Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is essential to any company with a website. What’s the point in having a website if people can’t find it? SEO should be at the forefront of every B2B marketer’s mind, along with how they can ensure their website is used to its full potential in both raising brand awareness and producing direct interest in their offering. As technologies evolve however, things are constantly changing and it’s stressful to ensure that your SEO moves at the same pace.
So let’s be ready! We’ll run you through SEO as a process and why it’s beneficial, then look to the changes we’re starting to see take effect, ensuring you can still be found by your future clients online.
And speaking of using a website to its fullest potential – do you know who’s actually looking at your business website? Lead Forensics can tell you. Learn what businesses are on your website, how they found you and what they were looking at as well as having the contact details to class them as a high quality, sales ready lead. Book your free demo and trial to found out more…
Search Engine Optimization – Explained
81% of B2B purchase cycles start with a web search.
It’s never been so important to use SEO in ensuring your website ranks highly on search engines. SEO can have several forms, whether it’s organic (the natural use of wording throughout your website and content cause it to be relevant) or paid (usually through pay-per-click on AdWords), SEO when done properly can have a 14.6% close rate for sales – allowing 73% of marketers to say SEO has an excellent or good ROI.
It can be a lot to get your head round, especially for people who are not as well versed in digital marketing as they are email or direct marketing, but applying SEO to every piece of content brings huge advantages. Not only does it bring your website into the limelight for the researching prospect so they physically can’t miss it, but it engages them with your content.
Leads that have been through a nurturing process are likely to spend 47% more when they come to buy, so SEO not only contributes a great deal to brand awareness and instant interest, it also provides further engagement with a warm lead program ending in essentially more lucrative sales.
66% of B2B companies intend to grow their SEO and organic ranking this year, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re not using SEO to its fullest potential- then it’s time you started! However – make sure you’re ready to accept the system is ever-changing, and some new factors have come into play that you need to be aware of.
What’s changing in SEO?
1) It’s used by people
Ok this isn’t necessarily a change, but it’s having some serious impact on SEO’s current use and the future of its behaviour. Up to now, SEO has relied on predicted searches and behaviours- as people look at one page they’ll be lead to another and there’s an expectation that a vast majority of people will act in a certain way. However this is no longer the case. Businesses actively employing SEO need to remember that prospects researching their company are not workflows- they’re people. Their minds won’t act in a way we can constantly predict, so we should prepare for other eventualities. Thinly written copy that is purely angled around ranking highly instead of being informative won’t cut it any more. People are starting to see through SEO, and the process needs to be richer and more beneficial to the searcher for it to pay off.
But how can you make an SEO strategy that will work for everyone? There’s no easy answer to this, but we’d recommend doing some analysis on your website and looking into what your target audience(s) want to see. Lead Forensics is a web analytics software that gives you the ability to understand your website visitors. We tell you exactly what businesses are visiting your website (along with contact details for key decision makers), so you can assess what industries you’re drawing in, alongside telling you what people have been looking at and how they found you. You can quickly see what pages are performing best and what pages have a high bounce rate- then you can start to mature your SEO, aiming it at the people you want to make into clients. Why not book your a free 10 minute demo?
2) It’s made by though leaders
As the demand for a highly targeted and quality SEO surges, another key factor has brought around a change in the usual SEO practice. People crave thought leaders. When a business is aware they have a problem and look to seek out a solution for them to invest in, they want the best. Credibility can be hard to earn, but position yourself as a thought leader and it will come far quicker.
There is currently a heavy focus on volume in replace of quality when it comes to organic SEO- a popular belief being the more you create, the more landing pages you’ll have appear in searches. This is true, however the rate of conversion will be low if all the landing pages are the same except for the URL on which they appear. You’ll come across as a desperate company rather than a forward-thinking leader in your field.
Build up your quality score (QS) on paid SEO, by linking keywords through to adverts and copy rigorously. Ensure the copy is insightful and offers something back to the searcher (could be a free trial of your service or a piece of downloadable content like a checklist or template). Not only does this bring about a cheaper PPC, but it boosts your organic ranking so you become recognised as a trusted and genuine brand. Use content to promote your expertise in the field, have the QS to match and you’ll appear a reliable and exciting company to do business with.
3) It’s all in the voice
Though the changes mentioned have up until now been in the people using and making SEO, the technical world is shifting too. The use of voice activated searches has started to become prominent in SEO, so much so that by 2020 it’s believed that 50% of all internet based searches will be conducted by voice. Google has already reported that 20% of its mobile searches are voice activated, and it’s a trend growing rapidly. It comes as no surprise when we consider how people crave a personal aspect to their internet searching, expecting search engines to know exactly what they want and to deliver it straight away. Featuring just as often for B2B searches as B2C; voice activation is used heavily in the car and office with the rise of personal assistant devices. But it’s nothing for B2B marketers to fear- just be ready to embrace a little extra work as you look into updating these areas:
It’s no surprise that the mobile is starting to take over, with 80.8% of people accessing their email daily through their phone it’s a huge factor to consider in all marketing. We know that voice search is optimized through the use of mobile devices, so respond to that by having fully mobile friendly websites and landing pages in terms of functionality as well as design. Load speeds need to be high, stay away from drop down menus and if you have any video content make sure it goes widescreen.
The average search is already four words long, and with the use of voice searching they’re getting longer as well as more conversational in tone. People are likely to ask their mobile a full question or a formed sentence, so start to tailor your keywords for this. Get your team together and discuss what voice activated searches you do today and spin this round to your marketing- prepare some new keyword initiatives and test them- they may have an amazing effect on your SEO! The action of sending a themed gift or a note/flyer about your product in the post is a great offline marketing strategy, and the response rates can prove it. 79% of people act on direct mail immediately, and with a 2.35% response rate, it’s stronger than email marketing by far. However it is costly, and can be time consuming if organising it in house. Also the postal service you chose causes you to rely intensely on someone else to have any deliverance at all. There are channels that remain easier and cheaper, taking better to an everyday approach.
- Featured Snippets
When a voice search is activated, devices often read featured snippets back to the searchers. Maximize on these- this is an incredible place to boost brand awareness and show off how technologically advanced you are (especially impressive if you’re offering to the market hinges on technology!).For B2B marketing, TV and radio are not considered commonly used channels, however decision makers for businesses are human too – they watch TV in the evenings and listen to the radio whilst travelling as much as anyone else. This means radio can increase business awareness by 138%! However the fact remains that business purchasing hinges heavily on research, and the time spent by decision makers interacting with TV and radio is often their personal time; the likelihood of decision makers acting on an advert placed in these channels is lower than other offline strategies.
The great thing about how SEO is changing means there’s no upheaval required. You don’t need to tear down all the work you’ve done on SEO and start again, you just need to re-evaluate the systems you have in place to future proof them. See it as an expansion of SEO, a positive movement of bringing your marketing in line with 2018 and beyond.
Don’t forget – SEO can boost your web traffic like never before. Make sure none of that traffic goes to waste by identifying whose looking at your website and how they found you. 98% of your website visitors won’t enquire with you- Lead Forensics can help you change that by turning your anonymous website visitors into a list of leads with contacts at the ready. Get started with your free demo and we’ll show you how easy it can be to never miss a lead again