Quick SEO and keyword tips for B2B marketers
If you’re in communications, public relations or marketing, you will have likely heard the phrase “content is king.” It’s a catch phrase that has been around for years. Well, we have news for you. Content is still king, but one must be able to find the king to make it worthwhile.
Let’s say you’ve invested thousands of euros creating videos, articles, blog posts and product info pages on your website. That’s great. But what would be fantastic is if people could find the content when conducting a Google search. If your freshly created content doesn’t come up when they are looking for it, then it’s a waste of time and money.
And then there is the holy grail of search benefits and that is if they discover your blog through Google, there is a chance they might become regular followers of your blog or website. Remember, it’s not always about selling, but about connecting with your audience on a regular basis by educating them on your interesting topics even when they aren’t looking to buy at that particular time.
Below are our steps to get started with SEO:
Step 1: Asking the Right Questions to get your SEO Answers
Pay a visit to google and you’ll find a lot of sources giving tips on how to rank high in Google. What we find amazing is that many businesses focus on paid ways to rank and forget about the basics like making sure their SEO is complete.
If done correctly, SEO is an organic way of having your B2B content rise to the top of search engines without having to pay for it to be there. And the best way to do SEO -- or to optimize your content on your website -- is by simply including “SEO Keywords” in your text.
Say for example, you are a B2B sensor manufacturer specifically for the oil industry and you want to increase awareness of your product by having more people visit your website. Before you develop a bunch of content, you need to ask a few questions:
- What problems are my future customers trying to solve?
- What are the key benefits of my product that customers will be looking for?
- What industry segments or geographical locations are my customers in?
- What words would I put in Google to find a similar or competing product?
There are many more questions, but if you can get the answers to these ones, you are off to the right start as you now have a list of possible keywords and phrases to use in the text on your website. For example, based on the questions above, you might be able to tell us that your customers are looking for a sensor or sensor network that can be used in pipes to detect methane or natural gas in real time in the North Sea. They also want it to be wireless.
Step 2: Selecting your SEO Keywords
Now that you’ve narrowed down some possible terms, you can test the phrases and words to see which ones are the right ones or the most impactful ones to use. There are numerous ways to do this:
- Insert phrases into Google to see if relevant information comes up. You don’t want to be too specific so that no searches come up, but you don’t want to be too vague. Try to think like your customer and remember they may not know the brand name or that your company has what they need. Think about what would they type in the search field to find that product. For example, typing in the word “sensor” would be too broad. It would bring up too many results and not just the ones in their industry.
Instead, your potential customer could be searching for a combination of the following: pipe sensor for the North Sea, oil sensor to detect methane gas seepage, real-time methane detection sensor or wireless sensor networks for oil and gas industry.
- A second way to test keywords is to use a keyword search tool search as Keyword Explorer or Soovle. Type in the same phrases and both of these online tools will bring up alternative search words related to the keyword(s) you choose.
- A third way is to check up your competition in search and see which words that are using. If you can’t beat them in every google search your customer does, then at least you want to show up on the same page when a search is conducted.
Step 3: Using the Keywords
SEO keywords turn content into revenue generating blogs and product pages as the more often these words appear on your website, the more chance search engines will show your business as a result in a Google search. The goal is to have your page come up on the first page of Google when someone uses a keyword related to your business. This is because 95% of people only look at the first page search results and 50% of those people only click on the first three results.
The best places to use your key words are titles, headlines and subheads, and in the body copy. However, where it appears in the body copy makes a difference. The optimal place is to use the word or phrase in the first few sentences, but you should not repeat the same phrase and keyword too often in a piece of text. Search engines have caught onto that old trick and will assume your page is spam and not a quality website. Also, try to use different keywords on each page or in each blog. The reason is that you would be competing with your own content when bringing up search results.
A good practice is to see each page as it’s own unique website that could bring in a specific customer looking for a specific solution. Some customers are looking for product information, some might be looking for installation tips and some might be looking for case studies.
You also need to ensure your meta titles and meta descriptions are SEO friendly. These are the summary descriptions that appear in google when a search is conducted on your company. Your web person will likely be the one to fill these in when creating your webpage, but you should provide them with the SEO friendly title and one-sentence description containing your keywords that describe your company for them to use.
Step 4: Keep your content fresh
There’s a reason why company blogs are so important. Yes, they help flush out news angles for journalists and can show you as a thought leader to your current and future customers. And yes, they give you interesting content that can be used on your social media platforms. But did you know your blog is helping your search engine ranking?
Search engines are always looking for new pages on relevant content, and while your product pages will be static and not updated often, your company blog will have fresh content for the search engines to find. If someone is searching for a product or the solution to a particular problem they are trying to solve, the more pages you have on the topic, the more chance your website will come up. It’s like having multiple lottery tickets. But of course just like the lottery tickets need to contain the winning numbers, your content needs to contain the “winning” search words.
There is a catch though. You can’t duplicate the content. Again, Google has figured that out and it will decrease your SEO score. Think of your website and blog like a news site. Every article needs to be unique. The topic could be similar, but the article angle has to be different.
Another way to boost your SEO is with internal linking and backlinking. These can help you to connect with the audience and help emphasize keywords. However, make sure you aren’t sending your customers away to a competitor’s site with your links and that your backlinks are quality. Poor quality backlinks or using too many internal links are again a signal to Google that your content might be spam.
The best advice is to see the article from your reader’s perspective. A few links that will help them get more information on a topic or product will be appreciated. Too many links will make your blog post appear like a sales piece and will turn them away.
Get your content working for you
So take a look at the current content on your website and blog. Are the words used reaching your customer or is it content for the sake of content? It doesn’t take much to transform a page into revenue generating content. All it takes is spending some time to think like your customer and using the phrases they would to find you.
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