The digital transition is well underway for industrial businesses: a recent survey of executives found that 85% of industrial companies already use digital technologies, with 57% of sales coming from digital channels. More than half of industrial companies plan to increase their digital investments, and 93% of executives believe that digital technologies will fundamentally change how they do business. Chemical suppliers can't afford to get left behind - especially because over 90% of the search for chemical products or a new supplier starts on Google! In 2021, the chemical industry is still in the "early adopter" stage, giving fast-moving producers and distributors a chance to get involved.
When it comes to performing research and obtaining solutions, Google is still the largest, most significant, and competitive marketplace. As Marius Vaarkamp, a BASF executive, recently mentioned, “Google is the largest and most relevant marketplace for any product. If your products can be found on google search, you don’t need to go to any marketplace.” As customers search online for chemicals or chemical suppliers, they look for answers, products, or services to meet their various needs. Google sends "crawlers" or "spiders" to search for new content on the web and then ranks them based on their relevance. If your products are deemed relevant to the search inquiry, they will appear organically at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Thus, getting your products on the initial SERP organically becomes much more cost-effective than paying for advertising through Search Engine Marketing.
Most organic search results are driven by relevant keywords and tags that describe what people or businesses want and how they intend to use it. For example, if you were looking for a water purification system, your search would return content related to products sold in this category. Chemical suppliers can choose relevant keywords closely aligned with their business, products, critical offerings on the website, and more importantly, the products' applications or value propositions on the product listings on the website to increase visibility on search engines.
This is where SEO comes into play. The goal of search engine optimization isn't just to rank high in organic results but also to improve user experience. With more accurate and relevant information, visitors stay longer on your site and ultimately convert into customers.
Suppliers can attract more traffic by creating high-quality content that meets the needs of their target audience. This is not surprising since most online users will naturally gravitate towards interesting content rather than sites that have little valuable information for their needs.
By publicly displaying an extensive knowledge of their industry, its products, and their benefits in keyword-rich content, a chemical supplier can build brand authority that search engines appreciate and reward. In addition, by using various SEO tools for keyword research like Ahrefs or Moz to learn what questions a potential customer is asking or what questions their competitors are answering, you can begin to develop content (blogs, videos, etc.) that best matches the search terms.
One approach to employ keywords is to digitize the chemical portfolio into a sortable, searchable product catalog. Chemical producers are frequently selling complex items for specialized sectors. With keyword-rich product profiles that highlight applications, value propositions, and other critical information, search engines will be able to identify the value of a business and its products. This can also make it easier for online users to find what they're looking for without having to sift through mountains of information. Here is an example of how Agilis has helped a regional distributor improve the visibility of their portfolio with detailed product profiles.
Search engine algorithms also take user experience into account. Here, a visually appealing website with easy-to-navigate content and purchasing processes ranks higher than a website with poor user experience design. Chemical suppliers can ensure their websites are user-friendly by following website design guidelines, mobile responsiveness standards, and other best practices.
One way to quickly achieve this is by implementing a chemical commerce solution that enables chemical producers to control product information while providing prospective customers with improved search capabilities across the entire catalog—even for highly complex items. With a commerce solution, suppliers can:
- Create and maintain product information in one system to reduce online customer support requests and provide customers with transparency.
- Drive more qualified leads by highlighting commerce features like location search, inventory management, chemical catalogs, and quote-to-order.
- Easily add new products or update pricing, regulations, and other information without any technical expertise.
- Keep customers informed of the latest product news with digital marketing tools such as landing pages, blogs, email marketing, etc.
- Ensure their website is "mobile-friendly" by having a responsive design that is easily accessed on all devices
By having content tagged for search engine optimization, making it easily searchable with relevant taxonomy, and providing a positive user experience, chemical suppliers can increase organic search traffic, improve online conversion rates, and generate more sales. Still, developing an SEO strategy seems like an uphill task that marketing teams are still figuring out without hiring expensive digital marketing agencies or SEO experts. However, today’s online tools provide ready-built solutions to move quickly in a competitive landscape.
To learn more, register for our upcoming webinar, What is SEO, and why does it matter for chemical suppliers?, on February 15th, 2022 at 12PM est.
With the Starter Edition of Agilis Platform, chemical suppliers can launch a mobile-ready website and detailed product catalogs with search engine optimized content in a matter of weeks. Contact us today to learn how we can help you improve your digital presence and grow your business. Visit our website or request a demo to learn more!
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