Your B2B SEO strategy can make or break your content performance. We spoke to Head of Organic, Andrew Holland at Embryo Digital to get his take on some key aspects of a SEO strategy
An SEO strategy that works for your business goals can not only drive more traffic to your website, but also encourage new business.
Related: How to grow lead generation via SEO
Understanding how your website works to drive pipeline is a key aspect of any good marketing strategy.
After all, your website is probably the most important component asset at your disposal.
Keep reading as we ask him about:
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Put simply, a B2B SEO strategy is what you create to align your content marketing goals with your wider business objectives.
It covers everything from improving your domain rating, to driving traffic from high-quality content.
There’s a lot of debate around the significance of SEO. It’s often a channel, particularly in B2B, that can be lacking.
So, what is the difference between B2B and B2C SEO?
“That’s a tough question. Splitting B2B and B2C can be hard, but when you get down to it, it’s all humans.
Related: 8 B2B marketing metrics you need to track
“That’s something we always miss out on, maybe because we have so many tools, or a robotic view of the world. We’re always trying to compartmentalise how users engage with us or perhaps find trends and patterns in behaviour but it just doesn’t work like that.
“Look at your own search history and customer journeys. Before you know it, you’ve made 30 searches that you can’t mentally collect.
“It’s always good to have a look at your own search history for a day; how many sites you’ve looked at, what you’ve searched. Try and work out your own customer journey.
“The real difference between B2B and B2C is that youre talking to a human thats probably spending someone else’s money. Psychologically, although the traffic might be far less, the impact of the decision is much bigger.
“If they’re going to spend £20k plus of company budget, they’re going to need to make sure that they’ve picked the right company. At the end of the day, they’re putting their neck on the line, or their job on the line.
“Realistically, B2B SEO requires people to give far more for far less. If you’re selling clothes, for example, you’re going to see a much shorter path to purchase. And you’re going to have to give a lot less to convince someone.”
Of course, there are typical signals when it comes to assessing your SEO performance. Things like traffic, domain rating etc. But what does Andrew think of these?
“I’m not a big fan of authority tools, I use them as more of a guide.
“There are a lot of things to look at. But generally, I’m looking for signals of deficiency in comparison to competitors.
“If a client has no domain rating, then, of course, they’re not on the pitch and that’s what needs addressing.
Related: Learn exactly how we increased our domain rating
“You need to look at the quality of the content and of the website, not just keywords and domain rating.
“Ask yourself, is the site trustworthy? Is the content helpful? This is generally much more helpful that your generic SEO metrics.”
When writing content, it can be easy to get carried away with writing a lot of content in lieu of writing good content.
“Whatever you’re doing there has to be quality. There are generally two content types: boardroom content and SEO content.
“The boardroom content is tailored to a small group of people who have money to make purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, SEO content is set to drive traffic volume.
“It depends on your priority and the point of the piece. Some of the best content I read is sent to me on slack or WhatsApp.
“But, there is a lot of fluff out there. And most of the time comes down to a lack of knowledge in an area. One example is word count fluff. When you’re trying to hit a word count target, you focus too much on writing more words as opposed to writing the best content you can.
The other type of fluff is subject fluff. Word count fluff is starting to drop off, but content that’s regurgitated from search results hasn’t gone away yet. And that comes from a lack of in-depth knowledge of a subject.
It leaves you with surface-level content that doesn’t offer much to your readers. While it might get ranked, what is it offering in the long term?”
Customer journey is a common marketing tool used to plan out where users come from and how they engage with your content.
Related: Complete guide to customer journey stages and how to track them
This can be a useful tool for SEO, but how does it work in practice?
“People buy when they’re ready. Your job, as a marketer, is to build mental availability. The goal is to be thought of in as many buying situations as possible.
“Trying to map that customer journey is really hard.
“Users will engage with you across multiple marketing touchpoints across a lot of months.
“From an SEO perspective, you just need to be as helpful, as generous and as empathetic as possible. So for you, your goal needs to be, how we can help the people visiting our website, not how can make them buy as quickly as possible.
You have to trust the process with SEO. “Put the work into SEO and the ROI will come. But at the end of the day, SEO should be viewed as part of your brand budget not as part of your direct advertising budget.”
It can be hard to know where you want to start when it comes to your B2B SEO strategy. The team at Embryo Digital are on hand to help.
You can watch the full episode of In the Loop with Andrew over on our YouTube channel.
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