September 29, 20163 min read
In B2C online marketing, SEO focuses on reaching consumers and getting your products to show up first in search results so people will purchase them online.
But B2B websites are all about lead generation, not online sales. Therefore, your SEO effort should focus on generating more leads. How do you carry out a B2B SEO strategy aimed at lead generation?
Step 1: Start at the End
Any SEO strategy needs to start at the end, with measurement. How will you measure the success – or lack of it – of your B2B search engine marketing? Several metrics apply. You can track keyword rankings, visits to your website from keywords or links, and engagement with your website. But the top metric is the total number of leads that came from your website.
A lead can mean many things, but usually it includes capturing contact information from a website visitor via a webform (contact form, blog signup, whitepaper download, or other type of lead-gen conversion).
Successful B2B SEO campaigns tie leads to organic search traffic, thereby giving you evidence of the return on your SEO investment.
Step 2: Research, Research, Research
An understanding of how your users search for your products or services will inform your SEO strategy. Keyword research and user interviews lead to that understanding.
Interviewing current customers and prospects – that is, qualitative research -- will give you an idea of how customers find you. Just ask: How did you find our website? What words or phrases did you enter into Google Search? Did you use any other resources to find us, or only Google? What made you select us over our competitors?
Keyword research yields quantifiable data about the types of keywords people enter into Google and other search engines and about how frequently people search for your products and services. Keyword research gives you the exact phrases and words that people use in specific geographic locations. Many tools, including Google’s Keyword Planner, WordStream, and SEM Rush can help in keyword research.
Step 3: Build your Content to Match Keywords
Now that you know how people are searching, develop content on your website that answers their queries. Authoritative, relevant content is the key to a successful B2B search engine marketing campaign. The more content you develop, the more likely that Google will see you as an authority in your space and rank your website higher in search results. Read more about how to develop content for SEO.
Step 4: Optimize your Meta Data
Don’t forget to optimize the data behind your content. Page titles, meta descriptions and keywords should all include your targeted keywords gleaned from your research. Remember, the meta data displays on the Search Engine Results Page. Write it to encourage visits to your website.
Here is an example of meta data that has not be optimized:
The same entry, optimized:
If you were looking for diagnostic tools, which would you click?
Step 5: Measure your results
And we’re full circle back to measurement. Again, B2C SEO is all about measuring sales; B2B SEO is all about counting leads. How many leads did your website attract? Measure those results, and apply them as you adjust and adapt your SEO strategy.
Keep in mind that search patterns and search algorithms change constantly. So monitor and adjust constantly to keep those leads coming.
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