SEO - Search Engine Optimization

What B2B SEOs Need To Know About Buyer Personas

While buyer personas (user personas) are an established concept in broader B2B marketing discussions, it has taken on new life in recent years. The shift organizations are making to a digital marketing strategy coupled with innovation in technology (should) allow Internet marketers the ability to deliver effective content marketing campaigns across segmented audiences or targeted groups.

Developing B2B buyer personas can be an essential part of this, since understanding the goals, needs, and limits of a buyer are important to crafting the right content needed for SEO and social media marketing. This column takes a look the development of buyer personas for B2B marketing and the impact SEO professionals should have on the process.

4 New Marketing Fundamentals Impacting the B2B SEO Professional

In Forrester Senior Analyst Anthony Mullen’s new report, “Emerging Touchpoints Require A Marketing Mind Shift“, he identifies four fundamentals marketers must realize, in order to succeed in today’s technology and information-rich environment. His article in Advertising Age discusses these fundamentals, which are:

  • Design is the New Marketing
  • Value is the Currency
  • Agents Broker Brand Relationships
  • People are the Regulators

Citing additional Forrester research, Mullen indicates that more than half of US online adults are already annoyed by the amount of advertising they see, and 37% would rather not be contacted by brands at all.

3 Ways B2B SEOs Can Keep on Winning in 2013

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.

3 “Big” Web Enhancements SEO’s Should Budget For In 2013

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.

5 Ways to Improve SEO Conversion Rates & Benchmarking Data

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.

Google Encrypted Search: Measuring the Impact One Year Later

Last week, KoMarketing Associates coveredstudy 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.

6 Underrated Content Marketing Assets For B2B SEO

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.

Question SEO Tactics That Don’t Involve Strategic Marketing

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.

12 Perspectives on How SEO Can Better Support PR & Communications

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.

9 Key Points & Action Items from BtoB Magazine’s Social Media Report

BtoB Social Media MarketingAs 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.

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