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Selling Through Distributors? Why Their SEO Investments Are More Important Than Yours

April 27, 2016

When manufacturers set up distribution networks, they vet potential distributors with a fine-tooth comb — at least they should. Among the many, many attributes they look for:

  • Continuity of leadership
  • Credit history
  • Experience in manufacturer’s niche
  • Financial strength
  • Growth
  • Market penetration
  • Product/service focus
  • Quality of sales force
  • Relationships with competitors
  • Reputation
  • Size of sales force
  • Stability

Noticeably absent from these lists is one thing that is incredibly important to the manufacturer: the distributor’s SEO performance.

For most products and services, organic search visibility is potentially the largest and most promising source of sales leads. Google processes billions of searches every day. Whether a user is looking for a specific brand or doing a generic product/service search, the more visible the distributor, the more leads will come into the pipeline.

Even if manufacturers have their own lead distribution system, they still need local distributors to thrive with SEO. Why? Because local SEO has become an enormously important factor for organic lead generation.

When Google users conduct searches, Google likes to return localized results, even when local buying intent is not expressly stated in the search query. Google knows the physical location of its users, and assumes they want localized results if applicable. This is especially true for mobile searches, where local buying intent is more the norm. Now that mobile Internet access exceeds desktop access and is increasing its dominance, local SEO figures to be more important tomorrow than it is today.

Bottom line: A manufacturer needs a distribution network comprised of companies with a strong local SEO presence.

Local SEO isn’t the only reason why manufacturers need SEO-savvy distributors. In many businesses, customers are more concerned about the distributor relationship than the brand of product or service. These customers are more likely to click through an organic link to a distributor it knows or knows of than a link to a big, faceless corporation.

Since customers that value relationships are usually the best customers, manufacturers cannot afford to miss opportunities to secure them such as the type mentioned here.

If you are a manufacturer interested in bolstering the SEO power of your distribution network, let’s talk.

A coordinated SEO plan among your participating distributors will be far more effective than a situation where every distributor is forging its own campaign. By coordinating efforts, overlaps and gaps are avoided, and keyword strategy and ultimate lead generation effectiveness are greatly improved. Don’t leave lead generation to chance.

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