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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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.

 

 

 

How quickly does your mobile site load?

If you don’t know how quickly your mobile site loads then use Test My Site, a free Google tool, to see how you score on mobile friendliness and mobile page speed.

Google research in January 2017 reveals that the average time it takes to load a mobile landing page fully is 22 seconds.1 However, over half of mobile site visitors (53%) leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Speed in mobile experience

 

Speed and Size Matters in Mobile…

In other Google Adwords research last month, they analysed 900,000 mobile ads’ landing pages spanning 126 countries.5

They found that 70% of the pages they analysed, took nearly seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on a mobile screen, and it took more than 10 seconds to load all visual content fully above and below the fold. Not good at all.

Speed and size are important when it comes to loading mobile pages. So, review your mobile content. Is it bloated? Can it be leaner? An easy win on this front is image size – simply compressing images size can make a big difference in reducing size – see this BBC explanation of compression or for a more comprehensive explanation of image optimisation from Google.

If you would like to discuss any of the elements raised in this article, please do get in touch via our contact form or call 01327 810003.

 

1 Google Research, Webpagetest.org, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small Medium Businesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017.
2 Google Research, Webpagetest.org, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small Medium Businesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017.