Most employees, whether they work in digital marketing or not, understand the prominence of the internet in marketing spaces. The internet can introduce new clients and support brands, but optimizing your digital presence with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can be complex and challenging for businesses.
Effective SEO strategies can attract new customers and build trust with existing customers. So, to help cut through the complexity, we’ve broken down what SEO strategy frameworks look like in business-to-business (B2B) marketing and how you can develop an effective SEO strategy for your organization.
Developing an effective SEO strategy is just as important for business-to-business (B2B) companies as it is for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. The goal of digital marketing with an SEO strategy is to gain audience attention and create connections with customers. While B2B organizations sell their products and services to other businesses rather than individual customers, real people still make purchasing decisions.
Plus, marketers need to develop an SEO strategy framework rather than implement several SEO practices at random. The framework provides your organization with tangible steps to improve its content, SEO tactics and initiatives. It also allows your organization to track results, analyze data and adjust content to improve organic website traffic and sales.
Before you can begin creating an SEO strategy that will benefit your B2B organization, you must understand commonly used terms. SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages so that they are shown more frequently and gain more traffic when users search for certain terms in search engines.
Other common terms include:
• Keywords: Commonly searched terms that connect to your topic. Marketers use SEO keywords in their website content to drive traffic to their site.
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics used to measure marketing or sales goals. KPIs can include organic traffic sessions, organic traffic users, organic traffic conversions and revenue growth resulting from organic traffic.
• Backlinks: External links that directly link back to your website.
• Short-Tail Keywords: Keywords that are searched in high volumes and connect with your main topics, typically broader terms.
• Long-Tail Keywords: Keywords that are not being searched in high volumes. Often called low-volume keywords as well, long-tail keywords are still valuable because they offer an opportunity to reach customers with specific needs.
A successful SEO strategy framework relies on four pillars of SEO success: technical SEO, content, on-site SEO and off-site SEO.
Technical SEO refers to how well a search engine can navigate and index your content. Much of technical SEO is related to website development and design. When designing your website, your web developer and marketing team must work together to create a page that connects technology with SEO.
Search engines need to understand how to navigate your website’s pages in order to direct results to its users. Your website may have ideal results for a particular term, but if the technical SEO does not allow the search engine to locate your page quickly, it will not include it in the top search results.
Aspects that you should consider with your technical SEO include:
• How can a search engine navigate your site?
• Does your website have 404 errors that can impact user experience?
• Are pages that the search engine should index and return obvious?
• Are there any pages that should not be indexed?
• Does your site adjust for mobile devices?
• Are your loading times fast enough to keep users engaged?
• Is your content structured in order of relevance and importance on your site?
Content is all of the substantive information and data that your site displays. Your SEO strategy is nothing without informative, engaging content that tells businesses why your products and services are worth purchasing. B2B organizations must ensure that their content highlights the quality of their product or service, their credibility and their professionalism.
Optimal B2B sites should include the following:
• Detailed information and FAQs about their product or service.
• Content that establishes your organization’s “why” and brand voice.
• Testimonials and reviews that prove its credibility in the field.
• A clear call-to-action that guides customers on how to contact and work with your organization.
On-site SEO refers to the optimization of every page and your website as a whole. On-site SEO combines technical SEO best practices and content.
Best practices for on-site SEO involve:
• Clear organization and hierarchy of information.
• Research and use of relevant keywords in page copy, H1 tags and titles.
• Page titles and meta descriptions that include attractive copy and keywords.
• Good user experience (UX) design that makes your site appealing and easy to navigate.
An effective SEO strategy does not solely involve decisions made on your organization’s own website. Off-site SEO, sometimes called promotional SEO, refers to any external factors that impact your SEO results. This is where backlinks, links that direct back to your website from other websites and link-building come into play.
Backlinks first require content that provides value to your target audience and deserves to be linked, which is what the other SEO pillars control. Once your on-site SEO and content reflect your organization well, you can create a link-building strategy that will facilitate a more steady stream of traffic to your website.
Link-building can come in all different forms, but some examples include: cross-posting across social media platforms, paying for advertising spaces with your link, creating guest blog posts on another website and linking to other pages within your own website like this.
The best B2B SEO strategies implement the previously discussed four pillars of SEO. A successful SEO strategy will include tangible goals and KPIs, keyword research, well-made and informative content, short-tail and long-tail keywords, pillar pages and link-building opportunities.
B2B SEO strategies must center on business credibility and products or services while creating content that will connect with the target audience. The SEO strategy also should include opportunities to analyze data and adjust the strategy’s approaches accordingly.
Developing an SEO strategy framework requires the SEO pillars and best practices to be incorporated into a more intentional plan. Constructing a B2B strategy framework involves research, tangible steps and data analysis.
Here are the steps and best practices to develop a successful SEO strategy framework:
Successful SEO strategy frameworks are not static. You should create realistic goals with a specific timeline, choose the KPIs you will use to measure the success of those goals and then implement the strategies.
Once time has elapsed, you will revisit your goals, complete more research and revise your strategy. You can connect your goals to revenue, profit margins, website traffic, conversion rates, customer acquisition and more, but chosen KPIs should clearly measure progress.
SEO keywords are essential for ensuring that your target audience finds your content. However, users will leave your website quickly if the keywords do not align with your product or service.
Find keywords that suit your topics and content best with SEO tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or GrowthBar. Initially, seek the most relevant keywords that connect to your popular topics and collate a list of the most commonly used keywords. These keywords will become your pillars.
At this point, your major topics have become popular keywords and are now your pillar pages. Next, find numerous long-tail keywords that connect to each of these pillars. Each of these pillars will become pages on your website, complete with specific, low-volume keywords.
These pillars help to fully develop your website content and reach. These pages are particularly helpful for B2B organizations since customers often have more niche needs. Low-volume keywords can bring these customers directly to the B2B solution.
As discussed in the technical SEO section, backlinks and link-building are pivotal to B2B SEO strategy success.
Once you have updated your website with your pillar pages and used relevant SEO terms, you must take steps toward link-building. There are numerous approaches to link-building, but some include guest blogging, social media promotion and linking to your own website on your pages.
One of the best practices for SEO strategy is to stay up-to-date on the best practices. SEO strategy is fully technology-based, which means that everything moves fast. Recommendations and keywords develop quickly, so strategies that might prove successful one quarter might stop working a few months later.
Adapting to new trends and best practices is the best way to ensure that your B2B SEO strategy keeps benefitting your business. This can involve updating or repurposing old content, generating new content that aligns with trends and supporting keywords from your pillar pages.
Successful SEO frameworks require continual research and development, making developing and revising your B2B SEO strategies time-consuming. B2B companies must focus on prioritizing their primary products and services for their customers. Implementing SEO strategies can be overwhelming or complicated, particularly during busy seasons.
A digital marketing agency can help your B2B organization enjoy all the benefits of a productive SEO strategy framework without the time commitment. Digital marketing agencies understand the latest developments in SEO best practices and know how to optimize B2B content.