B2B Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Increase Profits and Leads from Customers that Don’t Already Know You
According to a recent Enquiro B2B survey, over 70% of B2B purchasers began their research from a search engine. Of those business to business searchers, 74% clicked the free, or “organic” listings while only 19% clicked on paid ads. B2B prospects trust overt advertising less than your typical web searcher so to achieve the highest initial level of trust, your website must show up in the organic search engine results lest you receive a fraction of your possible opportunities. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has a unique capability. So long as you maintain rankings in search engines, you will receive leads at no additional cost. No other marketing medium has this longevity. A TV or radio commercial is gone in an instant, a trade magazine may last as long as a month or two, but in theory, search engine rankings can provide a stream of qualified leads to your business in perpetuity.
What is the value of a lead to your business, and how important would it be if your company could capture B2B clients earlier in the purchasing process?
The top four things you have to do to get high rankings are:
- Proper SEO structure throughout your site
- Great content and lots of it, be a big resource in your market
- Incoming quality links (link-building)
- Social Media presence
There are over 100 issues in site structure that have to be set correctly. The rules for content and keyword matching are constantly changing. Google is now making pretty major updates on a monthly basis.
Lots of well written, relevant content is becoming more and more important. The most recent Google ranking algorithm update rewarded companies that had lots of great content and downgraded companies that just bought links as their SEO strategy.
Link building is still important and is still part art and part science. It can never be totally outsourced and is best accomplished when your SEO team works closely with your marketing team to get links for SEO and links that bring good traffic directly from the linked sites. Getting links from other high quality, trusted sites, and social media locations is more vital than ever.
Some of the factors that will help you find the answer to the worth of that #1 ranking:
- 42% of Google searchers click on the top ranking
- Only 8% click the second listing
- Higher traffic keywords are tougher
- Competition for rankings
- Brand recognition. It’s absolutely vital you rank for your brand. Otherwise someone else will benefit from your marketing efforts
A great SEO company will help you with:
- Site structure setup
- Adding content, even doing the copy for you on a monthly basis if necessary
- Link building month-after-month
- Analytics to determine what is actually converting to leads
- Integration with your social media campaigns
- ROI analysis
Companies learn the hard way that short-term, low budget SEO efforts have some payoff in ranking but seldom bring any long term business benefits. For winning the race, a professionally run, long term investment in SEO is essential.
Search Engine Optimization Allows Business to Business Companies to:
- Dramatically increase levels of qualified prospects
- Prequalify prospects by targeting “more qualified” keywords
- Open communication with potential customers earlier in the sales cycle, guiding them to a completed sale
- Achieve instant credibility with prospects and be positioned as a leader in the industry
- Achieve a ROI that can outperform any other current marketing medium available
Great search engine results take more than chance. There are proven processes that companies must follow to reach the upper echelons of Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s organic rankings. You will find these processes are a hybrid of basic marketing principles, but require an innate knowledge of how search engines work and what opportunities exist for your company to become known on the web.
B2B companies can often compete against the 800 lb gorilla in their market at a fraction of the cost by simply working smarter, not harder at their search engine rankings. To know what to do, when to do it, and how, you need a qualified B2B search engine optimization partner. They should have a broad knowledge of internet marketing. SEO is more complex these days and the success of such a program depends on the overall health of your website.
For example, a B2B provider may rank #1 for their top keyword phrase but
- what happens if the landing page has conversion barriers that keep people from contacting you?
- How could you do more with the leads you are already getting? Do you have email campaigns and other mechanisms to keep leads engaged and ignite cold ones?
- If there is a problem with your website, can your SEO partner fix it or do you now need to find a professional B2B website designer?
- While you are waiting for SEO results to pay off, can their company help you with a professional B2B pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign?