If you think machine shops can ignore their website, think again. No industry is immune to the search spiders and Google’s algorithms. These algorithms are among the most closely guarded IP secrets around, yet inbound marketing people have learned a lot about them empirically. What they’ve discovered are some tendencies that indicate Google will improve search ranking.
Among the factors believed to impact search ranking are the following:
Frequently Updated Content – If you aren’t adding pages or at least changing content on your website frequently, Google considers you stagnant. There are two ways to easily add new content to your site. One is on a company news page, and the other is a company blog. Blogging is important because it can add a diverse collection of content to help go after the long tail of the keyword distribution.
Quality Inbound Links – We’re not talking about link farms. Quality websites linking to your content is considered a strong positive by the Google algorithms. You can measure quality by the MOZ domain authority metric. It’s a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100, and higher is better. It’s similar in many ways to the old Google Page Rank, which is now defunct. But, Domain Authority has more resolution. If a site with good domain authority links back to you, it is generally considered a positive to Google.
Mobile Friendly – Starting in first quarter of 2016, Google began penalizing sites that do not comply with their rules for being mobile friendly. They are common sense rules, like having text big enough to see on an iPhone, or having the the links far enough apart you can click on the one you want.
A Social Media Presence – Over the past year or two, empirical research indicates a strong social media presence associated with a company can boost search rankings. It’s not clear how or why, but it should be enough to know it has an influence.
How Phoenix Machine Shops Play Out
Since I’m in the metro-Phoenix area, I Googled on the keyword phrase “Phoenix Machine Shop.” The number one position was filled by yellowpages.com. The first machine shop showed up in position number 2. I’ll not identify them because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but even this site has a lot of problems. The site comes up on the first page, but has a domain authority of only 12. It has no real social media presence, and it violates four mobile friendly rules. In fact, this site performs poorly enough that I suspect in a few months my own website will rank fairly high when somebody googles “Phoenix Machine Shop,” specifically because of this very blog post.
Now, this machine shop doesn’t have a complete disaster for a website, but the site is definitely obsolete. Would I be able to work with this company and their webmaster to implement changes that would lock up the number 2, or even capture the number 1 position when somebody searches for a Phoenix machine shop? Absolutely. They aren’t blogging at all. That small change might be enough on its own. That’s only one aspect that’s easy to implement quickly.
Blogging scares people, though. That’s especially true of technical types, where writing may not be a skill to brag about. That’s okay, because there are a number of ways to get your hands on unique content (and uniqueness matters a lot to Google). One is to hire a freelancer to create it for you. Another is to use one of the several content farms, and then have a trusted freelancer edit that content for spelling, grammar, and even content.
If this machine shop hit number 2 in the search ranking with what’s truly a neglected website, imagine where all the other machine shops in Phoenix appear? Who looking for a Phoenix machine shop is going to go to the seventh or twelfth page of search results to click on your website when these guys on the first page probably have the same manufacturing capabilities? Their advantage is being the first one listed, but they could easily be dethroned. Still think machine shops can ignore their websites? The shop who attends to their online presence will be the shop to overthrow old number 2, and maybe even boot the yellow pages out of that number 1 spot.