A Complete Guide to B2B SEO

A Complete Guide to B2B SEO

These days, SEO is a frequent acronym used among marketing professionals as they develop and implement their marketing plans and campaigns. SEO has become an integral part of marketing strategies for any organization that wants to survive and strive in the digital era of the internet. But as a B2B marketer, you might be asking yourself how does SEO work for my business?

 

Defining SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting your brand’s visibility on search engines, namely Google. Its goal is to increase your organic web traffic and lead qualified internet users to download your resources and fill out your web forms. 

SEO requires your team to optimize digital assets by:

  • Providing metadata
  • Developing code
  • Editing digital content
  • Writing new, SEO-friendly content

Technically, SEO is part of search engine marketing (SEM). SEM focuses on placing your brand’s digital assets at the top of search engine results. While there are other SEM strategies, SEO is the most effective for B2B businesses. 

 

Defining SERP and Indexing

Two other terms are critical to SEO. 

A search engine results page (SERP) is what appears when you type a query into Google. A complex algorithm determines the order of SERPs, but SEO helps improve ranking. Your business wants to be on the first page. Page one results have a 71% CTR while pages two and three have a combined CTR of 6%

Indexing refers to adding web pages into Google search. Non-indexed sites won’t show up on SERPs. WordPress websites are automatically indexed. Google crawlers also follow links and discover websites to add to their index. 

 

The Three Types of SEO

There are three types of SEO:

  • On-page SEO includes activities carried out on webpages that will be published (e.g., inserting keywords, links, or meta tags) 
  • Off-page SEO includes activity performed on a webpage after it goes live (e.g., sharing, liking, or commenting on the post to build engagement)
  • Technical SEO includes behind-the-scenes website setup activities (e.g., creating SSL or XML sitemaps)

For the best results, your team should use each of these tactics.

 

The Process of Keyword Research

Your website should appear in search results when internet users type in relevant keywords. SEO empowers your brand to rank for keywords. For example, a digital marketing agency may want to rank for the keyword phrase “SEO strategy.” 

Your team must conduct keyword research to determine which keywords your business should rank for. Keyword research is in-depth research into keywords that receive ample search requests. Once your team identifies these keywords, they can begin including them in their content.  As a result, your content will rank higher with search engines and additionally, appear higher on SERPs.

When conducting keyword research, here is a recommended approach: 

Consider Your Prospects’ Online Searches

Research search queries people are using to find your business, similar companies, and even competitors. These keywords can be found through Google Autocomplete, Google Search Console, Reddit, or even SEO tools like Ahrefs. Make sure to include every stage of the sales funnel. If it helps, replicate the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision) and designate topics or key phrases that prospects might be searching for. When creating keywords consider:

  • What are the problems that your personas face?
  • How could they be searching for ways to overcome these pain-points?
  • How are you the solution?
  • What are the main features of your product or service?
  • What are the keywords driving the highest amount of organic traffic for your competitors? 

Use SEO Tools

Type these words and phrases into SEO tools like Ahrefs. These tools reveal volume, competition, keyword difficulty, and more. With this data, you’ll be able to distinguish and create a list of the best keywords to optimize your website and content for.  

 

Optimizing B2B SEO for Businesses

SEO tactics are useful in any industry. However, there are a few B2B-specific SEO tactics every B2B marketing team should know.

Promote Thought Leader Content

B2B businesses make many sales through their thought leaders. Ask your brand’s top thought leaders to write blog posts and other content. Publish them on your website, and link to them on your professional networking sites. 

Publish Original Research

Publishing proprietary data on your website will attract attention from bloggers and journalists in your niche. They will link to your website, boosting your SEO without extra effort on your team’s behalf. You’ll also further establish your business as a credible source. 

Pick High-Value, Low-Volume Keywords

B2B businesses should focus on high-value, low-volume keywords. Long-tail keywords, which contain 3 or more words, are also preferable. They are more specific and may fit your brand better. This is especially important if your product solves a niche problem. 

Use Keywords from Disrupted Industries

If your product is disrupting an industry (or two), include keywords from the industry you’re disrupting. They will probably be more popular than those for your new product, and you’ll be able to draw attention away from older solutions. 

Create Keyword-Specific Landing Pages

There’s a good chance that your brand will have multiple top keywords. Create landing pages for each keyword. These landing pages should offer valuable content that centers on the relevant focus keywords, as well as support keywords. 

Provide Value

Your content team may feel pressured to create a large quantity of content for the sole purpose of promoting your keywords. However, search engines are getting better and better at identifying keyword-stuffed content. Plus, customers won’t trust your brand if they come across content that’s less than the best. Ensure all of your content prioritizes value—while staying SEO-friendly. 

