If I was an investor in a 3D printing company that had no clue about SEO, I would ask for my money back immediately.
Or if I was the CEO myself of a 3D printing company, I would make sure my SEO is on point before dabbling into any other online marketing channels. At the very least, I would fix my site architecture immediately so I would have a website that is positioned for real organic growth.
Never have I seen thousands of dollars (That end up being millions annually) in any industry go to such waste.
Instead of spending money on proper long term marketing channels, 3D printing companies are spending them on incompetent marketing managers and the highly unskilled people these managers hire around them.
Hey if you’ve got the funds to do it than why not right?
Who cares about the investors!
Like I said, if I was an investor and really knew what was going on, I would be absolutely appalled.
It’s like the bigger their funding, the stupider online mistakes they make.
Anyways, before we dive into this royal mess, let’s quickly learn what SEO is.
At least, on the most basic level.
When your website ends up on the first page for a keyword, you are LITERALLY getting targeted traffic free for life. No more PPC, no more FB advertising.
Take a moment to think about that for a second . . .
Once this customer acquisition channel is established, you are literally set.
The ROI from SEO is far greater than anything that’s out there today.
Check out the search volume on the most popular keywords in this niche:
|3d printers for sale||9,900|
|best 3d printer||8,100|
|3d printers for sale||4,400|
|home 3d printer||1,300|
|Desktop 3D printer||1,000|
|3d printing pen||8,100|
|best 3d pen||5,400|
|3d printer pen||4,400|
|handheld 3d scanner||720|
|3D printer scanner||720|
|best 3d scanner||390|
|3D printer filament||3,600|
|best pla filament||880|
By the way, this is just traffic from the US.
It doesn’t include Canada, UK or the wide open markets of Germany, France and especially Japan.
Just translate some content and put it up for these markets and you’ll be killing it in no time.
Now does SEO sound a little more appealing than before?
After all, you’re the one spending money on paid marketing channels right now.
Almost 98% of 3d printing companies are burning their marketing budget on Google AdWords.
The slightly smart ones are using Facebook Ads.
How is that working out for you?
Having fun tracking conversions especially on the ‘blood sucker’ that is Google AdWords?
Yeah . . . I know . . .
So how can you implement SEO on your own site right now?
Well first let me explain what SEO is in the most overly simplified way possible.
Why invest in something that you don’t understand right?
SEO consists of 3 main parts:
It’s Site Architecture, Link Building and Content.
Anyone trying to make it more complicated is just trying to take you for a ride. Most likely an expensive one too.
Here is an example of the major issues iMakr.com has.
I mean it’s great if you got some investors behind you or some serious buzz on Kickstarter but for the love of George Michael (RIP), before you go anymore ‘gung ho’ with your online marketing, at least lay down a proper foundation.
At the very least, make sure your site is good enough so Google can crawl your website without any hindrence.
Heck if you are using PPC like most are, you can combine that with SEO and get results even faster.
Anyways, let’s get a little deeper . . .
What is it
This refers to how Google (Google’s algorithm known as Googlebot) responds to your site.
The biggest issue websites in the 3d printing industry have is there site architecture. The lack of understanding here is mind boggling.
Why is it important?
If Google can’t crawl you, it won’t rank you.
It’s as simple as that.
So if your backend sucks, forget about making any ‘dents’ in the 3d printing industry. You won’t be getting any first page positions for the keywords that matter any time soon.
Sit back down . . .
If you have Magento as a CMS, DITCH it!
You don’t need it.
There are lots of solutions that run on ‘clean code’ out there.
What is It
Text, video, pdfs this is all considered content. Most important type of content is textual content.
The more textual content you have with keyphrases in them, the more ground you will cover.
Why is it important
Shouldn’t this be common sense?
I mean you have a product that you’re excited about but you don’t want to talk about it in immense detail and on a regular basis?
I understand most startups in this industry are heading to one trade show after another to keep the ship afloat but if you knew the power of SEO (Especially the long term benefits), you would be putting out at least one content rich article of 1000 word plus every single week.
Some companies are putting out excellent content in this space but there are some that are not even close to going ‘beast mode’ here.
Look at what you’re missing:
|Industry||# Of Questions||Search Volume|
These were the number of questions asked about the markets above just recently.
Have a look at the search volume.
The 3d printing industry in general needs to put out more quality content and by a much larger volume to address these enthusiasts / potential buyers.
What is it?
The more links that point to your sites (Other sites linking to you), the better off you’re going to be. Keep in mind this is an incredibly oversimplified definition.
|Your 3D printing site||?|
Before we move on, how does it feel to see Rosie’O Donnell have better search engine traffic than your website?
Yeah let that sink in . . .
Anyways, notice a pattern?
More links = more traffic.
Why is it important?
Out of the three parts of SEO, this one is not that big of a deal in this industry. At least not at the initial level as exciting products usually get picked up by:
- Product Hunt
- Geeky Gadgets
- 3D Printing Business Directory
- 3D Prnt.com
- Huffington Post
- Mike Shouts
- The Gadgeteer
and the list goes on.
The problem occurs when these links stop coming.
After your initial buzz dies down, so will your the quality of the incoming links.
You may still get links from other 3d printing sites / fan blogs but they are medium to low quality sites which don’t really help.
That’s why Pinshape struggled a lot before I got involved with it. They were getting tons of links but not the high quality ones. Google wants to see high value sites linking to you. Not some dude who created a blog on WordPress two days ago and wrote 150 words about a design they saw on Pinshape. That doesn’t really help.
Unlike in most industries, due to the exciting nature of 3d printing, the links come easy. Especially if you got your start off of kickstarter.
If you don’t build links to your site on a continuous basis, you will eventually fall off the radar.
So if you want to stay in the game and eventually take over, keep them links coming.
This concludes our SEO 101.
You are now an SEO EXPERT!
Now that you have some idea about what SEO is, let’s have a look at the SEO audits I did on these 14 sites in the 3d Printing space.
- Raise 3D
By the way, all these audits were done on SEMrush. Leading SEO industry tool that I’ve used to kill it in the 3D printing industry.
As you may have noticed, most of these sites have literally the same issues. So the moral of the story is fix your site architecture issues and good things will follow.
I also decided to add this little bonus section for companies who are just planning to put their products up on Kickstarter.
What you need to do before you launch your Kickstarter campaign.
First and foremost, get a website.
Your product is about to be a smash hit. Sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, 3Ders and many more will talk about you or at least do a little write up. They would need a link to send there readers to, if you don’t have a website, forget about it.
You will not only lose these readers but will be killing your company before it even starts. Despite a hit product.
Make sure you keep the same website address.
If you saw the incredible mistake that SparkMaker made in the video, you would think twice before doing anything foolish like that ever again. Sad really.
Last but not the least, make sure your site structure is on point and site is SEO’d. This way if your product is a hit, there will be no crawling issues on Google’s part and the traffic plus link juice you’ll get just might push you straight to the top.
Now this is where it gets really interesting.
A properly SEO’d site + PR Buzz from Kickstarter, etc will skyrocket you to the top right off the bat.