SEO ranking and positioning has become a growing obsession for B2B companies, and for good reason. In an increasingly digital world, landing a few spots in a Google search can mean the difference between a new deal and being left in the dust.
However, the quest to reign supreme in each and every search query also means SEO has become a bit of a rat race. Too often, companies stuff as many keywords as possible in their site content and then drive themselves crazy by obsessive monitoring of rankings and position changes. Because when it comes to rankings, anything less than the gold medal is unacceptable, right?
Too many businesses think they have their keyword research and SEO strategy down pat, but the truth is that search optimization in B2B continues to evolve. That means companies could unknowingly be using methods and strategies that are irrelevant or simply don’t keep their target markets in mind.
That being said, here are some harsh truths to consider when optimizing SEO for your B2B business.
Targets Are NOT Looking for You by Name
You may love your company and know it offers the best product on the market. But remember that most of the time, your target audience won’t know (or care) who you are when they are entering the sales funnel. Why? According to a Google study, 89 percent of buyers use the Internet to conduct their B2B solution research, and 71 percent of this research begins with a generic search in Google or Bing.
In a perfect world, your prospects would look you up by your brand’s name, but unfortunately this is not reality. They are looking for a solution, not a name. Instead, users search for a solution—any solution— to a problem they’re experiencing, and they do this by inputting a generic query.
With this in mind, it is important your SEO strategy focus less on ranking by your company or product name and more on compiling and using quality, relevant and consumer-centric keywords to target.
Your Targets Want an Unbiased Opinion
Before you spend all your time and energy competing for that coveted first spot on search engine results, consider this: 61 percent of B2B buyers search for a third-party review source before approaching a business, much less seriously considering its solutions.
Whether you hold the top spot or not, users are more likely to focus on discovering an unbiased, honest resource to review or share information about a company. B2B companies can take advantage of this by expanding off-page SEO-optimized content, such as bylines and partnership articles, then ensuring they are included in relevant industry studies and review sites.
Top Spots Won’t Matter If Your Content Isn’t Optimized
Just because you are first to appear in a search query doesn’t mean your company’s site will provide all the answers your target needs. While content is not always necessarily king, proper inbound and content curation strategies will boost your chances of ranking higher in search results. But these practices are also critical for nurturing and retaining possible leads.
As stated earlier, users most often search for solutions to their issues using generic terms and keywords. Knowing this, it’s important you consistently create and publish quality content that provides insights and solutions on these issues. This content guides your leads down the sales funnel. Even better, producing quality evergreen content helps your company by providing helpful information that stays relevant. And that ultimately helps position your company as a thought leader in your industry.
These harsh truths may have stung a bit. But now that the Band-Aid has been ripped off, we hope these tips help ensure your SEO strategy remains timeless. It's always a good time for an SEO audit to make sure you are staying ahead of the game.