How to select the best keywords for your B2B website

In a world of finite resources and constrained budgets, keyword research is a useful starting point to focus your B2B content creation efforts. It helps to ensure that you create relevant content that addresses the issues that matter to your prospects and drive traffic to your site.

First a gentle reminder….

Before I dive into the ‘How to’ I just need to restate the fact that if the search terms that your prospects are googling are NOT on your website, then your website will NOT appear in Google’s organic search results. This means how YOU describe your service or offering is irrelevant. Instead, what your prospective clients call it, and thus what they search for, is key. For example, your ‘CX Learning Burst’ is all well and good but if your prospective clients are looking for a ‘customer experience training course’ your page won’t rank in their search even if what you are offering is exactly what they want.

So, matching your website content to what your prospective customers are searching is key. With this in mind it would make sense to create webpages based on keyword research rather than what you think sounds good.

 

Step 1: Keyword research

Focus list of Keywords

Identify your ‘kernel’ keywords i.e. the ones that broadly define your offering. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and think of what words they may use to search for your product or service. If you have multiple offerings go through your website and sub-divide sections into broad topics. Then identify a few ‘kernel’ keywords for each topic. They will be the central tenets of your future keyword infrastructure.

Then see which of your website pages appears for which search term and how many click throughs you are getting to these pages – check Google Console for this information. For each keyword, you can see what the monthly impressions it gets, how many clicks you are getting and what your average position is. From this create a shortlist of keywords you want to focus on and start building website content around these keywords.

So, how else can you find out which keywords your audience are searching for?

A good starting point is in Google Ads, the tools section has the popular Keyword Planner which can help you discover new keywords. Enter your kernel words and hit the Search button and it’ll suggest associated keywords. It gives reliable search volumes i.e. shows how many people are searching for it in an average month plus suggests related keywords, and shows the level of competition in Google Ads for any given keyword. You do need to be running a Google Ads campaign to use Keyword Planner.

Supplement this with Answer the Public a useful free tool which also provides related keywords for any given topic, focusing on questions and prepositions.

And take a look at Autocomplete tools like the ones on Amazon, YouTube or Google. They are useful at providing insight into what people type while searching for info or products and services related to your offering.

Also take a look at the section called “Searches related to…” on Google at the bottom of the page. It can also be useful to find alternative keywords for your list.

Other sources could include your competitors and brainstorming with your key stakeholders

Long-tail keywords

The longer and more specific the keywords are, the higher your chances of ranking for this keyword because there is less competition. Of course, this also means that the search volume for this keyword decreases. Ignore the natural inclination to choose keywords with the highest search volume. These are usually the most competitive so unless you are a market leader with big budgets and a high Domain Authority, you are probably aiming too high.

Instead focus on ‘key phrases’ or ‘long-tail keywords’ which are longer and more specific than the most popular keywords as they are much easier to rank for. See the Google Keyword Planner tool to assess how competitive a keyword is.

Remember to weed out unsuitable or unwanted keywords during this process i.e. those keywords that are least likely to bring you traffic and conversions. Such as keywords which are not unique to your offering, are too competitive or have very low search volumes.

 

Step 2: Keywords grouping and keyword mapping

Once you have your keyword list you need to group or segment your keywords before you can use them to optimise your content and stand out from the competition.

There will undoubtedly be some overlap in the keywords you want to target. So, group keywords and key phrases into “keyword clusters” before assigning a cluster to a particular page.

There are various criteria to group them you can use; these groupings tend to work for us as B2B marketers.

  • Volume and level of competition
  • Semantics (meanings of words)
  • Search intent (where are they at in the buying cycle i.e. are, they still at the gathering information phase, or are they investigating options, or ready to buy)

User Intent Examples

Once you have segmented your list build a keyword map, so you can assign keywords to specific pages of your site. Thus, ensuring your landing pages rank for right keywords.

Suggest assigning more competitive keywords to ‘stronger’ pages like your homepage or section hubs. Buying or transactional keywords should have landing pages that allow customers and prospects to take action (for example buy, register, subscribe etc).

 

Step 3: Start using keywords on your website

Now that you have created a list of the best B2B Keywords for your website, the fun starts.

Begin by drawing up a content plan. Use your new keyword list to devise a plan that states the aim and objectives of your content creation programme detailing a schedule of when the various elements will be developed and what measurement tools, you will use to track the progress of your new keywords (impressions, click throughs and average position).

