B2B businesses are those that deal with other businesses, such as a wholesaler connecting to retailers, or an industry sourcing materials from suppliers. It could also be a business outsourcing work to another business. No matter how diverse these businesses are, they all have a common need. They rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a technique for identifying a target audience, generating leads, and closing sales.
To make a success of SEO, B2Bs need to put a lot of effort into creating great content, do extensive outreach to customers, and build very strong linkages. All the time, energy, and resources that are invested in SEO never go unrewarded – you begin to score over the competition, and you build a reputation that grows your business by leaps and bounds.
SEO has to be repeatable, it needs to be scalable, and, like breathing, it doesn’t come with a pause button. You need the smartest, trendiest, and scalable SEO techniques for B2B companies that generate quality leads and keep you zooming through the fast-track to explosive growth:
Keyword research guides you through every stage of web page development. You could be designing a brand new website, redoing an existing site, or reinventing your content strategy. In traditional SEO, there was a lot of emphasis on single keywords. With Google Search Engine Rankings being powered by an AI algorithm, the old SEO paradigms changed. It’s no longer a priority to produce separate content and stuff them with similar sounding keywords.
The smarter approach is to review your website content and classify products or services into clear-cut categories. Then generate a cluster of articles around each category. Now develop a web of cross-links within each cluster. This projects each product or service category as a single organic entity.
If a customer lands in a cluster, he’ll use the links to access the information he’s looking for. Instead of wasting the customer’s time (probably losing him) by posting independent articles that may not interest him, the cluster approach improves the chances of a customer satisfying his intent.
B2Bs mistakenly assume that the way they visualize or describe their own product or service is the way customers perceive them. The way the customer describes the product (the way he enters search terms) offers a clue to the most important source of keywords. These are the keywords that really count for the customer and Google.
These keywords or phrases can be located either through direct customer contact or through customer feedback in surveys. Using such keywords (the customer’s own lexicon) is a crucial factor in successful SEO.
Customers respond readily to online surveys, especially if you incentivize emails with special offers and attractive discounts. Taking a cue from top competing sites helps you zero in on words that your campaign might have missed.
Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Quora are a rich source for keywords. Go through discussions, customer reviews, and ratings. Observe how customers talk about similar products and services. Assess how they voice their product related concerns.
Google’s autocompleting feature offers fascinating alternatives to the words you may be keying in. You’ll find a whole bunch of search-related key phrases at the bottom of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Google uses an AI-powered algorithm, RankBrain to analyze not just the context of the keyword used by the searcher. The algorithm probes the web behavior of the searcher to decide which search result satisfies the intent of the searcher.
OK, you don’t have Google’s AI algorithm to back your keyword search, but there are ways B2Bs can gauge the customer’s intent.
Key in the most popularly used customer keywords that you’ve identified. Then take a close look at Google’s search results. If you find pages filled with “How-to,” “What-to-do” information, it means that customers are in the mood to research the topic in detail. If the results focus on product related information, you can be reasonably sure that customers are commercially minded (they’re in search and buy mode).
A simple illustration will clear the picture. The search term, “How SEO affects B2B businesses” is probably aimed at getting a fresh perspective on the topic. On the other hand, the search term, “Buy SEO marketing tools” reveals a more commercial intent. You’ll notice that the results vary a lot.
The kind of keywords you source from commercially-leaning customer queries will help you frame SEO optimized blog posts, offers, discounts, and white papers that’ll help you increase site traffic and close sales.
An SEO campaign doesn’t make headway unless there’s a strong backup of high-quality content.
As we’ve discussed before, having separate unrelated articles may not produce the desired results. An effective SEO strategy is to devise hub pages packed with the information that customers search the most. If you can’t catch the customer on these pages, provide extensive linkages that reach out like spokes to connected topics listing precise information.
Google will tick off the positives – there’s high-quality content, pages are strongly optimized for SEO, customers are spending more time on pages, visitors are ending their search with you and are not pogo-sticking to other sites.
Just as you spend time improving your website content, devote more time to getting quality websites to link to them. These links will get you higher ratings in Google rankings.
An email campaign that casts a wide net to catch potential customers can become self-defeating and pointless. Usually, such a strategy lands customers that only come to satisfy their curiosity but won’t stick around to close deals. Research your demographic and identify a narrow cluster of customers/companies that are most likely to respond to your marketing efforts.
In an account based marketing approach, you email a smaller group of potentially high net worth individuals or companies. The email can’t be the simple run of the mill generic type; it has to be expertly crafted to engage the customer and make an offer the receiver of the email can’t refuse.
Once the customer is hooked, your sales and marketing teams will align and present a highly personalized response. Your aim is to educate and engage a valuable and knowledgeable customer before persuading him to close a sale.
ABM strategies are very helpful in generating leads in the short-term for strengthening revenues over the long-term.
Surveys predict that 85 percent of direct customer interaction with brands will shift from humans to chatbots. The Artificial Intelligence powered chatbots application raises B2B SEO to its highest level. Data analytics and chatbots, using speech and textual inputs, analyze and arrive at the customer’s intent much faster than normal keyword analysis. Chatbots initiate conversational communication to market products and close sales.
For example, a customer initiates a chat request for shapewear. If there’s a chatbot at the receiving end, this simple request will be broken down into five components:
The French beauty and cosmetics chain Sephora uses a chatbot that scans your face and suggests matching shades, cosmetic makeup tips, beauty routines, and products.
Chatbot SEO optimization offers a potent tool for B2Bs to improve customer satisfaction.
Successful B2Bs are unlocking the potency and power of SEO to improve three core deliverables. They study their target audience in every possible way. Their content responds effectively to customers giving them an experience not found elsewhere. They are constantly delivering value by way of educative information, downloadable whitepapers, and comparative pricing plans. In return, they get emails that drive leads and close sales.
When you show that you care for customers by giving them products or services that transform their lives, they reward you with brand loyalty that lasts decades.