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Helping Customers Find Your Products - SEO for Manufacturing Catalogs

Amanda KoehlerAmanda Koehler/Digital Marketing Lead
August 03, 20164 min read

B2B manufacturers have always needed great product catalogs. Paper catalogs have largely given way to online catalogs in the internet age, but it’s not enough to simply publish your paper catalog or internal parts/price list online.

An online catalog should be more than a convenience for current customers. It should draw in customers who’ve never heard of your company as they search for the sorts of products and services you provide. To reach these potential customers, you must optimize your catalog for the web and for search engines. 

Lacking effective Search Engine Optimization, your manufacturer’s website and the product catalog published there will get lost amid the digital competition. SEO counts as much in a B2B manufacturing environment as it does in Google Shopping and other B2C E-commerce listings – even for manufacturers who sell through distributors rather than directly online.

Manufacturers can take these specific steps to make sure that potential customers find their products.

1. Rich Product Names

Product names should reflect the search terms customers use. They search for your products by brand name, product numbers and keywords.  Include these elements in your product names so Google and other search engines recognize that product.

 

Dispense-Rite Product Keyword Example
In this example, product keywords -- “ADJ-1,” the model number, and “In-counter cup dispenser,” the description – appear in the product name.
 

 

2. Product Description

Product descriptions should include information useful to the website visitor.  To optimize product description SEO, the information should also include relevant keywords.
 

HED CanLink
 

The description for this product includes several keywords and keyword phrases. These can be anything from brand names, such as the “HED CANLink” keyword above, or more generic phrases, such as “master controller.” Use several types of keywords to maximize the number of people who will find your product.

3. Meta data

Meta data, including page titles, URLs and meta descriptions, greatly influence the ranking of your product pages in search results.  They also influence the click-or-not-to-click decision when people see your link on a Search Engine Results Page.  Optimizing your products’ meta data is as important for the SERP as it is for your static pages.  Unique, pertinent meta data should attach to each specific product for good product page SEO.

U-Mark SERP

The page title should include the name of the product, model or part number, the brand name of the company and any focus keywords.  Remember to keep your page titles under 55 characters so they do not get cut off in search results.

URLs should include many of the elements in the page title, but do keep URLs concise. 

Meta descriptions can expand on the page title with features and keywords, but should not exceed 140 characters so the full description appears in search results.

4. Supplemental content

Google loves supplemental content, which relates content on the current page to additional information on other pages of your website.   

“Related Items” links show Google that you are maximizing the usability of your product catalog and that you have thought about making it easy for users to find attachments, parts, and additional products.
 

Heinz Jug Pump Supplemental Content

5. Schema.org

Schema is additional information you can insert into the code of your website.  It conveys more product information, such as price, reviews and product IDs.  When you add this code to your site, search engines such as Google display the additional information on the SERP. 
 

Office Star Schema
 

Schema is really useful only if you have reviews and price information on your website.  Without this information, your listing will contain only the three pieces of meta data -- page titles, URLs and meta descriptions -- we discussed above.  But if you do have reviews and prices, schema can greatly influence not only your page rankings but also your click-through rate.

Product Page SEO: The Take-Away

Product pages are the most important pages at a B2B manufacturing website.  The detailed information about your company resides on them. People convert from prospects to customers on them.  That won’t happen if people don’t land on those pages in the first place. Optimize them for SEO.

Amanda KoehlerAmanda Koehler/Digital Marketing Lead

Amanda Koehler is certified in Google Analytics and Google AdWords.  As our digital marketing lead, she focuses on creating marketing strategies for customers like Wildeck, Heartland Advisors,  Curative Care, Snap-on and many others. Through research and data analytics, Amanda helps clients meet their digital marketing goals.

Connect with Amanda on Twitter | Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn | Read Amanda Koehler's Blogs

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