Diversify Content Types

Most blog posts are about 500 words. Most of your website’s blog posts can be this length. However, include additional staple blog posts of 800+ words, eBooks, white papers, guides, and other critical content. Use these longer pieces to collect valuable customer data—and further analyze your audience. 

 

How to Work with a B2B SEO Agency

B2B SEO agencies provide expert SEO advice and content that helps your brand increase web traffic and generate more leads. Working with them should be a collaborative, streamlined process. 

When you begin working with a B2B SEO agency, be sure to:

  • Assign a dedicated agency contact
  • Communicate your goals and business vision
  • Establish a clear brief review and feedback loop

At the end of the day, a B2B SEO agency will help you improve SEO—and fast. Working with them effectively will only help your team reach its goals faster. 

 

The Bottom Line

SEO gives you the tools to provide the right audience with the right information at the right time. It helps establish your company as a credible source, generate leads, and, ultimately, boost sales. 


Want help with your brand’s B2B SEO efforts? Let’s talk.

 

3 B2B Marketing Examples that Produced Results

3 B2B Marketing Examples that Produced Results

In the world of B2B marketing, there is a lot to juggle. Between budgets, creative, strategy and leads, B2B marketers definitely have their work cut out for them. To make matters even more stressful, marketing to businesses is completely different than marketing to individual consumers. There are entirely separate methods and strategies for promoting and marketing towards business audiences. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some B2B marketing examples to follow?

Lucky for you, we’ve already tried and tested some of the best B2B marketing strategies (so you don’t have to!). If you’re looking for some successful B2B marketing examples to follow, here are a couple to inspire you.

3 B2B Marketing Examples (That Deemed Successful)

Lead Generation with Webinars

Overall, most successful marketing strategies focus on lead generation and guiding those prospects through the marketing funnel. This example shows how Vertrax, a supply chain management solution provider within the oil and gas industry, increased their qualified leads using repeatable and valuable content for their prospects. 

Vertrax began hosting rotating product webinars — monthly webinars that alternated between Vertrax’s three main products. Unlike a full-on demo or sales pitch, these webinars took a deep educational dive into the problems their solutions were solving. These webinars gave Vertrax’s sales team tangible content to send their leads and the opportunity to repurpose the webinar as gated content to capture even more leads. 

Since Vertrax’s first product webinar, Vertrax’s pipeline has increased in the number of healthy, reliable, and qualified leads. 

Creative Storytelling with Video

When it comes to B2B marketing, It’s always important to know who your buyer persona is. What kind of content are they consuming? Where are they consuming it? What content would resonate with them enough so they are aware of your solution/product?

In this B2B marketing example, IngeniousIO, an innovative solutions leader in the AECO space, realized that their end customers were not likely to read heavy content like lengthy whitepapers or research reports. They needed an accessible and exciting way to present their solution.

Ultimately, they decided that a humorous, approachable product video would be the best way to communicate their message. After a few weeks of paid advertising on YouTube, IngeniousIO generated tremendous activity from their target demographic with 260k views, 475k impressions, and a total view rate of 54%. The ad also caused a large increase in inbound leads for IngeniousIO, further confirming that video was the best medium to reach their buyer persona.

Repeatable Marketing with Content

Many B2B marketers may have finite resources to dedicate towards strategic marketing efforts and campaigns. Marketing plans might include a reoccurring marketing strategy to enable a continuous stream of content generation without depleting your marketing team’s resources. 

Take this situation for example. Bridge Financial Technology, an analytics SaaS platform in the financial industry, needed a measurable marketing program that would allow them to be more strategic with their marketing efforts, and enable their organization to scale. 

As a result, Bridge built a repeatable marketing plan to support their marketing and sales team’s needs. This repeatable solution could be promoted through all of Bridge’s marketing channels. This included newsletters, blogs, social posts, and a weekly webinar to showcase a broad overview of Bridge’s platform functionality.

The frequent, repeatable marketing content substantially impacted Bridge’s pipeline, with 29% of Bridge’s MQL converted to SQLs and a 9.6% conversion rate overall. 


Looking for success similar to these B2B marketing examples? Let SmarkLabs do the work for you! Drop us a line, and we’d be happy to help.

A Guide to SaaS Marketing and SaaS Marketing Metrics

A Guide to SaaS Marketing and SaaS Marketing Metrics

As businesses start to switch their operations and procedures to software solutions, the Saas industry has begun to take over. Saas products’ virtual and online elements have caused its delivery model to become the core of business applications. This technological shift has not only grown the Saas market significantly but has also created a vast new customer base for Saas companies. While this offers an incredible opportunity for your Saas business, to make the most of this technological advancement, you’ll need to know how to make the most of your Saas marketing. 

Don’t worry— we got you covered. Here’s a guide to some Saas marketing strategies (and metrics) that will encourage growth for your business.

