(You don’t need to be a marketing expert to do this)
I help B2B manufacturers in Taiwan with their online marketing. Frequently companies send me links to their websites and ask me what we can do to help them receive more inquiries.
There are some basic items I always check first when I am trying to help a company understand where their problems are and how to fix their online marketing to get more inquiries.
This article will walk you through the steps I take when looking at these B2B websites. Anyone can check all of these things in under an hour and If you follow this guide you can help your business do better too.
Online Marketing – Website Basic Knowledge
To understand how Google treats your website It is helpful to think of it as like a book in a vast bookshop. If someone is searching for a book to read, you need to provide some basic information for people to be able to find it such as the title, the author and the category of the book.
Websites are similar to books; Google needs information about the website to be correct and clear if it is going to show your website to the right people.
It is useful to remember that just like in a bookshop, lots of authors are trying to sell their books, so yours needs to be better than those of your competitors as well. Following the steps in the following sections will help you to do this.
Step 1 – Website Title & Description
Your website pages have a title and a description (Similar to books) which helps Google understand what they are about. If this information is missing or not written clearly then your website may not be shown to people searching for your products and services.
In the same way, if a book does not have this information then people searching for it will not find it and it will remain hidden away on a shelf, unsold, with no one looking at it.
The title and description information is hidden in the back end of your website, but you can easily find it in this way:
Search on google for your company (for the homepage) or your products (for other pages) and then look at what shows up on the search page. This is the hidden data that google uses and shows to people searching for your company and products. Here are some examples below for your reference:
Well Written Web Page Title & Description
This example above has been well written. The title includes the name of the manufacturer, their area of business and the description below has some useful information about their products too. It is also the correct length so all of the information shows up clearly. Also we can see links to other useful pages on the website below the description. This indicates that the website has a good structure that Google can easily understand.
Poorly Written Titles & Descriptions
This example only has a single word for the company name and does not mention their products at all. The description is talking about a small product function rather than explaining what they sell and why they are good at making the products. The links under the title are meaningless to searchers and should include product names, not model numbers.
This example does not have the company name in the title at all. The title is also too long so it is cut off by Google. The worst part of this is that there are misspelled words in the description. One of the misspelled words is “Accuracy” (spelled as “accuacury”) which would not give a good impression to searchers or search engines reading this. The links under the title should be to the most important pages on the site such as product categories or new products which would be more useful to searchers.
What Do I Do Now?
If you find that your websites Titles and Descriptions are not good, then give your marketing company a call and get them to write them properly for you, it is a vey quick and simple thing to do and you should usually not be charged for it.
For the meta title the length should be 60 Characters maximum and 160 characters for the description. The title length is more important than the description length, so it is possible to use the description to add a lot of keywords to the page.
Step 2 – Homepage Content for Online Marketing
When trying to help companies with online marketing, the next thing I look at is the content of the homepage. Your homepage is usually the most visited page on your website and the first page that Google looks at too, so it is important that it is done correctly. You can think of it as being a little like the front and back cover of a book.
If we are looking for a book in a bookshop, we usually look at these things on the front and back cover:
- The Title
- The Excerpt
- The Author
- The Image
- The Reviews
If these items are clear and are related to what we are looking for (An author we like, an interesting title etc), then we will probably go on to have a look inside the book as well. If they are not right, then the book will go back on the shelf unread.
Website homepages are similar. Searches are looking for some clear signs that they have found the right website to meet their needs.
- Homepage Title (Also known as H1 – Heading1)
- Attractive Introduction (First paragraph)
- Nice Images or video
- Other Relevant Titles (H2 – Heading 2)
- Information about the company
- Testimonials or Certifications
Visitors to your website are trying to answer the question “Why should I look at your company and not someone else’s”. If you get this information right, they will probably keep looking and visit some of the other pages in your site.
If you only have an image of the company office or products but do not have any of this content, then it is likely that people may have a quick look at the website, but will then leave as there is not enough information to answer their questions.
What Do I Do Now?
Now that you have found the issue, you should talk to your marketing company about restructuring the pages to be better organized with more useful content for your customers. Always think of the page content in terms of questions that your customers might ask you as that type of content is the most likely to attract them to visit your website.
Some marketing companies may put links to other sites at the bottom of your page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and if there is just a link to the web designer, that is fine. However if there are links to marketing platforms which have your competitor’s products, this is not OK and you should ask for them to be removed immediately.
Online Marketing – Check Your Competitors
I always ask companies to provide me with a list of their local or international competitor’s websites. This is important as it allows me to see whether the competition is strong or weak and also what sort of things other people may be doing very well or not so well compared the the company I am helping.
Check whether any of these companies are appearing in search results in other countries.
This is quite easy to do in two different ways:
- Install a Google Chrome browser extension called Google Search Localisation Changer. This will let you pretend you are in other locations and see the real search results that your customers also see. (Google search is local, so just searching in Taiwan will not show you the real results for other countries).
- If you don’t want to install anything, you can visit the website called isearchfrom.com as this will allow you to select the country and see results from around the world too.
Using these tools, you can see whether any of your competitors are ranking in your target market and also see who your other competitors are that you may not know about. Always try a few different searches with your main product keywords and then also try to add “manufacturer” at the end of the product name as well to see those results too.
When you have done this you will have an idea of which websites google thinks are the best for those keywords and you could then take a little time to look at them and their content to identify differences with your own website. This may help to give you an idea of what you are missing and whether you need help to bring your website up to the right level to compete with these companies.
Step 3 – Social Media for Online Marketing
Social media is important for online marketing as it indicates that you are still in business, and also allows you to show off the latest products and events to potential customers easily. I always check to see if companies have a good profile set up on their social media accounts and also have a look to see what their competitors are doing too. You should do the same as customers will often check your social media for B2B products before contacting you, especially for international customers who are unable to visit the factory themselves.
It is a good idea to make sure that your company has a clear presence in three places in social media:
- Google Business (Google Maps)
- Facebook / Instagram
Your Google business listing should be set up and verified with Google. It is also a good idea to regularly add new photos and content to the listing to make it more attractive and current for people searching. If you want to learn more about this, have a look at this article on Google Business for B2B Manufacturing.
LinkedIn is very widely used in the high tech industry in Taiwan but not so much in traditional manufacturing. However in other countries most business professionals have a LinkedIn account, so you should use this platform to market your business too. It works in a similar way to Facebook. You first set up a personal profile and then a company profile. To find out more, please have a look at this article about LinkedIn Business Profiles for Taiwanese Manufacturers.
Facebook / Instagram
It is a good idea for Facebook to have a separate page that is in English only for your international customers so you can show them relevant content. You can use a separate local Facebook page for company events and other items that are only of interest to local customers and can be in Chinese. If you have nice images or videos you can post those to Instagram too.
If you take an hour or so to check the items above you will have a much clearer picture of how your website is doing compared to your competition and therefore whether you urgently need to do something to make your business more competitive. Online marketing moves very fast so this is something that you might want to check regularly if you are worried about the number of inquiries you are receiving.
If you have any questions or would like us to discuss your online marketing with you, please give us a call.