Then you can start creating content but remember quality counts. So, invest resources in creating relevant, quality content that will appeal to your prospects and reinforce your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Here are a few content and keyword pointers to get ahead in optimising your website…

  • Write original content and avoid duplicate content on your website. Use http://www.siteliner.com to check how much duplicate content your site has.
  • Write enough content to show Google and your prospects that you are an expert in your field, a few paragraphs about your service won’t cut it.
  • Making the intangible nature of a service tangible is what content excels at …so get cracking on case studies, FAQs, our ethos, how-we-work pages.
  •  Write with your reader in mind not Google. So, no keyword stuffing and try to use your keywords in the Title tag / H1 heading, first paragraph, sub headings, alt tags and the meta description as these placements will all help with your on-page optimisation.
  • Make your text easy to skim-read (bullet points, sub-headings, explanatory images, short paragraphs etc).

 

Good luck and if you want to discuss any of the elements raised in this article please contact us at Evolve Marketing on 01327 810003 or via our online form below.

 

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RAR Accredited Again!

RAR recommended marketing agency 2019 We are delighted to announce that we have once again retained our place on The Drum’s RAR’s Recommended Agency Register. Our inclusion demonstrates our ongoing commitment to customer excellence as well as our marketing expertise at a both a strategic and tactical level in the B2B professional services arena.

Evolve Marketing has been highly rated by our clients for our services in the following areas: B2B Brand Strategy, Website Development, Copywriting and Social Media Content

To find our more about our expert marketing services and how we can help your organisation please call us on 01327 810003.

How to make your B2B online marketing more effective

To make your B2B online marketing efforts more effective you need to keep up with what is happening in the ever-changing online world.

In the B2B context it is no longer sufficient to just have a web presence. Nowadays to be found online and then to be able to convert that interest into a meaningful brand interaction, you need to be proactive. This means whether you are paying for clicks or not you need to continually be tweaking, testing and refining your online marketing efforts.

 

Search is evolving, your content needs to as well

With regards to organic search, Google has a moving feast of over 200 ranking factors that determine where your site is listed in search results. Things like voice and local search, dynamic SERP features and mobile devices continue to feed into Google’s latest algorithm updates. All of which is basically trying to ascertain how well your site helps the customer and if it is trustworthy, has expertise and authority.

So, your search engine optimisation efforts should focus on delivering this trifecta of trust, expertise and authority via a continuous programme of engagement and improvement.  Use conversion metrics to monitor your progress.

Key trends in B2B online marketing to take note of include:

Mobile First:

In March 2018 Google started rolling out its mobile first indexing. Nicknamed Mobilegeddon by some it means that Google now uses the mobile version of a web page for indexing and ranking, to better help users find what they’re looking for.

Also, FYI research from Google shows B2B buyers are researching using mobile – and thus giving it a key role in their self-directed buyer’s journey. So, prioritise mobile, make sure your B2B content is mobile accessible and delivers a frictionless experience.

Natural Language:

Voice and local search, dynamic SERP features and mobile devices continues to feed into Google’s latest algorithm updates, making the search engine a virtual mirror of human search behaviour. This means that increasingly organic, natural language is going to perform better going forward compared to awkward keyword rich copy.

Questions and Answers:

We are also seeing content that answers questions works well. Revisit the ‘which’, ‘why’ ‘when’, ‘how’ questions your prospects may be asking and frame the answers to include the question in the opening sentence and to add value, not just to flog your product or service.

Multimedia Experiences:

The web is now a multimedia experience with audiences increasingly familiar with visual and auditory forms of content. People spend more and more time-consuming video content and podcasts. So, don’t focus just on traditional text copy. Invest in video. Generally, it ranks well in search engine results and often it’s easier to explain a concept in video rather than in text. In the B2B context product demos, new product introductions, and how-to tutorials are useful to educate and inform your prospects and customers.

Targeted Social:

The trend is for companies to focus their efforts on fewer channels so only go where your customers are – remembering that context is important too. Do they have their business hat on, or are they there to look at cat pictures? ‘Customer intent’ and context are import in determining conversion rates so, consider appropriateness of the social media channel.

Google Reviews:

In May 2018 Google removed all old reviews from anonymous profiles that did not have a profile attached to them. Initial research suggests that this has translated to roughly  3% of reviews across websites. This action highlights the ongoing issue of fake reviews that Google is trying to address by increasing the transparency of the reviewing public.

This removal of reviews should also be a reminder to business owner that you don’t own your Google reviews (or your Google My Business listing). Remember Google owns these assets, and manages them as they see fit which may not align with your interests. So it is worth using a variety of online and offline ways to collect and share reviews and testimonials.

Google Posts:

In July 2018 Google My Business added a ‘Call Now’ button to Google Posts which is good news for local business but the jury is still out on their effectiveness. They haven’t been adopted widely by agencies and business probably because you can’t schedule them and they do not integrate naturally with Google Analytics so it not easy to get any insights beyond the basics provided by Google My Business (although there is now an API out). A recent case study interestingly did show them to have a mild positive impact on ranking concluding that they are a ‘low-impact, low-effort task’. Suggesting that they should be combined with other tasks to help improve Local SEO for a small business.

