When marketers think of SEO, they often misunderstand its relationship with B2B companies. Typically, SEO is associated with B2C organizations, since customer acquisition is focused on a positive brand user experience. It's easy to forget, though, that marketing to other businesses still involves marketing to people and building relationships. The reality is that 67 percent
of the B2B buyer's journey is completed online. B2B companies serious about establishing an authoritative web presence, unlocking the revenue potential of their website, and creating a positive user experience must invest in SEO today.
SEO works for B2B companies by:
1. Demanding better content. The biggest mistake marketers make is producing more content instead of better content. Since Google's Panda and Penguin algorithm updates focus on the quality of content, B2B brands that focus on SEO will generate better content than their competitors, which creates a better user experience.
When it comes to producing useful content, B2B companies must focus on what their peers value the most. B2B executives prefer
professional association research reports/whitepapers, product reviews, customer case studies, and analyst reports over self-serving and promotional content.
2. Engaging social users.
Creating a Google+ Business page
, if you don't have one already, is an excellent way to broadcast details such as your business hours, location, and reviews. Google+ Business pages allow B2B companies to add other pages and users to their "circles." Optimized pages should include a logo, descriptive tagline, and links to other social platforms.
3. Building authority.
Google authorship is an excellent tool that not only assists SEO, but is proven to get more click-throughs to your website
. Google authorship displays the author's photo next to the search result, which draws the attention of web users.
Furthermore, the longer a business invests in SEO, the stronger its web presence becomes. By focusing on valuable content in each SEO campaign, you'll begin to build a massive online presence that establishes your brand's thought-leadership in its industry.
4. Generating fresh content.
Regularly posting new content is key to keeping your business blog and website in favor with search algorithms. Fresh content shows that your site is regularly producing value for its readers while creating more opportunities for your content to appear in search results. Because economic challenges have elongated today's sales cycle, consistent content is paramount to converting leads. If you need help coming up with ideas for your blog, see "Little-Known Ways to Find Content Ideas for Your Blog
5. Building and maintaining relationships. When B2B companies focus less on promotional content and more on creating engaging content, then it's easier to build professional relationships. By using content to answer frequently asked questions, discuss consumer pain points, or provide industry news, you're able to harness the power of blogging to cultivate business relationships that matter.
6. Prioritizing the budget.
Now that Google results in 90 percent
of search traffic to B2B websites, brands have no excuse to frivolously spend their marketing budgets. Spending must focus on SEO, PPC campaigns, content marketing, and social and mobile users to create the most effective digital impact possible.
7. Differentiating your business from competitors. When it comes to B2C ecommerce sites, content is a luxury, but it's price that ultimately matters. No matter how beautiful the website or seamless the checkout processes, the cost largely determines whether or not the consumer makes a purchase.
With B2B sites, however, investing in content is critical to stand out from today's competitive market. Content allows a brand to differentiate itself on its own terms after being connected to a prospective client.
8. Creating a positive brand image. Even though B2B marketing content shouldn't be self-promotional in nature, the fact that you publish quality content becomes a marketing tool on its own. You immediately distinguish yourself as a brand focused on the client experience no matter what.
9. Unifying digital platforms.
The largest challenge for 64 percent
of marketers is to produce enough content. By focusing on SEO, you discover that regular business blogging gives you content to promote through social media outlets. Using existing digital platforms to cross promote your brand's content means you'll never run out of things to post!
10. Focusing on future trends.
By 2020, experts predict that 85 percent
of customers will complete a transaction without a single human-to-human interaction. Investing in SEO and content marketing now lays the groundwork for the future.
April 15, 2014
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.