The importance of search engine optimization (SEO) is not contested, but for many B2B businesses, it is not a priority. Consider these statistics:
- 89% of B2B researchers use the internet to gather information about purchases.
- 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with a web search.
- B2B researchers won’t get in touch with a salesperson until they’re 57% of the way through their buyer’s journey.
In our digital world, your website serves as the main point of contact for most of your customers. For many, it will be the first impression they get of your brand. Quality SEO and a great website are critical to help you make the right impression.
Even the busiest of businesses need to ensure that their website is resonating with their customers. Why? Because your customers are doing their research on the internet. If your website doesn’t embrace SEO, then you could be missing out, especially if your competition is using it.
Even if your business comes from submitting RFPs, the people reviewing those will visit your website to check you out.
This is why it is imperative that B2B businesses embrace SEO. Because SEO will help legitimize your position in the marketplace.
Gone are the days when SEO was just about keyword stuffing and backlinks. With advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), search engines like Google and Bing are helping users find more relevant results for their search queries.
In response, SEO now focuses on increasing the quality of your website by making it user-friendly, mobile ready and full of engaging content. Good SEO focuses on the customer and their needs. By catering to your customers, you can increase your organic ranking and strengthen your brand position.
There are 3 building blocks to a successful B2B SEO strategy.
1. Technical SEO
All SEO strategies should start with a technical audit of your website. Technical SEO focuses on how well search engines can crawl your site and index your content. This SEO will provide the foundation for all your other efforts by identifying weak points that could hinder search engines from understanding your content. A technical audit should include:
- Mobile usability
- Load times
- XML sitemaps
- Google penalties
- Image alt tags
- Duplicate content
- Clean code
- Meta descriptions
2. Content & Keywords
Content is king when it comes to SEO, and to have great content you need great keywords. Developing strong keywords means understanding your customer, their buying journey and how they are searching. Then using that information to generate content. You should focus on content that:
- Educates or informs your audience
- Addresses any pain points a customer might have
- Provides practical, actionable tips
- Provides insights
- Answers product related questions
3. Content Marketing
The real secret to a successful B2B SEO strategy goes beyond the basics of technical SEO, content and keywords and emphasizes content marketing.
Content marketing is the ongoing creation of valuable and relevant content that may not explicitly promote your brand but still attracts your audience. This content can be in the form of:
- Social Media Posts
- White Papers
The most significant benefit of content marketing is that it improves brand reputation by building trust. By providing your customers with content that is engaging, educational and valuable, they will come to think the same thing of your business. The more value you can provide with your content, the easier it will be to build trust with your audience.
One type of content marketing that should not be overlooked, especially for B2B businesses, is thought leadership. This is content designed to position you as a leader in your field.
This content is not sales heavy, but instead offers guidance and insights into your industry. Thought leadership is about tapping into your internal talent, experience and passion and sharing it with your customers. According to a study by LinkedIn and Edelman:
- 89% of B2B buyers said that thought leadership increased their awareness of a brand.
- 45% of B2B buyers said that thought leadership content led them to invite a brand to bid on a project.
- 58% of B2B buyers said that thought leadership led them to award business to one organization over another.
SEO is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process to keep improving and generating content that speaks to your customers.
Even the busiest and most successful businesses need SEO, especially in today’s digital world. Customers do their research, and they use the internet as their main resource. If your website is not putting you in the best light or creating trust, you will lose out.
At the end of the day, a strong SEO strategy is going to help increase your organic rankings, legitimize your position in the marketplace, improve brand trust and lead to more sales.