When budget planning for the upcoming fiscal year, SEO should be a big item on the consideration list to support your B2B marketing strategy. It’s one marketing channel that executives typically tend to overlook because they perceive their brand ranks well in organic search, and SEO is driving traffic.
However, the reality is that without an ongoing SEO program, a website is likely not fully optimized for competitive key search terms that the business’ target audience most commonly uses when researching products and services.
Missed ranking opportunities often translate directly to lost leads and sales.
The Business Case for SEO
Organic search is a huge part of the modern day B2B customer journey. It’s hard to deny SEO is important when 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search.
In 2014, Google stated that B2B researchers perform 12 searches on average prior to engaging with a specific brand’s website.
If your website isn’t visible in those searches, then your brand is not going to be a potential candidate in the decision process.
Increase Your Pipeline
Studies have shown that organic search is the #1 overall driver of traffic to B2B company websites. This trend holds true with most of Godfrey’s clients as well.
Access to tracking tools and CRM systems allow our marketing experts to see further down the marketing funnel and confirm that organic search traffic is one of the biggest contributors of conversions and assisted conversions on websites. Time and time again, end-to-end tracking platforms prove that those actions and leads are resulting in sales.
There may be items in your upcoming 12-month game plan that could negatively affect your website rankings if they’re not planned out properly.
By budgeting for these additional SEO considerations, you’ll be better off.
- Launching an International Website
International websites can help deliver local language content to the right user. But, there’s lots of complexities search engines can have with crawling and indexing multiple language sites. Avoid duplicate content penalties by ensuring your website’s hreflang and canonical tags are implemented correctly. This will help Google and other search engines to appropriately detect the proper language variations for each unique page.
Performing keyword research for international languages prior to translating pages will ensure your translated content includes common keywords and has a chance at ranking as highly as it does in English search results.
- Making Your Website Responsive or Building a Mobile Website
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that mobile devices have finally overtaken desktops in website search traffic in many industries. Having a website that’s responsive (easily viewable on smartphones and tablets) safeguards your website from being negatively impacted by Google’s Mobilegeddon update, which launched in 2015.
If your website still isn’t mobile friendly, you stand to gain a positive improvement in rankings and an increase in usability and customer satisfaction by updating your website.
Use caution when redesigning your website and taking advantage of new technology. We’ve seen costly mistakes that could have been avoided, from developers blocking search engine access when trying to crawl a website to Google entirely deindexing a website. You need to be careful to prevent any ranking loss.
- Moving Your Static Website Into a CMS
Migrating a static website into a content management system (CMS) or switching platforms can have a detrimental impact on SEO if not done properly. Along with content migration, there are a lot of other technical hurdles to address, including meta information (what Google displays in the search results) and the URL structure.
Even though your site may look the same, if 301 redirects are not in place to direct users and search engines from old page URLs to your new website pages, then you might experience a severe drop in rankings.
Carrying over the title tags and meta descriptions along with the page-level content will ensure that your rankings fluctuate as little as possible when search engines recrawl your website.
To avoid any security issues, make certain that your developer uses the latest version of your selected CMS platform and installs the most up-to-date third-party modules or plugins.
- Building a Dealer Program
Many B2B brands are either utilizing or realizing the value of creating a dealer program to help increase sales. The trust of a local store or distributor carries a lot weight. According to Hubspot, 72% of consumers who did a local search later visited a store within five miles.
Just because your brand creates localized dealer pages on the same domain doesn’t mean they will have the same authority to rank in search results for local searches. Local SEO in metro markets can be extremely competitive.
In order to boost rankings and inquiries, each localized page should contain information beyond just location and store hours. To bolster the page, include relevant content like products & services offered by that dealer or distributor or links to internal pages. This ensures search engines understand the page is unique and relevant, but more importantly, potential prospects or customers understand what the location offers.
- Launch a Blog or Content Hub
Adding new resourceful content to your website, such as blog posts, infographics, videos and white papers, can be a great way to increase brand awareness, nurture prospects and help educate your existing customers.
However, if you’re creating a blog or content hub with the sole purpose of increasing website rankings, then there are lot of intricacies to consider, such as keywords and content mapping, inner-linking, content and meta optimization, and more.
Content should live on the same website domain to take advantage of the existing domain authority your website has. It’s okay to curate content from other websites, but every new addition should contain unique, fresh content.
- Opening a B2B e-Commerce Store
B2B e-commerce is a growing segment. Frost & Sullivan projects that B2B e-commerce will hit $12 trillion in sales worldwide by 2020, up $5.5 trillion in 2012.
Businesses need products too! The B2B e-commerce growth rate is currently triple the rate of B2C e-commerce.
If your brand is considering entry to the e-commerce arena and launching an online storefront to put your products at your buyer’s fingertips, then it’s important to understand how your website can be impacted by SEO.
To read the entire post, visit https://www.godfrey.com/insights/seo/seo-is-a-critical-part-of-b2b-strategy.
One of the largest B2B marketing agencies in the United States and a member of Worldwide Partners Inc., Godfrey specializes in helping highly technical manufacturers market themselves better. Godfrey blends customer insight, strategic consulting, brand management, advertising, public relations, digital strategy and skilled execution to produce unified marketing programs ideal for the B2B space. For more information about the spectrum of services Godfrey offers, please visit www.godfrey.com.