B2B SEO Strategy: Targeting Buyer Intent

B2B SEO strategy and, even more importantly, targeting B2B buyer intent can be a big challenge.  This post takes a look at recent B2B SEO strategy best practice, B2B marketing content best practice, and B2B lead generation best practice in order to provide some practical tips.

Technical B2B SEO Best Practice

For years the focus of B2B SEO strategy has been on keyword stuffing and volume of links. But Google is increasingly targeting more subtle ranking factors to deliver relevant vs optimized search results. Take a look – the chart below from SEO authority SearchEngineLand shows the complex mix of factors Google is believed to be using to deliver search results.

B2B SEO Strategy: SearchEngineLand Table

These “Success Factors” include traditional B2B SEO strategy elements such as copy, freshness, HTML tags including titles and descriptions, and links, as well as newer elements such as authority, trust, and social mentions.  Most of the technical elements can be managed by an effective content management system using best practice SEO tools.

B2B SEO Strategy: Content Best Practice

While technical optimization remains complex, the net result is that technical optimization (beyond good Google friendly hygiene) is becoming much less important than developing, publishing, and sharing relevant, useful, and valuable B2B content related to your subject matter expertise.  The starting point should be developing a customer-centric content plan that targets what your customers want to know at each stage of their decision process.  This model targets different stages of B2B buyer intent with different content approaches.

B2B SEO Strategy: B2B content ideas

Next, develop a keyword strategy that will allow you to describe your content using customer language, and target buyer intent searches.  For B2B SEO the focus is not keywords, for example “procurement”, but longer keyword phrases used by prospects at each decision stage, for example “procurement spend under management benchmarks” or “SAP procurement solution reviews”.  While the search volumes will be smaller, the quality of your traffic and prospects will be higher.

B2B SEO Strategy: Lead Generation Best Practice

Finally, attracting the right traffic using B2B SEO strategy is only the initial challenge.  Given the investment it takes to attract high quality traffic, you need to optimize your content, website, and lead generation programs to acquire new prospects using gated content and other tiered calls to action.

SEO for B2B Marketing: tips to reach more customers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of any Business to Business (B2B) marketing and lead generation program designed to reach more customers.  With most purchase decisions involving web research at all stages of the decision process, getting found by search engines is key.  While many companies need help, the good news is that SEO is quickly moving from a hard to understand technical discipline to a marketing discipline focused on strategy, planning, prioritization, and execution.

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO) and key SEO priorities for B2B Marketers.

Unlike B2C SEO marketing which often concentrates on technical optimization and “black-hat” specialists who try to “cheat” the system, improving SEO results for B2B comes from a combination of technical optimization and content value.

Technical optimization is similar to hygiene.  Without good hygiene it is hard to get a date (ask any 14  year old boy!) but hygiene alone will not get you many dates.  To become successful in the dating game you need more than good hygiene, you need to be interesting, and even more importantly interested in your date’s interests.  You need charm to be truly attractive.  SEO for B2B marketers works in a similar way. (more…)

Basic search engine optimization in 5 quick steps

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very complex, involved science. That’s why there are tons of firms that specialize in it.

With that said, here are five basic things you should do to optimize your website for search. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much your results will improve over a few months just by doing these simple things. Remember, they are cumulative. You’re essentially trying to score credibility points. So to optimize your ‘score’, you need to do them all, and you need to do them all of the time for all of your pages. (HINT: a content management system helps A LOT with this)

1. Keywords in your page <title> tags

This is one of the most important places to have a keyword because what is written inside the <title> tag shows in search results as your page title. The title tag must be short (6 or 7 words at most) and the keywords should appear most-to-least important (HINT: your company name is least important), left-to-right, separated by a single special character like a comma, pipe, or hyphen.  It should end up looking something like this:

<title>Specialty Area | Important Keywords | CompanyName</title>

2. Keywords in your page URLs

Keywords in URLs help a lot – e.g. – https://www.yourdomain.com/specialty-area/important-keywords.html, where “Specialty Area” and “Important Keywords” are the keyword phrases you want to rank well for. Resist the urge to trim the URLs for brevity…don’t think of them as directory names that you’ll need to type into the command-line later. The title and body text on the page needs to also include sufficient reference to the same keywords though.

3. Keywords in headings (<H1> tags)

You should only ever have one H1 tag on a page, and that heading should include the same (or similar) keywords to your page title (<title> tag) and page URL. But your page must have actual body text about the particular keyword, too.

4. Keyword density on the page

You can quite easily have too much, or not enough, keyword density. Inside the range of 3-7% for your primary keywords is best, 1-2% for your secondary keywords. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, which will count against your ranking.

5. Keywords in anchor text from external inbound links

If you have your keywords in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as getting a vote of credibility from this site not only about your page in general, but about the keyword in particular. Remember this when hyperlinking text in everything from URLs in your LinkedIn profile (change default “My Website” text to “CompanyName Specialty Area”) to links you include in blog post comments, forum posts, etc.