The world is changing at an unprecedented rate – and the Coronavirus crisis is reshaping everything including B2B marketing practices.
For many companies in the B2B environment, finding potential customers and closing deals without face-to-face interaction is a major challenge. Hence, B2B marketers and businesses must adopt new strategies to stay competitive, particularly in a highly competitive digital marketing era.
B2B marketing practices that worked a couple of years ago might not be effective given the current global market dynamics, consumer needs, and emerging marketing and sales technologies. Businesses and marketers should stay up to date with the current trends.
But while B2B marketing strategies are evolving, some marketing practices remain continually and universally relevant – SEO is one. When looking for a product or service in search engines, there’s a high chance prospects will do business with whoever is higher up in the search results. So if you want to get to the top of the search engine results, it may be time to start working with a reliable B2B SEO agency.
So, What are the B2B SEO Practices in 2021?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that has been around ever since the concept of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) was born. A SERP ranks the web pages that will be displayed to consumers when they search specific words, terms, or phrases (also known as keywords) in a search engine (such as Google, DuckGo, Bing, and Yelp).
Quite simply, B2B SEO is about getting your web pages or website on the first page of search engines. Landing the first page means reaching out to more people – and potential customers.
Despite the ever-changing digital marketing trends, SEO remains an effective and essential tool in your B2B marketing arsenal. By ranking web pages higher on the SERP, it is easier for potential customers to find your products or services and eventually turn them into leads and sales. You can also consider some of the best free press release sites for that matter but still, you cannot completely ignore the importance of SEO. SEO for B2B marketers focus on keywords that target a company’s key decision-maker – the top phrases and terms that they will most likely look for.
Investing in the right SEO practices in 2021 can help B2B companies reach out to industry leaders. Here we take a look at the best B2B SEO practices this year.
Develop Buyer Personas
Before you initiate any marketing campaign, you should know your target audience. Research about your ideal buyer, such as their problems, motivations, budget, communication channels used, etc.
By knowing more about your customers, you can create more accurate customer or buyer personas.
But what is a customer or buyer persona?
Buyer persona refers to a semi-fictional representation of your target buyer. For B2B marketers, these are decision-makers in the industry. The customer persona is based on current customer data, relevant market research, and logical assumptions. It doesn’t have to be very specific or highly accurate but should be based on up-to-date data.
With these abstract depictions, B2B marketers can understand and connect better to their ideal customer. Creating a set of insights makes it easier to develop relevant, interesting, and high-quality content that appeals to your target buyer. It can also guide B2B SEO strategies.
Effective B2B Keyword Research
One of the pain points in the B2B environment is keyword research for B2B. It is a unique and challenging aspect – and developing an effective strategy is vital to success this 2021.
In the B2B environment, businesses frequently deal with a number of buyer personas. In most companies, the sales cycle involves multiple decision-makers with individual preferences, beliefs, and pain points. Hence, each of them should be considered as a unique buyer.
Additionally, since B2B niches tend to have a low traffic, most keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush, have limited information regarding competition and search volume.
Instead of relying on these tools, you should look for queries with:
- High conversion rate and relevance
- Relevance to your product or service
- Top-of-the funnel focus
When doing B2B keyword research, the main consideration is to address the unique problems of the buyer persona. Turn these keywords into topic ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey or sales funnel. The B2B sales funnel is comprised of three major stages:
1. Discovery: the target audience becomes aware of a problem and a need to solve it.
2. Research: the prospect looks for available solutions to the problem.
3. Decision: the potential customer has chosen a potential solution and is ready to buy.
Aside from developing the right buyer persona, it is vital to identify the pain points of each persona at the different stages of the sales funnel. B2B marketers should develop topic ideas and content that address these specific needs. This can help B2B marketers effectively target high-conversion and high-relevance keywords while creating engaging content.
Unlike in B2C, in B2B keyword research, you don’t depend solely on high-volume keywords. Instead, you create relevant topics that can guide your ideal customer down the marketing funnel.
Match Content with User Intent
Gone are the days of simply creating and posting high-quality content. Nowadays, it’s not enough that you have a well-maintained blog or a 5,000-word, in-depth post. While such content is helpful, they are less effective if they fail to meet the user’s intent.
Over the years, user intent or sometimes called keyword or search intent has become a vital part of lead generation for the B2B market.
Search engines (like Google) are continuously improving their algorithms, going beyond the terms or phrases to understanding the intent of each query. By knowing the user intent, it becomes easier to create posts that will take your products or services to the first page.
Basically, user intent refers to the primary objective of the person using a search engine. It can be any of the four main types that include:
Navigational Intent wherein the user is only searching for a specific page online. Here B2B marketers can optimize branded keywords in their content.
Information Intent is when a user looks for a specific topic or information. It is often phrased as a question, such as, “how to bake a banana cake?” Use informative content that answers the user’s problem.
Commercial Intent refers to queries when the searcher is comparing or looking for product alternatives. Content that compares or reviews the products target commercial keywords.
Transactional Intent refers to searches that are near the bottom of the sales funnel or when the searcher is ready to purchase. For B2B marketing, keywords with transactional intent typically include a brand name. Optimizing the pricing page and catalog can help target transactional keywords.
Use Low-Volume Keywords
Unlike the B2C marketplace which is wider, the B2B environment is smaller and more specific. Hence, your web pages should be optimized for high-quality and low-volume keywords to better engage the key decision-makers.
Take time to search and group related keywords for blog content or web pages that would generate considerable organic traffic consistently.
In most cases, your readers are repeated users. While this might sound disheartening, it makes competition less stringent, unlike the B2C marketplace. As a result, there is a higher probability of sales and revenue.
Branding and Thought Leadership
B2B SEO strategists emphasized that brand reputation is a “make or break”. Being relevant and visible in the industry is crucial to marketing success.
Regularly post interesting, useful, and keyword-rich thought leadership content. Provide answers to industry questions. Sharing your thoughts and opinions on social media channels proves useful in building a reputable brand.
Quality content that educates and engages your ideal customers will encourage them to consider – and ultimately consider your products or services.
These are some of the SEO best practices in 2021 that can help bring more organic traffic and leads for your B2B business. Focus on these strategies to make your brand rank high in search engines and reach out to as many potential customers as possible. Complement it with other marketing strategies that will convert these leads into sales.