We recently sat down for a Q&A with search engine marketing expert and Google Partner Chris Turner. Below, Chris discusses the reasons that B2B technology companies should make SEO & SEM part of their strategy.
Why should B2B technology companies add SEM/SEO to their marketing mix?
What SEO and SEM really do for companies at this stage is help get that messaging in front of the right people at the right time, for the right reasons. B2B technology companies should not just know their who their buyer is, but where they are online.
Understanding your own business will help you understand where your clients are online. If you help implement CRMs, then where are your ideal clients? They may be on CRM blogs and forums, but they are more likely searching and engaging with other CRM users.
SEO has moved beyond keyword-only focused tactics and into a user-centric sphere of influence. Businesses have to produce content worthy of their audience and offer meaningful, real insights that immediately convey the business’ expertise and ability to help. From there, businesses have to place that content in key areas (aside from just their site) to ensure that their content will be seen by their target audience.
How can B2B companies set themselves up for SEO/SEM success?
In B2B SEO, what matters most is the message and where the message is delivered. Business decision-makers are busy changing the world, so their time is precious and limited. As such, that first impression really matters and may be limited to three seconds. That could be three seconds on your site. Three seconds on LinkedIn. Three seconds on their favorite industry news/blog site. It could even be that they assign the task of finding the right partner to their assistant, Project Manager, or team lead.
With such a limited timeframe for making a great impression, the goal is to put your best foot forward with an inbound strategy. In fact, good SEM can actually multiply the number of times you get the chance to make an impression. For example, say you find 10 touch points for your target audience member or use your email database to build a remarketing list. If we look at just one user, we could say three seconds for a user multiplied by 10 impressions to the same user in a day or over the course of a few days equals 30 seconds of total inbound exposure! Combine that with quality content and SEO; you’ll have a visible and meaningful marketing strategy.
What are a few of the things B2B technology companies should consider doing — or not doing — in their upcoming SEM/SEO initiatives?
In 2017, businesses should leverage service partners to tap into user markets they may have overlooked or missed. Guest posting and content contributions are alive and well, as they are key ways of building new links. This ties into SEM in that businesses can use Google AdWords and Display networks to support branding initiatives, content they’ve shared or published off-site, and gather data about their interested audiences, which allows them to use that insight in future posts, blogs, and marketing strategies.
As for things to avoid: Don’t ignore or disregard your analytics. So many times I work with clients that don’t have access or haven’t looked at their Google Analytics or Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster in a long time —or forever! That is your data! There is gold in them them hills! And, if you aren’t keeping an eye on it, spam traffic may creep into the data—skewing it.
Analytics and webmaster tool suites can also give you a heads up on issues with your site or upcoming digital changes. Don’t focus too much on how you search; everyone’s search is different and personalized. Trust the data concerning results and the actual results.