Has SEO become ineffective in generating high quality B2B leads? Many businesses think that this is so. There is just too much competition going around and it is next to impossible to generate B2B leads through content.
More and more businesses are finding it hard to find the perfect SEO strategy that will help them in generating leads. In this article, we will explore how to make SEO for B2B effective despite the challenges that surround the general world of SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
What is B2B SEO?
B2B or Business to business SEO is simply SEO techniques or SEO strategy specifically for websites or companies in the business to business industry. B2B is the exchange of goods and services between two or more businesses. B2B SEO is different from B2C or Business to Consumers, and strategies commonly effective in B2C may not necessarily be effective for B2B companies.
Business to business lead generation remains to be one of the top challenges of many companies these days. To help them with this, most companies employ SEO techniques. Recently, however, the effectivity of SEO for B2B lead generation is being questioned.
Is B2B SEO Effective?
While many people and businesses would agree that SEO for B2B has become ineffective, we beg to differ. Indeed, achieving success with SEO is not a piece of cake. It is definitely a path filled with potholes. Success with SEO entails getting over challenges, struggles and hurdles.
But it is possible. And to some digital marketers, the fact that SEO success is possible is enough. There are ways to succeed and carve a name using content.
The first thing to understand is that success in terms of high quality B2B leads does not come overnight or instantaneously. The benefits of SEO accumulate through time; thus it becomes more effective as time passes by.
When you continue to create content and employ SEO strategies, you will ultimately start getting organic traffic. Paid search as a way to generate leads and sales, on the other hand, requires you to spend money continuously.
SEO, therefore, is the most cost effective strategy of generating leads and driving sales. It is challenging to find success in this field, but there are ways that digital marketers can use.
Always remember the following criteria for SEO success:
1. High quality content
No matter how good your link building campaign is, you will still fail if your content is not of high quality. Your goal is to be considered as a reliable resource person for your specific field or industry. Thus, your content must be informative and valuable.
2. Link building
Your site’s content can only reach so many people if you don’t have a good link building campaign in place. Link building is the process of getting other web pages to link to your website.
SEO Outreach is an important link building strategy whose main goal is to create backlinks from other websites to your website. This strategy is very crucial as backlinks remain to be the strongest factor that affect a website’s rank in Google’s search algorithm. Outreach can also be used to spread brand awareness.
The three items discussed briefly above understandably requires a lot of your time, human resource, and even money. But the return of these investments is an edge over your competitors, especially those that don’t have the inclination to invest in a good SEO campaign.
In this article, we share with you some tips on how to effectively use SEO in generating high quality B2B leads.
1. Keyword Research
Whether you have a new website or upgrading and updating an existing one, keyword research is very important. It should be the fundamental aspect of your SEO strategy. You have to understand how keywords are evolving and how they affect your lead generation process.
There are a lot of online tools that you can use in order to come up with good and effective keywords. However, these are the basic ones:
- List down the common terms that your customers use when they describe your products or services.
- Reach out to your customers and find out how they talk about the topics or issues that you are going to write about. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn and Quora are great places to start.
- Do a brainstorming session with your employees.
- Monitor discussion boards and forums that are relevant to the industry your business is in.
- Make use of Google Autocomplete. Type a general word that is associated to your business, but don’t hit on Enter. See the suggested results and write them down. This will help you expand your keywords ideas.
- You may also look at the “related searches” section at the bottom of the search results page. It will give you an idea what words people use to search for relevant topics.
- There are also professional keyword search tools that you can make use of, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs. These tools may require you to allocate a portion of your budget to it, but they prove to be effective in identifying keywords that you can use for your SEO strategy.
Topic Clusters Instead of Single Terms
The way that keywords work has changed through time. These days, you no longer need to create different content for similar keywords. Search engines can now perfectly understand the relationship between different keywords.
The effect of this evolution is that you can create a long and informative content that targets a group of terms such as:
- b2b lead generation
- lead generation tools
- lead generation process
- lead marketing
- marketing leads
- business to business lead generation
- qualified leads
The evolution of search engines also includes a deep understanding of the intention behind every search. For instance, when you perform a search on “lead generation process”, the first two pages of the search result will give you an idea as to the intent of people who have searched the same keywords.
If the results are commonly informational pieces or how-to guides on lead generation process, then this tells you the intent of the people who searched for it is to learn more information about the said topic.
On the other hand, if you see on the results page a lot of books or products for sale that are relevant to our sample keyword “lead generation process”, then this tells you that the intent of the searchers is commercial in nature.
As a digital entrepreneur, you have to understand this and apply it to your overall SEO strategy. Understanding keyword intent will help you plan out your content.
After doing keyword research, you may face a substantially long list of keywords that are relevant to your business. It is important that you rank the items by importance. Determine which keywords should be prioritized in order for you to know how to allocate your resources properly.
There are two criteria that you should look at in prioritizing the keywords: difficulty and search volume.
When a keyword has a high search volume, this may mean that a lot of websites are targeting it. So when you produce a content targeting this keyword, it will be hard to make it appear on the first page of the search results. If this is the case, it is better to move on to other less-competitive keywords.
2. Content Creation
Knowing the perfect keyword is not enough for your B2B SEO strategy to succeed. You need to produce contents that are of high quality. Your content must set you apart from competitors, and must be difficult for them to rewrite or duplicate.
Here are a few tips on how to come up with high-quality content:
- Interview well-known experts from time to time and create a piece about the interview. For instance, if your website is about digital marketing, you can reach out to a digital marketing expert and ask him or her a few questions.
- When writing about a specific topic or issue, ask the opinion of industry players and quote them in your content.
- Use relevant and up to date data and information. People will seek out your content when they know that they can get accurate and recent information from your website.
- Check and double check spellings and grammar before publishing your content. A glaring grammatical or spelling error can be a flag for most people so make use of tools that will help you check your content.
So you know the most effective keyword and have created an error-free and informative content that targets it. The work does not stop there though. You need to promote your posts and your website as a whole.
You have to build links from other websites to your web pages because links are the most crucial factor that will affect a website’s ranking in Google.
4. Content Upgrade
When your content start driving traffic to your website, the next task is to turn these visitors into leads. Some of these visitors may not be ready to become your customers, and that is okay.
Your goal should be for these visitors to share their email addresses with you so that you can build a relationship with them.
You can do this by leveraging on your most visited topics and offering upgrades of the content in the form of downloadable checklists, whitepaper, or specifications. The goal of these downloadable upgrade is again to get their emails.
Once you have their email addresses, you can start sending out informative and helpful emails before pitching a sale.
Apart from email, some companies use chatbots and analytics to identify consistent readers and convert them into leads.
You could also check this SEO Checklist 2019.
SEO for B2B is Still Effective
We started this article with a question: Has SEO become ineffective in generating high quality B2B leads? And although the effectiveness of SEO for B2B is being question continuously, with even some marketers switching to a different approach, there are still ways in which to make it work. Not just work, but effectively work in generating leads.
You just need to invest time in researching for keywords and creating a high-quality content that adds value to your target audience. And adding value is the secret in making SEO work for B2B. In this age where everyone is bombarded by so many information, people will appreciate it when they read something that is helpful, relevant, and up to date.
When they see you as a company who wants to add value to their businesses, then ultimately they will become leads.