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B2B Marketing: SEO And Content As Cart And Horse

Why do B2B business owners invest in SEO?  They know that people are searching for information.  It also annoys them when they see a lesser competitor outrank them when they do a search of their key words.

Driving traffic to your website and blog is critically important.  Having an optimal search engine results page (SERP) increases the chances of someone clicking through to your site.  SEO is huge part of B2B marketing.  No argument here.  But then what?  You invest in SEO, traffic begins to increase, but what are those new visitors finding on your website?  If there isn’t compelling content, you’re putting the cart before the horse.

Now is the time to take a very critical look at the information on your website and carefully consider whether it is fulfilling the need of your B2B shoppers.  It does you no good to increase traffic to your website if the B2B visitor finds no reason to stick around.

Begin to develop and publish content

It’s helpful to begin thinking of yourself as a publisher.  SEO may open the door to more visitors your website, but quality content is the buffet and bar that will keep the party going.  Visitors will expect quality information.  If you don’t deliver you’re one click away from oblivion.

So when it comes to content, where do you start?

The short answer is:  Give the visitor all the necessary information to qualify or disqualify themselves as a good match for your products and services.  I bet you’re thinking,  “I’d prefer to do that myself. “  For years the seller had the luxury of taking the lead on the sales cycle.  Not so anymore.  The ability to conduct an online search has put the control of the sales cycle into the hands of the buyer.  You must be present (online) to win.

The long answer is to think about and list all the questions that you are typically asked during the sales process.  The written answers to these questions are your first blog posts.  It’s perfectly fine to have short blog posts of 150 -250 words – in fact many readers prefer that.  It’s fine to have longer posts between 600 – 800 words.  But anything longer than 800 words means that you either have a multi-part topic (i.e. How Over Reliance on Spreadsheets Can Hurt Your Business – Part 1, which would be followed by Part 2, etc.) or you may have a topic that should be written up as a white paper or eBook.

Don’t forget to hyperlink to other pages on your website

When you have finished writing your content, check to see if there are opportunities to link to other pages on your site.  If you are writing about the importance of training and how customized training yields the best results, create a hyperlink to the page on your website that describes your training services.  If you’re writing about a particular product, create a hyperlink to the page that describes the product in detail.

You may also wish to link to other blog posts that elaborate on a concept mentioned in your post.  The idea is to alert the reader that there is more information that they may be interested in exploring simply by clicking the link.

Study website analytics

Which blog posts have the most visitors? Which blog posts have the higher average time spent on page?  These are just of few of the metrics you can get from Google Analytics or other site analytics tools.  Getting a better SERP is not just a function of how many people come to your website – Google also takes the amount of time spent on the website into consideration.  The longer a visitor stays is an indication of how much authority your site has.  Other factors go into how you are ranked, but giving your website visitor a reason to stay on your site will contribute in a positive way.

Develop and publish more content

Based on what you discover through your review of your analytics, develop a new list of topics to cover.  If there is a product or service that seems to be popular with your visitors, give them more posts on the topics.  If there is a product or service that you’d like to see get more attention, develop some articles that showcase those topics.  You might want to write about how your customers have used those products and services.  If you state the customer’s name – be sure to get their approval first.  But you could also write about it in a generic way, for example, “3 Ways Cloud Computing Contributed to Chicago-based Association’s Growth.”

By following these guidelines, you’ll make the most of your SEO investment.  You’ll also improve the visitor experience for those finding your website.  This in turn will help your visitors qualify themselves for your products and services leading to new business opportunities.

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