How is Saas Marketing Different than Other Industries?

No doubt promoting Saas products has its challenges. Since there is nothing tangible to show your potential customers, your marketing efforts must work twice as hard to convince your audience that your product can solve their problems. Ensuring that promotion efforts focus on your product’s value is crucial because users can’t physically see it themselves.

Marketing efforts must also target every stage of the buyer’s journey. This is because most Saas users decide which product to use fairly quickly. The decision-making process is sped up as users have access to information with one quick online search. To appeal to the informed buyer, your content must be loaded with pertinent and relevant information to convince users o try your service.

Effective Saas Marketing Channels to Utilize

SEO

Today’s buyer is more informed than ever, and most of the time, they are going to search engines for their answers. This means SEO is crucial for any Saas business that wants their solution discovered on Google. Working on SEO provides businesses with better search engine rankings and visibility to create their presence online and, most importantly, to be found by users. 

Content Marketing

No matter the market, businesses use content marketing to grow their brand and build awareness. Most importantly, content drives leads. Creating and promoting content attracts website visitors and ramps up audience engagement to turn uncertain prospects into paying customers.

Retargeting

Retargeting (or remarketing) turns website visitors into customers. After someone visits your website and then leaves, retargeting can re-engage with them by displaying online adverts on other sites they visit. This valuable tool gives your brand another chance to establish trust and familiarity with website visitors so they can come back and convert into customers.

Referrals

For some Saas solutions, users can naturally expand a customer base by introducing the product to others. With referrals being one of the lowest costing and quickest ways for Saas companies to have new users, many businesses have implemented a referral system or program. To ensure quality referrals, organizations will often ask for information regarding the person’s industry, company, or job title and sometimes include an incentive.

Saas Marketing Metrics to Focus on

Next, let’s talk about metrics. Monitoring analytics not only helps the effectiveness of your marketing but also exposes risks and finds opportunities to accelerate scalability. To help to stay focused on the growth of your Saas business, concentrate on analyzing these metrics: 

Churn

Churn is one of the most important metrics for any Saas company because it tells a company how much business they are losing over a certain period of time. While customer service may play an essential role in keeping a low churn percentage, marketing should also be analyzing ways to improve this metric. Churn is more than lost customers or revenue. A sure way to keep a high churn rate is to market and sell your product to those who truly need it.

Qualified Leads

Let’s talk about LEADS. Any marketer or sales reps know the importance of generating leads. However, you don’t want to waste your time on just any lead — you need to make sure they’re qualified. In addition, break leads into lifecycle categories like MQL and SQL. This helps outline where potential customers are in the buying process and identify any leads that get stuck in the funnel.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

Customer Acquisition Costs tells companies how much it costs to acquire new customers and how much value they bring to your business. To calculate CAC, take total sales and marketing spend and divide it by the number of new customers (over a specific time). CAC helps companies manage their growth and accurately gauge the value of their acquisition process.

CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

CLV shows the average amount of money each customer pays during their engagement with your company/product. This metric is very insightful for Saas companies because it articulates an accurate portrayal of a business’s value and growth.


Ready to implement these marketing strategies? We can help! Let’s get started

 

4 B2B Social Media Strategies Businesses Can Test Out

4 B2B Social Media Strategies Businesses Can Test Out

For most of us, social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives — whether you’re a marketer or not. With over 3 billion users worldwide, social media is now an essential channel for communicating and connecting with friends, colleagues, and, most importantly, target audiences. 

You may think only B2C companies are allowed to have social media creative fun  —  but wait! B2B companies can also find ways to build and spike their social media engagement too. The landscape of B2B social media has completely transformed in the past few years. B2B companies have begun to fully embrace their brand and social media content to engage, attract and inform their audiences.

So how can your B2B company successfully use one of the influential marketing channels? Let’s take a look!

4 B2B Social Media Strategies For You to Try

Work on Your Brand Tone

If your audience can recognize your company based on its logo, they should be able to do the same with your brand voice. When posting on social media, your tone should be identifiable and your own. Having this unique voice will make your brand stand out among your competitors while additionally helping with your brand awareness. Don’t forget to use those brand colors to encourage brand association!

Most importantly, this should reach beyond social and bleed into your other content as well (website, email, etc.) If you’re having trouble creating a brand voice, look back at blogs or landing pages and try to adapt the same tone to your social messaging.