 

If you would like to discuss any of the B2B online marketing points raised in this article, please contact us or call Sharon French, a Chartered Marketer and B2B marketing expert on 01327 810003.

 

 

 

Thinking about a Brand Refresh?

Spring is often a popular time for organisations to consider a brand refresh so their offering looks up-to-date and professional. After all a well-branded business not only attracts more prospects with less effort but also helps fuel self-confidence.

While a brand refresh can really be the equivalent of giving your company a fresh lick of paint, for example a new set of branded images or new corporate brochure. It can also provide a useful opportunity to look at the key elements that make up the foundation of your brand. So, check out our handy pointers below to make the most of your next brand refresh.

 

Brand Refresh Pointers…

So, to ensure that your efforts remain effective and relevant, we suggest as part of your brand refresh you also take time to look at the following:

  • Assess your competitors. Are there new players in the market? Have your existing competitors evolved their offering? And importantly when your company or service is not chosen, who or what is and why is it perceived a better choice?
  • Revisit your target market. Have their needs changed and are you still offering them what they need? Have new customer segments emerged?
  • What’s your story? Are your differentiators positioned, verbally and visually, in a compelling way? Do all your internal stakeholders know how to represent the brand? Is this positioning enforced and reinforced?
  • Brand touchpoint review. Does your brand cascade consistently through every stakeholder touchpoint? Is it consistent with your core brand identity?
  • Marketing channels. Are the channels you use to deliver your brand messages still relevant? Are you where your prospects are?

 

In conclusion…

If you are considering a brand refresh, talk to the brand refresh experts we can help with all your brand requirements.  Call us on 01327 810003 or online via contact us page

Three B2B Marketing Myths in 2017

Email marketing agency

Here are three key areas where B2B business owners may still be playing catch up as these marketing myths linger…

  1. Businesses don’t use social media to buy

Okay on the face of it businesses don’t use social media to buy… HOWEVER people do, and people are key in a typically complex, long B2B sales funnel. Usually several people have a stake in the process before a buying decision is reached and a significant number of these stakeholders will be on social media.

And social media provides an ideal stage in the ‘awareness / research stages’ of the B2B buying process to:

  • build relationships with prospects and keep in touch with your customers.
  • influence the sales process and maximise your chances of conversion by sharing thought leadership content
  • show off your understanding of your audience’s interests and concerns.

Whilst social media doesn’t guarantee a sale, it does give you a seat at the table when they are ready to buy.

So, use social to influence the early stages of the B2B buyer cycle by showing them what you are about and how well you understand what’s important to them.

 

  1. Mobile isn’t so important for B2B

It may not have been a few years back but in 2017 it definitely is! Mobile has overtaken desktop in the past year as the primary device used to access websites.  Google with its increasingly important mobile-first index now ranks mobile sites’ content, links, speed, user experience etc. All of which are key drivers of search engine visibility, while desktop is still a factor, it is not as important.

Also, more B2B content is now consumed on mobile devices. For example, 57% of all engagement with LinkedIn, takes place on mobile devices. And the evidence is mounting that such mobile engagement is just as focused and purposeful as engagement that takes place on a desktop.

Research from Google shows B2B buyers researching using mobile – and giving it a key role in their self-directed buyer’s journey. Even a study back in 2015 showed that 42% of B2B researchers use a mobile device during the purchase process – and that 49% did so whilst they are in the office, when they would have larger screens available to them if they wanted. Meanings that mobile isn’t just used for surface-level engagement, until they’re in front of a big screen for the ‘proper stuff’.

So, #MobileFirst it is which means prioritising mobile and making sure your B2B content is mobile accessible and delivers a frictionless experience.

 

  1. Millennials aren’t B2B decision makers

Wrong. They are – a recent report by Sacunas found that 73 per cent of the Millennials surveyed (USA study of over 2,000 adults aged 20 – 35, born between 1979 – 1995) are involved in B2B purchase decision-making at their companies with approx. one-third surveyed being the sole decision maker for their company.

The study found that this generation values authenticity and wants to feel like they have a personal, direct interaction with the brand. B2B brands now need to evolve and have meaning beyond the products they represent.

Unsurprisingly, millennials are likely to use digital channels like search engines, vendor websites and social media to make purchasing decisions. Typically, they would google it, searching for the ‘best’ and customer, company and product reviews. This way of searching makes reviews, case studies and endorsements a vital part of a B2B marketing toolkit.

 

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please call Sharon French, a Chartered Marketer and B2B marketing expert on 01327 810003.