Guest Post: How to Utilize SEO for B2B Customer Acquisition
When building a sales strategy or acquiring new leads, B2B brands need to lean more on SEO to help. Optimizing websites for searches related to your offerings and creating new content to draw in industry professionals are a couple of ways that businesses can generate new leads via search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a practice that helps business sites rank better in online search results. Metrics for ranking well in a search engine are always changing as the platforms often update their algorithms. Following the tips below can help B2B organizations utilize SEO for new customer acquisition.
Think differently about Keywords
Like regular consumers, procurement officers and other business professionals use keywords to find what they need for their respective organizations. The B2B buyer journey starts much sooner than B2C. The keywords to focus on for B2B content should be long tail, informational type queries that can pull in prospective buyers very early on in their procurement process.
Be sure to create content on your website and blog that captures searchers who may be finding out about your industry, not just your company, for the first time. Think about the questions prospects often ask about your industry and create helpful, transparent articles that answer those questions for them. More and more, people are turning to search engines for their information and you need to make sure your business is in a position to capture those customers.
Keep in mind that early in the sales funnel for B2B transactions, searchers are looking for information. They don’t want to be “sold” right away. If all of the content you generate, is purely promotional, buyers will be turned off, and look elsewhere for the facts they need. Providing information without promoting, will establish your brand as trustworthy and honest. This will result in repeat visits and a growth in brand loyalty. When it does come time to purchase, your business will be one of the first they look into.
Keep Content Up-to-Date
You may have established blogs or social media accounts, but when was the last time someone updated them? Providing relevant or industry related news is another way to pull in customers and rank well in search engines.
Writing blogs that answer questions, give tutorials or provide insights into the future of an industry are different ways to improve rankings for SEO. Google tends to favor recent content over older content. Also, searchers tend to want articles and information in general from sources that are more recent. Even if you content is ranking, if it’s old, you’ll lose clicks over time. When Google notes a decline in click through rates “CTR”, they will begin to remove those pages from their results.
A blog with current posts or news is another way to build up trust and loyalty with potential customers. Searchers want to see that your business cares about your industry and that you can be relied upon as an expert in your field. One of the best ways to do that is to consistently create quality content on news and insights that can continue to educate customers.
Keep in mind that you do not have to create entirely new pages on your site to keep content fresh. If you have a particular page that is ranking well and driving traffic, update the existing content on the page when information changes or when you have further context to share with your audience. Google will recognize the changes/additions quickly and index the page as current or “up to date”
Find Ways to Build Up Links to your Website
All of the on-page methods we’ve mentioned are incredibly important. We have to also recognize however, the importance of off-page signals to Google. Backlinks are still the best way to send authority from outside sources to your website. Think of links as “endorsements” or “votes” for a particular page, from other websites.
It’s your responsibility as a brand to create content that is worthy of getting links. Include case studies and research from current clients and business experience, that someone from another website would need to refer to in order to write content about a similar topic. Don’t be afraid to share information or tips surrounding your offerings. Potential clients will appreciate the information and still be willing to refer to your brand when they need true expertise.
Do competitor research! There are plenty of 3rd party tools that will allow you to check where your competitors are getting their links from. Reach out to those sites and try to get links back to your site as well. Find where your brand will be the most helpful to prospective customers and get your pages and articles listed on them.
As more people turn to search engines for information, and with the knowledge that B2B sales funnels start very early. Adopting proper SEO techniques will be crucial in driving sales. The efforts you put in now will pay huge dividends when procurement professionals find your brand early in their discovery process and begin to rely on your expertise.