Why marketers need a B2B SEO content strategy and how to put it into action: Part one
Focusing entirely on PR at the expense of search engine optimisation (SEO) – or vice versa – is no longer a viable strategy for B2B businesses and, as the power of SEO grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to keep up with both.
The good news is that PR and SEO strategies can be combined to establish a trustworthy reputation online, raise brand awareness and achieve a lasting revenue pipeline.
Keep reading to find out why marketers need a B2B SEO content strategy and how it can be integrated into your overall PR plan.
Search engine optimisation or ‘SEO’ is the process of improving how a website operates to increase the quality and quantity of organic traffic from search engines and is considered one of the most important customer acquisition channels for B2B businesses. Through a specialist B2B SEO strategy that focuses on the website content, businesses will:
- Connect with their target audience
- Stand out from competitors
- Build a long-term reputation with their specific industry
- Sell more products or services to other businesses
While the role of a PR expert is to craft original angles and explore opportunities to create impactful content, the SEO expert ensures a piece of content is visible to the right users. This is achieved by optimising it for search engines from the outset through the use of keyword search terms, link building, optimising meta data and other factors.
Does a B2B SEO vs B2C SEO content strategy differ?
The short answer is yes, and it starts with the customer journey. B2C clients will typically use a search engine to access products or services – recipes, gifts, holidays etc – a relatively straightforward sales process leading from search to purchase. However, for a B2B company, the sales funnel is less linear and more complex, involving a larger buying group of six to ten decision makers on average.
A successful B2B SEO content strategy will use a range of different formats, including:
- Short-form blog posts, case studies and newsletters
- ‘How To’ Guides, FAQs and checklists
- Long-form whitepapers, eBooks, thought leadership pieces and handbooks
- Video podcasts and webinars
SEO optimised content can also be used as part of a scalable content strategy to increase brand exposure; a high-performing evergreen blog post, for instance, can be repurposed using multiple angles in a thought leadership PR article.
Where did the requirement for SEO originate and why is it important for B2B clients?
The arrival of the internet just over three decades ago changed the way we live and work and as more websites were built, it was clear that an improved filing system was required to simplify the search process. The world’s first search engines were created but it was Google’s algorithm updates that first connected users to the information they wanted to find and within just a few years (in 2006) the verb ‘to google’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Search engine optimisation increases both the quality and quantity of web traffic to a brand, through non-paid (“organic”) search engine results. Rather than pushing out paid advertisements and social media as part of a traditional (non-digital) B2B PR campaign, the use of SEO increases search volume and pulls traffic into a website. In fact, B2B brands have seen better ROI from inbound marketing and SEO than B2C brands while B2B marketers are more likely to prioritise SEO than brand partnerships.
Tracking and monitoring
Conducting an audit of current SEO performance is an essential part of tracking ROI and success. It is used to help businesses analyse how well their existing website is optimised for search engines, to assess if their existing keyword strategy is working and to identify and address any technical issues affecting the website.
Keywords and topics
With an astonishing 75% of internet users never scrolling past the first page of search results, the goal of SEO optimisation is to push websites up the rankings until they reach that all-important position. Achieving visibility on page one of a search engine will boost the amount of traffic to that business’s website by 143%. (Interestingly, the average word count for articles appearing on Google’s first page is around 1,890 words, which reinforces the case for longer-form content).
The secret sauce starts by understanding users’ search intent and identifying the popular (key)words and phrases that customers are most likely to use to find a website on the search engine results page (SERP). Armed with that information, businesses can start to hone their messaging, create content relevant to their target audiences and buyer personas and improve their chances of ranking higher up in SERPs.
When considering those keywords and other SEO tools, it’s important to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think about the longer-term – what do you want your business to become better known for? Here’s your opportunity to be relevant and add permanent value.
Producing quality content is essential for both SEO and PR. It presents a unique opportunity for B2B businesses to offer customers and prospects a trustworthy digital experience. It boosts credibility, raises brand awareness, drives engagement and pushes organic visitors further through the sales funnel. The end results are higher online rankings and increased sales: a strategy that surely no B2B business should ignore.
To learn more about how an SEO content strategy can bolster your PR programme, reach out to the GingerMay team today.