More and more, customers are starting the buying process with a search on the web. According to GE Capital’s Annual Shopper Study, 81% of consumers start the purchase process by looking for answers online.
These consumers are searching for answers every step of the way – from home before making a purchase and in the store to compare products.
While this sounds like an issue that would only concern B2C companies, it’s also essential for prospects to be able to find your B2B solutions while researching their options online.
Regalix’s 2014 State of Search Marketing Report explains the changing scope of search marketing.
56% of marketers integrate content marketing with their SEO efforts
Optimizing your website for the keywords you want to rank for is a great idea, but there’s no reason to stop there.
Set a goal to constantly churn out useful content for your readers, whether it’s blog posts or premium content like an ebook. If this content is optimized for search, you’ll be more visible to prospective clients.
When writing content for your website, keep some relevant keywords in mind. Don’t stuff the words in every other sentence, but insert them at natural places in the content.
If you also use the keywords when writing the title and meta descriptions for your content, you’re well on the way to be ranking for that keyword and being found online.
68% of marketers use paid search to increase lead generation
Paid search is used heavily by marketers looking to attract customers quickly. Creating a paid search campaign for your site can help attract new prospects, especially when your site isn’t ranking organically as well as you would like.
Instead of just featuring your site or a product line in your paid search campaign, feature some of your downloadable content instead. Do your research beforehand to determine the best keywords to go after and craft a message that’s eye-catching but not spammy. By offering an ebook or other download, you’ll be able to attract more leads.
96% of marketers use search marketing to provide educational content to buyers
Answering your buyer’s most commonly asked questions is a compelling way to drive them to your site. Construct content for your blog around some of more frequent questions that you get from consumers. Know their pain points and what they look for most – then try to solve their problems in your blog or premium content.
When prospects are searching online before making a purchase decision, they’re going to be looking for answers to their biggest questions. By crafting your site as a resource for your industry, you’re creating a space for your readers to come to in search of answers.
71% of marketers use broad keywords to capture leads at the top of the funnel
While 71% of marketers are using broad keywords, we generally recommend optimizing for long-tail keywords to attract more qualified prospects that are looking for more specific things.
Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that cater to a more narrow subject than a general industry term. Think “healthcare” vs. “healthcare document management.” The term “healthcare” is good for finding general information, but “healthcare document management” is going to garner people looking for exactly that.
Broad keywords are great for beginning your keyword research. Put this broad, root word in a keyword suggestion tool and pull out a list of long-tail keywords your company could be ranking for.
It’s true — long tail keywords generally have less search volume. But they usually have less competition for ranking. Ranking for a few long-tail keywords gives you a great chance to drive a large number of people to your site who are looking for exactly what your page is about.
As website content continues to be a huge driver of website traffic, it’s important that the content you’re creating is easy to find. Search marketing is just as valuable to your B2B company as it is to any B2C company.
Search marketing can be applied to all your older site content as well as your new content. After doing some keyword research (we recommend Hubspot’s keyword tool or WordStream), make tweaks to your existing site copy.
Give your changes a bit of time to be updated in search engines, then check to see how you’re doing. You’re not going to begin ranking number 1 for every term you want overnight, but after proper research and execution, you should start to see changes in your search ranking.
Continuously evaluate your search marketing efforts and make necessary whenever needed. You could be crafting wonderful content, but if it just isn’t hitting the mark to be found in search, it could never be seen by your prospective clients.