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Search engine optimization should be a focal point in any B2B marketing strategy. If you have a website then you want it to be found and utilized to push leads through the marketing funnel and sales pipeline. SEO brings B2B marketers plenty of benefits, including a 14.6% lead-to-close rate, and increased website activity of up to 300%.
How does SEO work? To truly get a grip on optimizing your website and ranking highly on search engines, you need to master keywords, and keyword mapping; that’s where this blog comes in. When researching keywords, it can be difficult to get all the right information – it can be so technical and fiddly! Hopefully we can make it all seem a bit more manageable…
(For more info on how SEO contributes to a multi-channel marketing strategy- read this!)
Keywords- getting started
To delve into the nuts and bolts - we need to understand the basics! Keywords are words or phrases relevant to what your business and/or website is about. They help search engines know what your website tells people, so when a search is conducted, the engine knows the relevant websites to show the searcher.
Choosing keywords should be done with care, and based on a mixture of factors. Use your buyer personas and market research to know what your buyers are likely to search, and think about who you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting B2B marketers, then “B2B marketing” would definitely be a keyword of choice.
Remember - keywords are competitive. Anyone offering a similar product or service to you will use keywords related (if not-identical!) to yours, so maximize on lesser used long-tail keywords (more than 3 words long), and don’t choose too many. You’re better off with fewer keywords that are more specific to your product/website.
Keyword mapping – this is when you pair your chosen keywords to the correct pages within your website. If there is a key word that doesn’t match to a page, then a page is made to support the searcher of that keyword. When new pages are made, be they landing pages, blog posts or updates, they must correspond with the keyword mapping.
The idea is not to drive all your traffic to a certain page, it’s more about seeing your website as a network, with the keywords mapping out the different sections of that network. The end goal is converting the visitor into a lead, not just driving traffic, so keyword mapping aims to enhance the overall UX (user experience) and UN (user navigation), optimizing the whole website instead of just a singular page.
A great way to exercise keyword mapping is grouping your keywords, so you can assess where your visitors are in the funnel and guide them through your website appropriately. This means your SEO will be optimized with the end goal of conversions.
The funnel is split into three key areas:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU) - research mode. Also known as “awareness”- the buyer is aware that they have a problem, so they’ve begun the buyer journey in researching an appropriate solution.
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU) – interest. They know a bit about who you are, and what you can offer. They are now in the process of choosing exactly which solution to use.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) - ready to buy! They are well informed, and ready to purchase a solution. This is where the lead is taken from marketing, and passed onto sales.
So how does this link to keywords? Simple - group your keywords by this so you direct your searchers to the pages that correspond with their level of the funnel. This means, in most cases, you’ll be giving people exactly what they want! For example-
- If someone searches for a solution, or an industry specific term, it’s likely that they’re at TOFU, so you’ll want to direct them towards a products page, or blog that will inform them about what you do and how you can benefit them. They’ll be looking for information about the solutions on offer- so hook them in with the detail they want!
- If someone searches for your prices and packages, your competitors, or even influencers in their field, they’ll probably be MOFU, so you’ll want to persuade them that your solution is the best! This is the time to direct them towards customer success stories, and content with richer detail (such as pricing, and contractual terms). This is also a great time to offer them a downloadable asset - in exchange for an email address, they then gain something valuable from you and are entered into your warm lead program (so you can continue to nurture them).
- If they search specifically for your brand name, your contact details, or even an in depth, longer question about your specific services, then they’re BOFU - ready to buy! This is when you give them the impactful and powerful landing pages with offers and contact numbers, with the aim of doing that last little bit to push them over the line so they get on the phone with your sales team.
So that’s keyword mapping and how to apply it to your marketing strategy, but it’s worth discussing how to get those keywords onto your website pages so they benefit your ranking. It’s all very well to know where you want to take your visitors, but how do you do it?
This is where content comes in. Search engines trawl through a websites content to match keywords to what the searcher has typed in, so the more your keywords are embedded, the better! The obvious way of doing this is through the copy itself; start with the page headers (and sub headers) - pack these with keywords, then weave them naturally throughout the copy. Don’t force them, the search engine will pick them up, especially if they’re above the fold. Ensure the appropriate key words are present, and the copy is still insightful and helpful to the reader. You need to write for both human and machine - it can be a challenge, but the results will be worth it!
Top tip: sneak some extra SEO power in by saving all your website image files with file names containing keywords. Your website visitors won’t see this, but the search engine will pick up on it, especially through image search as well as general search. Maximize on image titles and alt text too - these are all opportunities to slip those keywords into your website content!
Following up and testing keywords
Much like any aspect of marketing, you need to follow up and test! Some keywords will always apply to your audience, but there might be some you’re unsure of. Track the performance of keywords and the way you’ve grouped them, then respond to your findings to improve. Why not look at the revenue generated from SEO? Track the revenue back to the keyword, so you know exactly how beneficial that keyword is to you. You may be surprised at the keywords generating the most revenue!
Top tip: Always be on the lookout for keywords to add or take away based on current events within your industry; topical keywords are very influential, especially when looking into industry terms and key influencers - so keep on top of this.
Don’t forget to follow up your searchers - if they searched for a specific solution, send them content relevant to solving their problem. Or if they searched for information on your pricing, send them some content about your clients ROIs. This is where Lead Forensics comes in…
Our software is able to tell you which businesses are visiting your website, and provide contact details for key decision makers. Along with the information provided about how they found you, and what they looked at, you can move your leads through the funnel in no time! Lead Forensics can provide you with all the details you need to measure the success of your SEO, right down to the specific keyword, and who is searching it. Catch the 98% of website visitors that don’t inquire- claim your free demo and trial of our software today!
Free guide - Effective multi-channel models for marketing and sales is full of useful hints and tips on using keyword mapping and SEO to maximize your overall B2B marketing strategy. Download for free today!