How to Build a Better B2B Business Strategy
Getting to grips with SEO is hard enough on its own, and while you may have only just got a handle on outbound marketing, it’s important to realize the game changes when your clients are also businesses. This raises an important question—how should you differentiate B2B SEO from normal optimization efforts?
The secret to B2B SEO success has everything to do with how well you understand the end goal: lead generation. You need to understand your business customers, and start taking things to the next level by offering value beyond your articles.
It’s time to gear your SEO efforts towards potential B2B customers, and reap the benefits of inbound marketing! Today, you’ll learn how to generate warm leads by taking on a holistic view towards your B2B SEO.
Let’s get started!
Address Pain Points With Long Tail Keywords
To get started, your content marketing plan should center around the pain points of your customers. This will primarily be evident in your long tail keywords.
Not sure how to identify those keywords? We’ve broken long tail keyword research down into a simple two step plan revolving around:
- Reviewing your business’ services
- Consulting your search analytics
As you dig through these data points, don’t be surprised when you find an overwhelming number of potential customer pain points. Here’s our full guide on how to extract the right keywords.
Your goal is to offer a deep and wide range of actionable solutions to specific questions.
[Tweet “Your B2B SEO goal is to offer a deep and wide range of actionable solutions to specific questions.”]
That’s because you want to become the go-to answer around the web on your chosen topics. There are a few strategies to help establish your brand as an authority within your industry:
- Write guest posts for other websites.
- Publish guest posts on your own site.
- Offer a growth hack that generates leads.
- Create video content that’s engaging and informative.
We practice what we preach here at Clickx. The Clickx Website Grader helps our visitors learn the right metrics to build their online presence, without having to pay a dime. By offering something of true value for nothing (i.e. our growth hack), we can build new relationships with potential customers every day.
Offer Value Beyond Your Posts
Earlier, we discussed the fact that B2B SEO is about creating warm leads—in other words, you’re here to take advantage of inbound marketing. To do this, you’ll need to offer value beyond your posts. Allow yourself to think outside the direct correlation of public content and SEO. Building your local SEO only goes so far if none of that traffic converts into a lead.
Instead, provide something valuable for free, and ask for an email subscription in return. That’s huge! It opens the door to direct communication and further nurturing down the line (more on that in a minute).
You’ll gather email addresses in three steps:
- Create an incentive.
- Identify the landing pages and posts related to the incentive.
- Offer the incentive on those pages, in exchange for an email subscription.
There are many types of incentives you can create, and most are fairly easy to pull together. Here’s a quick list of ideas to get you started:
- Informational email series
- Cheat sheets
- Downloadable templates
- Strategy blueprints
- Other downloads
Not enough ideas for you? Try this comprehensive list of email incentives.
Build a Nurture Program for Leads
Research shows that 90% of customers are not ready to buy when they first come in contact with a company.
[Tweet “90% of customers are not ready to buy when they first contact a company.”]
This means your leads from B2B SEO aren’t ready to buy straight away when they find you. Chances are they are still researching, or not even aware of their root problem yet. How can you address this problem without losing the lead?
You’ll fix this by building a nurture program for those in the middle of your purchase funnel. Create educational content that helps them solve problems long before they become clients. It can take up to a year of nurture before a potential customer buys.
Here are a few examples of nurturing content:
- Educational email series (or other drip content).
- Reach out for conversation on social media.
- Grow and build a community (such as a forum).
Here’s a great resource on how to build nurturing content, where Solomon goes into detail about the process of nurturing your leads in the video below:
Continue to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Ultimately, B2B SEO is about numbers. What it comes down to is that of total leads generated, a certain percentage moves towards the bottom of the funnel.
It’s all too simple on paper, but requires constant attention to detail while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. You need to:
- Attract more leads
- Optimize your overall conversion rate
If you’re not already an expert on conversion rates, we recommend taking the time to learn a bit more.
Meanwhile, here’s an in-depth guide on understanding and optimizing your sales funnels. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here are the important takeaways:
Focus on Quality Traffic Entering the Funnel
Understand where your traffic is coming from! Not all leads are equal. Targeted traffic comes with a higher percentage of quality leads.
Targeting customer pain points with actionable solutions means that each keyword may bring in fewer hits, but more leads. Not to mention, they’re easier to rank well for, and you can weave an ever-growing web of high-performance long tail keywords.
Pay Attention to the Middle of the Funnel
Once you’ve turned an SEO visitor into a lead, they’ve entered the middle of your funnel. It’s now time to ask, Why aren’t they converting already?
This comes down to the urgency of their need, plus how well they trust you—and you’ll need to build both.
Reel in the End of the Funnel
A customer has converted! This is success, right? Perhaps not.
Your customers should be coming back to you for repeat business. If they’re not, you’re missing out on an important opportunity. It’s time to think about implementing nurturing, even after the sale.
Once again, to learn more, read this in-depth guide to optimizing your sales funnel.
Building a strong B2B online strategy isn’t just about writing content with direct SEO benefits. It includes the whole picture, before and after the user types in a search query. You must warm up leads, offer incentives to join, and nurture your relationship. The optimized blog post is the humble trigger that initiates this process.
This is done by:
- Addressing pain points with long tail keywords.
- Offering value beyond the content of a blog post.
- Building nurture programs for new leads.
- Continuing the optimization of your sales funnel.
Over time, you’ll see how your SEO efforts can lead to higher conversion rates. As your conversion rate improves, more traffic translates to more customers.
Where do you think your B2B business strategy is faltering, and what part of your sales funnel needs the most work? Tell us about your strategy in the comments section below!
Image credits: Kate Thornton, Duisenberg.
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy