracts which alone paid for our advertising many times over.  Thomas is currently working on our new e-commerce enabled website which we think will deliver us even better results.  Thomas is our #1 salesman!!!!!

Tom Bowen

AB Industrial Pump

Thank You For Your Support!

We started advertising with Thomas Regional Directory back in the early 2000’s with the support of Robert Griegel but had transitioned away from ThomasNet in the past few years.  Then one of our vendors, Astro Machine, was having great success so I asked their president what kind of advertising they were utilizing and they said ThomasNet.  Turns out, they were being supported by Robert Griegel’s daughter, Lisa, who is now providing Enser the same outstanding guidance and support.

Lisa’s knowledge of social media, SEO and online marketing are vital with the constantly evolving online marketing trends and techniques.  Her ideas and suggestions have resulted in driving more traffic to our website and increased opportunities.

The overall result has been extremely effective and Lisa’s attention to detail is unparalleled, thank you for your support!


Marco Arnone


Enser Corp

ThomasNet delivering calls and RFQs daily!

Hi Mike,

I am very thankful for the day Mike Chettle called on us!

Let me start from the beginning.  We are a small company in a VERY competitive business against MUCH larger companies.  When I first met Mike, our business was in trouble.  Our 2 year-old website was bringing in almost zero business and hadn’t for over a year.  No calls.  No RFQ’s.  Nothing.

We were just getting started creating a new website when Mike first called us.   The problem was we didn’t really know what we were doing and had no idea how our site was going to compete with dozens of competitors with much larger and more established websites.  Mike offered to help if we would consider advertising in ThomasNet when the site was done, to which we agreed.

Well, long story short, Mike devised a brilliant strategy using ThomasNet and his own unique keyword optimization skills to get our website found so much that within 3 months of launching our site, we were busier than during Hurricane Sandy!  We were literally getting calls and RFQ’s every day.  And now, 9 months after going live, we’re in the process of adding another boiler!

Thank you so much Mike and ThomasNet.  Our business will always be indebted to you and forever grateful!

Joy Friese

Carey Boiler Works, LLC


Williamsport, PA  17701 

Phone:  1-800-727-7252   |   Fax:  570-327-1800

E-mail:  [email protected]

I would highly recommend anyone to use ThomasNet and Mike!!

Hi Mike,

A Big Thank You to Mike Chettle and ThomasNet!!

About a year ago I was unhappy with the amount of activity I was getting from my website.  My concern was that our business was becoming too competitive to get noticed any more.  But since I started working with Mike Chettle and ThomasNet, the number and quality of RFQ’s we’ve received has increased dramatically.

Mike really took the time to understand my business and what it would take to drive more and higher quality traffic to our website.  The combination of Mike’s expertise in optimizing our website and leads coming from our ThomasNet listings has made a huge difference to my business success in acquiring new customers.

I would highly recommend anyone to use ThomasNet and Mike’s services if you’re looking to generate more leads and sales for your company.  They’re top notch!

Thanks again for all of your help.

Bill Baehrle, President

BB Tees, Inc.

Mike Chettle &ThomasNet produce NEW CUSTOMERS!

A huge thank you!

We have been working with Mike Chettle and ThomasNet for a couple months and the difference has been enlightening.  Mike has proven to be truly skilled at web marketing, and that combined with our prominence on ThomasNet, has really succeeded in getting our company noticed in the markets we want and need.

Since Mike started this venture with us, RFQ’s generated from our website have gone from one a month to about 20 a month.  Just the other day I had three RFQ’s come to my email within an hour, that is truly fantastic!  Most importantly, they are solid leads and exactly what we are looking for.  We have already acquired three substantial new customers and couldn’t have done it without Mike and ThomasNet.  I would highly recommend Mike’s expertise to anyone who needs to get more new customers.


Thank you so much!


Alex Seyler,

Director of Sales and Marketing

Palcon LLC