Operating a business requires lots of planning. And, for most business owners, the word “lots” doesn’t begin to cover the amount of time, money, and passion that you’ve devoted to your business. However, you’re always on the lookout for innovative strategies that allow you to improve your business and keep marketing tactics fresh.
Although the rise of e-commerce, online shopping and virtual marketplaces offer businesses greater exposure than ever before, the increase in competition has created numerous challenges for businesses that want to grow their online presence. But, how can you appease Google’s algorithms and come up with a strategy that will help you meet your goals within the B2B marketplace?
Using carefully curated content, keyword research, link building, and taking an interest in how your customers search, can help you achieve and, more importantly, build a personalized approach that will help you grow your business and improve your digital strategy.
Take Your B2B Company’s SEO from “So-So” To “WOAH!”
How long have you owned your business? If you’re selling a product, service, or have just launched a website, it’s likely that you’ve witnessed the rise of technology and its effects on your business strategy. For instance, tactics like “keyword stuffing” don’t work for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) anymore. On-going changes to Google, its algorithms, and marketing means that businesses must continue to adapt to rank well within search engines.
The most difficult task you’ll face for SEO is building and starting a strategy. So, we’ve designed the following steps to help guide you on your journey:
- Keyword Research
- Creating Relevant Content
- Making Content Updates
But the fun doesn’t stop here: Let’s break down what each of these steps actually looks like. By following a specific, well-defined process, you can produce specific content that will rank well and assist you in not only educating your audience, but also attracting more leads.
Step 1: Use Keyword Research to Start Your SEO Strategy
Why is keyword research so important? Well, as Search Engine Journal reminds us, SEO “Is one of the few strategies that become more effective over time,” and that “Smart marketers know that there are ways to make a mark with content.” But, before you create content, you must first understand what keywords your searchers are using and the intent that drives their search.
- Determining Keywords
If you’re a full-service digital marketing agency, you might think of specific search times like “digital marketing tools” or “social media campaigns.” However, Google now recognizes not only these individual terms, but also how these terms interact with one another. This means that you can create sophisticated, polished pieces that inform and attract your audience and hit multiple keywords.
To determine what keywords you want to rank for, you can use online tools, hire a marketing professional, or conduct a simple brainstorming session with you team. Remember that your B2B keywords will vary from ones used by B2C retailers. Whereas you’re selling services that can only be described or proposed, such as a “custom website redesign” or “content writing,” a B2C site will be ranking for items that are more tangible, like “vegan protein powder” or “Canadian leather shoes”. Traditionally, B2B keywords can be more difficult to determine based on customer intent or their knowledge of the product. Keep in mind that some keywords are high-priority and high ranking so, in many cases, it’s also recommended that you go after some search terms that aren’t as popular, in order to increase your chances of standing out.
Tip: If you’re doing keyword research independently, you can take advantage of Google’s “related Search” results, usually at the bottom of the first page.
- Customer Intent
How do your customers find you? And we don’t mean do they use Google or Bing: as a marketer or business owner, the thing that drives your customer to search for your product or service will assist you in creating a list of relevant keywords.
Consider the following search queries:
Search #1: “Marketing agencies near me”
In Search #1, the searcher is looking for a business that offers marketing services. We can infer from their choice of words that they are sold on the idea of marketing, since they are now shopping around for an available agency.
Search #2: “What are the benefits of marketing?”
But, in Search #2, this user’s search terms suggest that they are trying to find out what marketing can do for them, rather than an agency that provides marketing services. Their terms also indicate that, while they may not be ready to buy a product, they are interested in obtaining information about what marketing can do for their business.
These two search terms demonstrate the value of analyzing search intents, which will help you understand how to create content that appeals to customers at varying stages of the buyer’s journey. Optimizing keywords based on relevance and intent means that you’ll attract users who are not only ready to buy, but also capture the interest of those who want to know more.
Step 2: Create Great Content that Reflects Customer Intent
Now that you have your key words sorted, you need to put them to work! Your keywords alone aren’t enough to improve your SEO strategy. Your content allows you a space to house those key words so that customers can find you and meaningful content.
- Show Your Blog Some Love
Business blogging has helped many B2B businesses gain greater exposure, attract more leads, and land more sales on their website. But, before you get out there and write a 200 word post on your day, there’s more to blogging than writing and clicking publish: Think of your blog as a forum where you can offer customers expertise and insight into not only your products, but also your industry. Showcase your business’s specialities through regularly scheduled blogs.
Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to decide on an overall theme or topic that you’ll cover. Maybe you’ll decide to produce four blogs that center on SEO strategies this quarter, and then create four pieces that show your audience how they can improve their sales funnel. Once you’ve established your angle, compile data, interview industry leaders (who may already be in your company!) and reach out to other professionals who may be willing to be a guest star on your blog.
Producing regular content will assist you in creating longer-form pieces, like handbooks or guides, that you can send to customers, and can also allow you to communicate updates or exciting changes within your company.
- Promote, Promote, and Promote Some More!
Remember, your content plays a central role in your SEO strategy and will be critical to attracting an audience and sustaining customer engagement. You can hit post all you want but, if you’re not sharing what you write on social media, it’ll be harder for your customers to read your work and, if they can’t read it, they definitely won’t share it.
Step 3: Keep Your Original Content Fresh with Regular Updates
Think of your content as a living entity: you can’t just leave it in cyberspace to fend for itself! Your published blog posts will need continual attention and updates to ensure that they rank for SEO. Rather than sharing that piece over and over, try to come up with new ways of framing the discussion to give your audience content that addresses topics and concerns that exist within their specialized industry.
- Deal with Duplicate Content
While copying and pasting content from one page to another is a tempting time-saver, leaving a trail of duplicate content on your website will only lead to poor SEO and Google performance.
Beware of the two types of duplicate content that can spoil your SEO progress: internal and external.
Internal duplicate content, as you may have guessed, refers to the content within your website. Sometimes, you’ll have similar product descriptions or information that gets lifted from one page and used on the next. External duplicate content refers to duplicated content that appears across different websites. In addition to lacking originality, duplicate content will be filtered by Google’s crawlers, and the rest of the content gets hidden. If this seems like no big deal, think of how disappointed you’d be to discover that, in a sea of links, guides, blogs, and products, yours may be never be found.
Tip: Duplicate content costs you both time and money, since leads that can’t find or access your content will never turn into customers. Worried about content? Ask us about our content writing services!
- Create a Network of Internal Links
Incorporating internal links across your website is a must in any SEO strategy. And they’re readily available for your use! Your network of internal links will consist of links that will direct customers to different sections of your website. In addition to page menu links, you can make internal links on specific pages, embed them in blog posts, and even your website’s footer.
Looking for an easy way to start? Simply use one of your internal links as the first link in your blogs posts!
In addition to highlighting new posts on social media, and sharing your most asked-after content, you can offer repeat customers special access to gated content or give them a free guide or e-book. Similarly, having other websites link back to your site, and your content, can have a powerful influence on your Google Rankings.
Crank up Your Rankings with A Custom B2B SEO Strategy!
SEO might seem outdated or even daunting, but its prevalence in the e-commerce world is evidence of its strength and longevity. Creating a designated team, budget, and plan for integrating SEO techniques into your daily business model will help you increase leads, profit and, most importantly, increase your connection to your customers. If you’re struggling with SEO, or want to create a targeted SEO strategy that caters to your business’s needs, contact Symetric today to discover what SEO can do for your B2B company!