These days, SEO is a frequent acronym used among marketing professionals as they develop and implement their marketing plans and campaigns. SEO has become an integral part of marketing strategies for any organization that wants to survive and strive in the digital era of the internet. But as a B2B marketer, you might be asking yourself how does SEO work for my business?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting your brand’s visibility on search engines, namely Google. Its goal is to increase your organic web traffic and lead qualified internet users to download your resources and fill out your web forms.
SEO requires your team to optimize digital assets by:
- Providing metadata
- Developing code
- Editing digital content
- Writing new, SEO-friendly content
Technically, SEO is part of search engine marketing (SEM). SEM focuses on placing your brand’s digital assets at the top of search engine results. While there are other SEM strategies, SEO is the most effective for B2B businesses.
Defining SERP and Indexing
Two other terms are critical to SEO.
A search engine results page (SERP) is what appears when you type a query into Google. A complex algorithm determines the order of SERPs, but SEO helps improve ranking. Your business wants to be on the first page. Page one results have a 71% CTR while pages two and three have a combined CTR of 6%.
Indexing refers to adding web pages into Google search. Non-indexed sites won’t show up on SERPs. WordPress websites are automatically indexed. Google crawlers also follow links and discover websites to add to their index.
The Three Types of SEO
There are three types of SEO:
- On-page SEO includes activities carried out on webpages that will be published (e.g., inserting keywords, links, or meta tags)
- Off-page SEO includes activity performed on a webpage after it goes live (e.g., sharing, liking, or commenting on the post to build engagement)
- Technical SEO includes behind-the-scenes website setup activities (e.g., creating SSL or XML sitemaps)
For the best results, your team should use each of these tactics.
The Process of Keyword Research
Your website should appear in search results when internet users type in relevant keywords. SEO empowers your brand to rank for keywords. For example, a digital marketing agency may want to rank for the keyword phrase “SEO strategy.”
Your team must conduct keyword research to determine which keywords your business should rank for. Keyword research is in-depth research into keywords that receive ample search requests. Once your team identifies these keywords, they can begin including them in their content. As a result, your content will rank higher with search engines and additionally, appear higher on SERPs.
When conducting keyword research, here is a recommended approach:
Consider Your Prospects’ Online Searches
Research search queries people are using to find your business, similar companies, and even competitors. These keywords can be found through Google Autocomplete, Google Search Console, Reddit, or even SEO tools like Ahrefs. Make sure to include every stage of the sales funnel. If it helps, replicate the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) and designate topics or key phrases that prospects might be searching for. When creating keywords consider:
- What are the problems that your personas face?
- How could they be searching for ways to overcome these pain-points?
- How are you the solution?
- What are the main features of your product or service?
- What are the keywords driving the highest amount of organic traffic for your competitors?
Use SEO Tools
Type these words and phrases into SEO tools like Ahrefs. These tools reveal volume, competition, keyword difficulty, and more. With this data, you’ll be able to distinguish and create a list of the best keywords to optimize your website and content for.
Optimizing B2B SEO for Businesses
SEO tactics are useful in any industry. However, there are a few B2B-specific SEO tactics every B2B marketing team should know.
Promote Thought Leader Content
B2B businesses make many sales through their thought leaders. Ask your brand’s top thought leaders to write blog posts and other content. Publish them on your website, and link to them on your professional networking sites.
Publish Original Research
Publishing proprietary data on your website will attract attention from bloggers and journalists in your niche. They will link to your website, boosting your SEO without extra effort on your team’s behalf. You’ll also further establish your business as a credible source.
Pick High-Value, Low-Volume Keywords
B2B businesses should focus on high-value, low-volume keywords. Long-tail keywords, which contain 3 or more words, are also preferable. They are more specific and may fit your brand better. This is especially important if your product solves a niche problem.
Use Keywords from Disrupted Industries
If your product is disrupting an industry (or two), include keywords from the industry you’re disrupting. They will probably be more popular than those for your new product, and you’ll be able to draw attention away from older solutions.
Create Keyword-Specific Landing Pages
There’s a good chance that your brand will have multiple top keywords. Create landing pages for each keyword. These landing pages should offer valuable content that centers on the relevant focus keywords, as well as support keywords.
Your content team may feel pressured to create a large quantity of content for the sole purpose of promoting your keywords. However, search engines are getting better and better at identifying keyword-stuffed content. Plus, customers won’t trust your brand if they come across content that’s less than the best. Ensure all of your content prioritizes value—while staying SEO-friendly.
Diversify Content Types
Most blog posts are about 500 words. Most of your website’s blog posts can be this length. However, include additional staple blog posts of 800+ words, eBooks, white papers, guides, and other critical content. Use these longer pieces to collect valuable customer data—and further analyze your audience.
How to Work with a B2B SEO Agency
B2B SEO agencies provide expert SEO advice and content that helps your brand increase web traffic and generate more leads. Working with them should be a collaborative, streamlined process.
When you begin working with a B2B SEO agency, be sure to:
- Assign a dedicated agency contact
- Communicate your goals and business vision
- Establish a clear brief review and feedback loop
At the end of the day, a B2B SEO agency will help you improve SEO—and fast. Working with them effectively will only help your team reach its goals faster.
The Bottom Line
SEO gives you the tools to provide the right audience with the right information at the right time. It helps establish your company as a credible source, generate leads, and, ultimately, boost sales.
Want help with your brand’s B2B SEO efforts? Let’s talk.