B2B SEO - is it worth your time?

By Barak Hajaj
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topicIcon SEM, B2B Marketing SHARE THIS STORY

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Introduction

Sooner or later, every CEO/CMO of a B2B Company ask themselves "should I even bother with this SEO crap? Is it really worth the time, efforts and budget allocation?"

I've heard many forms of this, dozens of times, from brilliant and successful people on many occasions. It's always brought a big smile to my face. Not because I decried them, god forbid. But it proved to me how SEO has and still is perceived incorrectly by many business owners. Let me explain why B2B SEO is worth your time.

Before understanding why it's important to invest in SEO, let’s quickly recap what exactly SEO is...

Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s (Google for example) organic search results. "It is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine" - Webopedia
 
Since its early days, SEO has always had naysayers insisting that this marketing discipline is a passing fad, or that it’s dead. Well, not only has it survived this long, it's actually thriving. With over 3.5 billion searches per day made on Google alone, it's no wonder that the $65 billion worth industry is steadily growing, with no end in sight.
 

SEO meets B2B

B2B transactions are characteristically different from B2C transactions since decisions require collaboration and coordination between various entities in order to reach the final stage of the transaction. It’s no surprise at all that all B2B dealings turn out to be ongoing processes that involve a certain lapse of time between researching the product and placing the order.
 
Since the research done in B2B marketing is far more intensive than traditional product purchase research, it goes without saying that search engines play a dominant role in B2B purchases whereby they are extensively used during the (early and mid) research phase of the transaction. 
 
Most B2B internet searches start with a generic term, which means your prospects are looking for a product or solution, not for your brand. It is important to understand what prospects and customers are searching for, and your company website must contain a steady stream of rich content that provide answers for your prospects problems.
 
To make sure your ideal customers find your site on top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you should first create buyer personas, which will help you identify the people you're trying to reach and their commonly asked questions. Then tailor that content to their stage of the buyer's journey
 
In the past two years, the way people research and buy online went through some dramatic changes.
Business buyers rely on the internet during their research and selection process. But did you know that more and more of these decision-makers are using mobile devices? In fact, B2B mobile usage is intensifying throughout the entire buying cycle.
 
Nearly three-quarters of online buyers are now using mobile to search and shop. For B2B marketers, this means your prospects and your buyers are using mobile devices more frequently than ever, at the office, on meetings and outside of work hours, to make critical business decisions. 
 
With Mobile devices being deeply personal devices, quite logically, Google's investigative efforts in 2016 (And 2017) seem almost fully devoted to personalized, semantic and predictive search. With Google's announcement of a mobile-first indexing in November 2016, providing a favorable mobile experience is absolutely required to continually engage prospects and drive leads and sales. Moreover -  voice search, machine and deep learning began to be used by default in every facet of Google Search. Thus, we should expect them to be used even more in 2017.
 
Ready to Step up your marketing?
 

SEO and Content marketing

"Content Marketing" was undoubtedly the key buzzword of 2016. With 29% of brands’ total marketing budget spent on content marketing alone, and 39% of which anticipate that budget will increase in 2017. 
 
Assuming your business is part of those 80% of B2B companies that have a content marketing strategy, you already know the importance of content for lead generation, brand authority and dozens of other aspects for your company's success. 
 
Even-though most of the time they are treated separately, content marketing and SEO goes together like PB&J. "Yes, SEO and content marketing are distinguished from one another in several critical areas. And while they have points of differentiation, you still can’t separate the two entirely" - says Neil Patel on Kissmetrics
 
The only way to ensure your content marketing success is by applying SEO techniques in its implementation. SEO demands content, keywords, linkbacks and great onsite optimization - content marketing answers all of these requirements.
 
Thus, your SEO campaign will fail unless you integrate content marketing. Your content marketing campaign will fail unless you integrate SEO.
 

SEO and your business

Every business aims to grow revenue, lower marketing cost, and of course become more profitable.
SEO can help mapping the organization's top-level goals by identifying searches your target audience perform and then ranking for them. Thus driving more quality traffic with organic search and by that reducing the company's dependency on advertising and other more costly platforms.
 
Search Engine Optimization was and still is, a must-have marketing discipline for businesses of any type and size. As a manager or CEO, your challenge is about how best to intelligently integrate SEO into your marketing mix to reap rich rewards. 
 
SEO plays an important role in this research and buying cycle. It’s like a prospect magnet, attracting potential buyers to your website through critical and relevant keywords and phrases ranked high in search engines where searchers are already looking for information about them.
 
It’s about being where your customers are, and directing them towards solutions you offer them.
 

Conclusion

Without SEO, the chances of prospects finding your website are as scarce as finding a needle in a haystack. Without fully understanding the intent behind your visitor’s search and their unique and individual needs, the chances of losing the prospect forever is high. Getting them both right means more visitors, and more sales

Hopefully, these compelling reasons have convinced you about the value and benefits of an integrated SEO strategy in growing your business. Good luck!
 

And If you find this useful, you're invited to download our B2B Marketing Best Practices that Every CMO Must Know Ebook. Get your FREE copy now ==> 

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About Barak Hajaj

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Barak is a veteran in the digital marketing industry, he has initiated, produced and promoted marketing strategies and campaigns for tier-1 global companies. He's experienced in a broad range of advertising and marketing functions, mainly focusing on inbound marketing, SEO and PPC with diverse industry segments.

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