Search engine optimization (SEO) for B2B marketing is an ongoing, evolving strategy. It requires being consistent while also being adaptable.
Whether you are getting up to speed on SEO or having been running an SEO strategy for a while, it’s important to remember that at the center of SEO is your target market and getting them to your B2B website. In this post, we take a look at seven things all B2B marketers should be doing right now.
Evaluating Keyword Strategy
Think of your keyword strategy as setting the tone for your overall B2B content marketing and website activities. While the keywords tend to be consistent year over year, it is important to evaluate your keyword strategy at regular intervals. This can be quarterly, bi-yearly, or yearly.
When evaluating your keyword strategy, look at the search volume for certain terms, whether they are relevant to your business, and what the intent is behind the searches. You want to have a mix of general search terms and specific buying terms.
General search terms, like “accounting software,” can include a broad mix of queries from consumers searching for personal accounting software to people looking to see what types of accounting software exists. A more specific buying-intent search, like “accounting software for manufacturing firms,” likely indicates a manufacturing professional interested in purchasing software for their company.
Whenever you evaluate your keyword strategy, always perform fresh keyword research. For many terms, the search volume won’t vary significantly, but trends can change and new terminology can come to light.
Testing Using Google Ads
Google Ads are considered a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy rather than an SEO strategy, but they can provide a lot of data quickly for SEO. As you know, SEO takes time and it can be months before an optimized B2B website ranks for the targeted keywords. However, search ads on Google are almost immediate and can be managed and updated easily.
Even though you have a keyword strategy in place and are optimizing your website in alignment with that strategy, Google Ads give you the ability to do more real-time testing. Not sure if a particular industry provides better leads? Build an industry campaign and test it. Then you’ll know if you need to build out more industry pages on your website. Wondering if your target market searches for a product or service by a brand name? Use a Google Ads campaign to test it and see what types of leads are generated.
For many, Google Ads validate an existing SEO strategy, but they can also be helpful in identifying new areas for lead generation and filling out necessary content on your website.
Tracking Leads + Search Queries
This seems obvious, but it’s not always done by B2B marketers. For many companies, anecdotal feedback from sales ends up defining whether a marketing strategy is successful or not. This is not acceptable. All inbound lead generation should be carefully tracked and measured.
We recommend taking time every month to look at ALL the inbound website form submissions and evaluating which were good and which were not. Additionally, all leads should be attributed to the marketing channel that got them to the website, whether it’s organic search, Google Ads, remarketing, email marketing, referrals, etc. While it may be last touch lead attribution (so it doesn’t tell the whole story), it does indicate the last channel that got the prospect to convert to a lead.
If you are using Google Ads in your SEO and B2B marketing strategy, you should be carefully tracking the search queries of website leads. While you only see the search queries for visitors who clicked on a Google ad, it can provide insight into what people are searching and which terms bring in higher-value leads.
Optimizing Page Speed
How fast your B2B website loads is becoming a large component of SEO and with good reason. You don’t want your prospect’s first experience with your B2B website to be frustrating. And what if they don’t have time to wait for it to load and they bounce back to the search results and go with your competitor? You’ve lost a lead before you ever spoke to them.
There is a lot that goes into optimizing page speed. Your best bet is to work with a developer who will take a comprehensive look at your B2B website and implement the changes. Ideally, they will report back to you to show what the difference is. You may not notice a two-second reduction in load time, but search engines and users will. Your developer should allocate anywhere from 15-20 hours for a page speed review and optimization.
Carefully Crafting Metadata
Some metadata impacts SEO and other metadata doesn’t – but spending time on all of it can pay off. For example, optimizing meta titles and urls with keywords will improve SEO since it gives clear indications of what the content is about. However, while meta descriptions don’t directly impact SEO, when properly crafted, they can entice prospects to click on your website from the search engine results. This is where B2B marketers can lend value by crafting concise, clear descriptions that include keywords and draw the reader into clicking through.
Optimizing Images + Image Names
Image optimization has a variety of SEO benefits. By making sure all images are sized properly to maximize load times, you can improve the user experience and page speed. Additionally, if image names are optimized with keywords and alt tags, they provide better descriptions and can rank in image searches.
As a B2B marketing agency, our designers often follow a particular format for naming image or illustration files. These are necessary for our internal processes and keeping files organized. However, when images are uploaded to websites for blogs or webpages or email newsletters, the image names are often changed to be optimized for SEO. For example, a file with the name “ClientXYZ_serviceB_Date.jpg” doesn’t say much to search engines. However, when uploading the file, it can be optimized to say, “Accounting_Software_Reporting_Metrics” and added to the blog that discusses metrics that accounting software provides.
Reviewing Analytics + Adapting
One skill that is crucial for B2B marketers today is tracking and reviewing analytics. It’s one thing to track analytics and another to set aside time to review and interpret the data. When it comes to SEO, analytics are great for helping update and adapt marketing strategies to better support the overall business.
While tracking keywords is part of the process, it’s also important to monitor the quality of inbound traffic to the website. Additionally, tracking things like pages visited, blogs viewed, and time on site can help drive new content creation, or updates to existing content, or even provide insight into what prospects care about or don’t care about.
SEO for B2B
Your B2B website is a great lead generation tool when paired with a dynamic SEO strategy. By continually working on optimizing your website, you can ensure it will be generating good quality leads on an ongoing basis.