SEO can be tricky for everyone to grasp- even those who’ve been doing it for a while. We want to start by saying if you’re already confused about what SEO means- that’s OK! This dictionary is here to help beginners and remind experts what’s what in the world of search engine optimization. If you have a website, then you need SEO to see the business lead generation results you want- simple as that! If you don’t understand it now, then neither your B2B marketing or sales will see the results they need. So let’s bust those weird initializations wide open and crack the code of difficult SEO vocab!
SEO- Search Engine Optimization
Let’s start with the big cheese in question! Now you know what SEO stands for, we’ll kick off with an example. Go on to google, and search “clothes”; see how you get loads of hits- usually from different retailers. The top results may have a little green box underneath, saying “AD” in, and others won’t. This in essence- is SEO. It’s the position your business holds on the list of rankings. Let’s be honest- we always go for ones near the top. This is why it’s important to get SEO right; it’s is all about achieving those high ranking spots, so you appear right in front of your buyers. 94% of B2B buyer journeys start online (!), so make sure you’re present in those searches.
If you’re familiar with SEO, then you’ll know a little about keywords. If it’s all new- then keywords are the next step on your SEO journey to a high ranking website! Keywords are words or phrases relevant to what your business and/or website is about. They help search engines know what your website can tell people, so when a search is conducted, the engine knows what relevant websites to show the searcher.
You’ll want to compile a list of keywords as soon as possible if you’re planning to see SEO success.
Choose around 20 vital keywords that are essential to your marketing. Then choose another 40 that are still relevant but not as crucial. Choosing keywords should be done with care; take time to look at what you’re offering the market, and what your buyers would choose to put into a search engine in order to find that product.
With keywords- you need to remember something crucial- they’re competitive! Words like “B2B marketing” or “B2B sales” will be chosen by hundreds of thousands of organizations, so choose some long-tail keywords too. These are phrases 4 words or longer, that remain relevant to your product. For example “B2B lead generation companies”. These will be far less competitive, so you’ll stand a better chance of ranking highly.
The next step in SEO once your keywords are chosen is to map them across your site. This is when you pair your chosen keywords to the correct pages within your website. If there is a key word that doesn’t match to a page, then you’ll need to make a page to support the searcher of that keyword. From here, when new pages are made, be they landing pages, blog posts or updates, you need to remember your keywords and prepare pages to pair with at least one. The idea is not to drive all your traffic to a certain page, it’s more about seeing your website as a network, with the keywords mapping out the different sections of that network.
Once you’ve mapped out which keywords link to what pages, you need to make sure those words are frequently used on those pages (but without it being too obvious!). This means when that keyword appears in a search, the search engine will run through your website and pick up all those words, then show that page to the searcher. Write for both human and machine- the copy on your website pages needs to be informative, but you need to make sure the keywords are present. Try saving images with keywords in the file name for a little boost- your website visitors won’t know- but it’s great for your SEO!
Visitors that find your website organically find you thanks to SEO. They searched for one of your keywords, and you naturally ranked highly, so they naturally found you! You didn’t use any paid adverts (we’ll come to those in a mo!) to rank highly, you did it simply by having a web-page the search engine deemed very relevant to what was typed into the search bar.
SERPs- Search Engine Results Page
I went months in B2B marketing with no idea what SERPs stood for! It’s so simple- it’s basically the page you get after you’ve hit the enter button on a search. It’s the page we’re all fighting to rank highly on. Returning to that search we did on “clothes”- there’s your SERP!
As you’re on that “clothes” SERP (see we’re already flexing our new vocab!)- as well as seeing the rankings, you can see a little description under each link explaining a little about what’s in store. I don’t know about you, but this is what makes me click on a link! This is the meta-description; a few short words enticing people to follow through and click on your site. Construct these with care- focus on what you would want to click on and why, and pack it full of keywords too.
We mentioned paid adverts in organic search, and here we are. SEO as a concept is all about clever tactics to achieve a high ranking, but your control over the ranking remains minimal; even if you do everything right, there’s nothing to say 100% you’ll be up high on that list of websites. PPC however, can guarantee you those top spots- but it comes at a price. In many ways, it’s like an auction. You place bids on certain keywords, and those with the highest bids get to the top- however be careful! You bid on how much every click will cost you. If you bid £10- that’s great, but if 30 people click on your top-spot advert then that’s £300 gone in a flash! And how do you now if any of them are going to convert and become a business lead, and then a client? You need to keep a close eye when running a PPC campaign, to ensure you maintain a healthy top spot without paying through the nose for it.
You’ll want to bid on your main 20 keywords of course, but don’t forget to bid on your brand name. Nothing looks worse than typing in a business name and having nothing come up. Your competitors can bid on your brand too, so don’t let them steal those top spots that are rightfully yours!
When running a PPC campaign, your quality score is important. This is a score of how well incorporated your keywords are across your advert and website, so essentially, a score of relevance. If you maintain strong use of the keyword throughout the copy on your advert, in the meta-description and on the landing page the advert takes you to- you’ll gain a high quality score. It’s ranked out of 10, and the higher the score, the cheaper your PPC!
This is a helpful little tip for the future. When you’re looking to start SEO- remember the influence of the mobile. 50% of B2B searches now occur on a mobile device, and 20% of searches are voice activated. This means instead of typing 1 or 2 words into a search bar, 50% of your buyers are simply asking their phone a questions and want an instant answer; the average search is getting longer, now hitting 7 words. Adapt your SEO for this with those long-tail keywords, and stay ahead of the competition by making sure you’re catering for these longer searches.
Now people have discovered your website (thanks to SEO and PPC) you want to generate some top-quality business leads, so you need a fully optimized website. It’s all very well working hard to get all this traffic, but if your site isn’t up to scratch, it will all be for nothing! So get these sorted right away:
1) UN- User Navigation – This is how your website visitors find their way around your website. Do they use tabs, or drop-down menus? What information is on the home page, what info is easy/hard to find? Almost 80% of business leads want a website that’s easy to navigate, so bear this in mind when building your site.
2) UX- User eXperience– This isn’t an initialization, we know- annoying isn’t it! Nonetheless, user experience is key. From the moment they discover your website on the SERP, to when they decide to click your CTA (more on that below)- you want the whole experience to be professional, seamless and engaging. You only have 8 seconds to keep a visitor’s attention, so get it right. If your pages takes 10 seconds to load, you’ve lost them. Keep your pages simple, well branded and quick-loading!
3) CTA- Call To Action– The most essential part of it all. They’ve found your website, now get them to inquire! Your website needs to have a call to action on every page, telling them what you want them to do next; fill in a form, book a demo, whatever it is, get your call to action on there and make it clear, concise and exciting. Without a strong CTA, your business lead generation will be virtually non-existent!
So there we are, SEO, made easy. I know how hard it can be to feel scared to ask what something means, but we can’t all know everything! With this fun little dictionary at your fingertips, you’ll always know where you stand with SEO.
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