Packaging SEO — How It Works
Packaging is an enormous industry, nearly $1 trillion worldwide. And, as anyone in the industry knows, packaging is extremely competitive, with many manufacturers, distributors and brokers vying for business. In addition, the packaging industry is extremely diverse, with commodity and specialty products, and equipment too numerous to count.
1. Keyword Analysis
Given the breadth and complexity of the industry, packaging SEO requires a higher-than-average level of sophistication in keyword analysis — that is, determining which keywords to target for optimization. If the right keywords are selected, maximum results can be attained for relevant traffic and conversions. Many considerations go into keyword selection, including:
- Search volume — A search phrase must have enough volume to generate a critical mass of conversions.
- Competitiveness — In some cases, choosing the most popular keywords is a bad strategy because large packaging companies with enormous SEO budgets dominate those keywords.
- Relevance — The best keywords are highly relevant to the products, services and customer needs of the company.
- Intent — In most cases, keywords with a strong buying intent (e.g., “low cost bubble packaging”) are better options than similar phrases with less clear intent (e.g., “bubble packaging” or “bubble”).
2. On-site Optimization
Once keywords have been identified, the SEO campaign can begin making necessary enhancements to the packaging company’s website, if needed. If the website has not been built specifically for SEO, or if it has not been diligently maintained, website issues may prevent Google from properly crawling and indexing the site’s content, and ranking it highly. Common website problems include broken links, improperly executed title tags, a clumsy internal linking structure, slow page loading and duplicate content.
In addition, new or highly edited content must be created to support product and service pages designed around the targeted keywords. Going forward, a strong SEO campaign will include a plan for additional content to be added, often through a company blog or expansion of product/service pages.
3. Off-site Optimization
Virtually all packaging SEO campaigns involve a robust off-site focus, primarily aimed at creating high-quality backlinks pointing back to the company website. Many small and midsize packaging firms (and even many large ones) have a poor inbound link profile due to:
- Having highly specialized products/services that relatively few websites see as relevant
- A general reluctance of packaging companies to link to one another
- A relatively low social media profile in the packaging industry (social media sharing promotes linking)
- A lack of strong, “link-worthy” content to attract attention and natural links
Creating link-worthy content and marketing it to relevant, high-authority websites and blogs is an important aspect of off-site SEO for packaging. Link building efforts should also include non-content tasks, such as obtaining select directory listings. Some effort may also be needed to update existing links and try to eliminate poor-quality links that have accumulated over time — a situation commonly seen in packaging websites that have been in existence for many years.