Many people have a “set it and forget it” approach when it comes to SEO. But if you have a good site (in terms of organic search), you should be taking advantage of it—especially during these tough economic times.
SEO remains one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies, especially over the long haul. If your site and the pages on it have historically responded well to desired search terms, you should be tweaking your site to speak to the changing market. Here are seven inexpensive strategies to help you win during these challenging times.
Understand the changing landscape
Have the needs of your prospects and customers changed during the downturn? Are there products or a segment of you business more suited to these times than before? Do you need to change how you position some of your offerings? Are the keywords used by your prospects changing? What words are your prospects including now including in their searches that they didn’t include before? The primary words used in queries may be the same, but the long tail of those queries may be different. Does your site speak to the changing long tail?
Tweak existing content
Likely, there are many pages on your site that should be modified to speak to these tough economic times and the changing long tail. Adjust and expand the copy to ensure it resonates well with your prospects’ concerns, and also with search engines when those prospects search for solutions using long-tail terms that reflect those concerns. For some hints on optimizing page content, see Copywriting Tips for B2B SEO.
Beef up relevant content
In addition to tweaking existing pages, you should consider adding more optimized pages to your site’s architecture. Perhaps there are products or services you haven’t strongly promoted but now are in strong demand. There may be some offerings you previously only mentioned in a passing sentence or two that now deserve an organic landing page or perhaps several pages. There are a lot of ways you can quickly add more optimized content to your B2B website, including product/service pages, case studies, white papers, etc.
Manage your landing pages
What would happen if you increased your site’s traffic by 10% or converted just 5% more of your site’s traffic? Chances are you have a lot of potential traffic that isn’t converting, both on your site and in the SERPs. Make sure you understand and manage your site’s landing pages. First, know what your search engine results look like for each desired search term.
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Sometimes you just have to wonder, what were they thinking?
All of us who write articles and blog postings have had our work stolen by others who pass it off as their own. But the brilliance of this thief is stunning. So dumb, it’s funny. Nothing like leaving your business card at the scene.
A pingback came through on an article on this blog entitled, “B2B Search Marketing: Loose the Lingo, Remember the Buyer.” You can see the comment on the article by clicking here.
The pinkback was a verbatim excerpt from the article to which the comment related. Of course, there’s the link to the website of the person who commented on the article.
When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the person’s blog where my blog posting appeared verbatim, in its entirety, with just a few words added. Of course, there was no attribution or reference, and the link to my posting was buried in body copy with anchor text of “b2b marketers.” Below is a screen capture.
Of course I wondered whose blog this was, so I click on the “About”,
that told me it was a blog run by Dinkum Interactive, a Philadelphia search marketing company.
I really got a kick out of their tagline, “Genuine Search Engine Marketing”. I never new what “dinkum” meant (actually never heard of the word), but their website points out that it’s Australian, meaning genuine, real.
I think not.
The objective of B2B search marketing is often to capture lead information through registrations for white papers, case studies, newsletters, free trials, research data, etc. But what about site visitors that don’t take the bait? Does that mean they’re not serious prospects? Of course not. It would be arrogant to assume that any prospect worth their salt would be downloading your stuff. You can be certain that somewhere in all those non-registering visitors are many high-value prospects. And if you’re selling big ticket items, it may be worth it to dig a little deeper to find them.
How to find them
B2B marketers use paid and organic search to get visitors to their sites. Once a visitor is on the site, the objective is to capture and evaluate lead information. This lead information is often generated through registrations for white papers, case studies, newsletters, free trials, research data, etc.
But what happens if there aren’t many registrations? You need to look at your web analytics to determine whether the cause is lack of traffic or lack of conversion. You may find that you have lots of visitors who are interested in downloading something from your site (they go to the download page), but few people complete the registration form. Perhaps you’re asking for too much information too soon. Perhaps the perceived value of the download information isn’t commensurate with visitors’ willingness to provide registration information. If this is the case, you need to ask for less information or increase the perceived value of the information being offered to the visitor.
But what if you’ve already done this? You may need to strip it down to the minimum. Perhaps only name and email address. However, here are a couple things to keep in mind.
Recently, Enquiro, in conjunction with MarketingSherpa and Survey Sampling International, released a report entitled Marketing to a B2B Technical Buyer (requires registration). Comprised of roughly equal parts research report and Enquiro marketing perspectives, the document seeks to analyze the behaviors of B2B technical buyers and convey their priorities.
While there are a few interesting takeaways, there isn’t much in the research data that would surprise any seasoned B2B marketing professional. And despite the sheer volume of the document that portends the importance of the B2B technical buyer, the report fails to mention a key characteristic of the technical buyer:
When it comes to B2B search marketing, what’s the best strategy—Organic search engine optimization or pay-per-click search advertising? In large part, it depends on what you’re selling, your budget, your company’s investment philosophy, and searchers’ actual behavior.
Reed Business Information recently launched Zibb, a B2B search engine. In addition its focus on B2B, Zibb aspires to be a top-notch search engine in a variety of more focused verticals. The site, currently available in beta form, presently lists 26 verticals within which users can search to narrow their search results. Folio Magazine has an article with additional information on Reed’s intent and approach to Zibb.