Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very popular digital marketing tactic.
I’m sure you’ve heard of a transactional company or two that has basically printed money by using SEO to draw customers in and get revenue.
In B2B, we’re not all that transactional that often. For most of us, SEO needs to be part of a more thoughtful strategy to be effective.
Sadly, a lot of B2B companies aren’t printing money with SEO; they’re throwing it out the window.
Here’s a three step recipe to get SEO right for your B2B business.
Choose the menu
Your SEO is only going to be as good as the story that’s powering it about who you are, who you serve and what value you provide. Make sure you’ve got that story really clear. Your SEO needs to be aligned with that.
Of course, you want your SEO expert to do the research and come up with potential keywords to focus on. But you need to then triangulate that list with your message, your story. Compromise. Come up with the right keywords that still tell your story.
Set the table
This means get your digital property right ready for SEO: Do all of the metadata work on your website and ON any other online properties.
The reason this is so important? This is how Google, hears what your plan is with SEO.
Doing this right translates your story and your keyword priorities in a way that Google can find it and understand it.
Consider a trusted expert to help you with this. If you are looking for a resource, I know a few SEO consultants that do good work. Feel free to reach out for recommendations.
It’s time to eat. EAT stands for experience, authority and trust. This is Google’s high level rating system for calcuating domain authority, which is your strength online.
This is important because Google is looking for the best experts – trusted, authoritative and experienced – to answer the questions that people search for.
So you want to score well on all three of these dimensions.
Besides the things we’ve already talked about (message, keywords and website technical preparation), backlinks are the other thing to work on.
Your backlink strategy is how you get other sites with high domain authority to link to your site. That authority will translate to your site’s Google juice.
This takes time. Many companies do this in fits and starts. They start with a flurry of activity, then drop off. You can imagine that does not help build your experience, authority and trust!
Besides backlinks, the key is to stick with this.
It could take you a year to really move the needle. But once it starts moving, you will have some serious momentum.
The last thought is that for B2B especially, SEO alone is not enough. Include SEO as one of many tactics that work in concert to change your customers’ experience with you.
In some cases, SEO isn’t that important. I know that goes against what you read elsewhere.
Ben Hirons takes this to an extreme. He says to ignore SEO, that success comes from connecting with your customer. SEO is a result, not a destination.
I think he’s on to something.