Test Out Content and Posting

There’s only one way to see if alternate types of content will work — you have to test it out! Every audience is different, so it’s worth trying to experiment with what grabs their attention the most. While there are numerous social media experiments possible, here are a few to try on your channels:

  • Test out various hashtags for impressions
  • Adjust your posting schedule (more posts vs. fewer posts)
  • Place CTAs and links in different places in posts 
  • Put a paid campaign behind alternate posts (image vs. text vs. video)
  • Test platform features to track views and clicks (polls, stories, etc.)
  • Change to smart content instead of everyday posts

Recognize Your Channels’ Audiences

Despite what social platforms you use, it’s important to realize that not every channel has the same audiences, which means you should be tailoring your content accordingly. The most important platform to note for B2B marketers is LinkedIn. As one of the world’s largest online professional networks, this channel is one of the best ways for B2B companies to reach targeted audiences and potential prospects. 

With LinkedIn being a more professional setting, users join to find resources, connections, and knowledge within their career path or industry. As a B2B company, it’s important to use your LinkedIn account to establish your expertise and be a trusted thought leader within your industry to attract engagement and leads. With this in mind, LinkedIn social posts should be meaningful and educational, using content like blogs, webinars, whitepapers, case studies, videos, infographics, etc.

Let the Numbers do the Talking

Now that you’ve posted your social content, it’s time to analyze the metrics. However, you shouldn’t be focusing your attention on vanity measurements like likes and comments. Instead, look at metrics such as clicks, engagement, views, impressions. These numbers give a more accurate picture of how your post resonated with your followers and audience. 

Using platforms like HubSpot, you can also track WHO is interacting with your social media post (website visits, landing page clicks, etc.) As a B2B company, this is super valuable as it enables you to follow more qualified leads. 

While these are only a few strategies, it just goes to show that B2B companies can get in on the “social media action” too. Just remember: The more you work on your B2B social media strategies, the more you’ll be on your way to figuring out best practices. 


Looking to implement a B2B social media campaign? Let’s talk! 

Why You Need an Explainer Video in Your Marketing Strategy

Why You Need an Explainer Video in Your Marketing Strategy

According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. But how do you know when to use video and which versions are the right ones? As the trend for video content continues to grow, one of the most popular video types to emerge is the explainer video.

Just like regular marketing content, this specific type of video allows your target audience to receive more information about your products at the right place and at the right time. Let’s take a look further into how explainer videos work with your marketing strategy to help push audiences along their buyer journey.

Explainer Videos Explained

A straightforward explanation is sometimes the only thing a buyer needs to better understand how your product works. Explainer videos make this possible  — all in under one minute! 

Generally, explainer videos are around 30-90 seconds in length (averaging about 200 words in a script). They are educational with simple, straight-forward messaging that additionally captivates your audience using interesting visuals and animation. Think of them as a perfect sales pitch that’s just using a new medium to inform your audience.

An essential element of an explainer video is letting the viewer know what solution you offer, how it helps your customer, and why it’s the best option. By focusing on the viewers’ problems, the audience can more easily identify and envision themselves with the product. Take a look at an example below!

 

You can also find more additional examples of explainer videos here.

Explainer Videos As Part of Your Marketing Strategy

When

The best time to introduce an explainer video is in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. This is the stage where buyers have identified their problem and begin researching the best solution. 

An informed buyer will scope out all of their potential options — including your competitors. With an explainer video, you are putting the information buyers seek front and center to further educate themselves on how your solution fills their needs. These videos not only nurture these potential leads but leave a lasting impression on buyers, making you more a memorable alternative when it comes to the decision stage.

Where

 As buyers search for information about your products, you want to make sure that information is available to them in the right place. This is why the best place to put an explainer video is on your website. SmarkLab’s Creative Specialist, Cameron Carney, elaborates more on why:

“As soon a someone hits your website, you only have a few seconds to hook them and catch their attention. A video is more likely to keep visitors intrigued and engaged on your website. To further combat people’s short attention span, using a quick, concise video, like an explainer video, additionally keeps visitors interested.”

Why

In addition to informing and helping potential customers complete their buyer’s journey, explainer videos also help with the following:

  • Brand recognition & awareness

Your explainer video should match your brand tone and guidelines, especially when dealing with the script and animation style. While these videos elaborate more on products, viewers will also get a preview of who you are a brand. Use video tone and style to make a statement and have you stand out from the rest.

  • Improved engagement 

According to recent Hubspot research, video is the most preferred form of content, and people enjoy entertaining and informative video content most. Because explainer videos are some of the most well-received content, they can also help improve conversions and sales.

  • Increased SEO visibility

As recommended before, your website is the perfect place for an explainer video. While your explainer video provides website visitors with pertinent information, it also encourages viewers to stay on your page longer. If people begin to spend more time on your page, Google and other search engines take note of that and will start to rank your website higher in searches, giving your company better visibility online.


Explainer Video

Leave your next video project to the B2B experts. SmarkLabs aligns your B2B marketing strategies with our award-winning video production services and B2B expertise, allowing for high-strategy impact through high-quality content. Let’s get started today!