SEO - Search Engine Optimization
With the New Year comes the temptation to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. However, New Year’s resolutions might imply that what you were doing last year was wrong. What about all the thing B2B SEOs did that were right.
As highlighted in a recent eMarketer article, an August 2012 study by Demandbase and Ziff Davis indicated that SEO was the top online marketing tactic used by B2B marketers. This was only narrowly ahead of social media and content marketing – two tactics that certainly augment and help improve overall B2B SEO if done in coordination.
With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, B2B marketers must now focus on wrapping up 2012 and preparing projections and budgets for the upcoming year. A common theme we have seen with our clients is to define a few “big” Web enhancements that will be associated to B2B search engine marketing in the coming year.
Website functionality requests are usually a component of B2B SEO that need to be budgeted in larger organizations, since the website is often managed by a different department than marketing. SEO is often a small component of the Web team’s overall priorities and responsibilities in any given year.
In late October MarketingSherpa published a chart from their 2012 Website Optimization Benchmark Report, highlighting average conversion rates broken down by industry.
B2B search marketers certainly obsess about conversion metrics and this chart does well to provide broad expectation for success, from an industry perspective. That said, the associated article does a good job identifying important considerations in addition to just benchmark information.
- How do you define conversion?
- How do you use benchmark data?
For this article, I want to look deeper into the improvement of conversion rates for the B2B website. The two questions above are starting points.
Last week, KoMarketing Associates covered a study released by Optify, which revealed that organic search terms returning “not provided” keyword results have risen to 39 percent; this change represents a 171 percent growth since last year. The study covered traffic associated with 424 B2B sites.
Nearly a year removed from Google’s announcement that the search engine would encrypt search referral information for logged-in users, this data should be alarming to B2B marketers seeking to better understand how lead opportunities are released on their website.
Traffic patterns from our client base are similar.
One of the biggest obstacles to B2B search engine optimization is developing new content marketing assets for targeting important keywords and acquiring link assets. While our organization has seen this in client relationships throughout the years, this degree of difficulty was further supported by industry peers in the 2012 MarketingSherpa Search Engine Marketing Report.
Even though there are many excellent research tools available for finding new content marketing ideas, sometimes the best resources are right under the B2B marketer’s nose. Here are six underrated content marketing assets and how they can be leveraged more effectively for B2B SEO.
A client emailed me this weekend with a message about a potential guest blogger for their website. The blogger’s proposal was written concisely, the objective clearly stated, and the message illustrated a basic understanding of the client’s website initiatives. However, we turned the guest blogger down because the individual’s experience did not reflect any affiliation or relationship (direct or indirect) with the organization’s industry and market.
About a week ago, Matt Cutts addressed the issue of guest blogging for links in a Webmaster Tools Video. While Cutts acknowledged the value in building out a search presence through guest blogging, he stressed that this can also be taken to extremes. Marketers who look to do the “bare minimum” for writing requirements, or who simply outsource post creation, will not find similar value in terms of search engine presence.
As Google continues to update its search engine technology, the requirements associated to gaining good keyword placement in search results, have become more difficult to attain. Industry relevance, influence, and brand trust all play a factor.
Social media has a greater impact on search engine optimization (SEO) as well, both on the website and pointing to the website. SEO professionals need to identify and network with key influencer’s in their client’s target markets, to develop trust, mentions, and links.
PR and marketing communications teams are key participants and often the owners of the messaging strategy for an organization. The best links, social media visibility, and relationships online, are won when PR and SEO combine forces.
In an effort to gain better perspective on this opportunity, I asked 12 PR and communications professionals on how B2B SEO can better support their effort. Here are some of their perspectives on this topic.
As B2B marketers work on refining 2012 strategic marketing initiatives, social media has become a central focus. Advances in search engine algorithms bring social media in focus for link acquisition and as a potential signal of trust for engines. The emergence of a converged media imperative ties the value of user generated content (social shares, organic reviews, etc.) to the overall marketing mix through performance benchmarks in advertising and brand development initiatives.
BtoB Magazine‘s latest report on B2B social media marketing provides further support and insight into the strategies, applications, and challenges marketers face. While the first step is developing a solid social media plan, there is more to it than just organization planning. Here are 9 key insights and action items I found while reviewing the B2B social media marketing report.
As B2B marketers assess the strengths and weaknesses of their SEO programs so far this year, the relationship with social media marketing must come into focus. As I wrote in a column last year, 66% of organizations with a formal SEO process were integrating social media into their overall SEO strategy. But social media plays an even larger role for B2B marketing strategy than SEO support.
In a recent Forbes article, the the popular, SEO is Dead / Death of SEO topic took center stage. The article highlighted how questionable SEO tactics (particularly for link building) will no longer be valid. Marketers need to focus on creating truly great content, which in turn earns the right to be shared and searched for.
The problem with the article’s hypothesis was that it was based on an assumption that SEO tactics only use shortcuts for success. My perspective is that SEO is more than a series of shortcuts, but an evolving Internet marketing discipline.
Regardless of what perspective you hold, one thing is true: B2B SEO requires greater integration with multiple marketing specialties.keep looking »