I still remember my first job out of grade-school. I needed some beer money for college, so I signed up to work at a local phone bank. It was an old-school “dial for dollars” operation. We grabbed a phone book and started dialing. I learned the art of quickly qualifying an individual over the phone for a product, building trust and closing the sale.
Fast-forward to today (a few more years away than I’d like to admit) and we have incredible tools at our disposal for targeting customers (corporate or individual) for our products and services online. Forget the phonebook; Google Analytics provides extremely valuable insights about the people that are already interested enough to visit your website.
Services like MOZ can give you insights into how your website is ranking and performing online. Then, you can use the knowledge it gives you about search trends to target your online presence and get your content in front of your target consumer.
For businesses marketing to other businesses, there are proven strategies that can help you reach decision makers online. B2B online marketing uses many of the same principles of B2C marketing, although the strategies are leveraged in a slightly different manner.
1. Remember the Purpose of SEO During Keyword Research
Too many small businesses focus on keywords that drive larger volume to their site. Their goal is to get as much traffic as possible.
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This is the wrong approach. You need to remember why SEO is important for your business. Your goal is to drive qualified traffic to your site, so you need to find keywords that users will be looking for when they want your services.
For starters, every website needs a blog. A blog is a place where new and updated information can be published that provides insights for your target customer. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes. Then, create a library of articles that can provide meaningful advice and help. If you were your customer, what would be the most valuable information you could read today?
As new resources are published on your blog, push updates and increase the reach of your content through social media channels. Most B2B internet marketing SEO experts identify blogging as a key aspect of building a reputation on the internet that attracts business clients.
3. Find Opportunities to Score Industry Endorsements
Google pays very close attention to how your site is mentioned and discussed online by other high-profile websites. When their bots crawl your website, they’re looking at the content you’ve published. Within this content, there need to be links to relevant organizations. Link-building is a two-way street.
Search engines recognize these links as a strong indicator of the type of issues and organizations your company is relevant to. For example, if you attain an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, proudly display that badge on your website. The bade, and more importantly, the hyperlink will signal to search engines that:
- Your website is a business site that provides goods or services.
- Your business has a relationship with the Better Business Bureau.
- Customers will be more likely to trust the information on your site and the quality of your work.
4. Acquire other Websites and Brands
As your company grows and expands, it will become tempting to acquire the competition. Mergers and acquisitions can do wonders for your company’s website if you handle the process properly. Hopefully the company you’re merging with has a strong online presence. In the weeks leading up to the actual merger, your websites should begin sharing information about each other.
For example, Facebook posts could include shout-outs to the other brand. In addition, you can use the other company’s website to create strong backlinks to your website. Since you’ll have control over both sites, you can leave them operational. Search engines will think these are two, separate, reputable firms endorsing each other.
The challenge with B2B sales is reaching the decision maker. If you use the three strategies outlined above to target high-value keywords, you can build a relationship with the decision-maker when they use sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.